Thursday, September 19, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Steve Gableman... Gainer? ~ The Other Neighbor

I'm Steve Gableman, but for now, I'm calling myself Steve Gainer. I'm an FBI agent, but I'm not sure for how much longer. A few months ago I was injured in the line of duty. I know it's always a risk, but no one really expects it to happen to them. I thought I was being realistic, knowing it could happen to me, but still, it wasn't like I expected. I always thought I'd have some down time, and I'd be back on duty.

But that's not what happened. I'm back on duty, but it's light duty. Not much better than sitting behind a desk. I hate it. But at the same time, I'm not sure I'm ready to jump back in and risk life and limb for the good of my country and its citizens. I almost died, but in the big picture, I don't know if it made much difference to win this one.

I still have time to figure things out. For now I've been assigned to surveillance. But I'm not pretending to be a drug addict or petty criminal. No. I've got a room full of top grade equipment, in a fully furnished house. Hot and cold running water. A full fridge. I can cook three meals a day. My team is close by, a cell-phone call away, twenty-four seven.

The tip line got a report about the owner of a hydroponics store making plans to build a bomb, and it's my team's job to discover the target, and arrest all the perps, not just the leader.

It's my assignment to do surveillance on the bomber's neighbor who lives on the other side of his duplex - every few days he gives her a bag, then quickly leaves. I need to find out if she's involved, and if she's not involved, use her to find something out, after all, they share a wall. I'm going to close my file soon, I'm sure she's clean. In fact, from what I've seen, she's so clean she probably squeaks.

I've never been so bored in my life.

But I have a feeling something's going to change...

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My Story Title:   The Other Neighbor

My Story Genre:  Romantic Suspense

My Story Released:  November 2018 ~ 
          coming up on an anniversary!

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The Author of My Story:    Gail Sattler

Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver BC Canada (eh!) where you don't have to shovel rain. When she's not madly writing (Gail Sattler has over 40 published novels and novellas, plus a few works of non-fiction) she plays bass for an Elton John tribute band as well as a community jazz band, plus she plays piano for a smaller private jazz band. When she's not writing or making music (or at her day job) Gail likes to sit back and read a book written by someone else, along with a good cup of hot coffee.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?


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journeystojoy will be honored to gift a drawing winner an Amazon gift card within the U.S.

Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ September 25, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Our Story BEFORE the Story ~ Claire Bennett & Patsy Kowalski ~ Chapel Hill Revival

Hey, there! I’m Claire Bennett, and this is my best friend since kindergarten Patsy Kowalski.

“Hello.”

Patsy isn’t as outspoken as I am. In fact, when we were in Kindergarten, I always spoke for her. She’d whisper to me, and I’d tell the teacher whatever she wanted. If the teacher called on her, she’d cry. They finally tried to separate us into different classes. Ha! They didn’t count on her mama storming into the school to stop that nonsense.

“We’re the owners of The Painted Loon, our art gallery. I paint and Claire’s a potter.”

Patsy, do you remember the morning my Joel left without kissing me goodbye? He’s kissed me every morning before he leaves since we got married, but somewhere in twenty-seven years of marriage, I’d become a LazyBoy recliner. A steady, comfortable piece of furniture. How utterly humdrum.

“At least he wasn’t like Nathan. He was doing sixteen of the Twenty-One Signs of a Cheating Husband.”

True, but nobody likes to be taken for granted. So, we embarked on Operation Marriage Revival. At the same time, the new widow on the hill, Lydia, hesitantly mentioned how Chapel Springs had grown a little shabby and could use reviving.

“And she was right. Since Claire and I were already in ‘revival’ mode, she pulled everyone together and we began a town-wide campaign to freshen up Chapel Springs. Of course, we got a lot of flak from the mayor and his cronies. They’d prefer to leave us stuck in the 1950s and not enter the Twenty-first Century.”

That’s the truth. Then, in the midst of all of it, my son Charlie got engaged to Sandi, and she wanted to have the reception at our house. Her mama erroneously thought I was the cook in our family. I had to learn how fast, so I could cook the dinner she coerced me into. Sandi’s mother was a piece of work. But you’ll have to read the book to learn how I managed it. And the fire was not my fault!

“Our story has been out for 5 years now, and it has remained in the top 100 books in its category on Amazon that entire time. We’re pretty excited about that. Should we tell them what happened with Operation Marriage Revival?”

No way. They need to buy the book to find that out. They can go to Amazon and find it there.

“Or they can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win it.” (See below)

They can? Well, isn’t that nice!

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Our Story Title:   Chapel Hill Revival 1st Edition

Our Story Genre:  Southern Women's Fiction ~ Ane's brand - Southern Fried Fiction

Our Story Releases:    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
            CHAPEL HILL REVIVAL 1st Edition !!!! ~ Sept. 2014

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The Author of Our Story: Ane Mulligan

Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet tea. She's an award-winning bestselling novelist, a multi-published playwright and contributor to the award-winning blog, The Write Conversation

She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler who thinks he’s a teddy bear.


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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Chapel Hill Revival .
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ September 18, 2019.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Story Behind THE LADY & THE LAWMAN

Howdy y’all. The name’s Jodie Ross, but my big brother calls me “Jo.” Now don’t go getting the wrong idea about a gal like me sitting behind bars. Sure, I may be dressed like a man and not keep the best of company, but I can explain. What the handsome new greenhorn of a marshal doesn’t know is that I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I went to live with my brother after our folks died. I was only ten at the time after all.

You see, Jerry’s fourteen years older than me, so he’s seemed more of an uncle to me than a brother. We get along pretty well. He taught me lots of things Mama never would’ve allowed, like shootin’, ‘n’ trappin’, ‘n’ fishin’—things I really enjoyed. Only after I got good at it, he started takin’ trips for work. I hated it. He always left me behind. He said a neighbor would check on me, but they hardly ever did. He’d leave me alone in our cabin for days, then sometimes weeks at a time.

When he missed our first Christmas together without Mama and Papa, that was it. I’d had enough of being alone. I demanded he start taking me on his work trips. For a time, Jerry kept his line of work hidden from me, just asked me to mind the camp and occasionally hold the horses for him and his buddies.

Once I got used to having a full belly again, I started asking more questions. He said he did work like Robin Hood, taking from the rich to feed the poor. Considering the hard winter I’d endured alone, I didn’t want anyone, including myself, to ever have to go through such an experience again. I guess that’s why I never said anything. Although, I think deep down I knew my brother didn’t really care about helping other people, but he never complained when I’d share my portion of the spoils with those I saw who were down on their luck.

Lately, however, I’ve been rather longing to cut out on my own and put down some roots, instead of hopping around from abandoned shack to empty cavern or sleeping out under the stars, or cooking for slovenly men who only keep their hands off me because I’m better with a gun than they are and the fact my brother nearly killed the last guy who tried to get, shall we say, “fresh” with me.

Sigh. Maybe one day my life will get better, but from where I’m sitting, I don’t see how. Maybe the God my mama taught me about can help, but would He even hear a cry from a gal like me?

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My Story Title:   Mistaken Marshal
The Lady and the Lawman: 4 Historical Stories of Lawmen and the Ladies Who Love Them


My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   August 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Crystal L Barnes
Other Authors in the collection include: Vickie McDonough, Annette O’Hare, Kathleen Y’Barbo

A best-selling author, bona fide country girl, and former competitive gymnast, Crystal L Barnes tells stories of fun, faith, and friction that allow her to share her love of Texas, old-fashioned things, and the Lord—not necessarily in that order. When she's not writing, reading, or singing, Crystal enjoys spending time with family, exploring on road-trips, and watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy and Little House on the Prairie are two of her favorites. You can find out more and connect with Crystal at www.crystal-barnes.com.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
THE LADY & THE LAWMAN.
(Contiguous US Addresses only. Sorry.)
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ September 11, 2019.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ John Russell ~ THE SHENANDOAH ROAD ~ A Novel of the Great Awakening

I’m John Russell, and I’m pleased to meet ye. [inaudible] I dinna ken if there’s all that much to tell about myself and my life, except it be something about the grace of God in it all . . . but maybe I should go back to the beginning.

I willna forget the day . . . the day I lost my Janet. She went to the Cunninghams that day, I dinna remember why. I just remember her standing in the open door of their cabin in the dusk, the light from the hearth outlining her form. [inaudible] There were Indians, and Captain McDowell had led a bunch of us to guard the settlement, but what happened—it was an accident, no matter they call it a massacre. I dinna believe the Indians meant any harm myself.

Some of the Indians had muskets. One of them aimed at a Cunningham—father or son I couldna see in the smoke, ye may know how ’tis with muskets. Anyway, Cunningham galloped past not far from the cabin, and . . . [inaudible]

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I’d had a long rifle on that day. Ye ken the type? Jake Deckard makes fine rifles in Pennsylvania, they are much more accurate than a musket. Anyone can take down a buck at a hundred yards with it. And if ye’ve a keen eye, well, I’ve heard stories.

But no, I’ve wrestled with that long enough. The Lord knows the end from the beginning, and He’s in control of it all. Isaiah tells me that. The catechism tells me that. But it took a long time before my heart kent it.

Now I can look back and see that good has come out of it all, good that is much happier to tell. It all started when my father, who works as a bookkeeper in Philadelphia, meddled just a wee bit. I’d written of my plan to look for a wife there. I didna tell you about Susanna, did I? She was just a wee bairn at the time, needed a mother.

Anyway, there were some good families in Gilbert Tennent’s meetinghouse, and immigrants from Ulster tend to go there, being Presbyterian mostly. These “Irish” are actually Scots, if ye dinna ken that already.

That was the plan, but it didna work out exactly as I imagined . . .

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My Story Title:   THE SHENANDOAH ROAD ~ 
A novel of the Great Awakening

My Story Genre:  Historical Fiction

My Story Released:   July 2018

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The Author of My Story:    Lynne Basham Tawaga


Lynne Basham Tawaga is an author, editor, educator, and best of all, grandma to four. She loves to write quality fiction with solid gospel content. Her debut novel, A Twisted Strand, is contemporary romantic suspense, but she thinks
she’s found a true home in historical fiction.

Currently she’s writing the sequel to The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

  • A Kindle Unlimited selection
  • Can be purchased at Amazon, B&N, and Grace and Truth Books.

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The author will be honored to gift a winner 
a signed print copy ~ OR ~ Kindle copy of
The Shenandoah Road ~ A Novel of the Great Awakening.

Be sure to leave a comment with an email address - or - PM Joy  in Messenger - where you can be reached should you win.

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ August 28, 2019.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ Linda Jensen & ?Jay? ~ AN UNPRESENTABLE GLORY

Welcome to my garden tour! I don’t believe we’ve met before. I’m Linda Jensen and am so happy you’ve come to enjoy my flowers! I must tell you up front, though, that much of the beauty you see here grew out of my parents’ sweat and dirt. Yes, they were wealthy and could have hired it done, but they were soil-born gardeners. As a child, I took being rich for granted. Didn’t everyone have two Mercedes, an acre of flowers, and give away scads of money?

Money, though, became a Big Deal for me. Measuring my life and wardrobe against my well-funded school friends, I felt deprived. They could buy anything they wanted. I got a weekly allowance. I could spend it any way I wanted, but when it was gone— “Oh, I’m sorry!” My parents’ voices dripped sympathy. “That’s too bad! Next week’s allowance is…what­…four days away?” I learned, by painful experience, to use money wisely. And, right after mastering 2 + 2 equals 4, the follow-up math was figuring a 10% tithe of my allowance—which, they made clear, needed to factor in human need in our church and around the world. My parents dug care into the soil of my heart, and that has served me well.

My dear friend Bonnie was definitely not one of the moneyed crowd, and when her husband died of cancer... Well, I felt we needed to explore some of the fine gardens in Scotland. Never mind that it was a Scottish person who later did me real damage. In this country, though; not there.

Jorge, my Hispanic gardener, was not in need—at least in his mind. To lure him, I dangled my garden as a potential showcase for his talents. He’s…um…difficult, but we get along. If you see him out there, please give him a good word. He may sniff at you, but that’s his way.

I was not prepared, though, for my big test of caring when Jay landed near my delphiniums. I had tended my dad when he was dying, but this stranger—helpless, insisting I call no one—what could I do for him? Jay was not his real name; I knew that. I knew also that in some way, he was an important person. All I could do was dump him in God’s lap. Lord, you put him here. Now help me care in this new, this dangerously unnerving way!

Jay here. No, that’s not my real name, but it’s the only safe one I could think of during that week with Linda. And what a week it was! We had talked about her garden tour, and I desperately wanted to show up as a surprise. I’d seen her display and knew it well, and just being there would have meant so much—to both of us. It could not be, though. It could not be. Life, unfortunately, often X’s out our deepest desires. I did send a gift, a small token….

Growing up, I learned a lot about life—especially playing hockey with other hot-bloods. Rough and tumble stuff. Money—or lack of it—didn’t matter on the ice. What did matter was keeping score—the internal score of hostility. Who do you rough up in retaliation? What attacks do you ignore? I thumped up one devil quite respectably, but he came back hard with a concussion-producing head shot. I never forgave that.

My dad was big into oil fracking, which, in some people’s eyes, made him filthy rich. We lived well. But he had rules and insisted that I keep them all. “Sure, you can play loose,” he’d say. “Everyone does, and most get away with it. But one slip—that’s all it takes—and your life goes down the tubes. Who wants to wear that necklace?” So we went to church, Rotary Club, supported good causes. Exemplary people—as planned.

And it worked. A good name and the power behind it get you places. It took me high and protected me at my most vulnerable point—that week in Linda’s garden—until a person of power who knew nothing of moral restraint played his “hockey” game with a body blow to my heart.

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Our Story Title:  An Unpresentable Glory

Our Story Genre:  Contemporary Literary Fiction

Our Story Released:   July 2018

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The Author of My Story:   Ellie Gustafson     
  • I grew up in Branchville NJ, 900 pop., in a county that had more cows than people.
  • Loved horses and the annual County Farm and Horse Show.
  • Went to Wheaton College IL as a music major.
  • Married, had 3 kids and 8 grandchildren, with 2 great-grands currently being hatched. Husband a pastor, college professor, tree farmer, organist, writer, etc.
  • Music dwindled away, so I tried on the cloak of writing and found it fit nicely.
  • God first touched me through a story, and he has molded and kneaded me all my life. I love Him passionately.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Ellie Gustafson will be happy to gift a winner an autographed copy of:
An Unpresentable Glory

Be sure to leave a comment to enter drawing ~ either PM Joy through Messenger ~ or ~ leave an email address here so you can be contacted if you win!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ August 21, 2019.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Coy Gentry Whittaker & Aimee Kaplan ~ BECOMING BRAVE

Howdy, everyone. My name is Coy Gentry Whittaker.   
I’m a cowhand with the Bar CT outfit. At least, that’s what I am now—thanks to my boss, Chet Tanner. If it weren’t for him, I’m not real sure what I’d have become. I was well on my way to life as a thief and a pickpocket when he came across me when I was twelve.

You see, I didn’t come from the best home. My ma, she was an angry woman, and she took a lot of her anger out on me. She had her reasons, I suppose, but all that anger aimed at my young heart left me scared, lost, and broken. It became real obvious she didn’t want me around much, so I’d disappear all day. When I’d get hungry, I’d steal an apple from the mercantile or a pie from someone’s window. Or I’d pick some fella’s pocket to get the money I needed to buy me something more filling. That’s how Chet Tanner found me. He caught me lifting his wallet. Rather than turning me in to the authorities, he took me home, asked my ma if he could put me to work on his ranch, and…that’s how I came to the Bar CT. It’s been my home now for the last eight years, and Mr. Tanner and his son, Mitch—well, they’re family. I’m grateful for them. Not only have they taught me a lot about hard work and right living, they taught me what it is to be accepted. I’m still learning that lesson some as you’ll see when you read Becoming Brave.

Hello! My name is Aimee Kaplan.
I had a much different upbringing than Coy’s. I came from a close-knit and loving family. It was an idyllic upbringing, really, full of happiness and fun. But all that ended with the War Between the States. Papa felt it was his duty to serve, and he went off to fight. He never came home. Mama tried to carry on as Papa would expect of her, but she died of a broken heart a year or so later.

My brothers—Edouard, Louis, Marc, and Paul—looked after me in the years since their deaths, and we were doing fun until…until that night. The one where Louis and Paul went to town and found some kind of trouble. I didn’t know at the time what it was, but whatever they’d gotten into brought about a heated discussion between my brothers. They were talking about moving further west. I don’t think any decisions were made until a week or so later, when someone came pounding on the door of our house, demanding my brothers return what they’d stolen from him or…he’d take me instead.

That’s how we wound up in Indian Territory. What happened next is too hard to talk about. Please read Becoming Brave in The Cowboys Collection to find out more.

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Our Story Title:   Becoming Brave

A novella included in the Smitten Historical Romance collection The Cowboys, with Jennifer Uhlarik, Cindy Ervin Huff, and Sandra Merville Hart

Our Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   August 15, 2019

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Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers, Women Writing the West, and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Jennifer would like to gift a winner a signed copy of
Becoming Brave ~ The Cowboys Collection


Be sure to let Joy Avery Melville (joyjournaling@gmail.com) know where to reach you in case you win!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ August 14, 2019.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Eva Knowles & Cal Stephens ~ Loving a Harvey Girl

After Ma died, Pa took to his bed. Sick in his heart, he was. As the oldest, I reckoned I needed to take care of my younger brothers and sisters. “Eva Knowles,” I said to myself, “everyone is depending on you now. You need a job.” So I put my next sister in charge of running the household—two other sisters and two brothers—took what money Ma had kept hidden in her flour pot, and bought a train ticket to the first city it stopped at. Pa told me to go all the way to Austin, but I’ve never been to a big city before and the city where the trained stopped first was big enough.

Still, being on that train, watching the Texas landscape go by, made me realize one thing: I want to travel. And not just here in my home state, but every state. And maybe every country too. Why, I saw a travel magazine on the train that talked of truly wonderful places across the ocean. Castles in England, ruins in Rome, pyramids in Egypt—even places in Palestine where Jesus walked. I want to see it all, but I have to take care of my family first.

When I first stepped on the train, I just knew I’d find a marvelous job in a town this size. Why, they have two hotels here, and two saloons and even a library. But after carrying my bag all over town and getting turned down time after time for even the most menial labor—laundry! Who doesn’t need a laundress?—I decided to seek employment in one of the saloons. I was just about to enter the establishment when the handsomest man I’ve ever seen stepped out. Said his name was Cal Stephens. Best thing that ever happened to me, running into Cal Stephens . . .

First time I saw Miss Eva Knowles, her blond hair was already slippin’ from her bonnet, and she held on to her carpetbag like it were the onliest thing givin’ her life. I’d just come to town from the cattle drive and looked rougher’n a old hound dog, and prob’ly smelled just as bad when she barged right into me. I knew then she was special, but nobody’d look at a cattlebum fresh from the trial.

Lucky me, I got to run into her again soon after my Saturday bath. Silly girl was tryin’ to get a job at the saloon. Long story short, I bought her a meal at the Harvey House Restaurant and told her she oughta get a job with there. Them Harvey Girls get a good deal, you ask me. Room ’n’ board and wages to boot. Great howlin’ coyotes. Can’t pass up a job like that.

Eatin’ with her at a nice restaurant got me to thinkin’ I need a good woman in my life. I ain’t been much for sparkin’. Too busy tryin’ to earn enough money to go see the world. Ma and Pa left me and my two sisters a little money—enough to give us a stake in just ’bout anythin’ we’d want to do. But for me to do it all in style took a bit more. I been scrimpin’ and savin’ my wages from the Rolling Oak Ranch so long, I never thought how good it would be to have a wife at my side.

Miss Eva’s purtier’n any woman I ever seen, and she’s really sweet. But I reckon with her needin’ to take care of her family back home, she ain’t too interested in sparkin’ right now. That’s right fine, though. I can wait . . .

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Our Story Title:   Loving a Harvey Girl

A novella included in the Smitten Historical Romance collection The Cowboys, with Jennifer Uhlarik, Cindy Ervin Huff, and Sandra Merville Hart

Our Story Genre:  Historical Romance

Our Story Releases:   August 15, 2019

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The Author of Our Story:    Linda W. Yezak



Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, PB, in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee—with a caramel creamer. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn't begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Linda Yezak is willing to gift a winner a signed copy of
Loving a Harvey Girl ~ The Cowboys Collection

 They've just been ordered!

Be sure to let Joy Avery Melville (joyjournaling@gmail.com) know where you can be reached, should you win! 
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ August 7, 2019.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Waltz with Destiny - Esther Meir & Eric Edhardt

My name is Esther Meir. Insecurities haunted my every step. I wish I could feel the soft grass of my beloved Kentucky hills beneath my shoes instead of the impregnable sidewalks of Detroit. I hated school; I struggled to make good grades in high school while my brother did it easily.

My brother inherited our father’s photographic memory. That’s just about all I know of my father. He died when I was two months old. I was born in a little cabin on the prairies of Colorado. When my father was near death, Mother brought us back to her childhood home in Kentucky. Then we moved to Detroit to live with my aunt when she up and married her long-lost love. I lived there until I was ten. When the Great Depression struck, we moved back to Kentucky with my aunt, uncle, mother, and brother. Now that the Great Depression is behind us, 1941 looks promising for a girl with an education.

Brother had won a scholarship to University of Detroit, and Mother was confident that, “There was a rainbow with their name on it in Detroit.” We returned to Detroit where I work in my cousin’s hot dry cleaners alongside Mother and attend evening classes at the Detroit Business Institute.

The newsreel I saw last night at the Gala Theater showed Hitler’s Third Reich stomping their leather boots across the cobblestones of Rome. That worries me enough to not want to go to that ball Mother is so dead set on me attending. After all, I have two left feet and will spend most of my time blending into the wallpaper.

“When you meet the right man, you’ll have no trouble following, Esther,” my mother has told me countless times.

I’m not so sure I want to fall in love with any guy, not with a war looming on the horizon. I’m wasting my time looking for a guy that can weave me across the dance floor and not stumble over my feet. Besides, I have more important things on my to-do list. I need to study and get a good-paying job. I want to get Mother, my brother, and I into our own place.

I’m not planning to live out my life like my mother working in some hot cleaners. Nor can I rely on a man to lead me either, he could die. I’d be penniless, alone, and—pregnant. Or, be worst off like my mother; with a five-year-old toddler pulling on my skirt while holding a two-month-old baby in my arms, and relying on relatives to give them their next meal and a roof over their heads.

Hi, I’m Eric Erhardt. I knew Esther was different from the other girls the moment I met her. That didn’t daunt my determination to win her over. After all, I’m used to working for everything I have. During the Great Depression, I worked a paper route and sold applies to help my pa put food on the table for us five siblings. When I graduated from high school, I landed my first job being a jumper for a Detroit newspaper. Then I landed a job as a junior draftsman for Wood Industries and had enough money to entered night school at Lawrence Institute of Technology. I took more drafting and engineering courses. Pa always told me that with God on my side, I could accomplish anything I put my heart into. I hope to have my own engineering company someday. Well, maybe even a manufacturing company. Might as well dream big.

Now with Hitler and Japan knocking on our door, well, it is just a matter of time before I’ll have to fight in a war I don’t have time for. I heard that outsiders think American guys like me are soft, not much more than playboys. What’s wrong with playboys? I kind of enjoy that title.

Some people have the audacity to call my generation religious mama boys still wet behind the ears. Well, if Hitler or Japan tries to do anything to these old United States, we playboys just might have to put a few firecrackers down their pants and watch them dance the jitterbug, and it won’t be to any tune they ever heard of before! Yeah, we don’t care what you think about us; just don’t mess with the good old USA!

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Our Story Title:   Waltz with Destiny

Our Story Genre:  A historical romance; however, it took three generations of faith-in-creating the vivid characters of Waltz with Destiny

Our Story Released:  Officially released on the 75th celebration of D-Day 2019

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The Author of Our Story:    Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield  is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her faith-based Destiny series includes Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz into Destiny, which released on June 6.
Catherine has written two pictorial history books. Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County
Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer, Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, Horse of my Heart, Second-Chance Dogs, The Horse of my Dreams (releases on September 17) CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to Me Today. Catherine is a longtime Michigan resident and live with my husband of 45 years and our Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township. I love traveling the byroads across America and spoiling my two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

Amazon, CrossRiverMedia, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Faith Christian Stores in Flint

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Catherine is willing to give away Waltz with Destiny or any Destiny Saga book of your choice, e-book or a print. (Please note: for readers outside of the United States, she can only do an e-book.)

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ July 31, 2019.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ Love's Belief ~ Pia and Dieter

My name is Pia Hertz, and I’m from Berlin, Germany. I wanted to be a doctor and attended university, but it became apparent rather quickly that I was swimming against the tide and would never be accepted to medical school. I finished my degree in biology and went into practice with my mother Sabine. It’s been just the two of us since Vati passed away when I was a young girl. It was hard to grow up without a father, but Mutti did her best, and we are very close. I decided I would never marry after my fiancé threw me over for another girl. Mutti and I have been helping women from all walks of life deliver their babies since long before Hitler came to power. But the Nuremburg Laws were enacted requiring us to report the birth of Jewish babies and infants who are born with defects, so the authorities can take them away. We cannot let that happen, so like the midwives in the Old Testament who saved the babies from Pharaoh, we are disobeying the mandates. We can only hope we are not caught, because the punishment is death.

I’m Dieter Fertig, and despite disagreeing with Hitler and his cronies, I was drafted into the German Army in 1939. As horrifying and painful as it was to lose my arm at the Battle of Drøbak Sound in April of 1940, the injury got me out of the military. I returned home to Berlin to my wife, and we opened a small shop that carries a little bit of everything. She became pregnant, but childbirth was difficult, and I lost both her and my son. They’ve been gone just over two years now, and I didn’t think I’d ever love again, but I met the most intriguing woman, who is determined to put herself at risk for the sake of mothers and their babies. Then she asked for my help. Life is now more dangerous than when I was carrying a rifle for the Führer.

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Our Story Title:   Love's Belief

Our Story Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Our Story Releases:   May 15, 2019

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The Author of Our Story:    Linda Shenton Matchett







Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Linda Matchett will gift a winner an autographed copy of
LOVE'S BELIEF


PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE TO REACH YOU IF YOU WIN!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ July 24, 2019.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ LOST IN BEAUTY


Mina Everheart:
I’m a princess. A lot of people, after they hear about the King’s generosity, think that everyone is a child of the King by default. But that isn’t true. You have to be chosen. You have to be adopted. You have to want to be adopted.

I wanted to be adopted … after all, I became an orphan at age 5. But don’t feel bad for me. Sure, it’s sad. Worse – maybe. I mean, who’s to judge really? – but, worse, my parents were murdered. In front of me.

Yeah, okay, that makes me a little sad when I think about it, so I don’t think about it too often. I think about how much my parents loved each other and Egyptian artifacts. How they hunted for the truth. I think about how the King gives everyone purpose.

So when the King came for me, I was ready to go, thank you very much. Of course, my friends from the Kingdom say that I’m always ready for my next adventure. And, perhaps I have been a bit of nag, bugging the King about sending me on a mission, but, come on, can you think of anything more exciting? Besides, I just turned 20. I’m ready. Ready for whatever the King has in mind.

Hawk: I’m the 436th pharaoh of Osaze Island. We have kept the traditions of our fathers for thousands of years. I understand duty. I understand maat. And I don’t like change. Unless it is change that gets us back to how things have been for thousands of years. Because I am willing to admit that Osaze Island isn’t what it used to be. We need rain. We need children. And this part I hate to admit, but we need a pharaoh who doesn’t question his own divinity. Is it any wonder that Aten doesn’t hear my petitions?

What I don’t need is a prophesied princess. I don’t mind that one has been foretold. That contains the Osaze women’s expectations of marrying me. But I don’t actually need a princess to appear….

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Our Story Title:   LOST IN BEAUTY

Our Story Genre:  Speculative Romance

Our Story Released: July 2018 - (Happy anniversary)

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The Author of My Story:    Gloria Clover



Gloria Clover writes speculative Christian romance in the Children of the King series about the Archipelago of Solmunus, islands that have been invisible to the rest of the world for centuries but inhabited by various people groups who have been deceived in one specific area of belief. Now is the time the King sends out his children to reclaim his lost lands.

Gloria shepherds American Heritage Girls Troop PA0031 and works in prayer ministry and teaching at Emmanuel Christian Church. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, participating in the ACFW book club and prayer groups.


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  Get Connected:

  • Website: www.gloriaclover.com

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Gloria will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Lost In Beauty
~ Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing ~
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ July 17, 2019.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Taming Petra ~ Cameo Courtships Collection

Hi everybody. I’m Petra Jayne Breaux—better known as Buckskin Pete Hollingsworth. I just bet you’re wondering how a young woman from a well-to-do Pittsburgh family came to settle in Colorado under the name of Buckskin Pete. Well, here’s the tale. My beloved Aunt Letitia and Uncle Peter invited me to go on a grand tour of the wild West with them, and I agreed. I was having the time of my life…right up until Uncle Peter fell ill. Only then did Aunt Letitia tell me he was dying. He passed away in Cambria Springs, and I was so heartbroken, I couldn’t leave. But I couldn’t support myself either. That is, until a new friend—a dime novelist—helped me. I’d tried to enter the Founders Day wood chopping contest, but they wouldn’t let women compete. (Since my grandfather was a woodsman, I learned my way around an axe as a girl.) So my friend suggested I dress up in buckskins and enter myself under an assumed name. Sure enough, I cut my long hair off, put on that buckskin suit, and entered under the name of Buckskin Pete Hollingsworth. I won the competition, the name stuck, and I’m steadily working as a scout, tracker, and other odd jobs. Oh, and thanks to my friend, I’ve got a whole series of dime novels written about me now.

And I’m Reverend Dustin Owens. I never woulda figured myself to become a preacher. Not with my upbringing. I was raised in a saloon, after all. My mother was…well, let’s be honest. She was a soiled dove, and my father…let’s just say I never had occasion to meet him. I lived in that world until I was nineteen. That’s when something terrible happened that forced me and my little sister, Josephine, to run. We wound up in Wyoming under the care of a godly man who helped us heal from our difficult pasts. As I opened my heart to the Lord, I felt Him drawing me into ministry. Can you imagine my surprise when, not all that long ago, He told me to return to this area and start a church? Almost exactly where it all began. I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure about moving back to this area until I happened to bump into a pretty, short-haired gal wearing buckskin trousers. She got my attention…and if you want to know why, well, please read our story. Taming Petra, part of Cameo Courtships.

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Our Story Title:  TAMING PETRA - Cameo Courtships Collection

Our Story Genre:  Christian Historical Western Romance

Our Story Releases:  June 1, 2019

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The Author of Our Story:   Jennifer Uhlarik


Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Jennifer will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy
of the entire
CAMEO COURTSHIP COLLECTION
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~  July 10, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Maria von Wedemeyer ~ My Dearest Dietrich

My name is Maria von Wedemeyer. I was born in 1924 at Pätzig Estate in Pomerania. I’m the third of seven children. Growing up, I was blessed to be a part of a loving and supportive family. I’ve always been especially close to my vater, Hans von Wedemeyer. He taught me how to ride a horse, how to appreciate nature. Together, along with my dear brother Max, we would spend hours on horseback, touring the estate and stopping to chat with our tenant farmhands. Rarely have I felt freer than in those moments.

Our extended family is also close, and I share a special relationship with my maternal grossmutter, Ruth von Kleist. She taught her grandchildren the piano, and her home was always open to our visits. One Sunday morning when I and some of my siblings were staying at her home, she announced we would be attending church at a chapel run by a group of seminarians who were studying in the area. Due to Hitler’s restrictions on the church, pastors who wished to be trained independently of the Reich had to do so in secret. My highly-opinionated grossmutter would not be told what to do by anyone, least of all Adolf Hitler, and she pledged her full support to this group of seminarians and their leader. That morning, I met him for the first name. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I found myself awed by him, and moved by his sermon. As a young person growing up in 1930s Germany, it was difficult to know whom to look to for guidance, whom one could trust was truly doing the will of God. Our family found such a person in Dietrich.

I attended boarding school at Wieblingen Academy. The leader of the school was Elisabeth von Thadden. We students recognized right away that our fiery teacher wasn’t about to bow to the Nazis, nor teach us to do so. Even in the way she gave the Hitler salute—compulsory at the start of morning classes—she showed her dislike by limply raising her arm as if swatting a fly. I dearly loved that school and graduated with honors, especially in mathematics.

After graduation in 1942, I embarked upon a round of visits to friends and family before beginning my compulsory term of national service. Foremost among these was a stay with my grossmutter. It was there, on a sunlit June evening, that I was reunited with Dietrich Bonhoeffer again. After that evening, nothing in my life would ever again be the same.

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My Story Title:  My Dearest Dietrich:
A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love


My Story Genre:  Historical Fiction


My Story Released:   June 09, 2019

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The Author of My Story: 




Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of several novels and novellas, including My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader's Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Amanda Barratt will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
My Dearest Dietrich
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ July 03, 2019.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ A Heart Surrendered

Hello everyone, I am the oldest daughter of the great Pastor and First Lady Peterson of New Hope church. The congregation sometimes refers to me as Second Lady. I can’t blame them. I’m at Mother and Daddy’s beck and call, a constant fixture at the church. Other than that, I’m just plain old Sharonda Peterson.

My siblings were blessed with all the personality, talent, and looks. As a teenager, troubled by my many inadequacies compared to them, I found comfort in the arms of the talented Carl Ray Everhart. How could the only night I ever felt beautiful be wrong? Since then, I’ve served God faithfully. Marrying the man of my parents’ choosing, seventeen years my senior, should more than make up for my one indiscretion.

My name is Carl Ray Everhart. I’ve returned to Longview, Texas to set things straight after a near-death experience. I took the worship leader position at New Hope church eager to apologize to my best friend, Sharonda Peterson, for the night that never should have happened. It doesn’t take long for me to realize I want more.

She wants nothing to do with me, but I am determined to fight for us the way I wanted the people I loved to fight for me. God never said it would be easy. I will prove that I am no longer that selfish teenage boy, but a changed man, in whom Sharonda can entrust her heart.

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My Story Title:   A Heart Surrendered

My Story Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

My Story Releases: July 8, 2019

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The Author of My Story: Joy K. Massenburge 



Joy K. Massenburge crafts contemporary love stories of pastors and their kids. She was born the sixth child of a pastor. She married a football player turned pastor…they raised pastor’s kids; a son and two daughters.

During the week, she works as an assistant to a CPA. She serves as American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW East Texas) chapter’s President. She is also the audio voice of Beatrice “Mama B” Jackson in Michelle Stimpson’s Mama B Books series. When she is not writing or recording, she is speaking at retreats and conferences throughout the East Texas area.

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 Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
A HEART SURRENDERED
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win this new novel!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ June 26, 2019.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story - Mail-Order Mishaps

My name is Caleb Blair. I had no intention of getting into it with Buck Tinan. All I wanted to do that day was fetch Eve Martin at the train depot and then get married. And here I am in a jail cell, for crying out loud! Miss Martin will probably get on the next eastbound train and not look back. Can’t say as I’d blame her.

I got a real break when I was twenty and was able to buy my own spread with some money my pa left me. I’ve worked really hard to build it up over the past decade, and I’m just about ready to hire some help. But, man, it gets lonesome when you’re by yourself on a ranch. After giving it a lot of thought, I placed one of those bride ads, and the sweetest woman answered me. Eve Martin.

We wrote letters back and forth for months before she finally agreed to come out to Cheyenne and marry me. That was the best day of my life. After I got that letter, saying she’d become Mrs. Blair, I did everything I could to get ready for her. I cleaned up my place at the ranch and bought a few new things I hoped would please her, like a teapot and new towels, stuff like that.

And then I got into this mess. Sure, I hit Tinan. He was whipping that boy he got off the orphan train. But I didn’t kill him, no matter what people say. I’m just praying that Eve believes me, not what the sheriff says. If not, I’ll probably never see her face-to-face.

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My Story Title:   Mail-Order Mishaps

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:  May 1, 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Susan Page Davis



Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 90 novels and novellas. She writes romance, mystery, suspense, and historical, and she’s won the Carol Award, two Will Rogers Medallions, and two Faith, Hope and Love Readers’ Choice Awards. A Maine native, she and her husband now live in western Kentucky. They have six children and ten grandchildren.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Mail-Order Mishaps

To someone leaving a comment.

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ June 19, 2019.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Lord of Her Heart

Fall of 1198 AD

I am Jocelyn Ashburne and I am on the run. I’ve just escaped the convent after learning the abbess was being blackmailed to force me to either make my vows to the church or marry any man willing to part with a purse full of coin. I never thought I’d ever be wearing boy’s clothing, but here I am in itchy hose and tunic, running through the woods like a criminal, trying to get back home to my father.

Growing up in a large castle as an only child, I admit I was rather spoiled. But I was loved, and I knew it well. My parents doted on me, almost as much as they did each other. But then Mother grew sick and died, leaving my sire grieving and despondent. I lost both parents that day—one to sickness and one to a broken heart.

And then she arrived. Lady Helen. She snaked her way into my sire’s life and into his heart. Aye, she doted on me in his presence, but barely tolerated me otherwise. It was she who convinced my father to send me to the convent for an education. Said I was sadly lacking in the skills needed to marry well in the kingdom. No amount of arguing convinced my father to change his mind.

I was at the convent for several years. My father wrote to me a few times a year until this past year. I haven’t heard a word and I’m worried. I’m headed home to find out about my father’s silence and see if it has anything to do with the abbess’s blackmailer. Now I must stay out of trouble until I make it home to Ramslea.

I am Malcolm Castillon of Berkham, the younger son of a lord without land to call my own. My brothers have built a reputation for themselves and have been granted land by the king, and I aim to do the same. I’ve been tourneying with my squire all over France and England, winning gold and gaining the reputation needed to approach the king for land. While I earned my spurs and was knighted a few years back, I want to be lord and command my own garrison.

I’m headed to Ramslea where a large tournament is to begin in a se’ennight (seven days). The problem is my squire is ill and I’m afraid I must leave him in the next village if he worsens. Without a squire, my job is more difficult. It can be done, but not as easily had I help. Perhaps I can find a person to act as squire along the way. If not, I shall make it on my own. Earn my gold. Gain my land. I shall be victorious.

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My Story Title:   LORD of HER HEART

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Released:  May 14, 2019

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The Author of My Story:   Sherrinda Ketchersid


Sherrinda Kitchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Leave a comment ~
The author will be honored to gift a winner a ~
$10 AMAZON GIFT CARD

DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ June 12, 2019.