Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Small-Town Bride {+ Giveaway}


I’m delighted to be participating in the author Hope Ramsay’s A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE Release Week Blitz.

As part of the blitz, the author is sharing an excerpt from her new book along with a Top 5 List. In addition, you have the chance to win one of ten (10) mass market copies of A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE being given away throughout release week. Please see the end of the post for more details.

◊ Title: A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE
◊ Author: Hope Ramsay
◊ Series: Chapel of Love, #2
◊ On Sale: March 28, 2017
◊ Publisher: Forever
◊ Mass Market: $7.99 USD
◊ eBook: $5.99 USD

Be sure to add A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE to your bookshelf on Goodreads.
The second book in USA Today bestselling author Hope Ramsay's Chapel of Love contemporary romance series about a small-town wedding chapel is perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Sherryl Woods.

Amy Lyndon is tired of being the Poor Little Rich Girl of Shenandoah Falls. In her prominent family, she's the ordinary one - no Ivy League education and no powerful career. But when her father tries to marry her off, she knows it's finally time to stand up for herself, despite the consequences. Now that she's cut off from the family fortune, her first challenge is to fight her attraction to her handsome new boss.
          When Amy shows up looking for work with his landscaping crew, Dusty McNeil thinks there's no way such a pampered princess will ever get her hands dirty. But as Amy proves him wrong and gets down to the nitty gritty, Dusty's admiration turns to like, then lust - and then love. But can a high-society woman like Amy ever fall for a man like him?

PRAISE FOR THE CHAPEL OF LOVE SERIES

“Ramsey charms in her second Chapel of Love contemporary...[and] wins readers' hearts with likable characters, an engaging plot (and a hilarious subplot), and a well-deserved happy ending.” –Publishers Weekly on A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE

“With skillful precision, Ramsay nails the political dynamics and small-town vibe and launches an endearing series fans will savor.” –Library Journal on A CHRISTMAS BRIDE

“[Ramsay’s] pun-filled, witty dialogue fits each realistic character and every lushly vivid scene perfectly.  Watching love bloom for this opposites-attract couple, the downtrodden heroine and hero with major issues with his Kennedy-esque family, is poignant and impactful.” –RT Book Reviews on A CHRISTMAS BRIDE

A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE is available at the following sites: Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo.


THE CHAPEL OF LOVE SERIES

A FAIRYTALE BRIDE, #.5
A CHRISTMAS BRIDE, #1
A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE, #2
HERE COMES THE BRIDE, #3


Top 5 things a spoiled, rich girl thought she'd never do

5. Buy a meal from the dollar menu at McDonalds.

4. Shovel cow manure.

3. Wash her hair with bar soap.

2. Shop at the Salvation Army

1. Take a minimum wage job as a laborer.


Now here’s an excerpt from A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE for your reading pleasure.


“Hon,  are  you  all  right?  You’ve  been  in  there  a while, and I . . .

Amy opened the door. “I’m fine.” Her voice wobbled. She would not ask to borrow the phone. There had to be another way.

“No, I don’t think so,” Gracie said. “You come out and have your eggs and bacon.”
Oh crap. What was she supposed to do now?
“I . . . I . . . don’t. I mean I can’t . . . She let go of a long, trembling breath. “Daddy locked me out of the house yesterday and told me I had to marry Grady Carson. Then he took all the money out of my checking account. And I probably should call Grady, but I have to borrow your phone.” The words came out in a terrible, hoarse whisper.
She expected Gracie to yell at her for using the bath- room without having any intention of buying food. Or, worse yet, to take her into the back room and hand her a phone. But instead Gracie draped her arm over Amy’s shoulder. “Come get your breakfast. You can pay me for it later, after you sort things out with your father. And no woman should ever marry someone she has second thoughts about. Shame on your daddy.”
The tense muscles in Amy’s neck and shoulders relaxed as Gracie led her to the counter, where a plate of eggs and bacon awaited. “Eat your breakfast. You’ll feel better.”
Amy did as she was told, downing the eggs and bacon like a starving person. She had no idea where her next meal would come from, so she allowed Gracie to refill her coffee cup several times while the diner filled up with the usual Saturday crowd.
Pippa Custis, the owner of Ewe and Me, the yarn shop in town, came in for a bowl of oatmeal.
Walter Braden came in holding hands with his new wife, the former Poppy Marchand. For a couple of old people, they were sweet. They ordered two big breakfasts and spent the entire time gazing into each other’s eyes.
Alicia Mulloy, the hygienist at Dr. Dinnen’s office, or- dered three different kinds of donuts. Amy wondered if Dr. Dinnen knew about Alicia’s sugar habit.
And then Dusty McNeil strolled through the door and turned Saturday into Man Candy Monday. Wow. He was like some unholy combination of Thor and Captain America all rolled into one gorgeous example of maleness.
Gracie swooped down on him with a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and bacon, as if she’d been expecting his arrival. He gave Gracie a smile full of laugh lines and dimples and white teeth. And then he turned toward Amy.
Unlike the other customers, he didn’t pretend she was invisible. Oh no. He gave her a long, assessing gaze that made Amy’s pulse jump. Dusty McNeil had a badass reputation as a player who preferred the showgirls and cocktail waitresses who worked up at the casinos in Charles Town, West Virginia.
So why was he ogling her?
She had no idea, but she returned the favor. Who wouldn’t enjoy gazing at that chiseled face or those bright baby blues or all that golden blond hair?
And that’s when a crazy idea popped into her desperate head. Maybe she could invite herself over to his place for some Netflix and chill. Spending a night with him wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. And it would probably be way more fun (and warmer) than sleeping in the Z4.
Or sleeping with Grady for that matter.
But no. Initiating a booty call would not be the right next step. She’d chosen to sleep in her car instead of falling back on a man. She’d taken a principled position. So she pushed the ridiculous idea of sleeping with Dusty McNeil out of her mind and concentrated on her coffee mug while she tried to figure out what her next step ought to be.
She came up with exactly nothing.
“Y’all seem to be busy up at Eagle Hill Manor these days,” Gracie said to Dusty. And since Amy didn’t have anything better to do, she eavesdropped.
“Yep. Ever since that article in Brides. Willow’s hiring another event planner. Know anyone who might be interested?”
Gracie shook her head. “No, but I’ll keep my eye out.”
A job.
Why hadn’t Amy thought of that before?
A job would solve all her problems. And becoming an event planner sounded like the perfect fit except for the fact that she had zero real work experience. But she had been her sorority’s social secretary and had planned all kinds of themed parties and charitable events. She’d even had a hand in helping several of her sorority sisters with their wedding plans.
This was perfect. She’d get a job instead of a husband.
And wouldn’t that blow Daddy’s mind?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hope Ramsay CREDIT Wess Brown
Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards.

She is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she's not writing, she's knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

For more on the author, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

You can follow FOREVER online by visiting their website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

GIVEAWAY

This blitz-wide giveaway is for ten (10) mass market copies of A SMALL-TOWN BRIDE. To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today during Hope’s release. What is it about small town settings that draws you in? What would be on your Top 5 things a spoiled, rich girl thought she'd never do?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier


Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier by Elaine Faber
◊ Series: Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries, Book 2
◊ Paperback: 199 pages
◊ Genre: Cozy, Mystery, History
◊ Publisher: Elk Grove Publications (February 1, 2017)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 1940781167
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1940781167

SYNOPSIS:

          Asked to accompany Mrs. Roosevelt on her Pacific Island tour, Agnes and Katherine travel by train to Washington, D.C. Agnes carries a package for Colonel Farthingworth to President Roosevelt.
          Convinced the package contains secret war documents, Agnes expects Nazi spies to try and derail her mission.
          She meets Irving, whose wife mysteriously disappears from the train; Nanny, the unfeeling caregiver to little Madeline; two soldiers bound for training as Tuskegee airmen; and Charles, the shell-shocked veteran, who lends an unexpected helping hand. Who will Agnes trust? Who is the Nazi spy?
          When enemy forces make a final attempt to steal the package in Washington, D.C., Agnes must accept her own vulnerability as a warrior on the home front.
          Can Agnes overcome multiple obstacles, deliver the package to the President, and still meet Mrs. Roosevelt's plane before she leaves for the Pacific Islands?
          Mrs. Odboddy: Undercover Courier is a hysterical frolic on a train across the United States during WWII, as Agnes embarks on this critical mission.

Author Elaine Faber has created a protagonist will spit and vinegar, sweetness and charm, and a dedication to country.

Faber’s protagonist, Agnes Odboddy, may look like your average grandmother but she has a few tricks up her sleeve that might surprise you. She’s likable, realistic, and has a way with humor. The secondary characters are just as well developed and add depth to the story.

Faber brings the era to life through her vivid descriptions and eye for details. The story moves at a good pace and holds your attention until the end. The twists and turns as the story unfolds will keep you guessing.

MRS. ODBODDY UNDERCOVER COURIER is a zany read that will delight and entertain. Filled with mystery, suspense, humor, and history you’ll be captive by the adventure.

Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier by Elaine Faber, Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries (Book #2), Elk Grove Publications, @2017, ISBN: 978-1940781167, Paperback, 199 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. Does it matter how old your protagonist is? Do you enjoy stories where unexpected characters are more adventurous?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Still Me and a ‘Stay Young’ Philosophy {+ Giveaway}


It’s a pleasure to be participating in the Blog Tour for STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging by Karen Helene Walker through MC Book Tours.

This charming, funny, and enlightening collection of essays about aging touches on a subject near and dear to me – aging and how we see ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see myself as getting older and now I know there are others who feel the same way. I’m delighted to welcome author Fran Fischer here today to answer some questions about her participation in the book.

In addition, Karen is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) of STILL ME and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME (International entries). See how you can enter to win below.

STILL ME…AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging
◊ By Karen Helene Walker
◊ Kindle: 2000 KB, 102 pages
◊ Genre: Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction
◊ Publication Date: April 4, 2017
◊ Language: English
◊ ASIN: BO6WWRK82K

Poignant...Humorous...Brutally Honest!

A collection of personal reflections guaranteed to keep you inspired and entertained on that journey we all travel together: The Journey of Aging.
With a blend of grace, dignity, warmth and humor, women and men from 60 to 90 and from all walks of life candidly share the blessings and pitfalls of aging – from keeping dreams alive and keeping sex lives active to dealing with retirement, loss of independence and a growing sense of mortality.

A BOOK ABOUT LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE!

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Fran as she talks about this book. Welcome, Fran.

What motivated you to take on this project?

Fran:
I was invited & since I became old & decrepit (although I don’t even remember ever being crepit) I hardly get invited to anything anymore. I didn’t want to let an opportunity slip by. I can still type without a cane. This will let anyone interested know that I’m still alive.

What value do you find in a variety of viewpoints?

Fran:
I’m always interested in hearing viewpoints that differ from mine (even though they are wrong). There’s always the remote possibility that I may learn something from them. I try to keep an open mind as long as it doesn’t get too drafty in there.

What have you learned about life and aging from this experience?

Fran:
I’ve learned that if you stay alive long enough you’ll get old. I’ve tried to avoid that by applying a “stay young” philosophy. Let me explain. My youngest son was 53 this year. I am 36. The best way to explain this anomaly is to tell you about something that I read in one of Kirk Douglas’ books. A “senior” movie actress was being interviewed. The reporter said, “Forgive me, Madame, but I have to ask. Your son (who was also a star) admits to being 56. You claim to be 63. How can this be?” Her answer (& mine): “He has his life—I have mine!”

Fran, thanks for joining us today and sharing your ‘stay young’ philosophy. I think that’s something to remember.

STILL ME is available at the following sites: Amazon (print and Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Be sure to add it to your shelf on Goodreads.


About these amazing authors:

Rev. Clara Alexander is an ordained New Thought minister who creates and performs sacred ceremonies, including unique weddings, funerals, memorial services, baby blessings and house blessings. She is also a popular speaker, inspiring groups with her talks on how we cling to our grudges, how we overuse the phrase “I’m sorry” and how we can live the life we love.
Wendy Brown recently retired from a career in wildlife biology, where she studied sandhill cranes and whooping cranes as they migrated from Idaho to New Mexico. Wendy eventually found a permanent home in Albuquerque, where she and her husband enjoy the sounds of sandhill cranes from their deck. Since retiring from state government in 2014.
Valerie Capps has bypassed the porch rocking chair to pursue her life-long passion for writing, thereby proving that in today’s world, life can begin again at 65! Valerie lives in Nashville with her husband and their spoiled-rotten Welsh Corgi. www.amazon.com/Valerie-Capps/e/B016VD9V72
Mary W. Clark retired from her law practice in 2007 and transferred her observation and composition skills to travel writing. She is currently working on a book about her father’s World War II experience flying “the Hump” from India to China over the Himalayas. Mary lives in Paris, Texas. www.maryclarktraveler.com
Fran Fischer: “I was born at a very young age and that happened 82 years ago, so I don’t remember much about it. I’ve crammed as much living into my life as possible, and I’m not through yet. I’ve traveled extensively and I even flew in the same zero-gravity plane that the astronauts trained in. I live in California with my first (and only) husband, and we celebrated our 62nd anniversary this year.”
Pat Garcia (Patricia Anne Pierce-Garcia Schaack) is an American expatriate living in Europe. An accomplished musician as well as a writer, she has been writing (and reading) since childhood.
Mark David Gerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including critically acclaimed titles for writers, award-winning fiction, and compelling memoirs. Known as “The Birthing Your Book Guru,” Mark David works with an international roster of clients as coach and consultant, helping them get their stories onto the page and into the world with ease. www.markdavidgerson.com
Holly Deuel Gilster plays “make believe” for a living. In other words, she is a professional actress and musician. Holly also loves painting with words as an accomplished poet, an award-winning short-story writer and a book reviewer for The Or Echo.
Aaron Gordon is a retired social sciences community college professor. He and his wife, Ellie, have been married for 65 years and have three children and grandchildren.
Ellie Gordon is a retired public school teacher who spent the best 20 years of her life in the classroom. A Chicago native, she now lives in New Mexico.
Karla “Rosie” Harper recently retired from teaching elementary school, freeing her to return to her early love of dancing. Today, when not helping out with her grandchildren, Rosie is taking dance lessons, spinning on a dance floor or performing in senior centers and retirement communities with Albuquerque’s Sugartime, as a singer as well as a dancer.
Linda Hoye is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, available through major online retailers. A native of Saskatchewan, Linda currently lives in British Columbia (by way of Washington State) with her husband and doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. www.lindahoye.com
E.V. Legters hasn’t so much retired as she has exchanged one life for another — from rewarding years with career and children (while pursuing the arts on the fly) to a life with the arts at its center. She is the author of Vanishing Point and Connected Underneath and is currently hard at work on her third novel. www.evlegters.com
LD Masterson lived on both coasts before becoming landlocked in Ohio. After twenty years managing computers for the American Red Cross, she now divides her time between writing, volunteer work and enjoying her grandchildren. Her short stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, and she is currently working on a new novel. www.ldmasterson.com
Kathleen Messmer not only runs a film production company with offices in the UK and the US, she is an avid photographer and wildlife advocate. In the unlikely event that she ever retires, Kathleen plans to live on a ranch with draft horses and pygmy goats and vineyards and fruit orchards, somewhere near the water. Oh, and a cowboy...maybe. www.kathleenmessmer.com
Karen Norstad has worked as cashier/gift wrapper, secretary, boutique seamstress, administrative assistant, manager of employee stock options, executive assistant, and budget analyst. Now retired, Karen’s life revolves around lounging about, wearing PJs until four in the afternoon, obsessing over the news, reading, fusing and slumping glass, practicing piano, keeping a small balcony garden and cooking.
Matt Nyman’s nonlinear career path has included working in the geological sciences, teaching high school, stay-at-home parenting and, currently, training tomorrow’s teachers. Poetry equently resides near the surface of his existence, occasionally erupting onto paper.
Jill Plaman was born and began aging in Milwaukee, but she has lived and worked in Albuquerque since 1977. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MSW from the University of Minnesota. Her special interests are travel, international folk dancing, reading, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Maureen Polikoff is a clinical social worker/ therapist who has always pursued many other creative endeavors, including painting, playing music and, now, writing. A Connecticut native, she lives in New Mexico with her husband, Michael.
MaryFrank Sanborn left Boston 33 years ago, to apprentice with photographer Walter Chappell in Santa Fe. Still in love with the beauty of the Southwest, MaryFrank photographs, writes, hikes, travels, teaches yoga and meditation, makes soups on Sundays, and dreams of the ocean and whales.
Patricia Stoltey is the author of four mystery novels. The most recent is Wishing Caswell Dead. She lives in Northern Colorado with Sassy Dog, Katie Cat and her husband, Bill. www.patriciastolteybooks.com
Susan Swiderski grew up in Dundalk, Maryland, where everybody calls everybody hon and eating steamed crabs is a sacrament. Although she’s happy in her adopted Georgia, part of her heart still lingers on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, explaining the setting for her novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade. Susan is currently working on a trilogy, proof that this old gal is still a pathological optimist. www.susan-swiderski.blogspot.com
Jan Castle Walker is a retired teacher and an active artist. She lives in Davis, California with her husband, Mack. www.jancastlewalker.com
Karen Helene Walker is a novelist, memoirist and essayist and the author of The Wishing Steps and Following the Whispers. When not writing, Karen is tap dancing, folk dancing or performing with the musical group Sugartime at retirement communities. Karen is currently working on her second memoir. www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com 

You can follow Karen and the other authors along on their tour by checking out the schedule HERE.

This tour-wide giveaway is for two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 4.

To enter, click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to check out this charming book and enter to win your own copy. Do you have a ‘stay young’ philosophy?