Thursday, June 04, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Emily Strealer ~SPIES & SWEETHEARTS by Linda Shention Machett

Hello, everyone! My name is Emily Strealer, and I’m the youngest of three sisters. We were born and raised in the beautiful state of New Hampshire which borders Canada. As a result, I became interested in the French culture and language, eventually getting my degree in education with a minor in French. As a junior in college, I was blessed to be able to spend a semester in Paris, and I fell in love with the City of Lights. (Did you know the nickname came from the fact that this gorgeous city was one of the first metropoles to have electricity?)

My sisters Doris and Cora are a bit overbearing, and I spend much of my time while I was growing up trying to prove myself. Is that a problem for all youngest children? I wonder! After graduation, I started teaching in 1939, and things went well for a while. Then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and our lives turned upside down. Many of my students enlisted as soon as they graduated the following June, and a few even secured permission to join up before they turned 18. Like everyone else in my small town, I did my bit for the war effort. I volunteered with the American Women’s Voluntary Service doing aircraft spotting and delivering messages. I also rolled bandages with my church group. I wanted to do more, but my family discouraged me from seeking other opportunities.

Then the craziest thing happened: I was accepted into a top secret government program called the Office of Strategic Services. Here’s how it happened:

I kept in touch with several of my college friends, some of whom are from what you might call the upper social strata. My family and I are poor, but we certainly don’t have the kind of money some of these folks do! Anyway, one of my friends contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in using my French skills for the war effort. Of course, I did! The interview and background check process seemed to take forever, but one day I came home from school to a telegram telling me to report in one week’s time. Because the organization was secretive, I didn’t find out where I was going until I arrived at a small, unassuming office in Maryland.

After weeks of training in everything from codes and ciphers to propaganda, communications, police methods, and disguise, I passed the course and two days later received my orders: I was to parachute into occupied France as a radio operator-a dangerous job with a life expectancy of six weeks. I was excited and terrified at the same time.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) I was accompanied by one of my most difficult instructors, a rather handsome man named Gerard Lucas. It didn’t take us long to get embroiled in all sorts of trouble.

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My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:    April 15, 2020

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The Author of My Story:    Linda Shenton Machett

Author Linda Shenton Machett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has lived in historic places all her life. She is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

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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

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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Our Story BEFORE The Stories ~ Jake, Lola, Sam, & Arthur - by - Bonnie Engstrom Candy Cane Girl Series

Cast of canine characters from The Candy Cane Girls Series:
Jake from Connie’s Silver Shoes
Lola from Melanie’s Blue Skirt 
Sam from Melanie’s Ghosts 
Arthur from Doreen Finds Her Groove

The scene opens with the dogs arguing about which one is more important.
Why aren’t we in this last book about Natalie’s Red Dress? Jake the Miniature Pinscher cocked his head to one side. We are all on covers, except Sam who makes a cameo appearance in Melanie’s Ghosts. I have the biggest cover feature on Connie’s Silver Shoes!

Because we are in a lot of her other books, Mr. Smarty. Sam the Chihuahua snorted. Even I figured that out, he huffed. He picked up his yellow ball, ran to the top of the stairs and dropped it to watch it bounce.

No one wants to play with you, Sam, so ditch that idea, Lola sneered. And ditch that ratty ball, too. You have three others, all newer and nicer, not falling apart or smelling like your breath. She blinked her long lashes and raised her ruffled brows. Tilting her pointy snout up high she wiggled her rump, backed up as close to Sam as she could and whopped his nose with her whirling tail. Sam blinked but made no move.

What’s the matter, old man? Confused? Watch me. I’ll show you how to play. She grabbed her favorite toy and swung it dramatically. See, not hard. Aw forgot, you only have nineteen teeth. I have all of mine. She shook her huge ears and swishing her dainty bottom pranced away, tail still rotating in overdrive.

That wasn’t very nice, Lola, Arthur admonished her. Not ladylike, either. You should be kind and caring to your brother. You are younger.

Ha! As the elder he should be kinder to me. I think he’s losing it, getting a bit senile.

He does stare off into space sometimes, Jake said. But, you do, too.

That’s only when I’m hungry. Like when I do this.

Lola splayed on her tummy with her back paws spread and front ones under her chin. I do have a perfect princess look, don’t I?

Well, you are the only bitch of the four of us, Arthur noted. That makes you the minority. You always get the treats first. Not fair!

You guys scoop up the crumbles I drop when I deliberately leave them for Sam. My hearing is better, but your eyesight is better. So there! My luxurious eyebrows get in the way. Swinging her derrière again, she sauntered away with a princess swagger.

Now, can we please get on with the story? I think Natalie might finally find her true love. Lola sneered. With my help and intervention, of course. She needs the help of a princess. Maybe that kitty, Shooting Star, in Cindy’s story has an idea. Although I hate to admit it, cats are smart.

What about the big Maine Coon cat in A Penney from Heaven? Jake asked.

And the Golden Retriever in that meatloaf story? Arthur asked.

Don’t forget the cat in A Culinary Catch. The one named after a spice. Sam held his head high and gave a sharp bark.

Gosh, Sammy Boy, you have a better memory than I thought. Lola said. But your bark is piercing! Tone it down, okay?

I guess I’m smarter than you thought. But we are the only animals featured in the Candy Cane series. Except Shooting Star.

Guess we are demoted to second, third and fourth best. Jake grumbled. Let’s get on with Natalie’s story. I hope the poor girl finally finds love. Maybe the story in Natalie’s Red Dress will bring love to Natalie.
Jake, Sam and Arthur nodded and laid down on the sofa sighing.

Are you boys arguing again? So like the male gender!

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Six high school freshmen in Newport Beach, California formed a swim team that became legendary. They won the state relay swim championship four years in a row. In addition to their skill and devotion to daily practicing, they prayed together and vowed to be sisters forever. Another thing that set them apart was they chose their own swimsuits making them a team within a larger team. They chose red and white diagonally striped swim suits. Thus, became known as the Candy Canes. They always will be.

Noelle’s Christmas Wedding gave birth to a series, The Candy Cane Girls. Each book highlights one girl in particular, but all the girls and their families and friends are mentioned in every story because their lives are intertwined by a strong faith and strong friendships. Two decades later, some have married, two have children, one is pregnant with twins, one is a fashion designer, one is an international model, and Melanie is added to the group.

Woven into each story is a challenging social situation. Noelle barely escapes brutality and stalking; Cindy must decide if her love is strong enough to marry a man with a debilitating disease and a history of alcoholism; Candy faces her own dilemma with a man she divorced because of his emotional and alcohol problems – now that he is rehabilitated, should she marry him again? Connie falls in love with the “wrong” man, at least wrong in the lily-white environment of small town Newport Beach. Natalie is left hurting on the ground after an aborted sky dive and feels deceived by her instructor whose identity she doesn’t know. Melanie, the new girl in the group, is painfully lonely and seeks love by adopting a dog and joining an online dating site and she encounters the same situation Connie had.

Then tragedy strikes and changes her life. Can she live with the “ghosts” that haunt her? Doreen seems to live a charmed life as a renowned model, even with one leg shorter from the accident her now best friend caused. But while planning her wedding her fiancé gets a phone call that threatens their future. Natalie still longs for love and believes she has found it . . . until. Does the brother of one of her best friend’s truly love her? Whom can she believe? Him or the mystery man?

The Candy Cane Girls Series is nearing an end. The last story is Natalie’s. Natalie’s Red Dress is not completed, yet. Will Natalie find love? To help the author, please make suggestions. Here is a blurb about Natalie to help from Natalie’s Deception.
Lies, guilt, stalking. Natalie is injured and left lying on the ground.
Two handsome men vie for Natalie’s attention, traveling from Newport Beach to Scottsdale, Arizona to woo her. But one caused her back injury, and one strands her on the top of a Ferris Wheel knowing how terrified she is of heights, even though she took sky-diving lessons with him.
Will Natalie ever find love? She wants it badly, but is thrilled two Candy Canes are expecting babies. She will be an aunt again. But, when will she be a wife and mother?
Will a mystery man emerge from her past? Will she fall in love with a friend?

Natalie needs help. From you, Dear Readers. Share ideas in the comments. If your idea is chosen, you will have a cameo appearance in Natalie’s Red Dress and be thanked in the acknowledgements. You will also receive a signed copy of the book when it is published.

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Bonnie Engstrom will give away a signed copy of
Noelle’s Christmas Wedding, the first book in the Candy Cane Series to start you off.

A Women's Fiction/Romance novel

Please be sure to leave your email and your state when commenting.

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I wear two domestic hats, both super important to me. I am a wife to my psychologist husband, Dave ~ have been for almost 55 years ~ a real milestone for a shrink!

Shrinky Dave and I have three children and six grandchildren, which brings me to my other domestic chapeau.

I am a grandma! Actually, Grammy is my name. Fifteen years ago my friend Judy said, “Choose your name well. It’s what they will call you. Like forever.” I did, and I love it!

I am Grammy to six kids. Four near me in Arizona and two in Costa Rica on the beach. Pura Vida!

Nuff about me. Let’s move on.

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Purchasing links:

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Miranda (Randee) and Ace ~

My name is Miranda Jareau, but I’ve adopted the nickname Randee for my latest covert assignment with Ace Steele. I always wanted to go into law enforcement, but an ATF agent (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) was the most natural choice, simply because I wanted more than anything to be like my dad. He was an ATF agent too—the very best. That’s no lie. No matter what the confidential files say, my dad didn’t make stupid mistakes. He wasn’t careless. In fact, Dad was the very opposite of careless—he was precise, meticulous and always on top of things. So, whatever went wrong the day he died, it wasn’t his fault. Dad’s death and his commitment to the job created a gaping relationship gap for he and my mother. For that reason, I understand her adamant refusal and attitude when I told her I’d joined the ATF. She’d lost one person she loved and didn’t want to lose another. I tried to please her by going to a different jurisdiction, but the ATF is home for me. Hopefully, she’ll forgive me and see I need to live my own life…someday.

Providing protective detail for PrimeRight Scientist, Ace Steele was like coming into my own. But no amount of training prepared me for the unexpected deadly twists and turns we would encounter while watching over his prototype, Ghost. The thing seemed to take on a life of its own. The pivotal factor I failed to consider was how Ace would affect me.

My name is Ace Steele. I spend my life comfortably hidden in a laboratory developing and creating. I’m the behind-the-scenes guy and I like it that way. My partner, Fritz Nelson, is Mr. Personality. The guy who scores new contracts and negotiates deals. We make a good team, and I trust him to handle the business end of things. I never imagined the life-threatening danger signing that government contract to create a completely plastic 3D printer gun would create. I love a challenge, but Ghost, that’s the name of the super top-secret prototype, was enough to make me rethink my career options. Still, I understand Ghost’s development is revolutionary, deadly, and a necessary means in the evolution of weapons. Staying ahead of the progressive curve means thinking like a criminal at times. I had plans to make the gun and hand it over to the ATF.

I never dreamed Ghost would take me on the ride of my life and introduce me to a woman who changed how I saw everything and everyone.

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My Story Releases:   MAY 5, 2020

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The Author of My Story:Sharee Stover

Colorado native Sharee Stover, lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and a ridiculously spoiled dog. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to ignite, transform, and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Nebraska Writer’s Guild. Sharee is a triple Daphne du Maurier finalist, winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award, and her debut, Secret Past, won Best First Book in the 2019 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd.

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Get Connected

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Sharee will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of

Be sure to leave an email address when  you comment, so we know where you can be reached, should you win.


Thursday, May 07, 2020


My Name is Thea Fenton and I am your average 16-year-old suburban teenager. I shouldn’t have a story to tell. From the outside, I look like most other girls. Average height, average weight, average number of pimples. Crazy mess of hair. Zero social status.

Up until this past fall, my life was mediocre at best. It actually kind of sucked. My grams died this past summer and without her presence in our home, our fragile family structure began to teeter and sway with each new mini-crisis. My parents fought constantly about finances and my dad’s ever-present grief. My brother stopped playing referee and instead put on the golden boy façade to ensure regular tuition infusions for university. I had friends, but my two besties had much more interesting things happening in their lives compared to my perpetual anxiety, which quite frankly, I was sick of talking about before I even started therapy. It was easier to deal with it on my own then to bother anyone else with it. So, I would run, or pretend to be someone else. And if that didn’t work, I would pull strands of hair from my head, until I could overpower the pain.

But then everything changed.

I thought it started with the story in the newspaper. The headline about a girl from my school who fell off a cliff. I was no stranger to panic attacks but reading that article sent me into a new state of fear that felt so surreal. It was more than just my body’s reaction to anxiety. Each experience left my world in blinding white light and an overpowering rush of noise.

That first time, I thought I was dying. But there was a voice from within the chaos of my mind. In that moment, something, or someone was fighting for me. I wasn’t getting better on my own, but the only person who could calm my fears was gone. Grams was my foundation. She was the only one who knew how to slow the beating in my chest, or quiet the arguments from outside and within.

Sometimes I let my memory linger on that last night we spent together. She said to me that I had a spirit in me. That pain could help me find it. I thought she meant physical pain. But hurting myself wasn’t solving anything. And I knew she wanted me to move past the pain. Not to live in it.

Then Khi appeared as though Grams knew the state of my heart and put in a special request for help. From the minute I met Khi, I felt at home. He saw through the outward veneer I tried to coat on each day. He saw the pain, but he didn’t stop there. He looked right through to the pain, to something deeper within me. He saw what my Grams knew was there all along - a small spark of light fighting to emerge.

I thought it started with the story in the newspaper, but there was a greater story planted in my heart long before the death of my classmate. That story already had an ending. My grams spent her last moments pouring out as much of that truth that she could. It was through her pain and death that I realized a greater story. One with an ending that would ignite my spark and allow it to spread to the one person I never thought I could love. I wanted to be part of the same story that gave Grams purpose within her pain. She passed through the pain. That is where my story really began.

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My Story Title:   Fade To White

My Story Genre:  Contemporary Inspirational YA

My Story Releases:   May 30, 2020

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The Author of My Story:    Tara Ross

Tara K. Ross lives with her husband, two daughters and rescued fur-baby in a field of cookie-cutter homes near Toronto, Canada. She works as a school speech-language pathologist and mentors with local youth programs. When Tara is not writing or reading all things young adult fiction, you can find her rock climbing the Ontario escarpment, planning her family's next jungle trek or podcasting at The Hope Prose Podcast.

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Get Connected:

  • You can follow Tara’s blog and writing journey at
  • Instagram @tara.k.ross

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Tara K. Ross 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, April 30, 2020


<smiling sweetly as she twirls a strand of reddish-blonde hair around her finger>
Hello, everyone. My name’s Leah Guthrie. I’m a laundress in Elverton, California. I’m also standing in as Ma and Pa to my two younger sisters—Mae and Hope—and my younger brother, Ethan. Our ma passed away in childbirth eight years ago, and Pa died of a snakebite five years back. So that left me to raise my younger family members by myself.

Things were going well enough until we all took sick with some strange illness. Ethan, Hope, and I recovered soon enough, but poor Mae…the sickness did its damage. She nearly died, and when she finally recovered, she’d lost the use of both legs. Doc Bates says her affliction is “a debility of the lower extremities” and that she won’t get better. So I’m working especially hard to be sure they’re all taken care of. It’s not easy on a laundress’s pay, particularly when I have to compete with the Chinese laundries in town. So to get more business, I started picking up my customers’ dirty clothing and returning it, cleaned and pressed, later in the week. The problem is my wagon wheel just broke, forcing me to visit Bowdrie Allen, Elverton’s only blacksmith and wheelwright, and an ornery recluse of a man.

<folding his arms and glaring at Leah>
Ahem. I am standin’ right here, you know. I heard every word you said about me, Miss Guthrie.

Is anything I said about you incorrect, sir? Untruthful?


You are the only blacksmith, you almost flaunt your cantankerous nature, and you keep to yourself most times. Isn’t that so?

Well…yeah. But when you say it all out loud like that, it don’t sound so good.

My apologies.
<offers a slight bow, then turns away, mumbling under her breath>

Though perhaps you should give that some thought.

What’d you—
<shakes head in frustration and turns to the reader>
Never mind her.
I’m Bowdrie Allen, or Bo if you find that easier. And yes, as that meddlesome woman just said, I am ornery and reclusive cuss. Betcha you would be too if you’d experienced what I have. When those that are supposed to love you most hurt you as deep as I have been, it’s just easier to keep to yourself.

You see, I never knew my pa, and Ma—God rest her soul—passed on when I was all of six years old. That just left me and my older brother, Reese. I was scared, feelin’ like my whole world caved in on me. Only it got worse. A few months later, Reese dumped me.

No, not dumped. Sold. Reese sold me to a cruel and wicked man, Paul Cooper, a blacksmith, who put me to work in his shop. Fourteen years of my life now belonged to Coop. Sure, I learned smithing in that time, but I also got my hide tanned often—and a whole lot worse. The only bright spot in my life was Coop’s wife, Anna—a sweet woman who was like a ma to me. But then, one day Anna was dead and Coop and I moved to California. Things grew worse from there.

I ain’t one to talk about my past much—or anything else for that matter. So I think I’ll stop there and get back to work before the rough memories spoil my day. After all, you’d probably rather see how our story unfolds for yourself, rather than having us tell you about it. So go on…get your copy and read, and leave me to fix meddlesome Miss Guthrie’s wagon wheel in peace.

<turns back to his anvil and picks up a hammer>

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My Story Title:   The Malleable Heart
              from: The BLACKSMITH Brides

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   May 1, 2020

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The Author of My 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 several 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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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of

(US only)

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


Thursday, April 23, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Doctor Katherine Clark ~ Courting Doctor Clark by Patty Smith Hall

Hello. My name is Doctor Katherine Clark, and I really don’t have time to talk right now. At this moment, my only concern is for the victims of a terrible train wreck that has happened on the outskirts of our small town of Hillsdale, Michigan. We were in the mist of the worst blizzard I’ve seen since moving here from South Carolina many years ago. Two trains collided at the height of the storm, and while there were few deaths, the remaining people are now stranded here until the spring thaw.

Oh heavens, is that Josh McClain? What is he doing here? I haven’t seen him since Papa and I left Abbeville soon after my mother’s death. Josh was the best. We’d get into all kinds of trouble back then, mainly because I’d want to save some bird or racoon or something. But Josh never complained. Sometimes, he’d even help me nurse my little creature back to health. He was the kind of friend I could depend on. A shoulder to cry on after our mothers were killed in a terrible carriage accident.

I hadn’t realized until this moment how much I’ve missed him.

But Josh is all grown up now, and wickedly handsome, though I’m not sure why I’d notice that. And he’s a doctor which is a pleasant surprise! Just one more thing we have in common. I wonder if he can still make me laugh. No one could make me laugh like Josh! But why was he here? His father owes the largest cotton mill in the southeast. Surely, he expected Josh to take over the family business.

I could have heard Josh right. Did he say we were engaged? Maybe, he’s concussed. That has to be it. Yet, he keeps saying it’s true. He has to have bumped his head because he’s talking gibberish. He’s adamant. We are engaged. But how can that be? We haven’t seen each other in almost fifteen years.

Of course, Papa and I will have to take him in. Josh is a friend of the family, after all, and maybe, just maybe he’ll tell me why he thinks I’m to marry him.

Engaged to Josh McClain? Impossible!

Or is it?

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My Story Title:  Courting Doctor Clark

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

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The Author of My Story:   Patty Smith Hall      

Multi published Patty Smith Hall lives near the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Danny, her two daughters, her son-in-law and her grandboy. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or reading on her back porch. 

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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
Courting Doctor Clark 

(US only)

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


Thursday, April 16, 2020

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Milcah bat Zelophehad ~ CLAIMING CANAAN: MILCAH’S JOURNEY

I am the fourth daughter of Zelophehad. My name is Milcah bat Zelophehad and most people don’t even notice me because my older sisters are very outspoken. One even carries a whip, and she isn’t afraid to use it.

Almost seven years have passed since my sisters and I walked into an assembly and asked Moses if we could inherit our deceased father’s land. Talk about the scandal of the day. My heart pounded louder than a ceremonial drum. Moses checked with God and God said we were correct. If a man died without a son, his daughters could inherit his land. Praise God! God later told Moses that we would have to marry within our father’s clan, so our land would stay with our tribe of Manasseh. I thought that would be the easy part of accepting our inheritance.

But…I have had two men ask to be my husband and both have died conquering the land of Canaan. Now, men are leery to ask for my hand because they believe they may die. That is foolishness! I am not cursed.

What will I do if there isn’t a man brave enough to marry me? Some of my kinsmen are already seeking ways to snatch my portion of my father’s land. My sisters are married or have a suitor, though I remain alone.

“Who will it be, Lord,” I ask, chin tipped toward my tent top. The ramskin doesn’t answer. I trust God to answer. God will provide a way, so I can be a landowner. “I’m going forth with You, Lord.” I will keep my eyes open and wait for a new betrothed. I am trusting God to provide a husband even if a man has to fall from the sky.

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My Story Title:   Claiming Canaan ~ Milcah's Journey ~

My Story Genre: Biblical Fiction

My Story Releases:   Ebook ~    April 17, 2020
                                    Paperback ~ May 1, 2020

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The Author of My Story:    Barbara M. 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:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner:
 $20 Amazon Gift Card 

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



Thursday, April 09, 2020

My Story Before the Story ~ Faith McCreary ~ Faith and Hope

You know that saying? The one about how if you want to make God laugh, make plans? Well, I guess He’s laughing. I am a planner, through and through. I’ve had my life planned out since about second grade. So, when Sam and I got married six years ago, we knew we wanted to wait a few years and then grow our family even bigger.

Well, right on schedule, two years after our wedding, we started trying. I never doubted I’d get to be a mommy. After all, that’s the way God designed things, right? And Sam and I had done everything right. Surely, God would bless us quickly and we’d have a baby by our third Christmas together.

That Christmas came and went, and no baby. But we let it roll off our shoulders. After all, the experts said not to worry until after a year had gone by.

But that year went by, too.

Needless to say, the last few years of life have been hard. Hard? That’s an understatement, if I ever made one. Painful. Heartbreaking. Devastating. Those are all much closer to the truth.

I wouldn’t wish infertility on my worst enemy.

But maybe ... just maybe ...

Well, let’s just say I might have a surprise for Sam soon. Shh. Don’t tell him. I’m going to find a cute way to do it on pinterest tonight.

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My Story Title:  Faith and Hope

My Story Genre: Christian Contemporary Women's Fiction
*with a thread of Romance*

My Story Release Date: April 2019
*Happy Anniversary*

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Author of My Story: Amy Anguish

Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher's kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

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Connect With My Author:

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My Story Can Be Purchased At:

NOTE:  For the rest of April - the EBOOK IS MARKED DOWN TO $2.99!!!! Remember this if you are not the winner!

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Amy Anguish would be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Faith and Hope

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


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          

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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.