Thursday, April 02, 2020

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Rance Shepherd & Larae Collins ~ Hill Country Redemption

My name is Rance Shepherd. You’ll have to excuse me, I’m befuzzled. I just learned my high school sweetheart is back in town, right next door. Larae was the only girl I ever loved, but her dad didn’t approve of me because he thought I just wanted her money.

What he didn’t know is, my mom came from money. But her family kind of cut her off because she married my dad. So, I guess you could say history sort of repeated itself, except I left Larae alone so her relationship with her dad wouldn’t be ruined.

I never told her anything about my run-in with her dad, but dated other girls, just to convince her we were over. Since we went to a private school, they were all rich too, so I got a reputation for being a gold digger. Just like her dad pegged me even though it wasn’t true.

Now, eight years later, I decide to buy the house next to her dad’s old house. She’s been in Dallas forever and I never thought she’d come home. Just as soon as I try to start my business stocking cattle for rodeos, here she comes. And she’s thinking about starting up a rodeo on her property. Right next door.

I could really use this job since I’m needing to make a name for myself. I’ll just have to ignore our history and lingering feelings and talk her into hiring me. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I’m going over there right now. We’re both adults. Even though I made mistakes with Larae when we were teenagers, I’m a Christian now.

I can see her out by barn talking to her foreman. And she still takes my breath away. Wait, who’s that little girl? Could she be Larae’s? I mean, what’s it to me if Larae has a child. Except that it means, she moved on. While I haven’t.


What am I thinking? I can’t stay here. Not with Rance right next door. Oh, hello. My name is Larae Collins. This is my childhood ranch where I grew up. And since my dad went to Heaven a few months ago, I came home to sell it. But Jayda, my little girl loves it here and since the rodeo I worked for in Fort Worth downsized me out of their marketing department, my foreman is trying to talk me into starting a rodeo here.

It’s a fun idea. Owning my own rodeo, where no one can downsize me, running it the way I want, not serving alcohol. Because let’s face it, riding bulls and alcohol don’t mix. I’d love to have a truly family atmosphere where no one has to worry about getting killed by a drunk driver on their way home. The way my mom did when I was a teen. I could even name the rodeo after her.

But Rance is right next door. And he can’t see Jayda. He can’t know he’s her father. Back in high school, he dumped me for someone else. And then I found out I was pregnant. After he dumped me, he dated one rich girl after another. Proving Daddy was right about him, he only wanted my money. As soon as I graduated, I moved to Dallas and no one ever knew about Jayda from my home town. Other than Daddy.

I’ve changed since then. I’m a Christian now and Jayda is a blessing that came out of past mistakes. Even though I know I should tell Rance the truth about her, he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still irresponsible and I figure his stock contracting business will bore him eventually and he’ll go back to traveling the rodeo circuit. If I’d known he was here, I’d have never come home.

All I have to do is keep him from seeing Jayda for a few days, get the rodeo setup in place, and head back to Dallas with no one the wiser. Maybe the rodeo will stop the flow of red ink from the ranch and I can run it from afar. If it doesn’t, I can still sell and find another job. I’ve got the money Daddy left me, but Jayda is my first priority and I’d like her to have an inheritance someday.

Here comes Rance down my driveway. If I’m going to do this rodeo thing, I guess I should hire him. It won’t matter as long as Jayda stays in the house and we leave ASAP. But here comes Jayda too. Oh, he can’t see her. I have to head her off, convince her to go back inside. It’s probably too late since he’s seen her. But since Jayda is small for her age, most people assume she’s five or six. Maybe Rance won’t realize he’s her father.

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Our Story Title:   Hill Country Redemption         

Our Story Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Our Story Released:   March 17, 2020

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The Author of Our Story:    Shannon Vannatter

Award winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does.

She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Ten copies of Hill Country Redemption will be split among commentors on her blog tour. Winner’s will be revealed on Shannon’s Blog on April 13th

Thursday, March 19, 2020



Although our temperatures and scenery doesn't depict it yet here in Michigan, I've seen pictures on Facebook that show daffodils and crocus just bursting with blooms.


I want to gift SOMEONE with a free copy of MEANT FOR HER          

  ~ or ~ 

If you already own a copy of the book ~             I will gift you one of my very unique bookmarks

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My Story Title:   Meant For Her

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Released:   November 14, 2019

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Author of my Story: Joy Avery Melville

Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she didn’t want to deviate from that. God had different plans for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence.

The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of 46 years and their 18 month-old Yorkie, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the ebook and paperback be purchased?

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I look forward to gifting one of you a free signed copy of
One of my very unique BOOK MARKS

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


Thursday, March 12, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Vivian Day ~ The Irresistible Woman in a Blue Dress ~ Bk 3 in Twisty Creek Series

I’m a little nervous talking to you because I don’t want to sound ungrateful. But the truth is being beautiful isn’t as glamorous as many believe. Vivian Day isn’t even my real name. But what modeling company would be enamored with Ashley Brickman? When Mother asked if I, at age twelve, truly wanted to pursue a modeling career, I thought it would be exciting. At first, I liked taking lessons in ballet and learning how to move gracefully. Modeling may be exciting for many girls, but it wasn’t long before I hated the interviews, long photo shoots under hot lights, and practicing poses and facial expressions for hours in front of a mirror.

Many people believe the hardest part for a model is starving herself. Not me. Yes, I watch what I eat, but I’ve always been slim—willowy—and tall. It’s the way I am. What’s most difficult for me is working with my mother agent. In the industry, a mother agent is the agent who discovers the model. In my case, my mother agent is my mother. Mother works harder than any agent I know. She spends hours on the phone setting up interviews and shoots. From the beginning, she’s been determined to get me into the New York City market. We’ve already moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago—a stepping stone to New York City. Another myth is models make a lot of money. Not true, unless you’re a supermodel. I make more that the average model because Mother is a piranha agent.

I had one boyfriend back in Pittsburgh, Michael, but mother hated him. I have to admit, he wasn’t good for me. I guess I hoped he’d help me escape my modeling career. I’m tired of men pawing me and trying to take advantage of me. Bill, the producer of many shoots I’m part of is like that. One date, and he thinks he owns me. Now, I’m headed for the mountains of Roanoke, Virginia, where Bill has arranged a shoot at a waterfall. No one, except me, is happy about what I’m doing after the shoot. I’m driving my 2012 Mustang to Tennessee for a three-week vacation. Mother claims the car won’t make the trip without breaking down. What does she know?

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My Story Title:   The Irresistible Woman in a Blue Dress
                                  Book 3 - Twisty Creek Series

My Story Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

My Story Released: December 1, 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Zoe M. McCarthy

 Author, Zoe M. McCarthy was pegged an expressive analytic in a personality test. Isn’t that an oxymoron? But it’s true. Zoe couldn’t survive without creativity and expressing it. Yet, this retired actuary* and introvert receives her energy from being alone in her home office overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Believing opposites distract, Zoe has seven Christian contemporary romances involving tenderness and humor and heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. She also has a book out on writing. Zoe and her husband enjoy canoeing and spending time at their lake cabin, where she writes during month-long sabbaticals—alone.

*Actuaries perform all the mathematical analysis for insurance companies, pricing products and estimating reserves to pay claims.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased:

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Zoe M. McCarthy is offering an autographed copy of  to one reader in U.S., commenting here.

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


Thursday, March 05, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Jules Montgomery ~ Taming Julia

Howdy! I'm Jules Walker, I mean, Jules Montgomery. Keep forgettin' my married name. Actually my given name is Julia but I've always gone by Jules. I don't have much experience with knowin' what a mail-order bride is, but that's what I ended up being. I live in Burrton Springs, Kansas now, but didn't have no regular home afore that.

Let me tell you about my trip here. My brother, Josh sent me on the stagecoach from Texas to Burrton Springs to meet my new husband, Drew Montgomery. All I could do was stare at the contraption when I first saw it. I ain't never seen anythin' like it afore. I guess the closest, was a wagon but those are open. I was a might nervous about climbin' into it. Haven't ever been all holed up in a box like that afore. I made sure I sat closest to the window.

I kept my eyes peeled to make sure no outlaws came upon us. There was a mess of passengers on the ride. They kept gettin' off and then some new ones would board. Folks are funny. They either talked a lot like chickens in a hen house, or they just stared straight ahead and did their best to not say a word to you. The fellas would at least say howdy. Not so much for the ladies though. They tended to have tight lips like they'd bit into a persimmon before it's ripe. They did their level best to ignore me, although I did catch some of them lookin' at me from the corner of their eyes.

The seat was awful bumpy even though they had these cushions on it. There was somethin' hard underneath it though 'cause sometimes it would stick somethin' fierce in my backside. I don't know why a body would want to travel like that. It's much more comforble on a horse. Better too that you can direct your horse to go where you want to.

That stagecoach and driver seemed to have a mind of their own when it came to where we stopped. I didn't think we'd ever get to Kansas. It took the better part of ten days to travel. Most folks stayed in some type of house when we stopped for the night. I slept outside so I could better keep an eye on things. I knew Josh would've wanted me to not be pent up in a buildin'. Besides after ridin' in that box all day, I needed to be out in the open.

I don't rightly think travel in a stagecoach is natural. I definitely wouldn't tell you do it. Find yerself a good horse and ride him where you want to go. That's my advice.

Well, I'm so glad you stopped by to visit today. I hope you'll say howdy. You can always learn more about me in the book that was written about me. I think it's called Taming Julia. You'll have to read it to find out why it's called that.

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My Story Title:   Taming Julia

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   Ebook ~ Feb 14, 2020
                     Paperback ~ Mar 1, 2020

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The Author of My Story:    Jodie Wolfe             

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She's a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Jodie Wolfe is willing to give an ecopy of Taming Julia.


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

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Charlie Harrigan ~ Cold Eggs, Hot Coffee, Warm Heart ~ Story in Heartland Treasures Anthology

Hi. My name’s Charlie Harrigan. After I came home from Vietnam, I wandered the country for a while, doing short-term odd jobs and seeing things that weren’t jungle. Eventually, I drifted back to Boston, where my Uncle Charlie lived.

Yeah, I’m named for him. He was a good, steady guy, and he offered me a job at his diner. The people who owned the place before my uncle, called it The Domino. He said the name was stupid, but never took steps to change it.

I’ve inherited the business, had the front window painted with the much more sensible name Charlie’s Diner, and built a reputation on good food, excellent coffee, and service you won’t find at any chain fast-food place these days.

Ask any of my regulars. Most of them I see every day of the year. One, Doc Dennis, I’ve known since he began med school. Now he treats kids for cancer. A guy like him could get his breakfasts anywhere, but he still comes here, to my Charlie’s Diner. What’ll ya have this morning?


Excuse me for yawning. I’m Dennis Flannigan, but most of the people in my life call me Doc Dennis. Can we walk and talk? I’m late. When the alarm went off this morning, I’d been dreaming about some complex surgery I’m supposed to perform today. It was not a nightmare. God’s been good that way. Then, at the most awkward moment, I had to interrupt my morning routine to answer a call about one of my other patients, Kerry.

He’s older than my little brother Timmy was when he died of Leukemia. I was twelve, and Timmy was three. It’s pretty accurate to say his death destroyed my family. My parents’ prayers got more rare, and bitter. I vowed never to have that happen to anybody else. God, bless the kids on the ward.

You want to hear more? Well, I’m heading to Charlie’s Diner to pick up my breakfast order. You haven’t been there? It’s across the street, a block ahead. Man, it’s snowing hard. Do you see any traffic? I think I’ll cut over right here….

AHHH…God, Bless…AHH….Bless the kids…Bless the kids on the ward.

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Our Story Title:   Cold Eggs, Hot Coffee, Warm Heart
                                (Heartland Treasures Anthology)

My Story Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

My Story Released: February 27, 2020

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The Author of Our  Story:   Heidi Kortman

When a two-year-old on her mother’s lap points to a newspaper page and says, “Look, Mom, that says Kroger,” it’s a good bet that words, reading, and books will be a huge part of her life.
Heidi Kortman discovered early in her writing career that there’s not much market for song lyrics about housework. She then moved on to other forms of poetry, and sarcastic descriptive essays. These days, she’s an aspiring novelist.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Heidi will be giving away one autographed copy of Heartland Treasures to someone who leaves a comment ~with their contact information ~ about which breakfast items they would order at Charlie’s Diner.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Kate Isaacs & Addie Bledsoe ~ IN TIMES LIKE THESE

I’m Kate Isaacs, Addie Bledsoe’s best friend—we became best friends the moment we met in elementary school. Addie’s the main character in this novel, but I’m sharing this conversation we had about a year before this story begins.
Why? Because Addie is so embroiled in her own home front challenges with her husband, she can’t be objective about her situation. Still, because she’s so honest and shares from her heart, you won’t have any trouble detecting her viewpoint.
So, here’s how our little talk went.
“Oh, Kate, you know I love Harold and try to please him, but . . . something I say always gets him riled up and I end up . . . Like the other day, we were on the way home from church and Harold brought up draft board, since one of the members is also on the church council.”
“Really? That must be hard for Harold,”
“You can say that again—it’s enough to threaten his Sunday smile. Nobody wants to go to war more than he does. He was so disappointed he didn’t get to go when Joe did. ”
“Yes . . . they were always so close.”
“He got a postcard the other day. Sounds like the Navy’s sending Joe to someplace in the Pacific. I sure hope we can stay out of the war.”
“Me, too. What a nice guy Joe is. And you . . . you have so much more patience than I do. You know about my run-ins with Harold in the past.”
“But don’t you believe we should do everything in our power to make our husbands happy?”
“Sure. It’s just that I think our husbands should make at least the same effort we do. Anyway, I know you give it your best effort.”
Addie bit her lip and grew quiet.
“You’ve always given more than one-hundred per-cent in everything.”
“I want to help Harold in the worst way. He’s so miserable! But no matter how I try, he says I don’t comprehend his meaning.”
“Nobody can say you don’t try—that must count for something.”
“You’d think so, but sometimes I wonder.”
“Yet you never even think of quitting—you’re true to your vows.”
“Of course, just like you. I promised to love, honor and cherish Harold. That means listening to him, keeping the house clean and caring for the chickens and garden—helping out however I can.”
“Must be frustrating to feel you never please him.”
“That’s for sure.” Addie’s sigh came from a deep place. “He’s got a heavy load, all the responsibility of this farm, and his dad is so sick.”
“That would be rough, especially when our President places such stress on farming for the war effort. But you help with that, too—your victory garden . . .”
“Yes . . . it’s growing like crazy. And my chickens. See that old coffee can up on the shelf? That’s the money the egg man pays me once a week.”
“You’re making a difference, Mrs. M always said you would—remember she used to say you’d go far?”
“Maybe . . . But . . .” A faraway look fills Abby’s eyes as I wait for her to go on.
“I just wish I could be the kind of wife Harold deserves.”
The earnestness of her dark eyes, framed by her beautiful chestnut curls, tells me she’s worthy of the best life can offer. I don’t know how I’d ever have made it through our school years if she hadn’t moved to town.
I know these things take time, but Addie’s always so hard on herself. I’m glad that even though we’re so far apart, we can still write letters. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

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Our Story Title:   In Times Like These
Our Story Genre:  Women's Historical Fiction

Our Story Re-releases:   February 20, 2020
                                       (TODAY, READERS)

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The Author of My Story:    Gail Kittleson 
An Iowa farm girl (baby boomer), Gail Kittleson appeared with her thick glasses at the local library counter every Saturday of her childhood and hauled home a new pile of books. Later, she earned her MA in TESOL and taught English as a Second Language and college expository writing.

Over a ten-year period during her husband Lance’s deployments to the Middle East, Gail’s memoir developed, and another is presently with a publisher.

Since the World War II bug bit, she’s never been quite the same. Her Women of the Heartland fiction brings to life this challenging era’s make-do women, whom she loves to introduce to new readers.

Gail delights in historical research, grandchildren, gardening in Northern Iowa, and Arizona’s Mogollon Rim in winter. Facilitating workshops fulfills her teaching craving, and she also cheers other writers on through free-lance editing.

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Get Connected:

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Purchasing Links:

Thursday, February 13, 2020

My Story BEFORE the Story ~ Clara Malone ~ Desert Willow

Hi! My name is Clara Malone. I just finished college and had to put my job-hunting on hold to travel to Texas and deliver my grandmother’s last love letter. She’s about to die and I’m scared. The letter’s recipient, a retired general she dated seventy years ago, didn’t even make it to Texas like he’d said he would. A weak heart kept him from boarding the plane, and now he’s still in Germany, and I’m stuck in Texas waiting for him to get well and make the trip.

Broke, unemployed, and stuck next to an Army post.

I don’t like Army posts and I don’t like soldiers. Too many memories. Too many broken hearts. First Dad. Then Scott. Plus the guys who broke Grandma’s heart and Mom’s heart. No sir. No more military men. Not even the Prince-Harry looking young captain who was told to take care of me while I wait. Definitely not him. Too cute. Too perfect. That must equal trouble—all kinds of trouble.

I need to find a ballet studio where I can stay busy and in shape, so I can eventually find a job. Should have picked a practical major. Who majors in dance with an emphasis in ballet? Not reasonable people, that’s for sure.

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My Story Title:  Desert Willow

My Story Genre:  Romance

My Story Released  February 11, 2020 (BRAND NEW)

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The Author of My Story:   Patricia Beal 

Patricia Beal has danced ballet since her childhood and has performed with pre-professional companies in South America, Europe, and the United States. She fell in love with a handsome airborne infantryman at Fort Bragg, married him, and quit her day job to have his babies. Soon came the desire to have book babies, too. Patricia is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry

I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.

Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.

And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?

Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.

The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.

Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.

Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.

We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?

Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊

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Patricia Beal's Connections:

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WHERE Desert Willow can be purchased:

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The author will gift the winner an Amazon gift card!

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


Thursday, February 06, 2020

Our Story Before the Story ~ Hattie Waltz and Arno Kreger ~ Three Little Things

I’m Hattie Waltz from rural Iowa. Ten locals leave for boot camp later today on the eleven o’clock train. I wish the war overseas didn’t exist, but nobody asked for my twenty-two cents on the topic. Every night, I pray for a swift end to the fighting. Every day, I knit socks to hand out to the departing soldiers.

Lena, my dearest friend, and I belong to the Knitting Brigade, a group of women who support our troops by raising funds and knitting socks, fingerless mitts, and scarves. Soon, we’ll elect a new leader for our local chapter. I wouldn’t want that responsibility if it arrived with a box of chocolates, a one-hundred-dollar bill, and a store-bought dress. But Lena would. She excels in those social situations.

At our last Brigade meeting, we stuffed a Proverb into each sock, but picking the perfect scripture took almost as long as knitting the footwear. Twelve women offered twelve different opinions on the perfect verse. Finally, we narrowed our choice to one that conveyed comfort and hope, a winning combination.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to leave the only home I’ve ever known to fight a war overseas. No doubt, I’d shake right out of my button-top boots. The furthest I’ve roamed from my hometown is twenty miles. I’d probably make a lousy soldier.

One of the men leaving today is Arno Kreger, my neighbor, and once-upon-a-time friend. Okay, I had a crush on him for years. But ever since his younger brother died, Arno has changed. He’s quiet, withdrawn, and rowdy. I rarely see him at church anymore, not that I’m the official attendance tracker.

Here are three things I dread about today:

1. The mayor has asked me to sing at the train station. God may have blessed me with an above-average singing voice, but my stage fright ruins everything. Daddy always says, “Do it for Mama.” I’d do anything to please her, even sing in public. Or try to sing in public. She passed a few years back, and I had to drop out of school to tend to things at home. Even though my school-house education ended, I’ve probably read half the books in the town’s library.

2. I worry some of the soldiers won’t return home from the war. I’ve known them all forever. We live in a small German-American community. What if some of the boys face discrimination in the army? What if they land on a battlefield in France and fire at distant kin? Wouldn’t that be awful?

3. There’s a chance I’ll come face-to-face with Arno this morning. A girl never forgets the first boy she handed a sample portion of her heart. Even though he’s probably not the right man for me, I hate that he’s headed toward danger. After all, he’s Lena’s brother. I’m sure that’s why I’m so concerned for his welfare.

If I do bump into Arno, I’ll hand him a sock and a smile. Maybe I’ll tell him something impersonal like “Hurry home” or “God-speed.” But if he looks into my eyes and stands a little too close, I’ll probably say something foolish like, “Please don’t forget me.”

But I’m afraid he already has.

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My Story Title:   Three Little Things

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   February 4, 2020 (Brand New)

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The Author of My Story:    Patti Stockdale

Patti Stockdale loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs.
While employed by an NFL team, she once answered the phone by the wrong team name. She doesn’t work there anymore.
For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet—although snug—Batman costume. She no longer works there either.
These days, Patti writes books and occasionally educational assessments and magazine articles.

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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 an ebook copy of

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


Thursday, January 30, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Mahlah bat Zelophehad ~ LIONESS: MAHLAH’S JOURNEY

My name is Mahlah bat Zelophehad. I am the oldest daughter of Zelophehad ben Hepher and right now I would trade my birthright to be a carefree younger sister, except at this moment, my sisters and I are all shaking inside and out. I know this because I am holding the hand of Noah, the boldest girl I know and the sister closest to my age. Her hand is an ocean of warmth and sweat. Noah can stare down ornery bull calves, but now she is stiff and staring straight ahead toward Moses, Joshua, and a crowd of men snarling at our attendance at an assembly.

Why am I here in a crowd of Israelite elders? I am asking myself that same question. I lick my lips to whisper to my other sisters: Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. My tongue has become a rag. One dried in the desert sun.

We are here to ask Moses for something never before given to girls. The request would not be spoken if my father had lived. He is gone as well as my mother, and now what are my sisters and I to do as our people travel towards God’s promised land. What will become of five orphans who do not have a father to speak on their behalf?

I remember our true Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He cares for the orphan and the widow. I have heard Moses read these words from the law. No one should be surprised that I am asking for my father’s land. My sisters are as courageous and law abiding as any son. If I don’t ask now, before my people cross the Jordan River, battles will begin for Jericho and Canaan, and the daughters of a good man will be forgotten in the conquests.

My sisters and I bow before Moses. “We are orphans,” I say, eyes downcast from the man who rescued my ancestors from Egypt. “My father is dead, but he was not one of Korah’s wicked followers. Though he left us alone and now all I can ask for as an orphan is his land.”

Men scoff at my words. I pray my plea met Moses’s ears for I can barely hear the sounds my mouth is making through the drum of my heart. Moses scans the line of my sisters.

“We would like to inherit land,” my sister Tirzah says. Who can resist her dimples and the smile she bestows as the youngest sister? The youngest who has had to rely on my hugs and counsel instead of a mother’s.

Moses calms the crowd and tells everyone he must seek God. I hug my sisters and wait for Moses to inquire of our God. How long will it take? I hope not long for my feet are trembling.

A shout comes from our commander, Joshua, as Moses returns to the assembly.

Raising his hands high, Moses says, “The Lord has spoken.”

Silence. Except for the hum in my ear.

“If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughters.”

A tall elder gasps at Moses’s decree.

Moses casts a stern warning with his wrinkled brow. “Do not challenge God’s words or the inheritance given to these orphans from your tribe of Manasseh.”

A tear streams down my cheek. I notice my sisters are crying, but they are rejoicing too, as am I. We will get to go forth into God’s promised land together with an inheritance of land.

Hopefully, we won’t have to gather in another assembly like this one.

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My Story Title:   Lioness

My Story Genre:  Biblical Fiction

My Story Releases:   October 18, 2019

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The Author of My Story:   Barbara Britton

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little known Bible characters to light in her stories. Look for Barb to venture into Christian Historical fiction in 2020 with “Until June.” She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.

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Get Connected:

Find out about Barbara’s books and happenings on her website.
You can find Barb on:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

Your library can order “Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey” too.
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The author will be honored to gift a winner in the US a choice of a signed paperback copy or an ebook of
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win with your preference.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

MEANT FOR HER ~ The March of the Reviews -, Goodreads & Bookbub

Had it all truly been ~ MEANT FOR HER?

Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm, owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi essentially goes into seclusion.

Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm, w here his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her.

Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love, while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy?

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SAMPLING OF 17 AMAZON REVIEWS (Canadian review - not seen on

January 2, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first of Joy's books I'm reading. I personally love to read books that touch on hard subjects, especially when they're well done.
I particularly love the way the author explored the issues in clear, believable ways. I'm looking forward to her next book.
Definitely recommend.
_____________________________________________ reviews:
November 18, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
It's just not fair....that this ended waaaayyyy too soon. The plot and characters were well developed, interesting, and kept me turning (swiping) at the speed of light. I even tried to slow down and savor. Didn't go so well.

The difficult subject matter is sprinkled with humor, unusual twists,and intrigue, all encompassed by the fact that God loves us and always has our back.
Can't wait for the next one...


January 4, 2020
Format: Paperback
She survived a fate worse than death, only to have her fiance blame her for "asking for it!"

I am generally not a fan of fiction that delves into such difficult themes, but Candi's story was one of overcoming. If you know someone who endured similar injury, you might find it helpful. After she's kidnapped, raped, and left for dead, her brother and best friend are the ones who give her the loving support her fiance does not. Candi's recovery is triumphant in the end, and her journey is believable and full of insights along the way.

As others have said, Joy Avery Melville makes a difficult topic easier to read with her theme of hope, faith, and touches of humor. Oh, and a young girl's dream of owning a horse is a big part of the story and healing which I quite enjoyed.

Recommended for those who read women's fiction and aren't afraid to be moved by difficult topics.
January 1, 2020
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Author Joy Avery Melville's debut novel, Meant for Her, is a powerful story that pulled me in from the beginning. My heart was heavy for Candi, while adoring Mack - - what a wonderful hero he is! Well-written with a faith thread woven in, Meant for Her pulls at the reader's heart and is a story I highly recommend. Five Stars!!

November 14, 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I recently finished reading Meant For Her, and I am deeply impressed by this debut author’s skill in creating a novel where appealing characters, active and expanding Christian faith, and society-shaping issues all combine so smoothly while remaining a Story. I definitely will want to see how the sequels follow this first book.

December 2019 
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

My heart broke for Candi and what the character endured and lived through. It's a hard topic to cover sensitively. My stumbling point in the story causing the 4 stars (I would have preferred to do 4 1/2 stars but I don't know how) anyway, Mack's Irish brogue was really hard for me to read. I think I'm too Norwegian. lol His character was wonderful as is the brother.

Very nicely done by Joy Melville. She tackled something clearly God put on her heart.
really liked it    
If you're looking for a lighthearted read, you may want to keep on looking because this one isn't an easy read by any means! It deals with some very serious topics such as rape and unwanted pregnancy. This could certainly be a trigger for some, and in general these aren't the most enjoyable of topics to read about, are they? Still despite the subject matter at hand, it truly was a story of healing and of hope that is so necessary.

I must admit at first I struggled to get into the story...finding the dialog a bit hard to follow. After some thought I realized that this is nothing in the story or writing itself. Instead, I believe it had to do with the formatting in the advanced copy that I received for consideration... this will be a nonissue for those reading the finished copy. Still, it did keep me from really getting into the story as much as I would have liked in the beginning... once I adjusted to the formatting, it was easier to connect with the characters and the story itself.

And oh what great characters they were! We meet Candi in the aftermath of her attack. The story follows her journey of healing both physically and emotionally. Again, not an easy topic, but one that I feel was handled both realistically (not sugar coated) and respectfully. There was a romance story in there as well with the perfect novel hero Mack, but more than anything it was the story of healing that stood out to me most. I loved this beautiful reminder that while tragic events aren't what God wants for us, He can and DOES bring good things from those intended for evil.

While this might not be the type of book that I would normally read as far as subject matter, it did have a fantastic message that I believe we can all use a reminder of now and again.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

 it was amazing
My heart really hurt for Candi-girl. No one should have to go through what she did.
I think the author has handled this subject quite well and she has pulled this off in making the characters realistic.
As often in real life this does happen leaving the victim feeling ashamed, afraid, and looking over your shoulder at any little noise.
Fear will hold you captive. Once it grabs you it will stay as long as you let it.
It's why we need God. We need His Grace. All we need to do is ask.
I liked it that forgiveness is added in here too. Even though it's hard, we need to do it for our peace of mind.
My emotions were all over the place. My advice to you as a reader please have some tissue by your side.
You'll find yourself rooting for the main character as the author puts her through whatever life throws at her.
In my opinion Candi-girl came out the better person for it.
She was truly amazing and I loved her for it.
She also has a pretty special brother Cam. I loved that he supported his sister.
The best part about this book was the horses for me. I love horses ever since I was little.
Such gorgeous horses too!
I really enjoyed this book after I got into it. It starts out slow but then it gets better. You'll not want to put this book down until you see how Candis' story ends. Let me tell you you be thinking about her long after the book ends.
I might add the cover of the book has all of my favorite colors on it. The path on the cover will call to you too.
 NO compensations were received and all opinions are my own. I was NOT required to write a review.

A deeply touching story

This is a wonderful story about healing. It is well written with just the right sensitivity. And Mack is every girl’s hero

The author crafted a story that does have potential triggers for some readers, but the faith message is powerful. Melville tackled some difficult subject manners in a sensitive way. Characters and scenarios were realistic and relatable. I had a hard time liking Harper, but even his character was spot-on for how some people would react in his position, unfortunately. Cam is the dedicated and loving big brother even woman would long to have. I was thrilled with the ending, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

One of my favorite quotes:

"God has our journeys mapped out in such a way that whatever detours we're forced to take, He gets us to the best possible destination of joy at the end.



There are 4 recommendations to read Meant For Her.

To learn more about Joy and her books - see her author connections below:

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WHERE can Meant For Her be purchased?

Which formats can Meant For Her be purchased in?
  • Ebook
  • Paperback

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Joy Avery Melville will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of Meant For Her. 

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