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!

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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?

“He was secret police and he knew his duty.”

Today is November 3, which means exactly 3 months to the release of my short story, Fire in a Storm. The story is set in 1930’s Soviet Union, so time for a history lesson!

Don’t worry, we’ll keep this painless 😉

Mentally, at least. Physical pain was sometimes a necessary tool utilized by Stalin’s secret police, or NKVD — People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (yay for making the “people” feel a part of this!) The secret police feature very prominently in this story.

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NKVD (Secret Police) emblem

So who were they and what did they do?

Wikipedia puts it well: “The main function of the NKVD was to protect the state security of the Soviet Union. This function was successfully accomplished through massive political repression, including authorized political murders, kidnappings and assassinations, inclusively in its international “secret” operations.”

In short they were–under Stalin’s authorization–responsible for hundreds of thousands of assassinations, executions and murders at home and abroad. And that’s not even touching on how many others were tortured or left to waste away in prisons and gulags (forced labor camps).

 

This is the uniform worn by the NKVD before WWII:

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But of course you’re never fully dressed without a…

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Aren’t you glad I chose from among their numbers, the main character for Fire in a Storm?

Join me on Dec 3 for a look at the NKVD’s vendetta against religion in the 1930s.

And leave a comment here, or join me on Facebook for a chance to win a free copy of Fire in a Storm and eleven other inspirational short stories in the anthology:

Coming Feb 3, 2015

Coming Feb 3, 2015