Special Feature: THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS by Rachel Fordham

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THE HOPE OF
AZURE SPRINGS
by
RACHEL FORDHAM
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance 
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Revell
Number of Pages: 336

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.
Welcome to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

CLICK TO PURCHASE
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS: 
“In her promising first novel, Fordham assembles an endearing cast of characters in the rugged Midwest plains for a tale about surviving and thriving. . . .Fordham depicts heartbreaking emotional and physical suffering, while beautifully illustrating the power in simple acts of kindness to foster healing, hope, and happiness.”
—Booklist

 

EXCERPT: PROLOGUE
FROM THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS

Iowa, 1881

     She dead?”
     Em heard a man’s voice from somewhere above her. A strange thumping pulsed through her with each word he spoke. Her throat burned, screaming for water, but she could not cry out.
     “There’s life in her. Not much of it though,” a second, raspier voice answered. She felt a hand press against her throat and then move over her body, gently probing. “She’s bleeding pretty bad.”
     “Gunshot?” the first voice asked.
     If only her eyes would open, and she could see them. Straining, she struggled to pull her heavy eyelids open. Finally, bits of light darted in front of her eyes, but she could not focus. The faces above her were fuzzy and indiscernible.
     Fear swept through her, suddenly waking her battered body. Afraid the men from before had returned, she opened her eyes wide, finding strength that only moments before she had lacked. With thrashing arms, she flailed at the men. Her arms flopped about but offered little defense—she was too weak from blood loss. And then they moved no longer, subdued by large, strong hands.
     “Easy, girl. We aren’t going to hurt you. We just want to help. Take you into town, that’s all. There’s a good doctor there.” The man’s deep voice sounded gentle, but still she did not trust him. Voices could be deceiving. Arms could hurt as well as help. She knew these things well.
     Soon she felt her body being raised above the ground, and moments later the hard planks of a wagon became the resting place for her injured frame. Too weak to move, she lay looking at the sky, wishing there were a way to end the agony, but knowing that for Lucy she would fight on.
     Once the wagon lurched forward, she lost track of everything again. The wheels bouncing over ruts made her pain so intense that everything closed around her and then faded to black.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. She hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

 
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Character Interview: Marley Rose McClain from Linda Broday’s TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR {giveaway}

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TO CATCH 

A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for Giveaway!

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On her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.

Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible.

A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other.

As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked. Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

 

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Praise for To Catch a Texas Star:

“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.” — Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.” — Michelle (Goodreads)

 

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————  —— ———–

 

Today I’m with Marley Rose McClain from To Catch a Texas Star.

She’s a fascinating woman and I’m going to see if she will tell us a few things about the book. She strides into the room with confidence, a striking woman with dark hair and eyes. I see strength and pride in the way she carries herself and can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Me: What did you think when you found Roan Penny lying half-dead beside the road?

Marley: I thought he was dead at first. Scared me when he moved. So I got him in the back of the wagon and drove back to the ranch. I think if he’d lain there much longer he would’ve died.

Me: I hear Roan stole your heart, and frankly he stole mine too.

Marley’s eyes sparkle: I tell you, that man makes me swoon. He’s sure handsome with dark brown hair and twinkling gray eyes. He’s quite the kisser too. When his lips meet mine, I get all hot and fluttery inside. He’s tall and lean too. I just love a man who makes me feel so protected and cherished and when he calls me his Texas star, I just melt.

Me: What was he like when he was dealing with that mob that murdered his friend?

Marley: Those gray eyes can sure turn to ice to match his voice when he’s angry. I found out Roan Penny can strike the fear of God in a man, but you know that’s what it took in the old west. More often than not, justice was only what men found for themselves. Criminals and bad men far outnumbered lawmen back then.

Me: Let’s talk about the secret Duel and Jessie kept from you. How did you feel?

Marley: I was deeply hurt, confused, and angry that they let me believe I was their child all these years. I couldn’t fathom being won in a poker game. Did I mean so little? But then I came to see that I meant so much. Duel saved me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Even as hurt as I was, I couldn’t hate him. But for a while there, I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Me: Tell me about little Matthew and him calling you Mama Rose.

Marley grins big: That sweet, little boy has stolen my heart. He’s so sensitive and worries about everyone. The smallest things make him happy and the best part of my day is reading to him at bedtime.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear you write children’s stories and you read your own work to Matthew.

Marley: That’s correct. Writing stories that bring the children such enjoyment brings me great satisfaction and joy. The reward is seeing their faces light up.

Well, that’s all the time we had. I thanked Marley and left. She has an incredible story to tell in To Catch a Texas Star. It’s out now so grab a copy. I think you’ll like it.

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. 

The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people.

A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK     PINTEREST

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Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Full Texas Heroes Series

Five Runners-Up: Signed Copies of To Catch a Texas Star

 

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  July 3-12, 2018

 

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7/4/18

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7/5/18

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7/6/18

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7/7/18

Character Interview

7/8/18

Review

7/9/18

Playlist

7/10/18

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7/11/18

Author Interview

7/12/18

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Interview: Vivienne Lorret, author of HOW TO FORGET A DUKE {giveaway}

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Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I come from a long line of storytellers, all gathered around a huge harvest table at my grandparents’ house. On Sundays (when I was a child), my dad and uncles would tell story after story of all the mischief they got into when they were younger. As a young spy in training (my chosen profession at the time), I was a stealthy eavesdropper and found myself enthralled (and sometimes horrified) by their tales. Even so, I was hooked. A child story-addict. I guess I never outgrew it.  

What do you like to read in your free time?

Romantic comedies, mysteries, poetry, nutrition labels (I always have a good laugh over those), and the Starbucks menu.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently writing my 2019 release (book #3 in the Misadventures in Matchmaking series), tentatively titled THE ROGUE TO RUIN.

In addition, I’m putting together a proposal for a sub character in a previous book. I’ve received a slew of emails from readers, asking for Lord Holt’s book (he appeared in the novella, Just Another Viscount in Love). It’s such a wonderful blessing!

What do your plans for future projects include?

This December, TEN KISSES TO SCANDAL (book #2 of the Misadventures in Matchmaking series) will be available. And in October, I’ll be hosting a table at the Buns & Roses Tea for Literacy at the Hyatt in Richardson, Texas. So exciting! http://www.bunsandroses.org/

Fun Stuff…

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Well, I don’t think it’s strange, but I typically wear a black sweater (my son calls it my “writing cloak”), and I start off my day with two big mugs of chai tea. I’ve also been known to partake in the sacrificial ritual of the scone, on occasion.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Holding my breath while drinking water in a bent over position, from the opposite side of the glass. Works every time.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

I’d probably write the words “something funny” next to a smiley face. : )

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Thin mints, fresh or frozen.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

World domination.

This or That?

Tea or Coffee?  Tea, always.

Winter or Summer? Fall

TexMex or Italian? Italian

Chocolate or Vanilla?  There is only chocolate. What is this “vanilla” you mentioned?

Bond or Bourne? Bourne

Aboutthebook (1)

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All Jacinda Bourne wants is to find a bride for a handsome, enigmatic duke. There’s only one problem: she’s certain he’s hiding something. Determined to discover what it is, she travels to his crumbling cliffside estate. Yet, by the time she washes up on his beach, she can no longer remember who she is, or why the duke is so familiar to her. All she knows is that his kisses are unforgettable—and she intends to use every skill she can to discover what’s in his heart . . .

When Miss Bourne can’t remember what brought her to his ancestral home, The Duke of Rydstrom intends to keep it that way. Yet as the days pass, his true challenge will be safeguarding his secret while resisting this woman who—confound it all—may well be his perfect match.

Praise for HOW TO FORGET A DUKE

“Lorret’s Misadventures in Matchmaking series starter and print debut sparkles with wit and passion. … A smart, fun charmer!” —RT Book Reviews

“…captivating, passionate, well-crafted … Simply divine!” — Romance Junkies

“This book is absolutely going on my top 10 of the year list.” — Book Besties

“Full of laughter, passion and some characters that fairly leap off the page in their need to be understood and cheered on – this new series from Lorret is sure to please many this summer.” — I Am, Indeed


BUY THE BOOK BUTTON


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abouttheauthor (1)

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USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of The Wallflower Wedding series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall series, The Season’s Original series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. 

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Special Feature: Scrapbook Page – A BORROWED DREAM by Amanda Cabot {giveaway}

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A BORROWED DREAM

The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 2

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: March 20, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

 

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

 

CLICK FOR BOOK TRAILER ON ANIMOTO!

PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:

“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” — Booklist

“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” — RT Book Reviews

PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY: 

“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”Publishers Weekly

“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”RT Book Reviews

“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”Booklist 

 

CLICK TO ORDER ON:

Baker Book House  ┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com  ┃  Books-A-Million  ┃  Kobo
scrapbook page

Scrapbook A Borrowed Dream

 

IMAGES 1-3: Pictures from my most recent trip to Texas remind me of the beauty of the Hill Country.

IMAGE 4: Notre Dame – Looking at the scene that figures so prominently in Catherine’s dream helps me focus on the story.

IMAGE 5: Cimarron Creek Map – Who lives where? A map of the town is essential for me.

 

Cabot_Amanda

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

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THREE WINNERS

1ST: Copy of A Borrowed Dream, Novel Teas (25 count), Paddywax Library Collection Ralph Waldo Emerson Scented Soy Wax Candle, Cedar & Wild Fern (6.5oz)
2ND: Copy of A Borrowed Dream+ $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3RD: Copy of A Borrowed Dream+ $10 Starbucks Gift Card

APRIL 12-21, 2018

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Excerpt: DAM NATION: Bonnie and Clyde Series, Book 2 by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

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DAM NATION 

BOOK RELEASE BLITZ 

Bonnie and Clyde #2

by

CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL

 

Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 

Publisher: Pumpjack Press

Date of Publication: March 24, 2018

Number of Pages: 266

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE

 

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives.

 

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“A rollicking good read!” — Midwest Book Review

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EXCERPT

 

WHAT IF?

The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”

“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”

“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”

“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

 

       **********

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 

 

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BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION

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Review: BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE by Lorraine Heath {giveaway}

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BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE

Sins for All Seasons, Book 1

by

LORRAINE HEATH  

Genre: Historical / Regency Romance
Publisher: Avon

Date of Publication: January 30, 2018

Number of Pages: 320

Scroll down for the giveaway!

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . .

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

 

PRAISE FOR BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE:

“Heath builds a community of fascinating, intertwined characters that readers will be eager to get to know as they cheer for the driven hero and the spunky, smart heroine.” — Publishers Weekly

“RITA Award–winner Heath’s new Sins for All Seasons series is off to an impressive start with an unforgettable, emotionally charged love story that will dazzle and delight readers with its exquisitely crafted characters, deliciously sensual romance, and impeccably rendered historical setting.” — Booklist/ *STARRED* Review

 

“For the first book in the Sins for All Seasons series, Heath returns to the world of dark London — a world she understands as well as Dickens. Heath illuminates the city’s underbelly with a powerful romance of healing and redemption. Her talents for drawing readers into the era with her well-drawn, three dimensional characters and realistic dialogue sets her novels apart. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot guarantees it will be placed on your keeper shelf.” — RT Book Reviews/ “Top Pick” Review

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A satisfying story of love and revenge.
What is there NOT to love about this book!?! One of the best portrayals of a revenge romance trope I’ve ever read, wrapped up in a story of world where birthright means everything, and class distinction is never questioned.
Mick Trewlove is the bastard son of a duke, a man who sent him away to be raised as a commoner as an infant.  Despite his success in business, he still wants revenge against the man.  He plans to ruin the Duke’s legitimate son by stealing his fiance away.
Lady Aslyn Hastings has grown up as ward of the Duke, being orphaned in childhood.  She is betrothed to his son, and has always assumed this would be her fate, until she meets Mick Trewlove and finds herself unable to resist him.
Mick finds his plan at revenge at odds with his growing attraction to Lady Hastings.  He must decide whether love or revenge is most important, in the end.
I highly recommend BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE to lovers of a well-written historical romance.  This story has everything you’d expect from a regency romance, as well as the excellent storytelling by Lorraine Heath.  Can’t wait to see what the rest of the series brings!
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Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

 ║ Website ║ Facebook  Twitter   

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Author Spotlight: Margaret Brownley – CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS

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CHRISTMAS 
IN A COWBOY’S ARMS
with stories by
ROSANNE BITTNER, LINDA BRODAY, MARGARET BROWNLEY, 
LEIGH GREENWOOD, ANNA SCHMIDT, AMY SANDAS
  Genre: Romance Anthology / Western / Historical
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 512

Scroll down for the giveaway!

cover lo res Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms
 The Beating Heart of Christmas
In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from these bestselling authors.
Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and―most of all―love.
*Chick-a-Dee Christmas by Rosanne Bittner * The Christmas Stranger by Linda Broday * A Texas Ranger for Christmas by Margaret Brownley * Father Christmas by Leigh Greenwood * A Christmas Baby by Anna Schmidt * A Christmas Reunion by Amy Sandas*

PRAISE FOR CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS: 
“An emotional powerhouse! This classic historical western is destined for the “keeper” shelf.” RT Book Reviews, Top Pick for Rosanne Bittner

“Fun and sensual…great for fans of history, romance, and some good old Texas grit.” Kirkus for Linda Broday


“A great story by a wonderful author.” ― #1 New York Times bestselling author DEBBIE MACOMBER for Margaret Brownley


“Greenwood is a master at westerns.” RT Book Reviews for Leigh Greenwood


“The perfect read.” RT Book Reviews for Anna Schmidt


“A genuine page-turner…electric and absorbing.” Kirkus for Amy Sandas
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author story spotlight

MARGARET BROWNLEY, AUTHOR OF A TEXAS RANGER FOR CHRISTMAS

Included in Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms Anthology

About A Texas Ranger for Christmas:

Texas Ranger Cole Bradshaw would gladly risk it all for the woman he loves. If only he could gain her trust…
Sadie: Anyone I should notify? A wife?”

Cole: (recovering from a bullet wound) “Not married.”

Sadie: “If you’re smart, mister, you’ll keep it that way.”

                                      – A Texas Ranger for Christmas/”Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms”

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INTERVIEW WITH MARGARET BROWNLEY

 

Why did you choose to write romance?

I love writing romance novels because every theme known to mankind can be explored through the action of two people falling in love. I also like that romance lends itself to every possible sub-genre from paranormal to thrillers, and many of my western romances include mysteries.  I also love writing happy endings and what’s a romance without a “happily ever after”?

 

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I like to tackle serious themes with humor.  A Texas Ranger for Christmas is about learning to trust again after devastating loss.

 

How has Texas influenced your writing?

Everything about Texas is big and bold and that’s how it must be written.  Just using the Lone Star state as a setting makes me want to write characters that are big and bold, too.

 

Where did your love of reading come from?

I grew up in the dark ages without computers, cell phones or video games.  Our main entertainment was books.  My late-night habit of reading under the covers with a flashlight caused me to fall asleep in school. This made teachers wonder about my health. I didn’t know it at the time, but all that reading taught me the elements of good storytelling and helped me to better understand human nature.

 

What cultural value do you see in books?

Readers are exposed to many different viewpoints, cultures and ideas. I’m convinced that is the best way to learn tolerance.  Unfortunately, screen time has replaced reading and I believe that’s one of the reasons free speech is now in danger.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the willingness to listen to each other has declined in recent years along with book sales.  Books have a way of teaching us to be more open-minded, and they do it in the most delightful way.

 

What does your perfect writing spot look like? Is that what your ACTUAL writing spot looks like?

My perfect writing spot would be an office smack dab in the middle of a beach.  My actual writing spot is in my Monet purple office, surrounded by research books and seated on a balance ball chair.  This way I can convince myself that I’m actually exercising while I write.

From my window I can see the Santa Susanna mountains where many old-time westerns were filmed, including Duel in the Sun, Bonanza and The Lone Ranger.  I swear that sometimes when the light is right, you can see a cowboy riding off into the sunset.  It’s a relief to know that according to a University of Minnesota study, a chaotic work space encourages originality and thinking outside the box.  I can now happily forget about cleaning my office.  

What projects are you working on at present?

Right now, I’m working on a new series, “Haywire Brides.” Cowboy Charm School is the first book and it will be out in the summer of 2018.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

New York Times bestselling author MARGARET BROWNLEY has penned more than forty novels and novellas. Margaret is a two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap.  She is currently working on a new series.  Not bad for someone who flunked eighth-grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

Rosanne Bittner
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Margaret Brownley

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12/6/17 Spotlight on Linda Margie’s Must Reads
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Review: TOO FAR DOWN by Mary Connealy {giveaway}

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TOO FAR DOWN
Cimarron Legacy Book 3

by
MARY CONNEALY
  Genre: Western Historical Christian Romance
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 322

Scroll down for the giveaway!

With Danger Drawing Ever Closer, The Boden Clan Risk Losing Their Ranch Forever

Having returned home to the ranch, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back east and appreciating all that New Mexico Territory offers. Sure, he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys his new job running the mine and, when he’s honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.

Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone, particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who can’t seem to make up his mind about staying in New Mexico.
When a deadly explosion damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them. Melanie is determined to help Cole and the family finally put an end to the danger that’s threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm’s way be more dangerous than anyone expected?
PRAISE FOR TOO FAR DOWN
“Connealy crafts relatable characters who will inspire readers with their love, loyalty, and fortitude, and the mystery remains intriguing until the end.” Publishers Weekly 
“Recommended for those who enjoy a fast, smart historical-set suspense.” RT Book Reviews
CLICK TO PURCHASE
 
Review

A fine blend of suspense, action and romance, all wrapped up in classic Western fashion.

Cole Boden might have been raised on the Cimarron Ranch, but he left that behind for Harvard and a refined life on the East Coast.  Family duty has begrudgingly brought him back home to the New Mexico Territory and his new endeavor owning and running the gold mines on the family property.  Until he spends time with Mel, that is…Melanie Blake is the daughter of successful ranch owner, and a lifelong friend to the Boden family.  She’s 100 percent cowgirl, but finds herself falling for “city boy”, Cole.
The Boden family is fighting to save their ranch, and their lives from an outside threat.  Mel is determined to help Cole save his family, even if it means putting herself in harm’s way.
Another hit by Mary Connealy.  The story has the perfect amount of action and suspense to keep the pages turning. The story picks up after the Boden family has been targeted by kidnappers and several members of the family shot, in multiple attempts at their lives.  Cole is trying to make his way in back home by running the mine when the “bad guys” blow it up and try to shut it down.  The romance picks up naturally and develops as the two characters work together to find out who is fixed on ruining the Boden family and taking Cimarron Ranch.
I enjoyed getting to know the Boden family, and the romance between the main characters.  I did feel a little lost at the beginning, not having read the first two books, since I didn’t know much about what transpired previously or about the other Boden family members.  I’d suggest grabbing the first two books, because it looks like I missed some good stuff there!
I highly recommend TOO FAR DOWN to lovers of great Western romances.  You’ll be flipping those pages faster than a prairie fire with a tail wind!

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

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Interview: Joanna Davidson Politano, Author of LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS

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LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS

by
JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO
  Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 416
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When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet house guest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance—and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

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Praise for Lady Jayne Disappears:

“Emotional. Intriguing. Both haunting and romantic. . . In her historical fiction debut, Joanna Davidson Politano delivers a smart plot that navigates twists and turns with a mixture of wit, intelligent characters, and a refreshingly original voice. Reminiscent of Dickens’ classic storytelling, Lady Jayne Disappears is a debut to remember!”
Kristy Cambron, author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice

“Wonderfully unique, this compelling debut grabs you from the first intriguing line. The evocative English setting, textured characters, literary theme, and unusual romance make Lady Jayne Disappears a standout, the lovely cover offering a hint of the gem within. A must read!”
Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

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AuthorInterview

Why did you choose to write in your particular sub-genre?

I write historical novels because I dearly love family histories and vintage settings. It’s strongly applicable to our modern hearts even with a historical setting because humanity changes so little through time. The small nuances that have changed make for a fresh scene to paint the story.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love that it was so unexpected! I sat down to write this book for fun as a new stay-at-home mom when my daughter napped, and I never intended to publish it. I just thought I’d take every element I ever wanted to write into a story and use the writing voice and tone I loved, even if no one else ever read it. That gave me such freedom to simply enjoy this book’s unfolding. I didn’t set out with a plot or outline, only a small nugget of an idea that formed around the characters as they appeared on the scene. I truly delighted in every line of this book.

What are some day jobs that you have held? Did any of them impact your writing?

I used to be a medical writer for a pharmaceutical company. It’s odd to think it influenced my writing of historical fiction novels, but it certainly did! After eight or so years typing up sentences to describe clinical trials and reagent testing, all this color and creativity came bursting out of me onto the page with more energy than I ever could have written had I not bottled it up for so long to attend to my day job.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Future books will likely include a hint of each of my favorite story elements—big old houses, shadowy mysteries, quirky and enjoyable heroines, and a love story. Victorian England is the setting for everything currently in the works, and the next two include a vineyard and a countess.

How important are names to you in your books?

Selecting names is like nibbling on chocolate for me—it’s my treat! I delight in crafting the name that best portrays each character and what has shaped them. I want the name to trigger an image of the character, presenting both their physical and internal traits. It should be so specific to the character who bears it that the reader will immediately recall who is being discussed when a certain name appears on the page.

 

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her on her website.

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Review: LOVING LUTHER by Allison Pittman

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LOVING LUTHER

by
ALLISON PITTMAN
  Genre: Christian Historical Romance 
Publisher: Tyndale House
Date of Publication: September 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 432
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Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her. 

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows–a choice more practical than pious–but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.


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Praise for Loving Luther

[Pittman] pens an exquisite tale, capturing the emotions of a nun grappling with the faith she’s always known vs. a new and unfamiliar freedom in faith.  Simmering with tension of Katharina’s discontent and longings, the novel unveils a slow morphing that follows Katharina’s own personal transformation, from reverence to spirited determination in choosing her own way in the world. — Booklist
 
Loving Luther is a moving and rich historical romance based on Luther’s relationship with his wife Katharina.  In addition, it shows how their marriage was actually significant to the Lutheran faith.  Instead of dwelling on the couple’s courtship, the story goes deep into the roots of the Reformation.  Luther and Katharina interrogate their faith, living out their convictions in a way that is both inspiring and profoundly human.  Loving Luther has depth, and it is unexpectedly touching.  Katharina and Luther, in search of a happy ending, find one another.  Their love, Pittman shows, really did change the world. — Foreword Magazine
 
A historical novel with characters who are brave, strong and willing to take chances in times of persecution.  The plot is partially based on the teachings of Martin Luther and the many lives he changed, some for the better, some for the worse.  Pittman is a talented author who touches on topics that have been debated over the decades and are still being talked about today. — Romantic Times Reviews

Fascinating Historical Romantic Tale of one of history’s less-known heroines during The Reformation

Katharina Von Bora would one day become the wife of the Master of Reformation, Martin Luther, but the story of how she got there is a less-known tale.  

Upon her mother’s death at an early age, her father left her at a convent to be raised in the Faith by the nuns of the Order.  She was cloistered and taught the ways of the Catholic church, bonding with many of the Sisters of the convent.  As was expected, she took her vows at sixteen and joined the Order, despite questions and doubts.  

She happens upon a bit of parchment with translated scripture upon it, written by the outcast Martin Luther, and even though she is forbidden to read them, she takes them, and takes the words to heart.  This begins a reformation of her own being, and before long, she has left the convent and her vows.  The rest of the book tells the story of her relationship with Luther and role in the Reformation movement, by his side.  It is a wonderful story of faith, love and loyalty.

I recommend this book to historical fiction readers who like the glimpse at what the life of lesser-known heroes and heroines who supported large movements in history and larger historical characters.  Well-done.

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives near San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.
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