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7-31

Recently, I’ve had conversations with not one but two people who are completely and totally obsessed with how they look.  While speaking to them, it became abundantly clear they judge everyone by their outward appearance.

And that made me sad.

Especially for young people, I know it’s hard when the world is saying you have to look like this or that to be accepted.

But people are so much more than clothes and hairstyles and makeup.

They have beautiful hearts, souls, and minds.

Some of the loveliest people I know don’t wear a speck of makeup, but they are beautiful. Their beauty comes from within and shines outward in a way no cosmetic manufacturer or fashion designer can reproduce. True beauty, the kind that really matters, comes from the heart.

And I love this quote because it’s true. Those who let the joy in their hearts shine in their faces are uniquely, wonderfully, undeniably beautiful.

For today, I hope you wear the joy in your heart where all can see it – in your eyes and in your smile. Shine on!

Today is the final day of the fabulous Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Book Sale. More than 50 authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have joined together to offer you their WWII novels, most at 99 cents.

The novels range from military war tales, home front drama and sagas, harrowing accounts of the Holocaust, gripping spy thrillers, to moving wartime romances, and much, much more. To see the fantastic selection of WWII books, go to: http://www.alexakang.com/dunkirk-book-sale/

We’ve also got some great giveaway prizes, including the Grand Prize of a paperback copy of Joshua Levine’s Dunkirk: The History Behind the Motion Picture. No purchases are necessary to enter the drawing. Come visit our book sale page to find out more details about our prizes and how to win.

We’re also bringing to you:

1. A two-part blog series about the Dunkirk. You can read the excellent blog posts to learn more about this historical event by two the group’s authors, Suzy Henderson (The Beauty Shop) and Jeremy Strozer (Threads of War), here: https://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/

2. Readings by The Book Speaks podcast of excerpts from All My Love, Detrickby Roberta Kagan plus another novel, both of which are part of the Dunkirk Week Book Sale: https://thebookspeakspodcast.wordpress.com/

3. A list from some authors in the group with their selections of the Top 40 WWII Movies: http://alexakang.com/40-recommended-wwii-films-english/

4.  Facebook fun! Follow the Dunkirk Week sale on Facebook and enter to win prizes:
https://www.facebook.com/DunkirkWeekBookSale/posts/323258858127096

Just a quick reminder you can purchase Garden of Her Heart on sale during the Dunkirk promotion for only 99 cents!

Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?
The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.
After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.
A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Garden of Her Heart is available from these digital retailers:
UBL:  http://books2read.com/gardenofherheart
Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01LYTC7IG
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125098241
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1173687544
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/garden-of-her-heart

You can also find the story in these formats (not on sale):
Audio: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Garden-of-Her-Heart-Audiobook/B01N9ECC0U/
Paperback: http://a.co/aWqNawz
Large Print: http://a.co/iNmKvIF

I’ve also joined in two other promotional giveaways running through July 31.

boys of summer

Enter the Boys of Summer giveaway to win 20 great stories including The Christmas Cowboyhttp://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/deca94d5361/

book sweeps 7-17

Love to read contemporary cowboy romances?

Enjoy the chance to win 20+ contemporary cowboy romances from your favorite award-winning and bestselling authors, plus a brand new Kindle Fire!

Check out all the book covers here!

The Grand Prize winner receives a Kindle Fire and all participating books. One runner-up receives all books. Both winners will receive my book, The Cowboy’s Summer Love (two of my favorite characters are in this one!)

Participating is easy — just sign up here

 

Today is release day for LILY, Book 10 in the Beach Brides Series, by Ciara Knight. Twelve heartwarming, standalone novellas linked by a unifying theme are included in the series, written by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors.

About the book…

Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

Lily Holt once believed in dreams until her fiancé and business manager abandoned her art career and marriage proposal for another woman. Public shame drove her to hide in the remote beach town of Cape Bliss, Florida. She believes she’s free of the art world until Josh Raymond appears at her front door with a picture she’d sketched on a dare years ago. Josh needs her to recreate the hope and love in the original image for a contract that will save his advertising firm. But Lily lost her muse and there is no way she can sketch the emotional depth needed for this piece. The only hope is if Josh can convince her that happily-ever-after still exists, but the price might be too high to pay—his heart.

Available at Amazon for $2.99, click here.

For more info about the other books in the series available at Amazon, click here.

Giveaway…

<Melissa McClone is again doing a fun giveaway on her blog today to celebrate the release. One luck winner will receive:

A Thirty-One All-day Organizing Tote, a fun beach sign, three seashell-shaped bath fizzies, and a wind chime.

Just pop over to her blog for a chance to win!

Melissa McClone’s blog – click here

You’re invited…

If you’d like to be a part of the Beach Brides Reader Group on Facebook, click here.

Each Tuesday from now until August 8, a new Beach Brides title will be released.

beach brides graphic FB

The Beach Bride Series – Available only at Amazon

MEG by Julie Jarnagin
TARA by Ginny Baird
NINA by Stacey Joy Netzel
CLAIR by Grace Greene
JENNY by Melissa McClone
LISA by Denise Devine
HOPE by Aileen Fish
KIM by Magdalena Scott
ROSE by Shanna Hatfield
LILY by Ciara Knight
FAITH by Helen Scott Taylor
AMY by Raine English

7-24

This quote… I love it so.

And I really needed the reminder of the beauty of joy today.

Here’s the thing… it’s mid-summer, beautiful blue skies, rose scented evening breezes, and sweet ripe fruit that tantalizes my taste buds.

Yet, I’ve been struggling to find joy lately. I’m behind on deadlines, feeling rushed and harried, not to mention I’ve spent way too much time driving into town for recent doctor appointments.

Where’s the joy in getting up only to face yesterday’s half-finished to-do list with another long list for today?

The joy is in the sound of love, the color of gratitude, the song of hope. Joy is all around me and within me, if I just stop for a moment, take a deep breath and silence all the turmoil.

There it is, that soft whisper in the air, the warm colors in the landscape, the scent of sweet memories.

If you, like me, are feeling like life is spiraling a little out of control, take a moment to regain your footing and grab onto your joy with both hands.

Rose Characters

Couple at the Beach

I thought it might be fun for you to meet Rose and Tanner today (at least the visuals that inspired their characters).

beautiful girl in the dress of the bride from the back on the st

Back when we were choosing images for the covers, I saw this one and it made me think of a girl who perhaps might like vintage things, at least romantic things. I liked the idea of Rose being someone who surrounded herself with treasures from yesterday, who cherished the little things many people take for granted. I wanted her to be a girl who takes time to smell the roses.

So I looked to Annalynne McCord for my visual inspiration for Rose (in addition to the cover shot).

Image result for annalynne mccord

It was just so easy to picture her as Rose.

Image result for annalynne mccord

She’s got the hair, the eyes, the smile…

Image result for annalynne mccord

and the beauty. Yep, she really made such a perfect Rose.

Tanner needed to be someone with a little ruggedness around the edges, but a sweet guy.

Steve Lund

I chose Steve Lund.

Image result for steve lund

He looks exactly how I envision Tanner. Strong yet kind.

Image result for steve lund

And really hunky.

You can find many of the visuals that inspired parts of the story on my Pinterest board, including some of Rose’s outfits, Goonies info, and some fun beach wedding ideas!

And while you’re looking through the images, listen to this song… it was the one I listened to while I was writing the story:

Places I’ve Never Been by Mark Wills

You can find Rose on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Beach-Brides-Book-9-ebook/dp/B0728BSPR1

Rose long 1.jpg

The Beach Brides series has another release out and this week I’ve even more excited, because it’s my contribution to the series!

About the book…

FOUND: Old-fashioned letter in a bottle on the beach…

Now what’s he supposed to do with it?

When his mother discovers a message in a bottle washed up on a Florida beach, Tanner Thomas scoffs at her insistence he contact the person who penned the note. With a vague promise to think about it, Tanner promptly tucks the bottle away and goes on with his life. Two years later, he finds the bottle in the back of a closet and can’t get the woman off his mind. Tormented by thoughts of the author of the sweet, romantic letter, Tanner finally reaches out to the old-fashioned girl, unprepared to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

sea

 

~*~

This little excerpt is from when Rose first meets Tanner.

~*~

When the man she’d seen on the beach last night strode inside, the cake stand slipped from her hands and fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Little cakes scattered everywhere.

For the length of several heartbeats, Rose remained too stunned by his appearance to blink let alone move. Mercy, but he looked even better in the broad light of day than he had in the moonlight.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, his deep, resonant voice stirring something in her heart.

As he bent down to help pick up the scattered cakes, Rose breathed in his fragrance. It smelled like musk and spicy woods, and something entirely too appealing for her own good.

Tumnus scampered down the hall and into the fray, madly licking at frosting and crumbs stuck to the floor. Rose stood and brushed crumbs from her hands, her gaze fixed on the man who slowly stood and offered her a heart-melting smile.

“My apologies, sir, for such a… um… disruptive greeting.” Rose gulped, trying to calm her skittering nerves. “How may I be of assistance to you today?”

The man’s lazy grin caused heat to churn in her stomach while an electrical current zinged up her arms and down her legs. If he kept smiling at her like that, she was sure Lucille and Zetta would have more than just cake crumbs to clean off the floor. They’d find her in a mushy puddle there as well.

Mister Muscles-and-Seductive-Smiles took a step closer to her. “I’m looking for Rose.”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0728BSPR1

Available at Amazon for $2.99 or read with Kindle Unlimited, click here.

About the Series…

ROSE is  Book #9 in the series…

Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

The series consists of twelve heartwarming, standalone novellas linked by a unifying theme and written by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors.

For more info about the other books in the series available at Amazon, click here.

Giveaway…

Melissa McClone is featuring a fun giveaway on her blog today. Pop over for a chance to win a Thirty-One Zip-top Organizing Utility Tote (ZOUT), a fun beach sign, three seashell-shaped bath fizzies, and a wind chime.

https://melissamcclone.com/beach-brides-spotlight-and-giveaway-shanna-hatfields-rose/

You’re invited…

Don’t forget to come party with me today on the Beach Brides Series Reader’s Group. To join in the fun,  click here.

Each Tuesday from now until August 8th, a new Beach Brides title will be released.

The Beach Bride Series – Available only at Amazon

MEG by Julie Jarnagin
TARA by Ginny Baird
NINA by Stacey Joy Netzel
CLAIR by Grace Greene
JENNY by Melissa McClone
LISA by Denise Devine
HOPE by Aileen Fish
KIM by Magdalena Scott
ROSE by Shanna Hatfield
LILY by Ciara Knight
FAITH by Helen Scott Taylor
AMY by Raine English

7-17

Lil’ Miss and I were chatting the other day and somehow the topic turned to people not being true to themselves because of the way other people see them or wanting to fit in with a certain group.

I encouraged her to be true to herself.

That’s the only way I know for any of us to be truly happy – to enjoy, embrace, celebrate, and cherish our own uniqueness. That’s when we know the joy loving ourselves brings.

Do I always follow my own advice? Sadly, no. But I’m getting there, one day at a time.

When I find myself trying to be something other than what is truly me, what fits with who I am, I’m not happy and I realize the reason is because I’m trying to conform to something that isn’t me.

Never, ever be afraid to be yourself. The people who don’t accept you who you are aren’t worth your time. And those who do certainly are.

Here’s to a day filled with joy, embracing your unique, wonderful, completely awesome self. May it bring you a heart full of joy.