Monday, August 28, 2017

PICNICS AND PROMISES - Various Authors - 6 Free Ebooks

Picnics and Promises Box Set

Marion Ueckermann – A Courtship for Clover

Are the stories in Picnics and Promises connected in some way? If so, how?
The stories are not connected in any way in the sense of characters or storyworld. Rather, their connection lies in each story having at least one picnic scene (with pie), much of the story set in summer, and a great recipe at the end for the pie used in the story. Most of the authors had collaborated on a similar box set last Christmas called Frosting and Flurries, and we thought it would be fun to do the same thing again this summer. We’re already planning Christmas 2017’s set.

Please give us a peek into your story.

Jonathan thanked heaven he’d glanced up from his phone in time to shout a warning before colliding with Clover Blume. “Well, hello. I was hoping to run into you. Just not quite like this, although this is way better.” He grinned, not in the least eager to release his hold on Clover. “But what are you doing in the kitchen? Aren’t you supposed to be a bridesmaid?”

“And aren’t you meant to be a groomsman? A little late, aren’t you?” she shot back as she wriggled out of his arms. A frown crinkled her forehead.

Jonathan slid his cell phone into his pocket. “Miss me?” He couldn’t resist the tease.
“I— Uh— Hardly. But you certainly missed something.”

His grin widened. “You?”

“The rehearsal,” she snapped back, her frown deepening. “And the dinner where we all were supposed to get to know each other.”

By golly, she was far cuter up close and personal. She’d always seemed so collected in her pristine chef’s jacket with her name embroidered at the side, it was rather refreshing to see her flustered. And disheveled. He kind of liked her untidiness. Hopefully he had something to do with her apparent unravelling.

“That’s why I was headed for the kitchen when you ran me over.”

Her lips pursed, and she folded her arms. “I did not run you over. You should have seen me coming, so clearly you weren’t looking where you were going, either. Too busy texting one of your girlfriends?”

His brows rose.

“Oh yes. Don’t attempt to deny it. I saw you try to hide that cell phone your nose had been buried in.”

She was right on one thing. He had been on the phone. But he hadn’t been texting anyone.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me on my website. They can also find me on social media.

Autumn Macarthur – Imperfectly Proverbs 31

What did you want the reader to take away from your story? 
Here’s the Dear Reader letter included in the book, which I hope will answer the question perfectly:

Have you ever compared yourself to other people in your life and felt second-best? Samantha Rose, the heroine of this book does, and I admit, I do as well, at times. But if we’re not careful, comparing can lead to jealousy or despair (or its wicked stepsister, pride). That’s not part of what God intends for us!

Sam’s lesson is to learn that God has given us different gifts and talents, for His own purposes. In His eyes, we are all equal. Equally valued, equally loved.

Lisa TerKeurst says: Many people think Proverbs 31 is a picture of a perfect woman; but the Proverbs 31 woman is, at her core, someone who seeks the Lord in everything she does and trusts Him wholeheartedly with her life. We are simply...women sold out to saying yes to God—and He truly does the rest.

Any time we find ourselves comparing, we can hand those feelings of inadequacy over to Him, trusting that He does have a loving plan and purpose for every single one of us.
I hope you enjoy Samantha and Daniel’s story, and that it blesses and uplifts you!

Please give us a peek into your story.

The gray clapboard cottage with a bright blue front door and even brighter pink flowers in hanging baskets on the porch looked like the right place for a homemaking blogger with a rose-pink website to live in. The odor of baking wafting through the open window smelled like the right way for her house to smell, too.


The cookie shop he walked past daily on the way to the office pumped that same mouthwatering odor out onto the street, to entice people in.

It worked for them, and it worked for Samantha Rose.

His knock on the door was answered almost immediately. Definitely the woman he’d seen in the store. No makeup, blonde hair in a soft wispy up-do, and a pink flowered apron over her white T-shirt and slim jeans. Instead of the earlier wary glance, she smiled welcome, though the smile didn’t light up her eyes.

And there, in her oven-mitted hand, was the source of the delicious scent. A tray of chocolate chip cookies. They looked as good as they smelled.

“Ms. Rose? I’m Daniel Novak.”

She swung the door wide, revealing an entry hall with braided rugs on the polished wood floors. 

“Come in. We have a picnic lunch all prepared. As it’s such a lovely day, we can eat by the lake. But I wanted to bake some cookies for the girls to have later. I’ll just set them cooling before we go.”

“Thank you for agreeing to an interview at such short notice, Ms. Rose.”

“Please call me, Sam.”

Nodding acknowledgment, though the boyish name didn’t suit her in the least, he followed her into a spacious old-fashioned kitchen. A huge oak table filled the center of the room. As she wielded a spatula to lift the cookies onto a metal rack, he admired her graceful movements and hoped he’d get one of those cookies, too.

He pulled out his small voice recorder and flicked it on. “Do you agree to me recording the interview?”

For a fleeting moment, apprehension gleamed in her blue eyes. He’d been right to suspect she wanted to hide something. He filed the observation away.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Readers can visit me at my website, or on social media.

Cecelia Dowdy – Sweet Delights                              

What are you reading right now?
Above All Things by Deborah Raney. I like this book because it deals with the subject of race. The hero is happily married, expecting his first baby. When his African-American ex-fiancée is suddenly ill and hospitalized, he shockingly discovers that he has a biracial daughter. Bringing this child into his home wreaks havoc in his life and marriage.

This book resonates with me because it’s so realistic. I could imagine the reactions for both of the main characters. Also, Deborah Raney did her research! She did an awesome job of describing how an African-American woman has to take care of her hair! So authentic. Cheers to Deborah!

Please give us a peek into your story.
“Patty-Lynn.” His loud voice echoed down the street. Several pedestrians stared at him, as if he were disturbing their peaceful morning.

She stopped. Slowly turned toward him, her pretty brown eyes widened when she spotted him. He rushed toward her. Hopefully she wouldn’t run away like a scared rabbit. He recalled the wedding reception. Granted, she’d had to get back to work but their interaction had been awkward. The circumstances surrounding their massive breakup had been awful, and he’d hurt her badly. Maybe they could work through those issues.

No way did he want to give her the opportunity to scurry away before they talked. Her jaw hardened, and her brown eyes narrowed to slits. “What do you want?”

He stopped, took a few steps back. Uh oh. Looked like she hated him. It seemed as if she wasn’t going to be able to forgive him for all of his past mistakes. “Are you okay?”

Her frown softened like butter spread over warm toast. “Sorry for snapping at you, Sam. I’m just worried is all.”

Her smooth southern drawl lulled him, made him want to spend some time with her. He wanted to catch up on all that had happened to her over the last seven years. “What’s wrong?” The memory of his helping her with her dental bill floated through his mind. “Are you having money problems?” 

She’d had a ton of those while she’d worked near the college campus.

Her eyes narrowed again. “Not everything is about money. Just because you’re rich don’t mean you can fix everything.”

He held his hands in the air. He felt he was being attacked for no reason. “Hey, I was just asking.” He lowered his voice. “I’m just remembering all you’d gone through when I knew you while you worked near the college. That’s all.”

Her pale skin reddened. She clutched the strap of her purse and refused to look directly into his eyes. “Well, you can’t help me. Not now anyway.”

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can visit my website for more of my books, or on social media.

Mary Manners – A Pocketful of Wishes

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Family is so important to me, as evidenced by the theme of my story, A Pocketful of Wishes. So, I would have to say that the happiest day of my life was the day my daughter, Danni, was born—and all the days that have followed. Life is truly an adventure. Danni is twenty-three now and has come into her own. I am excited to see what the future holds for her. I’m also looking forward to grandchildren!

Please give us a peek into your story.
Carter saw clearly now. This was Jenna…his Jenna. After all these years, he still thought of her that way.
He’d never forgotten her. Truth be told, he’d loved her once. And, if the odd tug at his heart that came with seeing her again was any indication, he still did. But after all these years, she probably didn’t even remember him. She obviously didn’t recognize him.

But he couldn’t fault her for that. He hadn’t recognized her at first glance, either. The years could change a person.

They’d changed him. And not just on the outside.

Had they changed Jenna, too?

A moment lingered in Carter’s memory. Their kiss…his first kiss…still got his pulse thrumming. There was an innocence in that single touch, as well as a truth so real he could feel it even now, after so much time. A hurricane of thoughts raged through his brain, stirring up a storm that mirrored the one pelting his shoulders.

How long had Jenna been back in Maple Ridge? How long was she planning to stay?
Had she looked for him?

Jenna’s long-ago plea suddenly whispered to him. “Don’t forget me.”

He hadn’t…not even for a day. But had she forgotten him?

Carter took a moment to study her features. Blonde hair twisted and piled atop her head to expose the gentle curve of her neck. A smile brightened sunshine-summer eyes he could easily get lost in all over again.

He had so many things he longed to say to her…to share with her.

The time would come for that, but not now. Not here.
“You’d better get to the hospital.” Carter handed the badge back to her. His thumb bumped her cheek, grazing the flawless porcelain skin. He allowed it to linger there for a moment or two before pulling away. “But we’re not done here. I’ll see you again soon and we’ll finish this, Jenna.”

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can visit my website for more of my books. They can also find me on social media.

Clare Revell – Zara’s Folly

What is your current work in progress?
Right now I have about three books on the go. Can be confusing, yes, but I have a cast iron system in place to prevent that. I’m finishing off Quinn’s Choice, which is kind of a follow up to Zara’s Folly. Quinn is the doctor who puts in a fleeting appearance at the end of Zara’s story. He demanded a story of his own, and when he informed me of what it was, I had to write it. This will be in the Christmas box set we are planning. And yes, Zara and TJ make a guest appearance in the end of the book. I figured it was only fair.

I’m also writing a new four book series based on the childhood prayer - Now I lay me down to sleep. It’s a crime thriller series – four books, ten murders, two Christian cops with enough flaws and issues between them to sink the proverbial battleship. Starring Zander and Isabel, this one is due to my editor in a year’s time.

And then there is the multi-author Tuscany box set, which should be out next year some time. I’m writing book 5. This one is still in the planning stages and there are sheets of paper all over my desk with notes on.

My cast iron system for keeping them separate? I cast each and every book I write. Print off their photos and attach them to my notes and have them on the desk or my side when I hand write the first draft. I do reuse actors, but never for the books being written concurrently – unless in the case of Zander and Isabel where they are in all four books.

Please give us a peek into your story.
Zara Michaels ran down the stairs to the platform, praying the train wouldn’t leave before she boarded it. The guard was closing the doors as she reached the train. “Wait,” she called.
He turned and held the last door open long enough for her to plunk her case inside and climb in after it. “Have a good trip, miss.”

“Thank you.”
Somehow she stowed her case and rucksack in the one remaining space on the luggage rack. The automatic doors to the main carriage hissed open. Zara made her way down the already swaying carriage in search of her seat. She’d almost missed the train, thanks to her sister Kim’s incessant meddling, not to mention yet another lecture from her father.

One blessing in disguise. At least her forward facing seat was empty. These days not even a reserved sign guaranteed that. And the way the day was going she’d expected to find someone already sitting there.

She regarded the old lady in the aisle seat and managed a faint smile. “Excuse me. May I get past you, please?”

“Of course, dear.” The old lady stood to allow Zara access to her seat.

“Thank you.” Zara suddenly teetered into her seat as the train jolted over the junction points to the main line. She put her handbag on her lap, squashing it between the table and her middle. She turned to the window, pushing her glasses up her nose as the train sped up. The houses and factories of York slid by, becoming sparser before turning into fields and trees as the city was left behind.

Zara focused on the window, the trees and forests, fields and streams zipping by. Faster and faster, clickety-clack, the train sped through the English countryside—relentlessly taking her into pastures unknown, but at the same time along a path she knew all too well.

“Tickets, please, ladies and gents.”

Zara pulled her ticket from her bag, along with the reservation card and held them out to the conductor. He glanced at them and nodded as he handed them back. Zara returned them to her purse. Her phone beeped and she sighed. The photo of Jordan was obscured by a message that read Kim Mob.

Can’t you leave me alone for an hour, sis? What do you want now?

The message made her heart sink lower. are you really going to do this? aunt agatha loves that place. tell dad no more. so what if he disinherits you b/c you want a life of your own and don’t want to do his dirty work anymore? is the money really more important?

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can visit my website for more of my books, and can find me on social media.

Jan Elder – Moosed Opportunities                           

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I know this is going to sound really cliché, but it’s so true. Just thinking about my wedding day makes my toes wiggle. My Prince Charming came in the shape of one of my closest friends, a man I had known for over twenty years by the time we finally tied the knot.

My first marriage was difficult for many reasons, but life with my Stevie is a true blessing from God. And lest you think we are newlyweds and haven’t passed the honeymoon stage yet, you are half right. We have been married for fourteen years, but every day (um, ALMOST every day) is still a honeymoon.

To what do I attribute this bliss? First, our personalities are very similar, as are our love languages (physical touch followed by quality time spent with each other). But more than that, he is a true man of God and the most thoughtful guy I’ve ever met.

As I write my novels, I try to put a touch of Steve in every hero I dream up. And Eric, the kind, considerate gentleman in the Moose Creek series, is a close approximation. The main difference? My Steve is not a forest ranger wrangling moose in the northernmost county of Maine! But he does wrangle my heart. (Okay, cut it out. I can hear the groans from here).

Please give us a peek into your story.
With only a split second of indecision, Eric flung himself off the bank, half-skating on the ice, the breeze stinging his ears as he zipped forward. If he had any hope of catching that bundle of fur, he was going to have to slide. If a full-grown deer could make it across the wide creek…
The ice creaked, but it held fast. Thankfully, he was gaining on the dog. Halfway across the river, he caught up to Apollo and grabbed his collar with his right hand. They kept sliding. They were going to make it.

Crack! The ice on the other side of the stream gave way and he plunged into the frigid water, his breath whooshing from his lungs. The animal slithered from his grasp as Eric fought to keep his head above water.

Apollo’s soft brown eyes grew impossibly large as he bobbed to the surface a few feet away. Before Eric’s frightened dog could be carried away by the loosed current, he managed to grab onto the leather collar, hauling the animal to his upper body.

Water swirled around them. He kicked his legs to bring them to shore, grateful he only had to push against the current a few more feet before he was able to stand. His sodden cold-weather clothes weighed him down, but he stumbled through the cripplingly cold water, laboring each step of the way, his boots as heavy as if he had a brick strapped to each foot.

The poor dog whimpered and Eric clutched him closer as he stumbled onto land. “It’s okay, boy. We’re safe now.”

His gaze traveled up the hill. An entire herd of deer gaped at him. “Lotta help you guys were.”

He crashed down on a log and surveyed his soaking body, chest heaving. No doubt about it, he was in a pickle.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
If you enjoy reading heartwarming stories with depth and light touches of humor, please visit my website for more of my books. You can also find me on social media.

The authors will be gifting seven eBooks of the box set—one to our gracious hostess, Lena, and six readers who comment will be drawn at random to receive a copy of this delicious box set.

For only $0.99, you can get your copy Picnics and Promises to enjoy on your own summer picnic.

Thank you so much for allowing me to feature this set of romances. I'm eager to read each story.

Here is a link to the book collection:
Picnics & Promises: Six Delicious Summer Romances

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win one of the ebooks. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Mary Manners said...

Thanks so much for hosting Picnics and Promises today, Lena. It was most gracious of you. We appreciate you!

Linda Kish said...

Wow, all of the stories sounds so wonderful. I would find it hard to know where to start. But, don't worry, I'd love the chance to make that decision. Thanks for the chance to try to win this great collection of stories.

Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Beth Gillihan said...

I love these box set stories! They all sound like great books. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Autumn Macarthur said...

Thanks so much for hosting us today, Lena! I hope you readers love this set and all six stories. <3

Cecelia said...

Thanks so much for hosting us on your blog, Lena!

Jan Elder said...

So lovely of you to feature us all on your blog today, Lena! It's a blast working with all of these stellar authors. Blessings, Jan

Marionu said...

Thanks for hosting us on your blog, Lena. It was great fun putting this together.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

All of these stories sound great. Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY

Clare Revell said...

Thank you for hosting us today.