Friday, February 27, 2015

13 Year Old Me's Writer Kit

I was trying to find a picture of 13 year old me. HAHA!!! I lucked out and couldn't find one. ;) Besides. I had poodle hair. You don't need to see that. Ever.

Well, dear ones, this was a really strange week. Not at all what I pictured. An announcement that fell flatter than a frisbee, sick kiddos, a work trip to Chicago, and a trip down memory lane to my first book, and you know what was the coolest part? YOU! One of my writing sisters reminded me of how blessed I am, to be surrounded by readers who really care about me, and pray for me. Do you know how special that is? It's CRAZY special. Really. So thank you, for all the encouragement this week. I'm going out of this week with JOY.

But before I go, I want to give away a writer's kit that 13 year old me would've put together if you'd told me you needed something to get YOUR writing career started.



  • Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly. This is a must in any 13 yr old's repertoire of read material. It was the first inspirational fiction novel I ever read. Every library should have one. You need one too. (your choice paperback or e-book)
  • Coffee. Because even at 13 it was a standard in my life.
  • Popcorn. Every kid needs popcorn to write with.
  • Peppermints, because it was the only candy my health conscious parents had in the house (you do what you have to, I guess)
  • A notepad was my go-to. I wrote my first novel on a vintage typewriter from 1930, so it wasn't exactly portable, you know?
  • And colored pens, because life just isn't life with out them!
Okey dokey, everyone!! Have a stupendous weekend and Choose Joy because Jesus Chose YOU!

RANDOM RAFFLECOPTER WINNER of Dani Pettrey's book: LAURIE TOMLINSON


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_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Novel by a 13 yr. Old

Well, as I continue this little weeklong trip down writing memory lane, I dug up my first manuscript that I started at the age of thirteen and finished at fifteen. I know I told you I was going to post never-before-seen snippets but oh my gosh!! THIS IS AWFUL!! LOL

Really. It's awful. 

After an already roller-coaster week of writing emotions, do you really want to fall into the recesses of a thirteen year old's mind?

Ok.

Here it goes... this is the paragraph "Hook" I wrote. (A "hook" is what a writer composes to tell someone in usually 25 words or less what their book is about).


Set in the late years of the nineteenth century, Ellen struggles to survive in the historical setting of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with its strong German ancestry.  Responsible not only for herself, but her orphaned, mute brother, Ellen searches to uncover the history of her mother’s past.  Her heart, broken and embittered by the tragic accident that took the lives of her family, must embark on a journey of healing and faith – learning that the Lord’s grace is sufficient.

Eeesh.

Here's some excerpts ... because I know you're dying to see them:

"What I wouldn't give for a full mirror!  Ellen moaned inwardly, turning the small hand mirror she held at different angles to survey her hair.  She set it with a disgruntled thud on the small wash stand and set to work buttoning her new white blouse with the small lace collar.  She had made it special for this evening when they attended the long awaited church social.  As Ellen grasped the buttonhook and buttoned her brown shoes, she yearned for the gray ones she had seen in the mercantile window.  She wanted to look her best, not quite understanding the urgency behind her thoughts.  Still, she had to content herself with the old shoes she had worn every day for the last two years.  Even though her toes were pinched, Ellen tried not to complain, for Mama and her older brother Kurt, did their very best to provide for the small family.  If Papa had not died three years before of pneumonia, things may have been easier, but . . ."


Don't judge ... here's more:

"The ladies brought forth bolts of material from a side room and unrolled them enough to drape them across Ellen’s shoulder and beneath her chin.  They nodded at the various colors.  Pink seemed to be a popular one that they all, including Frau Bhaer, approved of.  Pink!  It’s so impractical!  I’ve never worn pink.  But, it’s so pretty!  Ellen argued with herself, feeling as if she should be protesting instead of getting wrapped in the excitement of the moment.  A bolt of gray silk was held to her face.  Each lady clicked her tongue and Frau Shultz motioned the bolt to be taken away from Ellen.  She, instead, reached for a green plaid bolt, and draped it across Ellen’s shoulder, then laid a delicate strip of handmade lace with it.  She cocked Ellen’s head to the side with her hand, then back the other way.  Finally, Frau Shultz nodded and whipped the material and lace from Ellen’s shoulder.“Perfect!” She surprised Ellen by exclaiming in English."


And one more:

Disbelief overcame Ellen and she sagged against the wall. 
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” she asked in a whisper.  Aunt Suzanne looked at her, her face the picture of defeat.  “Yes, I am serious.  I am not a good environment for you or especially, for Peter Frederick.  Gretchen may have ripped this family apart, but she always had something I didn’t.  You need to continue in the way of that something.  That’s what your mother intended.”
“Mama had God, Aunt Suzanne.  She had God.”
“It’s something I will never have.”
“But - you can.  I - “
“Ellen, go.  Tell Peter Frederick your good news and leave me be.  I have wired my lawyer.  You can be home within the month if you would like.”


Ellen could not help the smile that entered her eyes and brought her mouth into a wide grin.  “I can go home?” she grew excited as the reality of what her aunt had said began to dawn.

“Yes.”

Well, there you have it. Complete in all its horrific glory. No editing. Not even the formatting (with the exception of italics). It's scary to revisit your first book. But it's fun too. Like visiting an old friend.

SO tomorrow?? Tomorrow I'll introduce you to a 13 yr. old's writers kit ... one you can win. :) And guess what, I have joy today!! Do you??

_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

13 Yr Old Me, Meet, 38 Yr Old Me

25 years. It's a long time. I remember thinking my mom was sooooo old at 40. Crud. I'm on my way to being ... old.

But it all started back when I was 13. Creative writing class came, along with pictures I was given around which to compose a story. And then ... the red pen.

I was so frustrated. Who would dare to squelch a child's creativity with a red pen? How rude and tactless and outright horrifying that they didn't understand the meaning behind every word I'd poured onto the paper. Yep. Even at 13 I was a tad feisty. Still am at 38.

So my Dad pulled me aside to try to teach me how to write. I was to write a story about an old white oak tree and the mice who lived beneath it.

Jane was born. And Sally. The mice.

William the Oak Tree.

All was right in my world.

And then ... Dad's red pen.

WHAT?!?!?!

They're NAMES! Just NAMES! But no, my very first serious lesson in taking criticism was to learn, sometimes someone will show you something you didn't know existed. In this case, it was matching names with words that would resemble the personality of each mouse and of the wise old oak.

Tenacity was born. Felicity was born.

Whitey the White Oak. (well, I tried)

And a story evolved with a feisty little mouse full of felicity and her brothers as they dared to venture into the big wide world beneath the branches of the ever-seeing Whitey the White Oak, whose all-knowing nature was oddly allegorical to God's.

And that was when I knew ... when it all clicked ... I was born to be a writer. I was born to love the red pen and the things it would teach me. I was born to learn to Tenacity in my journey, and Felicity as I maneuvered the pitfalls, disappointments, and frustrations in the writing volume of my life.

It would be two years before I set my pen to paper to write my first novel ... and ... oh wait ... that comes tomorrow ;)

AND I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU!!! All of you blessed me so much yesterday! I felt so awful not sharing news with you, but you know what, that was a part of the Lord's plan. It really was. Because so many of you jumped up to cheer me up and I was blessed on a day where so much more than the pause button went wrong ... I'm in Chicago, my Peter Pan was shipped to Gramma's with a fever and doctor visit, my Coco called me at 5 yrs old crying because she was at Nanny's the other gramma's house and "couldn't take care of Buddy and Daddy", Nate was home sicker than a dog, I got locked out of my hotel room, didn't get coffee until 10:30 am and .... we've all had days like his. COMMUNITY is such a blessing, because in the chaos, I was held up. Love you all!

And remember, it's just "Pause", so hopefully, in the near future, I can go all crazy on you again ;)

Meanwhile, what was your first story or first favorite read??


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When Dreams ... Hit Pause????

So.....this was not how this morning was supposed to be. All my hoopla, all my narcissistic, pump up the excitement, Facebook posters, my pre-written newsletter scheduled to go out at 6 AM this morning, and blog post scheduled to post at 6:30 am...

Nope. This was NOT expected.

At 4:00 PM, yesterday afternoon I received an email. A "hit pause" sort of email. A BIG PAUSE button. Things may change. "Don't say anything yet. It wouldn't be prudent." I don't want to be prudent. This news, this amazing dream I've always had and you can probably guess, just got deflated like the biggest hot air balloon. And in accordance with all things in the publishing world, I can't say much about it.

Most of you who visit here are readers. So I'm inviting you into the sneak peek of the world of a writer's disappointment. Plainly put, my big "announcement" is on hold because of some major shifts in the industry. We're waiting to see if the "Play" button is pushed or if it's just a big, red "The End" before it begins button.

To be honest, it hurts. It's disappointing. Sort of like that lead ball that hits the pit of your stomach and you just go ... well, crud.

Sorry to disappoint you all today. :( I feel like I've let you all down.

But two things, I definitely know:

1. Nothing happens as a surprise to the Lord. I've had my dream in the palm of my hand since I was 13, and my hand has always been open for Him to move it. I don't clench my fist. I leave it open.

2. The party MUST go on! Why? Because I love parties and gosh darn I'm going to have one!!

So what am I celebrating? The UNKNOWN! And you! Because without all of you, I'd be lonely. You all make my life so much fun and filled with blessing. So...tomorrow I'm going to tell you the story of how I started writing when I was 13, just as I'd planned. And the next day, I am going to show you never-before-seen-snippets of the first novel I ever wrote ... at 13. And then Friday, I'm still going to give away the fun little package I'd planned to give away.

A 13 yr. old's writerly beginners kit:

1. Coffee (no duh)
2. A journal (because typewriters weren't portable when I was 13)
3. Colored pens, 'cause who doesn't want those?
4. Popcorn which is my go-to snack
5. Peppermints because they just demand to be the follow up to some good popcorn

These are the items that kept me writing at 13. These are the items that will keep me writing ... until "Play" is hit.


Prayers appreciated, my friends.


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Romancing the Cowboy, Why Not?

I was raised on Johnny Cash, John Wayne, and Louis L'Amour.
Coon hunters. Deer hunters. Trappers. Elk, moose, and bear hunters.
Little House on the Prairie and Christy. Anne of Green Gables and Janette Oke.


So what if my heroes have the air of the heroes of my past?
My husband knows I wax romantic over the icon of a cowboy.
Logical? Nope. Realistic? Nope. (and believe it or not I'm a realist, INTJ).
[don't mistake the following for a quick-pass over real pain, I'm not talking about nonfiction]
So why the romance?

My epiphany?

Because romance lets us tell the stories.
Stories of pain.
Romance overlooks the reality that some stories are too painful to tell.
Romance is victory over that pain and the truth of ugliness and sin.
Without romance, the pain wins and the story is so often lost and not retold.
To that I say, oh death where is thy sting?
Maybe the definition of romance for some is too false to hold the truth.
But for me, romance triumphs.
It tells the truth with hope.
It finds the beauty beyond the pain.
It finds love.
Love victorious.
And I believe in that.
Else what could I ground my reality on other than Love?
Oh death, oh pain, where is thy sting? Ha!
I tell my story.
I tell my hope.
I tell my victory.

And if my story has a cowboy hat,
a horse,
a strong man who knows pain,
a woman who faces her life,
ready to find love?

Well.....
"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."~~Alfred Lord Tennyson

So, whatever tale you have lived, how ever much pain you have wrestled, tell it.
Tell it, if the truth you still believe is that God is in His heaven, Jesus was more than a man,
and His glory somehow breathed into your story....by His romance with you.

So, girl, put your records on.
Man, cowboy up.
Don't be afraid to romance it.
But never stop telling it.
Never stop believing.

Because the truth is, romance, believing our dreams and hopes, takes courage.
And there's something in that that breeds admiration.
And there's just enough "Anne with an e" in me
that refuses to give up on believing in the beauty of romance.
Because in the words of The Duke:

Readers: 
What's your all-time favorite cowboy movie?
Who is your favorite hero?
Heroine?

-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Report: Sabotaged, by Dani Pettrey

Today is a bittersweet day, as I post my last and final review of the McKenna siblings. I have enjoyed every moment of the Alaskan Courage 5 book series, by Dani Pettrey, and in Sabotaged, she goes out with a blaze of .... snow.

Sabotaged finally brings Reef home. The bad boy, prodigal son of the McKenna siblings. And he goes head to head with his childhood nemesis Kirra as they're tossed together to save her cousin and their cherished home of Alaska.

The chemistry between Reef and Kirra was fantastic, and yet I love how Dani stays true to suspense and doesn't focus solely on that. The story drives you forward with pitfall after dangerous situation after breathtaking scenery and icy cold shivers. You can almost see the dog team and feel their thick fur. The snow encrusts in your mind as you travel with Reef and Kirra through snow drifts, fly on a puddle jumper, head for a morning cup of coffee.

I am not disappointed in Sabotage, not even a little bit. I am however disappointed that this beautiful series and family has finally closed its cover.

What would you want to do if you visited Alaska? And don't forget to enter to win YOUR copy!



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_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Something's A-Stirrin'...



Something's happening ...
it's coming ...
Tuesday, February 24th ... to COFFEE CUPS & CAMISOLES.

In the meantime, take part in the pre-announcement fun with a GIVEAWAY at: Jaime's Facebook page! And sign-up here to get the early morning announcement before the blog posts! :)  http://jaimewrightbooks.com


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Reading #50ShadesOfGrey Changed Me

Fifty Shades of Grey has changed me.

I know, I know, rant all you want. It's evil, it's abusive, it's smut ... but it has changed me. And yes, I did read the book. I'm a firm believer that when I form a strong, black and white opinion, I must know what I'm forming it about. I don't necessarily recommend this for everyone, but in this case, I wanted a foundation to build my opinion on. And I found it. Which is why, in spite of its sordid content, and while not to herald it, this book changed me.

Fifty has reintroduced me to true love in a way I never thought possible. I've been married for 15 years and in that time, we lost three of our children, endured the fright of the NICU, battled postpartum depression, warred with PMDD (not sure what that is? Picture PMS on steroids), traversed the minefields of insomnia, experienced the bitterness of some nasty arguments, and even fought to survive the horrors of snoring in the middle of the night. And yet, he is still with me. He has given me the freedom to live, to express myself, to be independent not of him so much, but to enjoy the adventure of having my own thoughts, dreams, and opinions. He has pushed me forward to experience my hopes. He has held me up when I've collapsed on the floor in a sobbing mess of brokenness. He has tucked me gently into bed and held me as I wept myself into exhaustion. Yes, Fifty has shown me the stark the opposite of this. The horrific domination of a selfish man. My husband pierces my soul with his intensely devoted love. My eyes are open, my love, you are a hero.

Fifty has reminded me of my womanhood. I am strong. I believe and I believe hard and steadfast. I have opinions, and they are valuable. I have faith, and it is right and it is good. God has given me a mind, a body, a beauty, that is my own, defined in Him. He created me in His image, therefore, I am precious. I have the right to stand in His strength, I have the privilege to live in the reflection of His glory, I am intricately made to be me. I am woman. I am wanted. There is no necessity to conform to another's manipulations, control, opinion, dominance, or abuse. I submit only to my Creator and to the lines of leadership He has placed in my life. Leadership that does not abuse, but values. Woman is beautiful.

Fifty has reminded me of my daughter. Her innocence and purity. Her desire to live with her brother forever and ever and never leave her daddy. Of the importance to surround her with men who value her, protect her, teach her how to stand, how to value who God made her to be, how to be a leader and a fighter for that which she believes. To be a woman of faith coupled with a grasp of the strength given to her by her Lord, to guard herself, and those around her. I rise and up and call you blessed, oh sweet one, for tomorrow this world will attempt to break you. But you are a soldier for the King, His princess, and a warrior of grace.

Fifty  has reminded me of all that I have been blessed with. In the wake of gray, I find beautiful, blazing white. Blinding my eyes and astounding me with glory. God has magnificently designed His perfection.

I will never promote Fifty in all its oppressive, disrespectful, dishonoring insult. I will never urge a woman to read it, or suggest a man take his wife to view it. But I will stand and say, in the shadows of darkness, a magnificent light can shine. It can bring to remembrance the beauty of blessing. It can reignite thankfulness for the man I have married who honors me. It can show me, all the more powerfully, that God can take my sickening, disgusting, pitiful humanity and redeem it into something precious.

_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Anne's Recipe Swap: Baked Oatmeal

Yes, I love to take pics of my food creations. We've already established that Jaime takes selfies and I take food pics: see My Food Pic Addiction Post

I've been asked to share my Baked Oatmeal Recipe by several readers. Around my area in Northern Indiana, baked Oatmeal is known as an Amish or Mennonite dish. We often have large pans of baked oatmeal served at our breakfast potlucks at church. And my favorite is drowning it in yummy vanilla pudding sauce that I'm sure is a secret recipe from one of the church ladies on the hostess committee. I've yet to commandeer it, but I'm on a mission!


Anne's Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups milk (I use rice milk)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 pear
4 tbsp butter (I use Kerrygold Irish butter)

Directions: 
Spray a 8 or 9 inch baking dish with olive oil spray. Dice a pear into the dish.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix milk, eggs, vanilla in another bowl, add melted butter to this mixture. Pour over the pears in the dish.

Bake at 325 F for 40 minutes, or until the center is done and no longer wet on a cake tester.

Serves 6.
Serve with raisins, brown sugar, milk, nuts or vanilla pudding sauce.

Reheats well.

I've used instant oats once, that worked fine. I've also tried it once with nonGMO steel cut oats, but I'll have to keep perfecting it with that. It made it much thicker and took much longer to bake. I think I will need to reduce the amount of oats from 2 cups to 1 1/2, and also try soaking it in the wet mixture for 5-15 minutes before baking next time around. You may also use almond milk in place of rice milk, both are very good.

Readers: Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Another one you'd like from me? Something new you've tried recently?
-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter
Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary

Monday, February 16, 2015

Our Winner!



We have a winner!!!! 

Congratulations to Lanna Foley Webb! You are the winner of the Homestead Brides Themed Gift Basket!!!

Thank you to all of you who entered and who followed the blog tour. Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogs.

Stay tuned for some really cool news that will be coming here to CC&C in the next few weeks. We'll be giving away books and coffee and throwing lots of confetti!


Friday, February 13, 2015

The last day to enter and BIG NEWS!!!!!

Erica here:

Today, dear friends, is the last day to enter the Homestead Brides Giveaway! 


And, because it's Friday, I'm going to share some super-cool news with you!

This summer, July 1st, to be exact, my novel The Cactus Creek Challenge releases. And here is the cover art:



Here's a little bit about the story:

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.

I have to tell you, writing this book was a HOOT! There is a mischievous pair of twins that are so funny! I remember telling Jaime about this book when I was first starting to write it, and she paid me the extreme compliment of saying a few days later, she was hunting around her house for that book because it sounded like such fun to read.

And in other news:  In just three weeks, a prequel to The Cactus Creek Challenge releases. And...it's FREE!


The Legend of Obadiah Wilder: The Glorious Defeat of the Dickenson Gang will release on March 1st as a free ebook download. 


Obadiah Wilder is the father of the main character in Cactus Creek, and this is the story of the exploits that made him one of the most famous lawmen in Texas.



We're going to be doing some fun giveaways with both of these releases. I hope that you'll come back and take part. For now, there's still a few hours to enter the Homestead Brides Giveaway. 

Who is your favorite Fictional Cowboy?



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Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Homestead Valentine



Erica here: Many thanks to Carla Olson Gade for pulling this blog post together at the last minute when one of our authors had to recuse herself from the tour due to looming deadlines. :) 



Promises of free land lured thousands to stake their claim to the vast American plains. They built make-do homes and put all they had into improving the land. Through nine historical romance adventures, readers of The Homestead Brides Collection will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.

With Valentine’s Day upon us, the authors of this collection wish to give you an introduction you to our romantic couples and their stories. 




The last thing Iz McBride expects to find when he returns home to his Texas ranch is a pregnant wife. Apparently, his pregnant wife. Yet everyone in Creed Creek seems to love Cora McBride. The only trouble is, she’s an imposter. Now Iz must decide whether to evict the woman or marry her.



Marta Vogel’s fiancĂ© left over a year ago to claim land in Oklahoma, and she is tired of his excuses that keep her from joining him. Karl Reinhart is locked in a bitter land dispute. When Marta arrives uninvited and unannounced, her presence is more than a trifling distraction. She just may cause him to lose everything.


Julia Farrington arrives at a Nebraska homestead as hired seamstress for an upcoming wedding. Cyrus Haskell is content being a widowed father and doesn’t need to be distracted by who he considers a high-falutin’ city girl—until a natural disaster puts her worth to the test.


Starr Matthews arrives at her Texas homestead only to find it already claimed by a widower and his children, who have been praying for a mother. Starr has money, but she has no skills; while Aaron Conrad has the homesteading skills, but no money for supplies. 


Caught in an early blizzard, orphan Mollie Jameson is frantic to make it to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim land her father homesteaded six months ago. If she can’t get there in time, her family will be homeless. Then in steps a foot-loose and fancy-free cowboy willing to help them along the trail, but can they trust him to race for the land office with their deed?




Jack O’Donnell storms onto the Nebraska homestead determined to take his widowed mother back East with him. But he finds her fit and determined to stay; plus she has taken a pregnant widow—rumored to be crazy—under her wing who wouldn’t survive without his mother’s help.



Elsa Lindquist applies her scientific theories to growing trees on the Nebraska plains, intruding on a handsome homesteader’s hard work and experience. Will their dreams come to ruin, or will love prove their success?




Rick Eady grew up knowing how to make do with little, while America Barton grew up having plenty. When they secure claims near each other in the Oklahoma Land Rush, Rick often comes to the aide of the inept Barton family and their pretty daughter.



Widow Elle Winter meets new homesteader Colin Samuelson on the Nebraska prairie, but the attraction between them is soon dampened by the discovery that they have seven children between them. Soon their children are working against them to bring the two families together.


Be sure to pick up a copy of The Homestead Brides Collection. And don’t forget to follow our blog tour and enter our gift basket giveaway!



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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Homestead Brides Collection's Debut Author!!!

Erica here:


Did you know that The Homestead Brides Collection features a DEBUT Author?  
Yep, and it's the delightful Becca Whitham (pronounce Witt-um)

Becca is blogging today at http://becca-expressions.blogspot.com/



And there are only a couple more days to enter the giveaway! So hop on over to Becca's blog, then be sure to enter the giveaway. I want to be able to mail this gift basket to YOU!!!!





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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Homestead Brides Giveaway ~ Guest Blogger Kathleen Y'Barbo

Today's guest blogger is the lovely Kathleen Y'barbo! She was gracious enough to submit to an interview by Jaime, where she talks about her newest book, Firefly Summer, and her novella in the Homestead Brides Collection.  So, without further ado, here are Jaime and Kathleen:

1.       So tell us what first inspired you to write your current book?

I'm working on FIREFLY SUMMER, a Southern romance set in a town very much like the one where I grew up. One day I was visiting my mother and she said something that made me stop and say wait! There's a book in that! Here's what she said (keeping in mind my mother is 80!): "If I were going to find a man again, he'd have to either quilt or sing because the only two places I ever go is to choir and Quilt Guild."

2.       Who is your most favorite character (and yes, you HAVE to pick one J)

That's easy. My favorite is always one I'm writing at the time. Right now it's Sessa Lee Chambers from FIREFLY SUMMER. She was a young widow who raised a son alone and is now raising her granddaughter. I love that she's strong and yet loving. It's a nice balance. Oh, and did I mention her hero is a rodeo cowboy/doctor?
3.       Is there a spiritual element or thread you hope your readers to catch as they read?

Always! In The Bogus Bride of Creed Creek from HOMESTEAD BRIDES (in stores now), my heroine tries to get ahead of God's plan and creates a bigger mess than the one she was already in. I love it that I can show readers not only what happens when we mess up but also what happens when God comes in and fixes things.
4.       Where are you at in your writing career? Published, not published, searching, unsure?

Published. I'm closing in on 60 books with almost 2 million copies of my books in print. This is my 15th year as a published author.
5.       Favorite color and why?
 Blue. It's the color of the Texas sky on a pretty day. And it matches my eyes.

6.       Favorite restaurant?

Larry's French Market in Groves, Texas. It used to be a grocery story and now it's an authentic Cajun restaurant. 

7.       On our blog, Erica constantly tries to introduce the concept of tea drinking. So, are you in her camp, or do you side with Anne and I as bonafide coffee drinkers?
 I'm going to have to go with Erica and say I'm a tea drinker. I alternate between Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple and this great Chai tea that I make with Oolong tea bags and almond milk. 
Erica here: YAY for tea drinkers!!! I raise my teacup to you, Kathleen!
8.       Tell us about the last thing that scared you to pieces

Getting married again after seven years of being a single mom. If God hadn't been all over every part of the process from arranging how we met to arranging how we married, I would have happily stayed single. However, I'm thrilled that I was given the chance to spend the rest of my life with this man. In October, it'll be five years--and counting!
9.       Your favorite all-time cartoon as a kid and what was it about it that you liked so much?

I loved the Jetsons. I figured by the time I was old enough to drive I'd have one of those flying cars, too. I'm still wishing for the machine that pops out a completely cooked meal.

10.   They call me the Selfie Queen which sounds terribly self-absorbed. So can you save my reputation and share the honor by posting a selfie here? J



Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than fifty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and Book of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

Kathleen is a paralegal, a proud military wife, and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. Connect with her through social media at www.kathleenybarbo.com.

Homestead Brides, a historical romance collection from Barbour Publishing, is in stores now: http://www.amazon.com/Homestead-Brides-Collection-Pioneering-Couples/dp/1630586862
Erica Here: Isn't Kathleen great? Give her a shout out here, and don't forget to enter the gift-basket giveaway!


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