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The third annual Petticoat Ball is tomorrow, April 6. The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) and runs until 2 p.m. with a dozen guest authors, great giveaways, games and more!

author list

The awesome authors who will be joining in the event include:

10 a.m. – Melanie Snitker

10:20 – Kristin Holt

10:40 – Kay P. Dawson

11 a.m. – Magdalena Scott

11:20 – Kit Morgan

11:40 – Rachel Rossano

Noon –  Melinda Curtis

12:20 –  Ciara Knight

12:40 – Julie Lence

1 p.m. – Raine English

1:20 –  Kirsten Osbourne

1:40 – Caroline Lee

What a great line up! I can hardly wait.

If you are still on the fence about attending… I’ll be doing a cover reveal for the next book in the Pendleton Petticoats series.

Mystery Dally cover

Come get the scoop tomorrow and find out what this book is going to be about!

Petticoat Ball 2017 – https://www.facebook.com/events/329797340748812/

 

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Bobbins and Boots is now available in paperback (for those who have been waiting!).

You can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Bobbins-Boots-Baker-City-Brides/dp/154487135X

And in other retail outlets online. You can also request your local bookstores order it if they don’t carry it.

How fun is that!

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I happened upon this graphic a few weeks ago and decided it would be the perfect challenge for April!

30 ways in 30 days to Find Joy… that’s a challenge I’m giving myself and one I hope you’ll join me in.

Each day, there is a “joyful” activity suggested. Some take just a moment, others a bit more time, but hopefully, at the end of 30 days, this challenge will amp up our joy!

Today’s is easy… Sing Loudly! Do it in the car, the shower, while you’re making dinner this evening, but give it a shot. I bet it makes you smile!

If you decide to take on this challenge, feel free to post your acceptance in the comments. I’ll be cheering you on!

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Today, I thought you might like to meet the characters in Bobbins and Boots.

I’d just finished writing Corsets and Cuffs last year when I started thinking about the characters for this book. I knew Ben had to be young, with dark hair and dark eyes.

I asked in my Facebook group for suggestions, and one of the photos shared turned out to be the perfect Ben.

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It took some digging to find the name of the cute guy in the photo, but I finally discovered it on Pinterest!

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This is Freddie Smith who just happens to make a wonderful Ben. Look at those eyes! Aren’t they gorgeous?

For Allie’s character, I wanted a tall, willowy girl with straight blond hair and blue eyes.

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I think Jessy Schram fits the bill quite nicely! She’s so pretty and just cute with those freckles.

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And she made such a great Allie.

And in case you’ve forgotten the other characters, here is a refresher:

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Jemma-Bryan

 

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Matt Barr as Ian McGregor.

Alana de la Garza

The lovely Alana de la Garza as Maggie Dalton McGregor

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Chris Young as Sheriff Tully Barrett

Michaela McManus

Michaela McManus as Brianna Dumont Barrett

and we can’t forget…

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Dylan Scott as Tad Palmer

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Julie Mond as Posey Jacobs Palmer

You can find more info about Ben and Allie on my character pages. Also, visit their Pinterest board for more visual inspiration!

 

Please join me in welcoming Milou Koenings to my blog today. Milou is a fellow member of Sweet Romance Reads, an awesome person, and a very talented storyteller.

I had the pleasure of reading her new release, I Love You Three, a Green Pines Romance. She grabbed my attention on the first page and held it throughout the whole romance. I’m a sucker for a military veteran story and I love stories with babies – and this one had both! Such a great book full of heartwarming, tender moments sure to melt your heart.

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 Genre: Sweet romance, clean & wholesome

 

About the book:

A former Marine. A single mom. Two broken people.

Mac’s struggling to adjust to civilian life after the death in combat of his best friend. When a teaching job opens up in the small town where his friend used to work in the summers, Mac takes it as a sign and moves to Green Pines, hoping to find refuge from his demons.

For Julie, there’s no refuge from night feedings, a crazy mom, an ex-mother-in-law and an overdrawn bank account. She’s struggling to build a better life for herself and her baby and the only thing she knows is she’s not falling for any guy again.

There’s only one problem. You never know when love will knock you off your feet.


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Interview with Milou:

 

  1. Why did you write I Love You Three?

Because the characters pretty much insisted!

As I was writing the first Green Pines Romance, Reclaiming Home, I found myself falling in love with Mac and Julie, a young couple who featured briefly in that story. I kept wondering how those two had met. Then I wrote another Green Pines Romance, and there they were again! So when I started hearing from readers how much they liked Julie and Mac as well, so I knew I had to write their story.

  1. So this is part of a series?

It’s the newest in my Green Pines Romance series, but chronologically, it happens before any of the others. If you want to read them in chronological order, it would be: I Love You Three, The Kampala Peppermint Twist, Reclaiming Home and Sweet Blizzard.

  1. Was there any one person who was your inspiration for either of the main characters?

I’m not saying! What I will say is Julie’s ex-mother-in-law is nothing like mine. I have an ex-mother-in-law, too, and she is still one of the most wonderful blessings in my life.

  1. In this book, you deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. What made you tackle this subject?

 I grew up in a war zone, falling asleep to the sound of gunfire almost every night. I survived a terrorist attack. So PTSD is something I deal with every day. And I’m surrounded by ex-military men. So to me, it’s more like what took me so long to write about it?

  1. When do you write? Is it easier to write in the morning or at night?

 I’m so busy with my family, I have to write any chance I get, no matter what time it is!

 Buy Links:

Amazon     http://amzn.to/2lj3TiF

Barnes and Noble  http://ow.ly/XPyw308LtIF

Kobo http://ow.ly/YvUT308Lqdo

Draft2Digital (iTunes, Inktera, 24 Symbols) https://www.books2read.com/u/31g5M7

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Excerpt:

Julie squared her shoulders and looked both ways down the hall as she left the security of her office. It had been bad enough spending most days alone in the building, at the mercy of the unsettling fantasies about the new coach that she’d been enjoying for the past few weeks. She couldn’t seem to help it happening. Ever since the day he’d knocked her off that ladder, she’d had trouble concentrating whenever she was alone. It was really aggravating. She hadn’t behaved like this since junior high. And that had been before he moved to town.

That he was actually here, in the building, bothered her more than she wanted admit. She was grateful Mr. Kelley had given her advance warning that Mac would be coming in that morning, but she didn’t want to run into him more than she had to.

She heard the voices when she left the auditorium. Her stomach clenched as she recognized the sounds of the Gordon boys, and Cody Williams answering something in return. What now? She ventured down the hall, dreading the disaster she was going to discover. She hardly dared hope she might catch them before they’d wreaked their havoc. When she turned the corner, Julie stopped and blinked. It took her a moment to process what she was seeing. Surely she was dreaming.

The Gordons, Cody, and Jimmy Barker, too, she noticed, were wiping paint drops off the floor. The row of lockers behind them was gleaming with pristine, wet paint. Mac pointed toward the gym and send Cody back there with a bucket of rollers and brushes.

“Coach, how do I get this off? It dried already.” That was Mikey Gordon, his thin frame squatting and rubbing at the small strip of tile under a locker. Mac squatted next to him with a plastic bottle.

“Don’t breathe this in,” he warned, dabbing a bit of the spirits onto an old rag. “Here.”

Mike scrunched up his nose. “Man, that stinks.”

“Didn’t I just tell you not to breathe?” Mac grinned. Julie sniffed the cadaverous smell of wood turpentine wafting toward her and almost gagged. But she couldn’t help but smile at the way Mike scrubbed the tile, all the while glancing at Mac to make sure he was doing it right. It was sweet how the kid was already seeking his approval. Mac was good with him. Julie was impressed.

“Yeah, that’s right. You got it.” Mac closed the bottle. “I’m going to help the others clean the brushes. You finish up here and join us, okay?” Mikey nodded seriously. Mac stood up and caught Julie watching them. “Hey, look at this — didn’t these guys do a great job?” he swept his arm toward the lockers.

Julie didn’t like how all the air seemed to get squeezed out of her lungs when he looked at her. Or that agitated flutter in her stomach. She frowned, wiping her suddenly damp palms on her jeans, determined to fight the reaction. Unauthorized use of school resources, that’s what this was. School paint supplies. The principal should have signed off on this. And on his first day on the job, too. Weren’t military types supposed to be sticklers for rules and procedures? She would have pointed out all this, but then she remembered Mikey, still crouching nearby. She glanced at the kid’s hopeful face turned up to her and her frown melted away. She couldn’t remember when Mikey Gordon’s face hadn’t reflected dread at a coming punishment instead of hope. She couldn’t let her own discomfort ruin his moment. Julie smiled at the kid.

“Mikey, this is awesome. You guys did great job! The entire hallway looks so much better,” she said. Mikey’s whole demeanor lit up. He mumbled an embarrassed thank you, scooped up a drop cloth and headed into the gym to his comrades.

Julie, watching him walk away, could have sworn he looked taller than before. She glanced at Mac. Whatever he’d done, it was more than anyone else ever managed with those kids.

“That was a nice thing you did,” she said softly.

Mac raised an eyebrow and grinned. “A sentence of hard labor? Not sure they’d call it nice.”

Julie chuckled. “I’m not even going to ask what the sentence was for. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever since that bunch not being destructive.” She paused. “It isn’t really Mickey’s fault you know. He just tags along.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

Good. Maybe he was more perceptive than she might have thought. But hopefully only about kids. She didn’t need him turning that talent on her.

She turned back toward the other end of the hall. Mac stopped her.

“Was there something you wanted?” he asked.

She looked at him standing there, tattoos up his arms, paint-spattered shorts and a gray T-shirt that only highlighted how ripped he was, and forgot how to breathe. Her eyes trailed the swirl of inked words that snaked up his right bicep and slipped under the sleeve of his T-shirt. Semper Fidelis.

Always faithful? Oh, yeah, sure. Her jaw clenched. “No thanks. I just heard the kids’ voices and thought I’d better investigate.” She walked away and only let out her breath once she’d turned the corner.

Was there something she wanted? She sure wasn’t about to answer that.

 

 

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 BIO:

Milou Koenings is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.

Contacts and Social Media:

Website     www.miloukoenings.com

Twitter       https://twitter.com/MilouKoenings

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/MilouKoenings/

Pinterest    https://www.pinterest.com/miloukoenings/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7578772.Milou_Koenings

Amazon Author Page    http://amzn.to/2jlzGxZ

Newsletter http://bit.ly/2jlDIGG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Thursday, I set aside all my to-do lists and worries about deadlines, climbed in my car, and made a five-hour drive to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet.

I have to tell you – there is so much joy in spending time around people who know you (really know you) and love you, faults and all.

As we shopped our way through a mall, we tried to recall when we first began taking these trips together. It started back around 2006 (give or take a year). My cousin Brad called and discussed doing something special and fun for his mom. I was all ears.

Brad is one of those super nice, incredibly sweet all-around great guys you are thrilled just to know. Add in the fact that his mom, my wonderful Aunt Robbie, has been like a second mother to me for my entire life, and I couldn’t refuse whatever it was he was going to ask.

My most wonderful auntie has always been extra special to me. I was born the day after Aunt Robbie’s birthday, we share the same middle name, we both love the color pink and have yet to find a mall we didn’t like.

Aunt Robbie was blessed with two boys, but no girls. So Brad proposed a few of us girl cousins do something fun with Aunt Robbie. We plotted and planned and ended up with four of us girls taking Aunt Robbie for an overnight stay in a cute little town with fun shops, great food, and a nice hotel. It was bliss!

My three cousins are daughters of my Dad’s two other sisters, both of whom have passed away. Aunt Robbie became “Mom” to us all on that trip. With each of us she loves, laughs, cries, teases and counsels – and that just makes us love her all the more.

We had such a great time on that first trip, we decided to make it an annual event. We all look forward to the time we can spend with each other, reconnecting, sharing memories, shopping, eating and enjoying the company. Our little group includes my cousins Julie, Nancy and Twylia – all fun, fantastic women in their own unique way- and Aunt Robbie.

Brad’s girlfriend, Brenda, was able to join us this year and brought even more fun to our group.

These women know how to laugh and cry. They know how to offer encouragement and support. They know how to tease and be teased. And they really know how to shop.

As we packed up our cars and prepared to head our separate ways home, we were already discussing plans for next year.

I think we all look forward to it and just enjoy that special time we have to connect, relate, and deepen our bonds of kinship and friendship.

No matter if you gather with one or a dozen, whether they are family or friends, I think everyone needs a special weekend now and again to reconnect, to grow, to just be and celebrate the joy of spending time with special people you love.

It does your heart and spirit so much good!

It’s release day for Bobbins and Boots!

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Bobbins and Boots

Baker City Brides, Book 4

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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 weds 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.

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Meet Ben and Allie

Excerpt:

“You love me?” Tears pooled in her eyes and her lower lip quivered. She couldn’t believe this handsome, wonderful, gentle, teasing cowboy loved her. “You really love me? But, Ben, I’m nobody. I’m just…”

“The girl I love and can’t live without.” Ben stood and pulled her to her feet before wrapping his arms around her. “I love you, Alaina Maelee Amick.” He kissed one cheek then the other. “I love your freckles.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “I love the sound of your laughter.” He kissed her forehead. “I love your cute little lopsided smile.” He kissed the left corner of her mouth. “And I love your silky hair.” He pulled out the pins holding it in a bun and watched it tumble down her back and over her shoulders.

Allie sighed contentedly when Ben buried his hands in her long tresses and inhaled a deep breath, basking in her honeysuckle scent.

When he leaned back, his eyes were full of love and longing. “I love everything about you, Allie. But I also love you with all my heart.”