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.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Chelsea Hamilton ~ Legacy Reclaimed

I slid into the window seat in the first class cabin, snatched the small packet of tissues from my Louis Vuitton purse, and dropped my purse on the floor. I nudged it with my foot beneath the seat in front of me, then fumbled with the packet of tissues, struggling to see past the haze of tears. 

An older gentleman sat beside me, but I stared out the window at the rainy Paris afternoon. I’d so longed to return to New Hampshire, to take my place at the company, but not like this. 

After the flight took off, the gentleman beside me turned my direction. The smile he wore faded when he caught sight of my face. I could only imagine how ragged I must have looked. “Oh, dear,” he said. “You’ve had bad news.” 

The kindness in his tone brought a fresh wave of tears, and I dabbed at my eyes. 

“Do you want to talk about it?” 

With a total stranger? Certainly not. Except I needed to talk to somebody, to share my grief and the fears that wouldn’t be silenced. 

“My mother was killed in a car accident early this morning.” 

“I’m so sorry.” He seemed genuinely grieved. “What a terrible shock.” 

Indeed. I’d spoken to Mum the day before. We’d discussed the business, as usual. As I had done so many times, I told her how much I wanted to leave Paris and return to New Hampshire to work at the company my parents had started before I was born. It had always been my dream to carry on her parents’ legacy, but ever since Daddy’s death when I was twelve, Mum had wanted me to stay in Europe. She’d even gone so far as to hire bodyguards to protect me, as if danger lurked around every corner. 

The old man was watching me still, a kind look in his eyes. I don’t why, but I explained further. “She was up on the mountain near our home in the middle of the night, and nobody seems to know why. It’s all so mysterious. I just wonder…” 

“Wonder what?” the man asked. 

“It’s silly, really. Just because Daddy was murdered doesn’t mean Mum was.” 

The man’s bushy gray eyebrows rose on his forehead. “Your father was murdered?” 

“It’s not related to Mum’s death.” My English accent was strong as ever. I’d have to work on losing that when I arrived in the States. “With Mum gone, I’m to inherit the business.” 

“What kind of business?” 

I shouldn’t say. If I did, our casual conversation would change, and this man could share my private business with the world. But he didn’t seem the Instagram type, and there was something about him that made me trust him. I needed to speak the truth now, to be open and honest. When I arrived home, I’d need to be on my guard. “I am Chelsea Hamilton. My parents owned Hamilton Clothiers.” 

The man’s jaw dropped. “I didn’t recognize you with those sunglasses. I heard of her death on the business news this morning. I am so sorry for your loss.” 

“Thank you.” 

“That’s quite a burden for someone so young.” 

Twenty-five, and I’d never worked a day in my life. Instead, I’d spent years at a boarding school, then at university in England, now in an unpaid internship in Paris. I’d had everything I’d ever needed, all my bills paid, and a generous allowance that afforded me the opportunity to buy whatever I wanted and travel where ever I chose—as long as it wasn’t home. 

“Do you have siblings?” he asked. 

“I’m an only child.” 

“Is there nobody you can count on now?” 

“My Uncle Frank.” The thought of him brought a smile. Uncle Frank was my only remaining relative in the world. “He’s worked at HCI since the beginning. He’ll help me until I get my feet under me. It’s just… This was never my plan. I thought I’d have years to learn the business. I planned to work in every department, really get to where I understood the nitty gritty. Now… I’m so lost. How could this have happened?” 

The man patted my arm. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” 
My voice squeaked as I added, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

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My Story Title:   Legacy Reclaimed

My Story Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

My Story Releases:   February 11, 2020

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The Author of My Story:    Robin Patchen

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Robin Patchen will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Legacy Rejected ~ Book 1 in her Legacy Series.

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


Wednesday, January 01, 2020


I'd love to see one of my blog followers win the prize below! EASY PEASY to do.

Rules for participation are at the end of this posting!

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 I'd love to get connected with you, if you haven't already signed up for my newsletter, or as a follower of this blog (See sidebar)


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MY BOOK:   MEANT FOR HER  ~ Book 1 of Intended For Her Series

WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Contest runs JAN 1st ~ 6pm March 31st


A.) YOU MUST HAVE RECEIVED a copy of, MEANT FOR HER, (ebook or paperback format)  Between January 1st through March 31, 2020, 

B.) POSE THE BOOK UNIQUELY, (with yourself, a pet, or in some other way),


WINNER ANNOUNCED after 6pm MAR 31st.