Monday, May 9, 2011

fun happenings

Recently I received an email from my very first reader of The Colonel's Lady - it made my day! No, the book isn't out yet but one of the perks of working in-house at Revell is reading those books before they grace shelves. I'd so love to share what this dear reader wrote but that would be a major spoiler! So mum's the word;) This particular reader fell quite hard for my hero! So much so that she was researching him online - rather the real life hero he was patterned after:) Be still my heart!

I'm so happy to announce that today is the day our new group blog, Colonial Quills, officially debuts! The designer, Carla Gade, a new author and a web designer of many years, created the site and did a beautiful job. If you visit, you'll see some names that are familiar to you. And a bevy of beautiful colonial era books! She kindly dubbed the man in the tricorn hat at right Ezekial Click:)

My own site here will be undergoing some BIG changes this month. I don't know how long these things take but I'm excited about a new look and hope you like it, too. Please stay tuned!

Think of the blogs you like best and keep coming back to. What features do they have that appeal to you? What would you like to see more of here? I'd love to know your thoughts...

49 comments:

  1. Ack, I am SO jealous about that first reader. ;-) I am going through SERIOUS Laura Frantz withdrawal and really want to go read TFD, but I have too many other books requiring reviews and judging first. Sigh. Soon, very soon! :)

    I love blogs that are tastefully designed, but have clear directions throughout pointing to different links the author finds interesting. I like a blog to express the personality of the author. Hope mine does that. :)

    Have a great day, friend! :)

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  2. Like Casey, I'm envious of whoever got to read "The Colonel's Lady" before me! Trying to be patient...

    I think of of your blog as one of my favorites and what I like about it is the whole atmosphere. It feels like we're each getting too sit down together with a glass of tea and just visit! So I would say you have created a warm sense of community here.

    I like that you share exciting little tidbits about your writing process and the things that inspire you and that you don't make your blog a dry tutorial about how to get published.

    I want to say "Keep things the same!" but you just said that things will be changing. Can't wait to see the new look!

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  3. Casey,
    Love that "J" word;) You'll be meeting those characters pretty quick. Guess I should start an official countdown!

    I appreciate hearing your thoughts about blog content, design, etc. I just got off the phone with Lorna and we were talking about YOU. I'm not kidding (Lorna, back me up here;)... I told her I'd just read your interview with her this morning and she said, "Casey has a beautiful blog."! So how's that for your Monday:)

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  4. Oh Mary,
    I sure hope you enjoy TCL. I keep wanting to call it TLC! You're such a faithful reading friend. I'm so glad you keep coming back here to both books and blog. You know I visit yours;) I don't always comment but those stats of yours probably leave a trail...

    I really appreciate hearing what makes a blog tick for you. This blog is really about you readers and I always try to post with you in mind. I will keep those writing tidbits coming and try to maintain that sit down and visit feeling. I love that and that's what I aim for. Sweet tea, indeed;)

    I had to chuckle because I am a creature of habit so your comment about keeping things the same really resonates. Even if the change is better I usually go out dragging my heels. Sigh. It always takes time for me to adjust to any "newness" but if you readers are with me, I'll make the leap!

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  5. yay! what a fun group! I cant wait to read everyone's input. Fantastic idea!
    This might surprise you but I am often drawn to blogs with an interesting look and 'style.' Where its like getting lost in a world all its own when visiting it. Its so lovely!
    Of course I also love catching up with friends and learning what their latest project is. Im so glad you do this blog so I can know there's more reading in my future, hehe...

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  6. Good morning, Laura! (Well, it's almost afternoon, but I just woke up not that long ago... I ended up staying up until 4:30 in the morning reading A Heart Divided by Katherine Morgan!!) ;)

    The new blog looks lovely, and what a fun idea for a group effort! :) And I'm sure whatever you do for this blog will look wonderful! I agree with Mary about the sweet sense of community here on your blog. Your posts are uplifting and fun! :)

    Well, it's officially summer for me (summer break, that is), and the sun is shining outside, so I might just have to get ready for the day now. ;) As much as I wouldn't want to rush summer, I am really looking forward to reading The Colonel's Lady!!

    ~Amber

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  7. Heather, That doesn't surprise me a bit, given your art bent! I am so drawn to other blogs, too, and gravitate toward a certain vintage look, aka 18th-century, I should say. The designer sent me the template or first page of this new blog and I was so amazed! It really is me and contains some of the elements of my new series which she wouldn't have known about. I think she's inspired;) After looking around at other blogs, I'm drawn to the ones that reflect the author's personality. I've come to the conclusion that doing your own blog is like scrapbooking (something I don't do). There are so many accessories and stuff it's truly mind-boggling!

    Thanks so much for being my reader here amidst your very busy life!

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  8. Amber,
    So glad you made it home and are officially on break:) I remember what a relief it was to get finals over and move on, even if it did mean a summer job!

    Thanks for the insight into this blog and that "sweet" word. I really hope this new site draws you in with that same sense of welcome. I will tell you this, it's going to be very different than most authors out there. But I'm not a glitzy kind of gal...

    Guess what I started last night? A Heart Divided;) Fun to think we're reading this together. Only I'm sure you're much further along than I am!

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  9. Yes! Start that countdown, I'll put the ticker on my blog. ;-)

    Oh, so THAT is why my ears were tingling this morning. ;-) I'm humbly flattered, thank you!

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  10. Congrats on the new blog, Laura! With so many talented ladies involved, I'm sure you'll have lots of great posts.

    I must admit that I've found too many interesting blogs and don't have time to read them all--especially right now with end-of-school-year craziness. At this point, I keep up with many bloggers and authors through Facebook and Twitter. So when I seek out blogs, it's for one of two reasons: either I enjoy the interaction/friendship with the blogger or I receive inspiration/direction from the posts. It seems to me like your new blog will cover both those areas for your fans and friends! Plus, a beautiful blog header and recipes can't hurt :)

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  11. Renee Ann, You have my prayers and support for your year end whirlwind! I love seeing you here but know you are busy with your own blog, too. Thanks so much for your insights. I think the colonial blog will be fun as I'm posting more about writing. This one will be my personal blog to keep up with you all. You and others provide a lot of inspiration:) And I really do mean that.

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  12. Casey,
    I'd better start myself as I don't even know the count till August 1!
    Sakes!

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  13. I think I was salivating when you mentioned your first reader of TCL! Let's see...only 3 more months to go!

    So excited about the Colonial Quills blog and so glad you are part of it. Looking forward to many new things!

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  14. Carla, Bless you for salivating;) A good book is truly an enormous treat!! I was thinking what a blessing it is to be a part of a creative endeavor like Quills which has so many fine authors there. I look forward to learning a lot and have been having fun working on my first post. This truly is a terrific Monday! So many blessings today. I'll try to share more later...

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  15. I'm going to go with the trend here and say I AM SO JEALOUS of the early reader of your book! Hmmm wonder if I could fly out there to Revell HQ and get a job there? Hahaha

    As for blogs I tend to go to the sites that have fun and interesting posts and a great design. I would love to get a new more professional look for my blog but alas I'm not that talented. :-P

    I'm off to check out that new site.

    XOXO~ Renee

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  16. Renee, I think you'd make a great addition to Revell's team! You'd excel in marketing or publicity:) So happy you want to read TLC! Only 3 months like Carla said...

    I am clueless also as to redoing my blog but you're light years ahead of me, truly. Have you seen the templates for free over at Hotbiggetyblog? I can't believe you can download such beautiful things for free! Of course I would fail in the download department...

    Thanks again for stopping by here and over at CQ. In the words of one of my favorite historical authors, y'er a blessin'!

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  17. Make that hotbliggetyblog.com!

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  18. Hello Laura,
    How sweet of you to come visit me and to like my 'hutch'. It was fun to see it come about. I find inspiration galore in books.~~ I too am looking forward to reading your new book, you truly have a gift from God as a writer. We are blessed to have found you! Your blog is a beauty, your pictures are 'awe' moments. I loved it from the first visit. Time slips by so quickly I don't get around to visit as often as I'd like. Still, what I wonder will your blog changes be like? Can't wait to see, but hate to say goodbye to the lovely format you have now also. I had my husband come see your blog and my 30 something son! A work of art, I say, your blog is!

    That is an interesting thought , that a blog is an extension of a person's own personality. Thats true I think. The possibility of creating is so enjoyable, even if some things come together well or don't. Our blog pages allow each of us to be, in a sense, an artist or author, clicking out our thoughts on our keyboards. Just for a bit. =)

    I too like blogs that 'talk' to me, and share links and 'how-to's...and are light and cheerful, and even better, if they exalt God. Wishing you the happiest of days, Maggie Ann

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  19. Maggie Ann, Your hutch is like something out of Lael's dream cabin:) Mine, too! And bless you for showing your kin my humble blog! I can't take credit as a designer did this one a couple of years ago and he's very talented. I do love the glossy look of it and the wide angle lens sort of view he created. But I must be a true female because I just feel the itch to rearrange things sometimes, kind of like furniture;)

    You spoke some very important words about blog content. Light, cheerful, and exalting of Him. Yours certainly do that. I feel a real peace there. Some blogs/sites just shout ME-ness and I try to stay away from that. I just found the most remarkable verse in a Beth Moore study I'm doing and it seems to fit even with blog design:

    Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8

    I'm so thankful you're my reader. And I pray my upcoming book blesses you!

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  20. I have had quite a day at work and came home to veg. I jumped the laptop and went to see what you were up to. Wow, all I can say is you are having quite a party! Congratulations on the start of the new blog! It looks fabuloso!!! With all the reality I had today, it was good to step back in time and let my mind think of Colonial America instead of Hospital Land!! I absolutely love the collage of pictures you chose for your header!! I will be stopping by it often with my cup of tea in hand.

    Stacie

    PS...Yay for your first reader!!

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  21. Laura ~ I agree that your blog has a wonderful community feel that very few bloggers can manage. Most inspiring!

    I wish I could get around to more blogs but find it next to impossible with my blog, FamilyFiction writing, INSPYs and, oh yes, my family ;-)

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  22. Laura, it is so great to have the Colonial Quills hubspot/website launch. Now readers can go and find out cool stuff about their favorite colonial authors (like you!) in one spot. We will always come back here, too. I love your blog. Don't change too much!

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  23. Stacie,
    Isn't it heavenly to come home after a hard days work and have some down time online:) It wouldn't be the same without you! Hope your day was stellar if busy! I know you're a blessed addition there. I've been having a nightly cup of tea myself;) Prayers with you this week!

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  24. Rel, I truly understand about the time limits and blog visiting. I'm in the same proverbial boat rowing upstream:) It always means a great deal when you pop up here. I'm afraid I can't take credit for the blog as these readers of mine provide the warm atmosphere! That's why I keep coming back;)

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  25. Carrie,
    It's so fun to be part of a group blog! Interestingly enough, it's been a prayer request of mine for the last couple of years. I look forward to have all that creative energy over there rub off;)

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  26. I have been so remiss of late to visit you, Laura! I've missed you, and it's been a CRAZY month! But I'm still planning that trip to Winchester in August!

    Yes, I'm jealous of your first reader, too, but SO looking forward to being the "umpteenth" reader! :D

    What do I like in a blog? One that's easy to maneuver, and not too busy. I love your current one because it's clean and crisp. Just like a good Colonial garden in Williamsburg!

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  27. How cool! I’m excited to see what new changes are in store for your blog – though, I can’t imagine it getting better than it already is! I love that your blog has a wonderful mix of historical gems, devotionals, book talk and girl talk… and handsome hero talk, too ;) It’s also fun to hear about your writing process and where you are in your books! Gosh, and we can’t forget the beautiful pictures you always seem to find! :) Your blog is one of my favorite places online, but change is fun and fresh and I’m sure whatever changes are in store will be a JOY to both you and us!! :)

    And, I must ditto what my friends here keep saying, I am SO JEALOUS someone already got to read TCL!!! Oh well, good things come to those who wait, right? ;)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  28. How cool! I’m excited to see what new changes are in store for your blog – though, I can’t imagine it getting better than it already is! I love that your blog has a wonderful mix of historical gems, devotionals, book talk and girl talk… and handsome hero talk, too ;) It’s also fun to hear about your writing process and where you are in your books! Gosh, and we can’t forget the beautiful pictures you always seem to find! :) Your blog is one of my favorite places online, but change is fun and fresh and I’m sure whatever changes are in store will be a JOY to both you and us!! :)

    And, I must ditto what my friends here keep saying, I am SO JEALOUS someone already got to read TCL!!! Oh well, good things come to those who wait, right? ;)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  29. Regina, Oh JOY! To think I get to see you again:) I know you are super busy so it's a delight that you stop by here at all! I hope your library talk went well. It means so much that you'd support Christian fiction like you do. You have your own ministry! I'd give anything to "pop" in to your library and surprise you;)

    So glad you want to read TCL. The book trailer should be ready soon and I'm anxious to post. You're in my thoughts and prayers, dear KY friend!

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  30. Amanda, So glad to know what you like - this blog really is a smorgasboard of things:) I'm glad so many of you like the look of this site and hope you'll enjoy the VERY different look of this upcoming one!! Speaking of pretty pictures, I'm going to post one of the manor/castle where I attended college for today's devotional post as it seems to fit with Spurgeon's text. I can't ever seem to get enough of England and wish I could return! Bless you today!

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  31. You went THERE??? Laura, it is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I wouldn't be able to get enough of England either if that was where I was! Gosh, I could stare at it all day! Is it just as breathtaking inside? Thank you for sharing that with us :) And, thank you for sharing that beautiful devotional with us. Such a powerful call, my friend, that we all need to hear and answer. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you on these posts, they are always just what my heart and soul needs to hear :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  32. 80 days 14 hours 19 mins and 13 seconds. ;-))

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  33. Oh, Amanda, So glad you like:) Your reaction was similar to my own when I came down the drive for the first time and passed beneath twin gatehouses. Harlaxton Manor/Grantham Castle is an amazing place. I spent my junior year living there and have been thanking the Lord ever since. This is a side view, actually. It's an enormous estate. I almost posted the other side with the swan lake.

    I lived on the third floor and had classes in the library and other rooms on the first floor. My favorite spot was the breakfast room as it was mostly glass and was a lady's room originally, very French in orgin, and had a secret door. The cedar staircase leading to my room is IMMENSE and has heaven painted on the ceiling with cherubs and the like. It fed my imagination like wildfire!

    One of my favorite memories was taking tea with the president of the college. He had lodgings in the mews above the stables. We also had a medieval (I can never spell that word!) banquet in the great hall and came in costume and ate all sorts of interesting things and even danced! Magical, indeed!

    Thanks for sharing my Harlaxton memories:)

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  34. And thank you, dear Amanda, for taking these devotional posts to heart! Spurgeon was an amazing man. I look forward to hearing him preach in heaven, or so I hope;)

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  35. LOL, Casey:)!! That's MUCH closer than I thought!!

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  36. Okay, first thing's first - the release of TCL can't get here soon enough! :) Congrats on the new blogging venture, and I look forward to seeing the changes you have in store for your own online home!

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  37. YAY, Ruth! So glad you're here! Only 80 more days, or so Casey says. Online home is the perfect wording. I've decided a blog is a combination journal and second home;)

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  38. Wow! Thank you for sharing your memories! It all sounds so beautiful and magical, like you said :) Gosh, I wouldn't have gotten any work done surrounded by such splendor! And I had to laugh with the word "medieval" LOL! For me, if I'm not near spell check I won't even attempt the word "definitely" :D

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    P.S. - YAY for 80 more days till TCL!!! I think putting a number on it doesn't make it seem so far away... though 80 isn't exactly a small number! ;)

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  39. Beautiful cover on your latest book!

    I like blogs where the writer really shows their personality and some randomness. :O)

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  40. Eighty days until TCL, oh it doesn't seem so long away now. :D I'm trying very hard not to be jealous of those who have been lucky enough to read it already.

    My fingers are crossed that I will be back home working starting tomorrow. I've been in the office since before the move. First I was training on a new project, and then well I misplaced the vpn token that I need to be able to log in to my work computer at home. However, I now have a new one, and I'm just praying it will work in the morning!

    I promptly bookmarked Colonial Quills on Monday night when I first read your post. It looks like a wonderful blog, I believe I'll go back tonight and read more.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the new look here, I'm certain it will be beautiful.

    I must say I think your blog is wonderful the way it is. :) I love the sense of community that you've established here. I consider everyone to be amongst my cyber friends.

    The picture with the devotional post is just gorgeous. Until I read your replies here, I thought perhaps it was the Biltmore estate in Asheville.

    BTW, it was almost 90 degrees today, I'm certain you would have loved it.

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  41. It's the authors of the blogs that call me back. I think your blog is lovely, Laura, as it is, but I'll be happy to visit you in your redesigned one too!!

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  42. Hey Laura,

    Check this site out!! It even has a small ticket at the bottom saying you have 112 days to go!! I can also get your book with free shipping!!

    Hope you are doing well!
    Stacie
    http://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=laura+frantz&search=search

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  43. LOL, Amanda, I can't ever spell definitely either - or recommended or some of those other ones. Here's a huge thumbs up for dictionaries and spell-check;)

    Interestingly enough, I spent my time at Harlaxton studying the American Revolution from the British perspective as well as Enlgish lit. I can't believe I got anything done as my head was in the clouds the whole time, just like you said! Bless you for bringing back the fun and joy of those days...

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  44. Oh Michelle, 90 degrees? We're still building fires here! I'm freezing... But more power to ya:) Enjoy every minute.

    I think it's wonderful you work out of your home. That was always my dream though I started a bit late. Nothing like it, that's for sure!

    I so appreciate your insights about blogs and what works, etc. I always hesitate to make a change as I want you readers to feel at home here. I love the new design but must say it's nothing like this one here! I'm so anxious to see what you think...

    I'm thrilled you like CQ:) I think it will be a fun place for learning and sharing little known facts from that time period. I'll be posting more about writing itself over there and am working on a post for next week regarding research and TFD. Tomorrow's post should be fun, too, but no spoilers here! I hope your day isn't too hectic and you can stop by!

    Praying those bookcases of yours are filled to the brim soon! I think you have a birthday coming up, if I'm not mistaken;)

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  45. Eileen,
    You're always so very gracious. You say just what I need to hear. I think we don't have to worry about a blog design so much, truly, as the personality or spirit of the one who blogs and those who visit. Thanks for that. One of the reasons I like yours!

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  46. Oh Stacie! Love the ticker idea;) And I'm all for free shipping, too! Going there now.... Bless you and so good to see you and others at CQ, too!

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  47. Diane, Bless you and thanks for stopping by! Glad you like that cover:) Lots of blue for any blue lovers out there. Makes me want a dress like Roxanna's...

    I like blogs that show the blogger's personality, too. Your latest post is a great example of that! I chuckled when I saw that pic. It made me think of my boys when they were younger and our dinner table;)

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  48. Very excited about the new blog! Congrats!!

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  49. Stacey,
    I'm excited you're excited;) It is fun going to a new format and taking you with me! Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

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