Charity Sunday blog hop

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The charity I’d like to highlight this month is Beacon of Hope. The organization was formed here on the island where I live after Hurricane Charley made a direct hit here back in 2004. It has since grown to include many services to “Help Our People Excel” such as meal service, GED classes, veterans’ support, transportation to medical appointments, and the list goes on.

The Beacon is now affiliated with United Way, but much of the money to run the programs comes from its thrift store and the annual Holiday House event.

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Here I am at Holiday House selling my books.

I included both a hurricane and the formation of a social service agency in my book Southern Hospitality.

Here’s an excerpt:

The next afternoon, the sun had indeed come out in a cloudless sky. The humidity also co-operated making for a perfect day for an outdoor concert.

At noon, traffic was already backed from Calusa all the way across the drawbridge. Sheriff Biggs and Deputy Ramos along with a number of members of the Skippers directed car after car into parking spaces on the outskirts of Mr. Wibbertson’s property. After alighting, the passengers claimed spaces in the open area to set up folding chairs and throw down blankets. Before long, some began tossing beach balls and Frisbees through the air. Others partook of hotdogs, pulled pork sandwiches, and grouper tacos prepared by the food trucks lining the perimeter. A band of local teenagers served as the opening act and began to entertain the growing crowd.

Kate hovered in the wings checking and rechecking last minute details over a two way radio with Dave as he roamed the grounds. Behind the scenes, Geneva and Patsy welcomed Joey and his band mates when Seth delivered them from the hotel.

At three o’clock, Joey and the other musicians bounded onto the stage. With no original music of their own, they chose to perform up tempo oldies and trop rock favorites. Many in the audience either sang along or got up and began to dance. A party atmosphere prevailed for the full two hours that the band played. When they finally took their bows, the shouts of approval were deafening.

Afterwards, the traffic snaked its way off the island in a steady stream for a solid hour. Most of the cars had their windows down as the jubilant occupants continued to sing their way out of town.

The Skippers spread out over Mr. Wibbertson’s field as soon as the vehicles had departed. They soon gathered what little debris had been left behind restoring Mr. Wibbertson’s property to its former state. Weary but exultant, Kate and the others wended their way to their homes. On Sunday morning Pastor Jenkins and Father Mathias both held services of thanksgiving at their respective churches.

The next afternoon, Kate waited for her fellow committee members on the patio. Helen was the last to arrive. Grinning broadly, she all but skipped in, waving a paper over her head.

“I have the preliminary figures,” she announced. “We made nearly twenty-five thousand dollars over what we projected. The auction at the VIP party was a big success.” She paused long enough to blush.  “And Joey himself made a hefty donation before he left town. He handed the check to me personally.”

“Who says prayers aren’t answered?” Father Mathias asked.

“Can I have an amen?” Pastor Jenkins raised his arms skyward.

After the rest of the group responded happily, Dave pulled out a sheaf of papers. “I have some good news too. We can get a preliminary approval of our nonprofit status. All we need is a name.”

“How about Funds for Calusa?” Helen suggested.

“Or Building a New Calusa,” Seth said.

Geneva raised an eyebrow. “Calusa Social Services?”

“I’ve been pondering this,” Kate said. “Everyone in town pulled together to help each other through this. I think our name should be Calusa Cares.”

Dave gazed into Kate’s eyes. “Perfect.”

What is a blog hop?

A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the
exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list.
The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can “HOP” from blog
to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=295126

 

World Opera Day

Opera Europa has declared today World Opera Day. It is also the birthday of Johann Strauss who composed Die Fledermaus, the opera the fictional opera company in my book performs.

Soooo-I decided to make my book free today only.

If you pick it up, I’d really appreciate it if you could post an honest review on Amazon. We author folk live and die by those reviews.

Enjoy!

Guest author Kris Bock

Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café: A Furrever Friends Sweet #Romance

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What do you do when you meet the guy of your dreams? Set him up with your sister, of course.

Kari doesn’t have time for love when she’s opening her new cat café. Renovating an old restaurant, hiring employees, fighting with the health inspector – oh, and welcoming 16 shelter cats – keeps her plenty busy. She’s doing this for the cats, the community, and most of all her family. The café will give her sister, Marley, a job worthy of her baking skills.

Then a tattooed military vet wanders in claiming to be a master baker himself. The café doesn’t need another baker, but maybe Marley needs a man. Surely she’ll fall for a guy this sweet, this sexy, this tasty.

Colin has other ideas. It’s Kari who makes him want to pour on the sugar and turn up the heat. But he’s spent the last two years recovering from physical and psychological wounds. Is he really ready for a relationship? He’s not even sure he should commit to Samson, the fluffy marshmallow of a cat who steals his heart.

Get this sweet romance on Amazon, or free with Kindle Unlimited.

Excerpt

Kari smiled warmly. “So now you think making coffee sounds good? Or is it the cats that appeal to you?”

He returned her smile, and her knees went weak. He was not her type. She liked intellectual, career-focused men. She had never understood women who raved over a man in uniform. Not that he was in uniform now. She glanced down at his faded jeans and tried not to let her gaze linger on the snug black T-shirt as she looked up again. Now he looked like he should be jumping on a motorcycle without a helmet, not looking for work in a café that featured adoptable cats. Soldier or biker, he wasn’t her type – but she could see the appeal.

A clatter came from the kitchen, where her sister was organizing the supplies. On the other hand, this man might be Marley’s type. After all, Marley had gotten pregnant at eighteen from a tattooed soldier on leave. She’d hardly dated since, but if her ex hadn’t turned her off of the type permanently, she might find this one appealing. But was he a nice guy or a jerk?

“Both, actually.”

It took Kari a moment to realize he was responding to her question about coffee or cats.

 

About Kris Bock

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats.

Kris also writes romantic suspense set in the Southwestern U.S. If you love Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels, try Kris Bock’s stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Sign up for Kris Bock’s newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Guest author Barbara White Daile

The Rancher's Family

A big “thank you!” to Fran for inviting me to visit the blog!

I’m happy to be here and thrilled to share a peek at my latest release, The Rancher’s Family. This sweet/clean contemporary romance is part of the Hitching Post Hotel series and my first book from Harlequin Heartwarming.

From the back cover of The Rancher’s Family

“Are you my new mommy?”

She certainly hopes so…

After a devastating loss, Cara Leonetti’s dreams of a husband and children are on hold. But Cowboy Creek’s local matchmaker thinks otherwise! And Cara finds herself unexpectedly entangled in the day-to-day family chaos of widower Wes Daniels and his two small children. She’s falling hard, but the strong, silent rancher doesn’t trust in love. Can Cara put her own fears aside and show Wes that they’re stronger together?

 

An excerpt from The Rancher’s Family

Wes scuffed one foot on the floor, wanting to kick himself for blurting out that remark about charity. Why give the woman ideas?

“The Garlands are good friends. And I imagine Andi’s plans are on the level,” he admitted, “but I wouldn’t put it past Jed to… Never mind.” He would see Jed himself. From the time he was a child Mark’s age, he’d looked up to the man. That wouldn’t keep him from calling him out on his interference. Jed had a reputation for knowing everything that went on in Cowboy Creek. Not one-hundred-percent true. There were things his old friend didn’t—and would never—know about him.

“I’ll show you Patty’s craft stuff before I head out,” he told Cara. “We’ve got a spare bedroom. Patty converted it into her office and stored everything there. It’s at the far end of this hall.”

He hesitated at the office doorway. It had been more than a year since he’d set foot in here. If he had his choice, he wouldn’t enter it again. Coward.

As though someone had shoved him between the shoulder blades, he shot through the door and didn’t stop till he reached the center of the room.

When Cara followed, he gestured toward the multiple storage chests and dressers, the stacks of boxes, the closed but—as he well remembered—overflowing closet. “Everything’s packed full. But I don’t know much about what Patty stockpiled in here.”

Her eyes widened. “This is all inventory she’d planned to sell?”

He nodded. “As I said, she spent a lot of time on her crafts.”

“I can see that. Mind if I browse?”

“That’s why we’re here.” He leaned against the doorframe, watching her check out the contents of half a dozen boxes and bins.

“Amazing. If all the rest is like this, Andi should be thrilled to have it for her start-up stock, if you’re interested.”

“That’ll work.”

“Great. Then once I finish up in your bedroom, I’ll start making an inventory in here. It’s going to take time, though less of it if I can work from an existing list. I’d guess your wife made one.” She glanced around the room. “Do you have a computer?”

“Not me. Patty did. A laptop. I’ll get it out when you’re ready for it.”

“Since you said you’ll be gone most of the day, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a look at it before you go. The sooner the better, don’t you think?”

“You read my mind,” he said truthfully. Just as he’d read the look in her steady gaze. Her eyes held the same sympathy they had the night before. He’d seen too much of that from too many people this year.

Somehow, last night, he’d imagined he could accept her help. That with her being a stranger, her sympathy wouldn’t bother him. Now he wished he’d never opened the door this morning.

 

Find The Rancher’s Family

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Ranchers-Family-Hitching-Post-Hotel-ebook/dp/B07MW7JZZ1/

Barnes & Noble  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ranchers-family-barbara-white-daille/1130314948?ean=9781488039881

Books-A-Million  https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Ranchers-Family/Barbara-White-Daille/Q30646677?id=7571848599780

Harlequin  https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488039881_the-ranchers-family.html

Kobo  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rancher-s-family

 

Barbara White Daille

About Barbara

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too! Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:  https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.

 

 

Q&A

Have you always written in your current genre?

I started writing when I was nine, and at that point, my stories were all in the mystery genre, because that’s what I loved to read. My favorite series were Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, and Encyclopedia Brown. But when I wrote my first novel—in eighth grade—both my female protagonists had major crushes. : ) Ever since then, I’ve written romance, usually sweet and what I call “sweeter” books, as even those with brief love scenes focus on the characters’ conflicts and emotions.

 

Do you get inspiration for your characters from real life?

I put characters together the way pieces fit into a jigsaw puzzle—a mannerism, a quirk, an occupation, and so on, all working together to form the whole picture. My characters are usually the sum of so many different pieces that, though they come to life for me and my readers, they’re no one I’ve ever met in my own life.

 

Who has been your most challenging character to write?

So far, that would be Lianne Ward, the heroine of Rancher at Risk, one of my Flagman’s Folly books. Lianne is deaf, and I wanted to show her as a woman like any other woman, who just happens to be deaf. I was thrilled when a fan wrote to tell me she has many deaf family members and that I “got it right.” Lianne makes her debut appearance in the first Flagman’s Folly story, A Rancher’s Pride, along with her four-year-old niece, Becky, who also is deaf.

 

What are you currently working on?

My next Harlequin Heartwarming and another book in my sweet/clean Snowflake Valley series from Entangled Books.

 

Author Links

Website  https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com

Newsletter  https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/barbarawhitedaille

Twitter  https://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-white-daille

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/529361.Barbara_White_Daille
Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-White-Daille/e/B002J6B0QQ

Harlequin  https://www.harlequin.com/shop/authors/23759_barbara-white-daille.html
Entangled  http://entangledpublishing.com/category/barbara-white-daille/