Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #29

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 30 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

• The hunt BEGINS on March 1st at noon MST with Stop #1 at

 • Hunt through our loop using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer). 

• There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, March 4th, at midnight MST). So take your time, reading the unique posts. Our hope is that you'll discover new authors/new books along the way. 

• Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #30. Most authors are offering additional prizes of their own, so be sure to sign up for those as well, as you are working your way through the various stops.

• If you get lost along the way, you can find the list of all stops, in order, here.

My Guest for the Hunt

I'm honored to host Lisa T. Bergren, who is as beloved by other authors as she is by her readers. Here's a bit about her latest release, Keturah:

Keturah is the eldest of three, the widow of an English Lord, and the one responsible for saving the Bannings' estate in England… as well as their ailing plantation in the Caribbean. Forced to make a hard decision, Keturah and her sisters sail to Nevis…and find more than their share of trouble…as well as the first stirrings of love.

Take it away, Lisa!

Five Things You Might Not Know About the West Indies & Nevis - Q&A with Lisa T. Bergren

#1 Where are the West Indies?
It’s an old name for what we basically refer to as the Caribbean. It incorporates Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola (Haiti and the DR), and many islands between Antigua and Trinidad, including the island where KETURAH is set, Nevis.

THEPALMER, iStock Photo

#2 Why are the West Indies called "the West Indies?"
Columbus thought he’d finally found Asia, so he called it the Indies. Spain, when they discovered his mistake, renamed it the West Indies, to differentiate them from the East Indies, the Spice Islands of the Pacific (Indonesia).

#3 Who discovered the islands?

Well, there were natives on the islands for centuries, who were either enslaved or died of diseases that newcomers brought with them. It is thought that Columbus first set foot on the Bahamian islands, and Spain soon laid claim to all the biggest islands. The Dutch, French and English were the first to come and “settle” on other islands, bringing with them the sugar trade (via Brazil) in the mid-17th century. In short order, those who had been raising tobacco and rice realized that sugar was the more valuable crop, and land became a hot commodity…and countries began to vie for the islands that were making men millionaires.

#4 What are "absentee owners?"
While today we think of the Caribbean islands as paradise, people of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries would not have likely agreed. The islands were a hotbed for disease, routinely wiping out thousands with yellow fever and malaria—some say 3 out of 5 white people died within three years of arrival (African slaves were more resistant to the tropical diseases but suffered and died too). There were also hurricanes, droughts, mudslides, and earthquakes. So many wealthy sugar plantation owners established themselves and then left their plantations in the hands of overseers, so they could return to the comforts of home in England or France.

#5 What is Nevis's claim to fame?

The island on which KETURAH is set was once (17th century) the greatest sugar producer of all, and called “Queen of the Caribees.” By the time my novel takes place, others have surpassed her. But later it was the island on which Alexander Hamilton was born—the USA’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Founding Father (and subject of Broadway’s #1 musical).

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over 50 books in many different genres, that have sold more than 3 million copies combined. She lives in Colorado with her family, but spends most of her time planning her next trip abroad. For more info, see

Mindy's note:  If you're a reader of my blog or Facebook, you'll know I'm a HUGE Hamilton fan and even won the Hamilton Lottery, which you can read more about here. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Fascinating!

Here’s the Stop #29 Skinny: 

You can order Lisa's book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, or at your local bookstore! 

Clue to Write Down: a joy!

Link to Stop #30, the Next Stop on the Loop

But wait–before you go, as a fun addition to the scavenger hunt, I’m hosting my own giveaway! Enter to win an autographed copy of The Amish Quilter and a pair of sterling silver “quilt” cloisonné enamel earrings!

To enter:

            1) Like me on Facebook 

            2) Click on the button below and complete the entry form. 

Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm ET on March 4, 2018. Drawing will be held and the winner announced March 5, 2018. Please note that the earrings will be sent in March, after the winner is announced, but the book will be sent separately in May, once it has been released. 

Thanks for participating, and best wishes on completing the Scavenger Hunt!

Now that you're one stop from the end, I'd love to hear in a comment below, have you enjoyed the Hunt? What was your favorite part?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Get Ready for Next Week's Scavenger Hunt!

Mark your calendars, because the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt is back!

From March 1–4, you're invited to visit the blogs of 29 Christian fiction authors and write down a word clue from each. Once you've gone through all 29 blogs, you'll use the clues you've collected to enter a drawing for one of the following prizes...

     Grand Prize: All 29 books shown below plus a $250 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: All 29 books shown below plus a $75 Amazon Gift Card
     3rd Prize: All 29 books shown below plus a $50 Amazon Gift Card
     4th Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
     5th Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

There will be more info once the hunt starts, but for now here's what you need to know:
  • The hunt BEGINS on March 1st at noon MST.
  • The first stop is at the website/blog of author Lisa Tawn Bergren.
  • You can work your way through the hunt all in one sitting, or do it off and on throughout the weekend. 
  • The hunt ENDS on Sunday, March 4th, at midnight MST, so you must have finished the entire hunt and entered all drawings by then.
  • Along the way, you'll read fascinating blog posts from some of your favorite authors, most of whom will be doing their own giveaways too—so that's a lot of chances to win!


Whether or not you participate in the hunt, be sure to come back here to my blog during that time period to enter the giveaway that I'll be running myself. Here's a hint, the winner will receive a free autographed book and a very special accessory...

See you next week!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Top 10 Romantic Reads

Every novelist finds certain parts of the writing process more enjoyable than others. For example, my least favorite part is having to come up with names–for people or places–and I tend to struggle with developing and enhancing themes.

At the other end of the spectrum, I absolutely love fleshing out complex plotlines, and I adore trying to develop memorable characters. Given that many of my books have been mysteries, it’s not surprising that I also enjoy playing with things like suspense, intrigue, and pacing.

Loving Love

What has come as a surprise to me is how much I delight in shaping the romantic elements of my books as well. I’ve never been one for reading romance novels, but for some reason writing romance in my novels is one of the highlights of the entire process for me. Go figure.

Recently, I was chatting about this paradox with a small group of friends and family members, and that led to a discussion of various romantic moments from my past books. Soon the conversation evolved into a sort of debate, with everyone comparing and ranking things like wedding proposals and first kisses, declaring which was the “best” this and the “favorite” that.

And the Winners Are

I’d been trying to think of something romance-related for this Valentine’s Day blog post, so in the end I decided to make our conversation “official”, list the top choices, and share them here. (Prior to posting, I also sent out an informal poll to a few additional friends and co-authors, just to make sure we hadn’t forgotten any important scenes or moments from the 26 novels I've written.) Many thanks to all who weighed in!

There’s nothing official about these results, they simply represent the final consensuses for the various romantic categories. You’ll probably agree with some and disagree with others, but for what it’s worth, here are the top choices as determined by committee. Enjoy!


See Chapter 9 of Blind Dates Can Be Murder. 

No spoilers here, let's just say it's somewhere in Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels. (You'll know it when you get there!)

See the Epilogues of Shadows of Lancaster County and The Amish Seamstress.

Who else but Travis Naquin in Under the Cajun Moon?

My sweet husband, John, with whom I co-wrote Echoes of Titanic. (Okay, so I'm the one who picked this winner!)

See Chapter 21 of My Sister’s Prayer.

Marcus and Juliette in Beauty to Die For.

See Chapter 36 in The Amish Blacksmith.

Clayton and Miriam in The Amish Clockmaker

You’ll just have to wait and see once this one comes out in May!

Functional Relationships

In all of my stories, my primary romantic goal is to portray mature, functional love in action. Sometimes I hit the mark better than others, but hopefully all of my readers have found some moment of romance that resonated for them in a special way.  

Happy Valentine’s Day–and much love to you!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links; clicking on them and making purchases generates affiliate commissions for the author.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above choices, in the comments below.