Posts Tagged ‘Shanna Hatfield’

Joy Lessons Week 43


It seems ingrained in our human nature to look at or for all the things that are wrong in our lives or the world. Isn’t it easy to tally a list of things that could be better, that you wish were different?

But what about all the things that are right? All the things that make us smile? Fill us with gratitude?

What if we focused on all those things first?

It’s not always easy to do that, I know. (Believe me, I know!) But it is possible.

There’s a hymn we sink at church and the ending of one verse is “our vision change.”

Learning to focus on all the good and joyful things is as simple and as hard as that. When we change our inner vision, we can change everything.

By focusing on all that is good in our lives (in our world), we can see more good, and more good. The more good we see, the more joy that swells in us.

I hope this week, you can take a moment to appreciate the good things around you and be filled with joy. I’m sure going to give it my best.


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Happy people.

What a better place the world is because of them.

We’ve all heard the suggestions to surround ourselves with happy, positive people. That isn’t hollow advice but sage wisdom.

Happy people are awesome.

That’s not to say they don’t have dark moments, but for the most part, happy people choose to let the let shine in and through them.

Happy people might seem rather Pollyanna-ish to the outsider looking in, but I think they are incredibly strong and absolutely amazing. It takes a lot of work and conscious thought to stay dialed in to happiness.

I’m learning, slowly it seems, to spend less and less time with the gloomy, negative, negative-Nellie type people and more around people who make me laugh, bring a smile to my face, and fill my heart with joy – those fantastic happy people.

Life’s too short to waste our precious moments with people who bring a big basket full of crazy, emotional drama with them wherever they go. All their efforts to bring others down to their level of misery doesn’t do anyone any good.

Focus on the happy people.

Even better, focus on being one of those happy people. That’s my goal for the day.

Maybe this song from Little Big Town, which I love, can get you off to a good start.

Happy People.

May you be one today.


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It’s release day for Jenny by Melissa McClone, Book #5 in the Beach Brides series. The series consists of twelve heartwarming, standalone novellas linked by a unifying theme and written by NYT 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!

Bestselling thriller author Jenny Hanford never expects anything to happen the night she whimsically throws her requirements for true love into the ocean. Thirteen months later, however, she hears back from the man who found her message in a bottle.

Exchanging carefree emails and texts makes Jenny smile and fills her days with anticipation. But when she gets word her bottle finder, a soldier named Dare, has been injured and is asking for her, she can’t deny her growing feelings for her online friend. Jenny wants to go, but she’s afraid Dare will turn out to be as make believe as the characters she creates. What are the odds he could be her real dream hero?

Available at Amazon for $2.99, click here.

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


Jenny and Dare are strangers who aren’t looking for romance, but they keep writing back and forth and become friends. Have you ever had a pen pal? Go to Melissa McClone’s blog and answer this question in the comment section to be entered to win a Thirty-One Picnic Thermal, a fun beach sign, three seashell-shaped bath fizzies, and a wind chime.

For more details, visit her blog.

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 8th, a new Beach Brides title will be released.

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This weekend was one full of memories for me. On Saturday, Lil Miss had friends coming over for a barbecue to celebrate the end of the school year. As I prepared food and and got things ready, my mind wandered back to the birthday parties we always had for my sister. Her birthday would have been Sunday. She passed away eleven years ago from head trauma sustained from a grand mal seizure.

During my growing up years, since her birthday was in early summer, right after school got out, (and the weather was generally nice), we’d always have a barbecue to celebrate. While I made potato salad and cleaned off the patio and cut roses for a vase, it brought back many memories of helping Mom do those things in preparation of my sister’s birthday.

I was just thinking this morning that the memories hold far more sweetness than bittersweet feelings now.

Also, there is a swell of joy when I take out those memories and allow myself to sink into them.

It made me think of the Disney movie Inside Out.


The story follows a young girl who is uprooted from her life in the Midwest and moved to San Francisco. Her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. The film shows the emotions as characters, and it’s hard not to love Joy.

So this weekend, as I was remembering all the fun times we had giving my sister happy birthdays, I felt a little like Joy in this picture… as if I was wrapping my arms around those joyful memories and holding them close to my heart.

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I just loved this quote.

Our mindset plays such a key role in our attitude, in how we see life, in how we react to and interact with others.

When we allow ourselves to realize just how good things really are, our hearts fill with joy and gratitude and a light shines in us.

It’s easy in this world to get caught up in the things we don’t have, the things that aren’t going right in our day (weeks – lives!), but when we intentionally focus on the good, that’s when we can find joy.

I hope you’ll join me this week in allowing the good things in your life to fill your heart that you might have an extra measure of joy.

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Caterina is now available on audio from Amazon, Audible or iTunes!

The awesome Meghan Kelly did a fabulous job narrating the story – including some fun Italian accents!

Listen to a sample here: Caterina Sample

Why did she have to fall for

     the most infuriating man in town? 

On the run from the Italian mafia, feisty Caterina Campanelli travels across the country and hides in a small western town. Uncertain about her future, she does her best to ignore her past and the turmoil the deputy stirs in her heart. Seeking comfort in her cooking, the last thing she needs is a sweet romance with most handsome and exasperating man in Pendleton.

Dedicated to his work as a deputy, Kade Rawlings loves the life he’s created for himself. Determined to remain single and unfettered, he just can’t stay away from the Italian spitfire who rolls into town keeping secrets and making the best food he’s ever eaten. Using his charm, wit, and brawn to win her trust, he may just get more than he bargained for.

And here’s an excerpt from the book:

“Do you always behave so deplorably?” Caterina asked, enjoying her turn to bait Kade. He so often said something to stir her temper. She was in such a fine mood after the banker agreed to her loan, she didn’t think there was a single thing the deputy could do or say to upset her.

“I don’t behave deplorably,” Kade grumbled, cocking a hip as he leaned against the counter. “You, however, behaved like a tavern wench, casting your wiles on Grant until he didn’t know up from down. Is that how the women in your family go about getting what they want?”

Caterina almost dropped the plate she dried on the floor and only managed to keep it from shattering by grasping the edge at the last second. Carefully setting it down on the counter, she narrowed her gaze and tightened her lips into a thin line.

“What? Don’t look at me like that when I’m only telling you what I saw. You flirted and teased, batted those long eyelashes of yours, and poured on the charm until he would have done anything you asked.” Kade wished he could reel in the words as quick as he’d said them.

Instead of apologizing and begging her forgiveness, he reverted to a tactic he’d used many times to appear aloof and disinterested. He took out his pocketknife and began picking at his fingernails. Unable to keep from further goading her, he continued his taunting while he focused on his knife blade. “Seems to me you were trying to sell more than the idea of your restaurant.”

He almost sliced through his finger when a wet dishtowel caught him in the face.

“How could you? How could you say such things to me?” Caterina stamped her foot as she glared at him, seething. Blooms of vibrant pink color filled her cheeks while snapping, angry sparks shot from her expressive eyes.

“You…you…bully!” Caterina looked around for something else to throw at him that wouldn’t break. She picked up a handful of the cutlery she’d just finished washing then started flinging spoons and forks his direction.

Too shocked by her actions to move immediately, a fork poked his hand before Kade shoved his knife into his pocket and lifted one of the chairs at the table. He held it in front of him trying to block the flying silverware. He was grateful Aundy had already dried the knives and put them away.

“Now, Cat, you need to calm down,” Kade said soothingly. He had plenty of practice handling hysterical females.

Only the female across the room didn’t look hysterical. Fuming and furious, definitely, but not hysterical.

“Don’t you ‘now, Cat’ me, you beast,” Caterina yelled, pointing her finger at Kade. “How dare you! How dare you speak so vilely, you disgusting, rotten…”


Post a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Caterina’s Audio Book!

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beach brides graphic FB

Grab your beach hat and a towel and prepare for a brand new series brought to you by twelve New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors…

beach brides graphic grace with dates

Beach Brides!
Fun in the summer sun!

 Twelve heartwarming, sweet novellas are linked by a unifying theme. 
You’ll want to read each one!

Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination vacation to a beautiful Caribbean isle. 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 the 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! Sending a message in a bottle can’t be any crazier than online or cell phone dating, or posting personal ads! And, who knows? One of these mysterious missives might actually lead to love…
Join Meg, Tara, Nina, Clair, Jenny, Lisa, Hope, Kim, Rose, Lily, Faith and Amy, as they embark on the challenge of a lifetime: risking their hearts to accomplish their dreams.
Vintage gorgeous  background with lace and pearls
My contribution to the series is Rose – she’s a hopelessly romantic woman who runs an antique store called One Vintage Rose. She’s been burned by love before and doubts the man of her dreams exists… until he strolls into her shop one day with her crazy letter in a bottle!

All of the Beach Brides stories will be available for pre-order on Amazon May 18! 

Here is the publication schedule and the authors who are writing the books:
  1. Meg by Julie Jarnagin – May 23
  2. Tara by Ginny Baird – May 30
  3. Nina by Stacey Joy Netzel – June 6
  4. Clair by Grace Green – June 13
  5. Jenny by Melissa McClone – June 20
  6. Lisa by Denise Devine – June 27
  7. Hope by Aileen Fish – July 4
  8. Kim by Magdalena Scott – July 11
  9. Rose by Shanna Hatfield – July 18
  10. Lily by Ciara Knight July 25
  11. Faith by Helen Scott Taylor – August 1
  12. Amy by Raine English – August 8

Join the Beach Brides Reader Group on Facebook to keep up with the new releases and news:

And don’t miss out on the Beach Brides Release party May 25!

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