The Greatest Love Stories

Happy belated Valentine’s day to you all! To celebrate the occasion, and todays release of 51O2btV6eUL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Dancing up a Storm, the analogy with my short story, When I’m Gone, I’m giving away an ebook to someone. Just leave a comment!

“When I’m Gone” by Angela K. Couch 
First Place Romance 
Summer 1942. Just before the competition that could launch their careers as professional ballroom dancers, Elaine Mathews’s partner, James Larson, gets drafted into the army. Now, with her dreams and the man she loves hanging in the balance, Elaine must acknowledge what she’s most afraid to lose. 

As a historical romance writer, it doesn’t take Valentine’s Day to get me thinking about love. As a Christian, I think about it even more, for the greatest love story of all is the one of our Savior’s love for us. Completely platonic, but oh, so powerful! Today I have been “musing” about aspects of Christ’s love for us – aspects that are present in all the best love stories. Even the romantic ones….

Click here to read more on Stitches Thru Time blog!

Celebrating 3 – Birthday Bash!

I’ve decided I’m not going to celebrate turning 34. I wasn’t even going to mention my age to anyone, because really, what women over 23 does that? But than I sat down and was contemplating my 33rd year, and it was too amazing to leave unnoted. It was the year of the #3.

This year:

  • We celebrated living in our home for 3 years.
  • Did well in 3 notable writing contest (Was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Geneses contest and won two short story contests).
  • Signed 3 short story contracts with publishers.
  • Published 3 short stories. (Only two mentioned above, so there is still one to come next year.)
  • Signed contracts for 3 full novels!
  • Welcomed our 3rd child into our family (on the 3rd month, no less!)
  • Bought 3 bookshelves! (I saved this till the end because it was so exciting.)

Next year should be much more relaxing- I don’t have room for more book shelves and I’m not ready for baby #4. But, oh, I did forget one thing, the reason for even having this post:

  • And gave away 3 print copies of my books on my birthday!

Thanks for partying with me! Leave me your e-mail address or how to get a hold of you and Wednesday I’ll pick three winners to receive a copy of one of the following:

Coming Feb 3, 2015

Feb 3, 2015

Hot chocolate with marshmallows in a vintage cup

Dec 1, 2015

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Nov 1, 2015

Fixing an Old-Fashioned “Flat”

By Crystal L Barnes

“Why did this have to happen now? I knew I should’ve waited until next week to come to town for supplies.” Catherine set her fists on her hips and kicked a clod of dirt rather than the separated wagon wheel she longed to vent her frustrations on. No sense in making a bad situation worse.WLOD-3D-wood

“Mama, someone’s comin’.”

Her hands dropped from her hips. “What?”

Benin pointed back up the road.

A familiar paint cantered toward her with a rancher on board. Joe Matthews. Well, good. At least she wouldn’t have to figure out how to fix this on her own.

A second horse, a buckskin, came alongside the first, a broad-shouldered man in a black duster on board, riding tall in the saddle.

Her pulse quickened. “Breathe, Catherine, just breathe. That might not even be him.” But even as she tried to convince herself otherwise, she had no doubt who rode the second horse. Only one man ever sat a saddle like that. What should she do? Call out a greeting? Pretend she didn’t recognize him? Grab her son and run for the hills? That last one held merit. Then the general couldn’t hurt them. Her boots, however, had other ideas. They wouldn’t budge.

—Excerpt from Win, Love, or DrawThe Prairie Traveler

Howdy y’all! Crystal Barnes here. Have you ever wondered how people in the old west handled a “flat”? Well, I had to slow my heroine down so I started doing some digging. Surprisingly, it took a lot to break one of those wagon wheels. You’d be more apt to break the spokes or have the spokes separate from the rim than to actually break the rim itself. Crazy, huh?

So how did they fix things if they broke or separated? Depends on how close they were to a blacksmith and his forge. My heroine was blessed enough to not be too far from town. I took the tips from The Prairie Traveler and put the men in my story to work. 🙂

 

Have you ever found yourself with tire issues? Did you fix things yourself, or did you have some strapping hero come to your aid?

 

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Crystal L Barnes is an award-winning author, who also happens to be a born-n-raised Texan and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She has a degree in Computing Science because she loves putting things into their proper place, and she enjoys writing because she gets to share her love of old-fashioned things and the Lord. When she’s not writing or reading, Crystal enjoys knitting, sewing, or crocheting while watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy is one of her favorites. You can connect with Crystal here at her website or on her blog, her Amazon Author page, GoodreadsPinterestGoogle+, or on her Facebook author page. Want to be notified of her latest releases and other fun tidbits? Subscribe to her newsletter.

 

 

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Catherine McGarrett is a strong woman. Life in Texas demands such. For five years, she has built a growing horse ranch while praying for the return of the one man who stole her heart and shattered it in a million pieces when he left.

Now he’s back.

Samuel McGarrett rides into Cater Springs, Texas toting two six-shooters and too many scars. The trouble and pain from the past erupts around the couple. And not just in their marriage.

Can Sam win Catherine’s trust? Will their love survive? Or will his final draw be his last?

A Kiss is Still a Kiss- now available!

Yesterday, a second anthology, A Kiss is Still a Kiss, released with my short story, Shackled.

Arizona Territory, 1883KISS Front Cover

He came west to find freedom and ended up shackled to a chair. She’s not sure she ever wants to let him go.

The best thing about an short story anthology is that you don’t have to stay up all night because you got into a novel and can’t set it down. This book is filled with many lengths of  stories so you can settle in for as long, or short, as you want.

So far I’ve read, besides my own story, Deborah Raney’s Going once, Going twice, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists of the plot. Sarah Monzon’s  Carousel Kisses is short but very sweet. And Crystal Barn’s Let’s Make a Deal was a very fun ride.

I hope you enjoy them all as much as I have so far!

Available on Amazon and from Next Step Books.

 

Praises for Paper!

Winner of the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and finalist in the 2015 ACFW Carol awards, Dawn Crandall’s beautiful novel the Hesitant Heiress, an intriguing historical romance, is now available on paper!

If you’re anything like me, this is a big thing. As much cuddling up with a digital device appeals to many, I am not ready to marry a android (no offence Mr. Data), or give up the four huge bookshelves that I just set up in my living room! I love the feel, smell, and look of a book-book (not to be mistaken with an e-book).

Back to Dawn and her books (now book-books), as the next two in her series are arriving in tangible form on the 6th of October and the 3rd on November. So mark those on your calendar as good days to raid Amazon. (Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can cuddle up with an electronic device as they are already available as e-books 😉 )

Dawn Crandall’s book-book, The Hesitant Heiress:

1.The Hesitant HeiressAfter being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother.

Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt’s Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men—Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother’s tragic death.

However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems…and everything she never knew she wanted. But can she ever really trust an Everstone man?

 

Dawn Crandall:

IMG_3368 (683x1024)A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010. That is the year she shared with her husband her long-time dream of writing books. He encouraged her to quit her job and to pursue her passion to write stories. Apart from writing books, Dawn also recently became a mother—she and her husband were blessed with a baby boy in March 2014. She also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

 

 

Connect with Dawn online:

www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com

www.FaceBook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst

www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst

www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com

www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst

dawncrandallwritesfirst@gmail.com

 

Now for the most important question of the day…

Wait for it…

What do you prefer? E-books or book-books?

I Always Cry at Weddings

I don’t do many actual book reviews here, but Sara Goff’s I Always Cry At Weddings stood out in a very particular way. You have to understand that usually I read Christian Historical Romance and even fifty years ago it was discouraged by the general population to have intimate relationships before marriage. Somehow in the past few years we have gone from that 61HmFdDarxLwonderful ideal, to premarital sex being almost expected. And it appears that is what Ava, from I Always Cry at Weddings, was also led to believe. Then she watches the deep excitement and love between a newlywed couple who have saved themselves for a real honeymoon, and her whole outlook begins to change.

I Always Cry at Weddings is the first Christian novel I have read that has really addressed premarital intimacy. Not as a “I have sinned”, but “this is something I have done, wish I didn’t do, and don’t want to do again, and this is why.”  With this theme woven tactfully into a entertaining story-line, I enjoyed this book from start to finish.

I want to thank Sara for being a voice to young woman (and everyone, really) who might question whether waiting for marriage is worth it when the media and society cry out that sex is something trivial — a fun way to express yourself. I want to join my voice with hers and say, yes it is worth waiting for! Sex is a wonderful, enjoyable, and powerful thing, given by God to strengthen marriage, and create children. It is sacred, holy, and beautiful when kept between a husband and wife as an expression of devotion and love.

So worth waiting for!

I Always Cry at Weddings: Engaged to a wealthy NYC socialite’s son, Ava is ready to set the city abuzz with her glamorous wedding. At least until she realizes her relationship isn’t what it should be. Then, in a move as daring as a red satin dress, she does the unthinkable–she calls it all off and makes a promise to God that from now on, she’ll save sex for marriage.

She’s convinced the future is hers for the taking, especially when an undercover cop promises a new romance…and an unexpected friendship with the homeless guy under her stoop brightens her days.

But when her carefully balanced life teeters out of control, weddings aren’t the only thing to make her cry. Ava has to figure out what life she really wants to live…and what in the world love really means

Interested? You can find this book on Amazon, and Goodreads.

Well, This is Exciting!

I just received news that A Kiss is Still a Kiss is now available for pre-order! And at a nicely discounted price. 🙂 So, if you KISS Front Coverwant nice, refreshing romance stories that you can fit into your busy life, this is the book for you.

“A Kiss is Still a Kiss offers a buffet of stories to tempt the appetites of romance readers. Twenty authors, from beloved, familiar names to fresh new voices, present tales of love in a variety of genres. Experience the rush of first love, the excitement of unanticipated romance, and the joy of fading love restored. Within these pages you’ll relish a surprising and satisfying collection of styles: sweet contemporary, romantic historical, delightful regency, laugh-out-loud humor, gripping suspense, and even a few whimsical tales of fantasy and science fiction. Why? Because regardless of genre…A Kiss is Still a Kiss.”

My story included in this anthology is set in 1883, Arizona Territory. A US Marshal has saved Nielson Bennett from a lynch-mob, but isn’t about to let him escape justice—even if a bullet meant for Nielson postpones their return to town. Lydia O’Conner is not sure what to make of the man the marshal has shackled to her kitchen chair, but she has no plans on letting him free…perhaps ever.

This book also includes stories by: Amy Barkman, Crystal L. Barnes, Jan Brand, Deborah Raney, John H. Dromey, Kathleen Fuller, Eva Maria Hamilton, Patricia Iacuzzi, Mary Laufer, Gail Gaymer Martin, MaKayla Martinez, Sarah Monzon, Scott R. Parkin, Bethany Rae, Kylara SilversJan Davis Warren, Laura Ware, Deb Wuethrich, and Anna Zogg.

You can pre-order this book from NEXT STEP BOOKS!