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A new release from my fellow Sweet Romance Reads author Donna Fasano!

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WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER, Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 3

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him swimming in circles.

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell.Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…
US Kindle: http://amzn.to/2kc92bQ

UK Kindle: http://amzn.to/2jjb2ir

Nook: http://ow.ly/uREb308dA9y

iBooks: http://ow.ly/IzDR308dAiB

Kobo: http://ow.ly/tPoT308dAmS

~Donna Fasano~

USA TODAY Bestselling Author
Blog  l  Newsletter  l  Facebook  l  Twitter  l  Pinterest

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Those of you who have waited (and waited, and waited) for the next book in the Baker City Brides series to release – take heart!

Bobbins and Boots (book 4) will release March 23!

You can pre-order your copy today for only 99 cents! (The price will increase after release day to $3.99.)

Yeehaw!

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How does an act of kindness result in… marriage?

 One carefree cowboy is about to find out in this sweet historical romance!

 Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined not to marry him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and marries her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.

Available March 23!

Here is a little excerpt:

“Tully suggested the best way to keep Joe from marrying Miss Tillman was for her to already be married, so I did.”

Thane rocked back so hard, he had to scramble to keep from tipping off the chunk of wood. “You did what?”

“I married Miss Tillman. It all happened so fast, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d done until I was partway home. I went to the bank, took money from my account, and left it at the jail for Tully to give Joe. I figured him punching me in the stomach and threatening to shoot me was worth five dollars. Then I got Pastor Eagan and we went to the boardinghouse. He married us. I remember signing a marriage certificate and Hattie and Edwin witnessing the ceremony, but everything else is kind of a blur.”

Thane jumped up and looked around. “Where’s your wife, Ben? What did you do with her?”

As though he finally regained his full mental faculties, Ben stood while a look of panic settled on his face. “I left her at the boardinghouse. I didn’t even think about bringing her home with me.” Ben groaned and sank back down on the stump. “I stepped in it good this time, Thane. What am I gonna do with a wife? I’m too young to be married. I don’t even have a house. I’m no better than Joe Lambery.”

Thane jerked him to his feet and shook a finger in his face. “I don’t want to ever hear you say anything like that again, Benjamin Ross Amick. You’re a good man and you’ll make a fine husband, once you get your head set back on straight. It’s too late to go back to town tonight, but first thing in the morning, you’re going to Baker City and bringing home your bride.”

“But, Thane, what am I gonna do with her? She can’t sleep in the bunkhouse, for gosh sakes.” Ben slapped his hat against his leg. “What was I thinking?”

“That there was someone who needed your help. I’ve never known you to walk away from trouble, Ben, and I’m sure this seemed like the best way to handle the situation at the time.” Thane pointed to the cabin across the ranch yard. “You and Allie can live in the cabin. It probably needs a good cleaning but you’d be welcome to use it.”

“Allie?” Ben gave Thane a confused look. Was that the name of the woman he’d married? The details remained rather unclear.

Thane offered him a pointed look. “Your wife’s name is Allie. You certainly can’t go around calling her Miss Tillman now that she’s Mrs. Amick.”

Ben looked as though he might be sick. Thane chuckled and thumped him on the back. “Come on. Eat supper with us. I don’t think you’re up to the teasing all the men will offer when they find out you’ve wed and forgot to bring home your bride.”

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The Romance Reviews 6th Anniversary Party kicks off today and runs all month with more than 300 book giveaways and a $50 Amazon Gift Card grand prize.

To get in on the fun (including the chance to win one of my books!), visit their website today!

The Romance Reviews

Please join me in welcoming the talented and entirely awesome Kristin Holt to my blog today. She has a brand-new release to share with us!

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Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship

Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.

Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.

sophias-leap-year-courtship-ebookAmazon buy link http://a.co/8GciS0l

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Feb. 27 Heidi Reads / Bookworm Lisa / Donna Fasano

Feb. 28 Singing Librarian Books / Peggy Urry / Shanna Hatfield

March 1 Wishful Endings / LDS Writer Mom / Getting Your Read On

March 2 My Book a Day / Milou Koenings / Mel’s Shelves / Literary Time Out / Margaret Daley

March 3 Katie’s Clean Book Collection / Smiling Book Reviews / Magdalena Scott /

Melanie Snitker / Bubble Bath Books

Connect with Kristin online:

Twitter :https://twitter.com/KHoltAuthor

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/KristinHoltSweetVictorianWesternRomance

 

Website: http://www.kristinholt.com/

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/KristinHolt

Joy Lessons Week 9

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This is the time of year when I like to sort through cupboards, closets and drawers, purging things I no longer use, need, or want.

Every year, I find myself hanging on to stuff I don’t really like for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was a gift (but isn’t my taste or style). Maybe it’s something “too nice” to get rid of. It could even be something I bought on sale and never used. (Yes, that does happen).

Have you ever walked into a room in your house and looked at something and experienced an instantaneous thought of “I don’t like that” followed by “but, (fill in the blank with a name of a relative who gives hideous gifts) gave it to me so I have to keep it.”

You don’t. You really, really don’t. If the item makes you frown instead of smile, time to put it in a box and donate it or add it to things you’re saving for your next yard sale.

When I find myself staring at an item and realizing it’s just taking up useless space, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it bring me joy?
  2. Does it have a sentimental value?
  3. Is it useful?

If it doesn’t meet at least one of those criteria, out it goes. Last year, I took fourteen boxes of stuff to our local Goodwill center. And although I haven’t really done much sorting yet this year, I already have half a dozen boxes of assorted stuff ready to donate.

My point of all this rambling today is that when we give ourselves permission to let go of things that don’t bring us joy, we make more room in our lives (hearts, minds, and souls) for the things that do.

One of the hardest areas for me to purge is my closet. (Anyone else have that trouble. Let’s see a show of hands!)

Here’s a super helpful chart I’ve used before (and will again) to keep my closet from overflowing.

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Happy sorting and purging. May it bring you joy to clear out some of the clutter (I know I’ll be working on that this week!)

Oh, and when you ask yourself those three questions, they do not apply to immediate family members! 😉

 

Taste of Tara Teaser

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I thought you all might enjoy a little snippet from Taste of Tara today!

Excerpt:

taste-of-tara-coverIf Bradley Cooper had a doppelganger with sun streaked blond hair, this guy had to be him. The day she’d noticed him riding one of the horses at Magnolia Rose, she’d hesitated for a moment to admire his muscular form, engaging smile, and blue eyes that could stop even the most stalwart prude in her tracks.

Unfortunately, she’d only seen him across the backyard and no one had introduced them. The possibility existed it wasn’t even the same guy. The one at the plantation always wore a black cowboy hat. This man’s blond hair gleamed in the sunlight. Odds existed there could be two Bradley Cooper doubles running around Atlanta, but she doubted it.

Rushing toward the gorgeous guy, he gave her a strange glance then looked behind her. His gaze narrowed and he reached out a hand to her. “Did you wander off again, honey? You could get into trouble doing that, you know. It’s time for us to get back, anyway.”

Grateful for his assistance and the little fib he spouted to ward off the approaching men, Tara reached out and clasped his hand in hers. She cast a quick glimpse over her shoulder. Two burly ruffians turned around and headed back in the direction she’d come from. She would never, ever go off alone like that again.

A cackle from the figure in the wheelchair drew Tara’s attention. Tufts of white hair stuck up all over his head like randomly affixed hunks of cotton candy. The old man fixed his faded eyes on Tara before he smirked at the young man. “You got something you need to tell me, son?”

***

You can pre-order Taste of Tara for only 99 cents! It releases April 29!
You’ll find it at these online retailers:

Thank a Farmer Today

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This week is National FFA Week. (And for those who don’t know – that’s Future Farmers of America).

ffa_logo_99x126The celebration means a little more to us this year. You see, my niece, Jessie, was very active in FFA all through high school and she is continuing to be active in her collegiate FFA chapter.

Thinking about FFA Week – about the future of our young farmers – drew my thoughts around to the farmers of yesterday.

One of the most hard-working farmers I’ve ever met also happens to be my dad.

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He came from a long line of farmers. In his high school yearbook under the line that asked what he planned to be, he simply listed a farmer.

And it’s what he did.

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He and my mother married young, moved away from their families, and worked on a variety of farms and ranches until they saved enough money to buy their own farm.

They lived on that land for fifty-one years.

Daddy worked hard and expected all of us to give our best as well. He was most often up long before the first rays of sunshine would streak the morning sky and could be found out laboring until there was no longer any daylight to work by.

In the summers, if I wanted to spend time with my dad, I went with him to irrigate. I accompanied him many times in his semi-truck when he’d deliver a load of hay (the sleeper in the cab was a perfect place for my baby dolls to ride.) There was a time when all the guys at the parts counter at the John Deere dealer probably knew me by name because I would ride along with dad to go on a parts run. He always bought an icy cold glass bottle of Coca Cola from the vending machine and we’d share it while we waited for his parts order to be filled.

My mother thinks Daddy was one of the few farmers who had a four-year-old in pigtails asleep on a pink blanket at his feet  while he swathed hay. I think he was probably one of many who spent time with their kids anyway they could, even if it meant having them underfoot while they swathed, baled, or combined. As I got older, I went from just tagging along to having chores to do, and then taking on more responsibility and work.

My dad didn’t just want to be a farmer, he needed to be a farmer. He loved farming, loved the land and loved his family – and to him they were all intermingled and entwined. Farming was as essential to him as air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. It was never a job to him. It was a way of life. His life – and all he ever wanted to do or be.

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What I learned growing up on a farm, besides how to precisely set irrigation tubes of all sizes, move sprinkler hand lines, and buck hay bales, was responsibility, loyalty, and perseverance. If things aren’t going just like you want, you don’t quit and walk away. My dad taught me that you figure out how to make it work. I learned all about multi-tasking, time management, and organizational skills by watching and working with my dad.

Lessons learned while I was working on the farm are ones you can’t find in a classroom, you can’t glean them from a Google search, and you can’t duplicate them without the experience that goes along with the lessons. Daddy taught me by example. By watching him, day after day, pour his all into what he loved, I learned so many life lessons that have served me well over the years.When people call me tenacious, I smile, because I learned it from my dad.

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For those of you who may not have seen a Ram commercial that aired a few years ago during the Super Bowl, I encourage you to watch it. It is a tribute to farmers – past, present and future.

 

 

When you do watch it, notice the farmer’s hands that are worn and with broken, split nails. Those hands look exactly how I remember my dad’s hands always looking. Always. His hands were rough and callused, weathered and worn. Most often there was grease staining his skin, soil embedded under his nails (the ones that weren’t broken or missing), and at least one knuckle would be scraped raw. As rough as those hands were, they were such a comfort to grab onto when I was a child and needed a little reassurance. A farmer’s hands seem to have the magical qualities of being able to pull a calf, repair a piece of equipment, and gently wipe away the tears of a little girl all within a morning’s work.

 

Being a farmer in today’s world is no easy thing. People have forgotten how hard a farmer toils, how much he brings to the table both figuratively and literally.  Farmers and ranchers, to me, are the ties that bind us to something infinitely precious that so often goes unacknowledged and unappreciated.

The next time you pour a glass of milk from the carton in your fridge, eat a piece of meat, crack open an egg, butter a slice of bread, or enjoy a juicy piece of fruit, stop for a minute and say thank you to the farmer who made it possible.

And if you have the opportunity to encourage our farmers of tomorrow, please let them know you appreciate them and support their dreams.

***

So God Made A Farmer – by Paul Harvey

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark.” So God made a farmer.

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’” So God made a farmer.