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Please give a warm welcome to J.v.L. Bell as she joins us to today to talk about her book, The Lucky Hat Mine! Welcome!

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Colorado Territory, 1863

What’s a Southern Belle to do?

Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she’d survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains only to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the remote mining town of Idaho Springs without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant, but her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancé, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.

Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie’s log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.

The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with fun frontier history and a bit of romance to create a story the Denver Post described as “Filled with period detail and real-life pioneers, a spirited…tale.”

As a new author, I love to hear what readers think of The Lucky Hat Mine, so please drop me a line at julie@jvlbell.com. If you enjoy audiobooks, The Lucky Hat Mine is read by Nancy Wu and guaranteed to entertain.

Thanks so much to Shanna for inviting me on her blog.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Julie!

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91opiffrqyl-_ux250_Author J.v.L. Bell is a Colorado native who grew up climbing 14,000 ft. mountains, exploring old ghost towns, and hiking in the deserts of Utah. Whenever possible, she and her family can be found hiking, rafting, or cross-country skiing.

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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 Cowboy’s Christmas Plan

Grass Valley Cowboys Book 1

is FREE for Kindle downloads today through January 1!

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If you aren’t familiar with the story, here’s the scoop:

Cadence Greer’s plans for a happy-ever-after are quickly derailed when her fiancé runs off with his secretary a week before their wedding. Homeless, jobless and jilted, she escapes to Grass Valley, Oregon, where she finds herself employed as a housekeeper and cook to seven cowboys on a sprawling ranch.

Trey Thompson is a well-respected pillar of the community, running a successful ranch with his brother. All he wanted was someone to cook his meals and keep the house clean. When he hires Cadence Greer for the job, he gets more than he ever planned on, including a sassy little red-headed orphan.

Come spend Christmas in Grass Valley at the Triple T Ranch, where mistletoe hangs abundantly and holiday magic is in the air.

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Meet Trey Thompson and Cadence Greer

Praise for The Cowboy’s Christmas Plan:

“I LOVED this book. So many twists and turns, I didn’t want to put it down.”

Amazon Reviewer

“Fun and clean Christmas story! I loved it so much that i have almost finished the whole series! “

Amazon Reviewer

“Good romance. Like the themes of strong family ties and strong morals.”

Amazon Reviewer

Cowboy standing in field.

Excerpt:

Walking across the now-white yard, their footprints leaving tracks in the snow, Cadence wasn’t sure what was spinning around in Trey’s handsome head. She wondered what had made him grow so quiet. Maybe he hadn’t enjoyed the ride or the kiss. That thought nearly made her stumble on the back steps.

Stepping inside mudroom, Trey took off his boots, hung up his coat and hat then turned to watch Cady struggle to use the bootjack.

Standing behind her, he put a hand on her thigh and moved her foot into the proper position. Cadence was sure he could feel her leg begin to tremble at his touch.

“Just like that, darlin’,” he said his breath warm and soft by her ear.

Goose bumps popped out on her neck and sprang up on her arms, but Cadence removed the other boot then slowly stepped aside and took off her coat.

Trey tugged the band from her head that covered her ears and dug both hands into her snow-dampened hair. Pulling her to his chest, he groaned as he buried his face in her hair and inhaled the fresh scent that was solely Cady.

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Millie Cover

I was so, so happy to finish my final proofing of Millie (Pendleton Petticoats, Book 7) this week.

Although she is available for pre-orders, the book officially releases June 9! (I can’t wait!)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little about the book with you.

She’s adamant about prohibition —

He’ll do anything to keep his saloon open…

A childhood traumatized by the effects of alcohol in her home left Millie Matlock convinced she doesn’t need a man in her life. No longer able to stand by and watch drunken men terrorize the women in town, Millie forms a local committee of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Little did she know the one man who could turn her head owns one of the most successful saloons in Pendleton.

Desperate to keep the WCTU from closing his saloon and the others in town, Gideon McBride agrees to a crazy plan hatched by the saloon owners. His objective is to woo the leader of the local temperance union, keeping her so distracted the committee disbands. However, he didn’t count on the beautiful, effervescent Millie working her way into his cynical heart.

And you might enjoy a little excerpt:

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He watched as Millie sipped her hot chocolate. As soon as she lowered the cup from her mouth, he took it from her, placing his lips in the exact spot hers had been. While he tasted the rapidly cooling drink, he stared at her over the rim of the cup. His green eyes locked on hers as he handed the cup back to her. “That’s not bad, but I like a pinch of cinnamon and a dollop of whipped cream in mine.”

In a huff, she scowled at him. “I don’t recall offering to share my chocolate with you.”

“Oh, what’s one little sip between friends, Miss Matlock?” Gideon laid on his charm, smiling in such a way it did great justice to the dimples in his cheeks. Ever so slightly, he bent closer to her and lowered his voice. “Any time you like, I’d be more than happy to make you libations far more tempting than you could imagine.”

The timbre in his voice as he said “libations” nearly made Millie drop the cup in her hand. Not completely certain they were talking about beverages, her heart skittered in her chest.

Unsettled, her gaze shot to his, yet he continued to smile in an amiable, almost boyish manner, appearing innocent of any indecent implications.

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