ASK ME TO MARRY YOU by Heather Blanton

                                              REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, & GIVEAWAY        

If you like novellas with a twist, then you’re in for a treat. Ask Me to Marry You is a marriage of convenience meets mail order bride… er, groom. She wants to keep her ranch. He wants to keep his freedom. Can they both find what they’re looking for in each other?

Audra & Dillon band together to save her ranch, the Diamond D, from the clutches of Jess Fairbanks, who wants to expand his land with the land from the Diamond D. Meanwhile, Audra tries her best to be salt and light for Dillon as he has questions of a more ever-lasting nature.

Ask Me to Marry You is a quick-moving western romance with a little twist. It is a standalone novella in the Brides of Evergreen Series. We see a brief glimpse of Dent (yay!) from Hang Your Heart on Christmas, but the story will make sense even if you haven’t read the first in the series (which you should). I enjoyed Ask Me to Marry You as much as Hang Your Heart. An easy read, it kept my interest and left me wanting more.

                                                    MEET HEATHER BLANTON

"I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is ...
and God loves us anyway." 
-- Heather Blanton

A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw's note in her hand. 

Heather is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series [which I recommend]. Christian Westerns is the genre that lets her write about strong pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Romance is always a strong element in her stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God, and a perfect reflection of how he loves His children: sacrificially and lavishly. Heather's stories aren't preachy or cheesy, but she hopes they are heart-warming, realistic, illuminating, and glorifying to God. Like good old-fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense. 

What did you like best about writing this story?  
I'm always wrangling for ways to come up with a plot twist or find a different treatment for a genre. When I was asked by author Susette Williams if I would like to include a story in her new mail order bride collection, I immediately wanted to find a way to set the traditional version of the plot on its ear. I remembered an article I'd written about a female doctor in Colorado who couldn't attract patients because of her gender. I knew I had the reason for an "arranged" business deal/marriage that was plausible: discrimination. Audra can't get hands to work for her because she's a woman. 

Who is your favorite character & why?
Dillon is my favorite character because he has a lot of layers to him. This is a short novella, so I held back some of his history, but I hinted at. Believe me, though, it's coming.

What is a beloved tidbit from the story?
There is a scene in which Audra finally decides Dillon may use her dead father's saddle. She needs to let go of her grief and he needs a symbol of authority.

On what are you working now?
A romcom set in 1943 Cheyenne, WY. A fun love triangle in the vein of While You Were Sleeping and The Proposal, it's steeped in World War 2 and 1940's history! Love, Lies & Typewriters will be out in November!

What are four frivolous things you love?
Coffee, wine, popcorn, and pizza. Though I do NOT consider those things frivolous. They are in my survival kit! 

You can learn more about Heather Blanton and her work

Thank you to Heather for providing this aweseom prize!

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A CHANGED AGENT by Tracey J. Lyons

A Changed Agent is about a feisty schoolteacher, a loner Pinkerton Agent, and the two young kids who bring them together. Throw in a thief, a saloon girl, some subterfuge, a trial of faith, and a best friend you grow to love and you have this engaging story by Tracey J. Lyons.

CONFESSION: I liked this book so much, that I contacted the author in the middle of reading it to tell her how much I was enjoying it.

My favorite thing about the story:  

            I love it when a book grabs me from the get-go and doesn’t let me loose! In those first few minutes of A Changed Agent, I felt Elsie’s compassion for the children – Minnie and her protective, lovable brother Harry – as it shone through her and into me. I loved Will for taking in children he had no idea what to do with. And I was proud of Elsie for helping Will out even though she wasn’t quite sure of him. By the end of Chapter 1, I was fully invested in the story.

My favorite character:

Harry!  This adorable boy is a hero! I love how he cares for his sister, how protective he is of her. It is just the most precious thing!

Favorite tidbit:

“…all those sounds faded into the background until the only thing he heard was her soft intake of breath. Bending his head, he touched her mouth with his. She tasted like warm honey.” *swoon*

An Amazon top ten bestselling author, Tracey J. Lyons sold her first book on 9/9/99! She holds membership in Romance Writers of America, Liberty States Fiction Writers, and Novelist, Inc. Tracey always wanted to be an actress but couldn’t get past her stage fright. Writing gives her the best if both worlds; she can act out the part on the pages without ever having to go on stage! Tracey’s books have been translated into several languages, and she has appeared on the award winning Cox Cable Television show, Page One and at the famous Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC.

What did you like best about writing this story?

I really had a passion for the premise of the story line and had a great time writing about Will and Elsie’s journey to find their true love.

Who is your favorite character & why? 

I really loved writing about Minnie. It’s always a challenge to write a child character because in real life kids can be so unpredictable. But I thoroughly enjoyed developing Minnie’s story line.

What is a beloved tidbit from the story?

I really liked seeing how Will was going to overcome his challenges with his faith. Not sure if that’s a tidbit, but it’s a part of the story I enjoyed fleshing out.

On what are you working now?

Right now I’m working on the next book in the series, Lily and Owen’s story which will be set at an Adirondack Great Camp. And I'm also developing a sweet contemporary series set in the Hudson Valley of New York state.

What are five frivolous things you love?

            My mini-flat iron for my short curly hair.            
           My Starbucks Vegas coffee mug which I fill with tea every morning because I don’t drink coffee.
            Okay my new car, which sounds really shallow, but it’s all mine!
            My expensive bed pillow. 
            I really love good chocolate.

You can find Tracey...

 What are five frivolous things you love?

ENTRUSTED & ENTANGLED #giveaway by Julie Arduini

  Entrusted, the first book in the series, is the story of Jenna Anderson and how she transplanted herself in order to take a job at a senior center in Speculator Falls. What she sees as a step of faith others, including the reader, see as the handiwork of a God with a plan. Soon, Jenna is firmly entrenched in the hearts of the members of both the center and her new church… and finds her heart entrusted to one special someone - you’ll have to read Entrusted to find out who!


Entangled picks up where Entrusted leaves off. It is the story of Jenna’s new best friend, Carla Rowling and how she ends her career as county sheriff to start a new career as a hair stylist. What she sees as misguided faith in her others see as a reward for a woman truly worthy. Carla is bombarded with guilt and fear and yet finds her heart entangled with someone else’s – and I won’t tell you who this is either!

My favorite thing about these books – 

is the first person, PRESENT TENSE point of view! This is a rarity in the books I read, and I found it a refreshingly unique perspective that allows the reader to truly enter the mind of the heroine and feel emotions from her viewpoint. Kudos to Julie Arduini for making this bold decision and pulling it off in spectacular fashion.

My favorite character –

            from Entrusted is Ben Regan. I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first, wanted to throttle him a time or two, but loved him anyway.
            from Entangled is Noah Rowling. This wise yet still-a-kid young teen stole my heart. I love how much he loves his mom and how it is so obvious that he wants great things for her.

My favorite tidbit –

from Entrusted is the presence of a journal at an old cabin in the woods for those who visit it to write of their experiences there. I love the idea and the sentiments shared through it, and I want one for my next house.
from the narrator of Entangled, a book about a teen mom who leaves the sheriff’s office to cut hair: “Right. The teen mom who leaves the sheriff’s office to cut hair… There’s a book people will rush to read.” I love the irony!


Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE. 


What did you like best about writing this story?

Overall, ENTANGLED was a difficult one to write. I struggled to get words on the page, and fought mind games the entire time that what I had written wasn’t good. I deleted a lot, and started over. That said, I enjoyed creating new characters that were part of the beauty school. Daniel, Mitzi, and the gang were fun to picture and add to the story.

Who is your favorite character & why?

In ENTANGLED, I think Noah is a standout for me. I love young people and feel more comfortable with kids/teens than I do my peers. Noah is a typical teen living in a rural community but when he struggles, it throws Carla into a panic that he’s following her footsteps. It was fun to expand his role in this story.

What is a beloved tidbit from the story?

When I submitted chapters to critique groups I’m a part of, everyone had an opinion of who Carla should choose. There was Team Will and Team Wayne. I had a smile every time I received a chapter back because no one held back on who they were rooting for. 

Are there more “En” books on their way? / On what are you working now?

I am working on the last book in the Surrendering Time Series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. Trish Maxwell, the “mean girl” from ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, is back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and no plan for the future. She has to earn everyone’s trust after abandoning them for a big job in New York City, only to lose the job and come back to live with her parents. Things seem pretty bleak until she meets a handsome paramedic…

What are five frivolous things you love?

Taking nature pictures with my phone
Crime shows
Visiting the real Speculator that the Surrendering Time series is based on
When the pets want to snuggle

 You can also contact Julie on FacebookTwitterG+PinterestInstagramAmazon 

Giveaway open to US residents 18 or older and will be chosen randomly with the odds of winning based on the number of entries. Winner must contact Lanna within 30 days of contest end.
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Judy Christie's Gone to Green

Judy Christie’s Gone to Green is a novel about Lois Barker, a female newspaper editor turned owner, who relocates from Dayton, Ohio to Green, Louisiana. She isn’t exactly enamored of the town when she gets there, she sort of resents the fact she has to be there, and then before we know it, she is firmly entrenched there. Judy takes us all on an emotional and spiritual journey in a series of community events that makes the reader an honorary citizen of Green.

My favorite thing about Gone to Green – is how ENGAGING it is! The novel reads like witty banter, creating a first person heroine who is approachable and charming. There is scandal and faith and friendship and crime. And for those of us who like it, there is a small touch of romance, as well. The true love story in Gone to Green, however, is the story of how Lois falls in love with the town and its people.  And I fell in love right along with her. And, y’all, the ending is so poignant I cried. Just saying.

My favorite character – Gone to Green has SO MANY lovable CHARACTERS from which to pick!! It would be very difficult to choose… a second place. However, first place goes firmly to Chris Craig, Lois’s neighbor and friend. He is a warm and cozy and safe character whose part in the story is bigger than the amount of words dedicated to him should create. I’m not sure how Judy made me love Chris so much so quickly, especially considering he plays a relatively small part in the story, but love him I did.

My favorite tidbit  - how much Chris loves his school kids! As a former teacher and principal, I empathized with Chris’s closeness to and feelings about his students. When asked how he can teach kids all day, Chris answers succinctly and beautifully:
             “I feel called to do it. I like those kids and I hope most of them like me. It’s good work, the Lord’s work.”

And the best part about it all… This is the first of a SERIES!! I was so excited to see how many more books in the series are already written! Goodness Gracious Green (The Green Series Book 2) was next on my to-be-read list and the other books followed. I enjoyed them all and am hoping there will be more to come!

About the Author: Judy Christie reads, writes & talks about books from her green kitchen couch in Louisiana. She has had 15 books published, including nine novels, and writes a weekly book column for The Shreveport Times ( A former journalist, Christie started her newspaper career as the editor of the Barret Banner in elementary school. She loves visiting with readers, and you can sign up for her e-newsletter—and a free worksheet on writing your own story--at or chat on Facebook at

What did you like best about writing Gone to Green? This was my first novel, my 50th birthday gift to myself, and I was amazed at how fun it felt to sit down and create a new community. I had such a good time watching the story unfold, and that led to the 5-part Green series.

Who is your favorite character & why? This is a tough question because I like each of the characters in their own way, but Katy is one of my favorites because there’s so much more to her than I expected at first glance. She’s funny, too, and looks at the world from a different angle than I do—even though I created her. Weird, huh?

What is a beloved tidbit from the story? The “news items” at the beginning of each chapter were suggested by friends and family. I asked people I knew to send me a made-up news story for a made-up newspaper in a made-up town—and they delivered some fun, folksy tales. Sometimes readers ask for a collection of those tidbits!

Are there going to be more Green books? / On what are you working now? I hope there’ll be at least one more Green book, a Christmas novella down the line. Right now, I’m writing the third Wreath Willis novel, “Wreath, In College.” This is a series that I love, about a strong girl who lives alone in a junkyard after the death of her mother. Determined to graduate from high school, she works part time in a rundown furniture store, has her first crush on a guy at school and, like Lois in “Gone to Green,” begins to change the small Southern town where she settles. The first Wreath book, “Wreath, A Girl,” has been optioned for film/TV, which thrills me.

What are five frivolous things you love?
            What a fun question!
            1. Writing snail-mail letters and creating “letter art” with decorated envelopes
            2. Roaming around flea markets in search of chipped green pottery with two old friends;
            3. Wandering through libraries or used book stores in search of surprise books
            4. Going to the movie at least once a week with my husband…in a theater (I want to write a screenplay, so maybe this isn’t all frivolous. Smile.)
            5. Reading home-decorating magazines and books, my guilty pleasure.

Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift cord OR a signed copy of the author’s novel “Wreath, A Girl.” A special thanks to Judy Christie for providing the prize!

Giveaway open to US residents 18 or older and will be chosen randomly with the odds of winning based on the number of entries.

Congrats, Rose!

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            This story is found in The Homestead
Brides Collection, which is an awesome compilation of stories from a sampling of Christian romance’s best authors. “A Palace on the Plains” takes place on the Nebraska plains in 1873. It is a gentle love story between Julia Farrington, a traveling seamstress, and Cyrus Haskell, a homesteader, who is a teensy bit cantankerous but only in the best way possible.
            It is a girl who is “more than pretty enough for a second look” and “all prickles and bravado” meets a man who is a “stubborn, gentle, appealing, infuriating homesteader.”
            He cannot imagine why a city girl like her would want to stay in a sod house out on the plains, and she can’t imagine how anything else could make her happy.


            favorite thing about the story:
            The ROMANCE!! When I read a romance, I want to feel the attraction between the characters. You know what I mean? Like I want to know that they like each other because I can feel it happening. Well, “Palace on the Plains” delivers in spades! The reader can feel the romance blooming from the very first meeting between the hero and heroine. It definitely gave me my reading romance fix.

            favorite literary component:
            This question could have so many answers! So, I’ll pick the thing that drew me into the story from the very beginning: From the first scene the characters are engaging.            
            In my experience, CHARACTERIZATION is sometimes under-developed in short stories. By the end of the tale, we might know what happened and have a larger sense of how the characters feel about the outcome of events, but the really-getting-to-know-the-characters feel that I so love about good writing is too often not found in short stories.
            HOWEVER, that is definitely not the case in Palace on the Plains. Vetsch uses narrative, dialog, and description to give the reader a clear picture of the characters from the get-go. And, the characters are not one-dimensional. Julia Farrington is spunky yet lacks self-confidence and Cyrus Haskell is cranky yet protective. The secondary characters are a large part of the story and, again, are well-developed and charming.
            You will fall in love with the Haskell boys from the very start - and it only gets better from there.

            favorite tidbits:
            My favorite character is Cyrus Haskell. He is a little bit ornery, a lot bit serious, and all kinds of lovable. Here is a little taste of Cyrus via his thoughts:
            “Of all the useless bits of fluff ever found prancing across a train platform, Miss Farrington took the biscuit.”
            “[Cotton’s] sturdy body relaxed and his mouth opened as he drifted off to sleep in her arms. Lucky Cotton.”

            favorite things about the author:
            I love Erica’s online presence and her interaction with readers and potential authors. She is humble, quite funny, and giving of her time and expertise. And her love of family and friends speaks loudly through the computer screen in a testament of how we should all love – with a showering of affections and praise.
            She is that person that you might know only online but with whom you really want to hang out. I want to invite her to a writer’s retreat and laugh more than I write. ;)


Erica is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she's not immersed in fictional worlds, she's the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

           favorite thing about writing A Palace on the Plains: 
           The research! I learned all about the Easter Blizzard of 1873 and knew I wanted to put it into the story. I also got to learn all about how sod houses were constructed.  

           favorite character from A Palace on the Plains:
           Cotton and Titus.Those little boys just stole my heart.

           favorite tidbits: 
           It's so difficult to choose! I loved Julia's first impressions of the soddy, and Cyrus's first impressions of Julia.
           Erica's five favorite frivolous things in life:
           1. Binge watching NCIS
           2. Red nail polish
           3. Frozen Free Fall game on my Kindle.
           4. Sugar free popsicles.
           5. Singing in the car to the radio


Enter to win a copy - hard copy or e-book, your choice - of The Homestead Brides Collection!
Congrats to HOLLIS K. on winning The Homestead Brides Collection!!

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