Is Amazon Ruining Publishing?

There’s a lot of talk in the publishing world. Most readers have no idea of the conversation. But amazon has changed the way we look at books, the way we buy them, and yes, the way we publish them.

I’ll admit the first time that I heard about e-books I thought they were going to be a flop. (I missed the Build-A-Bear train too. Good thing I’m a writer and not in product development.) Anyway, eons ago one of my computer-savvy, adventurous writer friends took the plunge and put her books out in e-book format. I thought, what a waste of time. Boy, was I wrong.

Like many readers, I prefer paper books. There’s something about holding a book in my hands, looking at the words, touching the paper, smelling the whatever it is that makes print books smell the way they do. Plus, I don’t believe I have ever stayed up all night reading an e-book. I feel a bit removed from it. Like the story is in a glass case. I can look, even read, but I can’t touch. It’s no longer personal for me. Do I read e-books? Oh, yes. I have a Nook and a Kindle. I get my BookBub ad every day and I look at it, every day.

Yet I’m amazed at the people who ask me if my books are available in fill in the blank of their favorite reading format. Usually it’s paper. Do your books come in paper? This seems like an odd question, but the fact of the matter is so many authors are self-publishing these days, or publishing with a digital first or digital only houses, that a great deal of books aren’t in paper.

I feel that most people who read Christian/Amish fiction prefer paper. I think they need the backup of a product they can hold in their hands in order to feel comfortable spending their money. I’ll admit, I sometimes have a hard time buying music I can’t hold (in the form of a CD) or my son’s video games that go directly into his Playstation, but I’m working on it.

Back to books. We all know that we judge books by their cover. Even if only to say, “That looks interesting.” But for me, it doesn’t stop there. I look at the author’s name. Sometimes read their bio—after all, it’s feasible to believe that a man who served in the armed forces would write a darn good military thriller. At least concerning accuracy.  Of course I read the book description. But I always look for the publisher. Stacey tells me this is a writer thing. It’s not that I won’t buy self-published books. I do. And I have published many stories myself. It’s just another way to determine if I want to take a chance on an unknown (to me) author. If the cover is ‘meh’ is it because it’s from self-published author who hired the wrong cover designer? Maybe she has really bad taste, or she tried to make the cover herself. Or maybe she’s published with Well Known Publishing and she got the brand-spanking new intern? If the cover is fantastic and it’s a self-published book, I know the author cares about the details of what she’s putting out there.

From there, I decide if it’ll be my next purchase.

But what about price? The only time I let price sway me is if I’m looking at e-books that are over $2 and I still have 400 unread books in my Nook. Should I really spend that money to make it 401? Why can $3 be a deal breaker? I have no idea.

Amazon has made it easier for authors and wanna-be writers alike to bring out their books and present them to the public. This is both a blessing and a curse, because now, the readers must wade through more offerings than ever before to find something they like.

There are authors out there who blog every week about the perils and pitfalls waiting for authors on Amazon. There are those who back self-publishing 100% and there are those who would never self-publish for a variety of reasons. Then there are those like me who are considered ‘hybrid.’ I have an agent, I have contracts with a large publisher, and I have self-published books. But in the big scheme of things, it comes down to what the reader wants. What’s important to you? Is it price? A great cover? A well-known name? Do you buy everything a certain author writes without question? Does the publisher come into it at all? I’m just curious to know. I have the ‘writer’s mentality.’ Even when I’m playing the role of reader, it’s always there in the back of my mind. Be sure to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation. I would love to know what you think about the availability of books on Amazon. Has Amazon made it easier for you to find books or harder? How do you find the stories you want to read? What else would you like to share about books, authors, and publishing? Please remember to keep it uplifting. Name no names and point no fingers unless it’s in a positive light. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure applies to books as well. Please don’t ruin an author’s chances with another reader. And as always, remember to spread JOY!

After I wrote this post, I was asked if I would show how to tell who the publisher of a book is. Check out the following screen shot. This is for Titus Returns. This section of Amazon is under the author bio. So when you are on the amazon site and looking at a particular title, simply scroll down to find this info. As you can see from the image, the publisher is Zebra (an imprint of Kensington).

Now take a look at this image. This is for Brodie’s Bride. Under publisher it has A Squared Books which is my own publishing label. Other authors simply use their name.

Hope this helps! And don’t forget to leave a comment.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Marrying Jonah.* **

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Marrying Jonah, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, international winners may be offered an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

That’s right! Everyone who left a comment on the last blog received a copy of Marrying Jonah! Happy reading and thanks for commenting! A

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Winner! Winner!

Chicken dinner! Anyone know why we say that? Is it just because it rhymes?

Sorry there’s no blog post this week. I’ve been really busy writing and of course it’s football season which eats up a lot of my time since The Teen is playing JV and varsity. And it’s my birthday! Well tomorrow is. And it’s a big one! Yep, that’s right. The big 5-0. So cut an old woman a break! LOL

But I did want to take a few minutes and congratulate last week’s winner!

I’ll  be back in a week or so with another ‘real’ blog post and more winners, but for now, leave a comment. Tell me what’s on your mind, happy birthday, or why we say ‘winner, winner chicken dinner.’ Your choice. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Marrying Jonah.* **

Happy reading! And remember, spread JOY everywhere you go!

*If you already have a copy of Marrying Jonah, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, any international winner will be sent an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

More about Bravery…

Every year around Easter my husband, the Major, watches all of those splendid Cold War Biblical movies that had casts of thousands and would be impossible to make today. I tease him about watching them, but I secretly like them too.  Except for that one part in the Ten Commandments where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac.  First of all I hate this story in the Bible. Go ahead. Tell me it’s wrong to hate, but it’s disturbing to me as I am sure it is to most of you. Why would God give Abraham a son and then ask him to sacrifice him? I know, I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about devotion and obedience, but it seems unnecessarily cruel. But that’s just me. I’m human. I don’t always understand God. Not in the case with Abraham and certainly not when it comes to writing.

These days I feel a little like Abraham, asked by God to sacrifice his son. Just a smidge. Yes, I exaggerate. I’m a writer; it’s what I do. See, writing a book is emotionally a lot like giving birth. It takes months of worry, prayer, hopes, dreams, and preparations before this tiny miracle comes into the world. Then you have to give it over to the world–editors, readers, critics, and reviewers. Let me tell you it’s no easy feat. Even for the über-confident, there are always doubts.

Then you have me with God whispering in my ear to be brave. I thought I knew what it meant. Now I’m wondering if I was wrong.

Did He want me to change all my books to inspirational? Then why did the thought fill me with dread? Every time I caught sight of my writing schedule, I broke out in a cold sweat. Why?

I made it all the way through Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop before the solid doubts set in. Was this what I was supposed to do? Or was it hard and that alone was filling me with concerns?

Every writer is warned throughout their writing life that the darlings will have to be killed. Those wonderful beautiful words that were strung together so eloquently will have to go. Be ready for it. Was that what this was about? Hanging on to my words?

Stephen King takes it one step further.

Yes, there is a danger in falling in love with one’s own words. But this was about more than that. I had spent a lot of time working on my rating system and getting it together for readers. Was it going to be confusing for readers to have a couple of my books still secular? And that’s not even completely correct. Some I could only take to the ‘sweet’ level–no bedroom scenes. But would that be enough? It wouldn’t be for the readers who wanted a ‘clean read.’ And it seemed a little…unfinished to me. See, I have a thing about ‘wholes,’ things being complete.

What was I supposed to do?

Ugh! I didn’t know! So I prayed about it, talked to Stacey, prayed some more. I walked, ate too many Rice Krispie treats, and prayed more. I even made my announcement of the changes to come. Then it occurred to me: was my uncertainty a sign? Had I misunderstood? Or was I just hoping that I did? Was this my sacrifice? Did God want me to accept his instructions, but not carry them through?

I’m still not 100% certain. I guess that makes me one of millions. There’s not much many are 100% about. So I’m in good company. But all plans of rewrites have been put on hold. I feel the need to go forward, not back. But more Christian/inspirational books? That’s definitely still on. I’m still not 100% certain what these books will be about. There are a lot of factors to be considered, contracts, time, and the ever-changing market.

Amish, historical, contemporary–I have stories in all three that I could write, but for now, I’m working on my contracted Amish books and Chase’s story. I’m still hoping to get that out before the end of the year. What will its rating be? I don’t know yet. It seems a little counter-productive to make it a green apple book when the others in the series are, and will remain, red apples. See? There’s that “whole” thing coming up again. And I’m not sure how–well, I can’t give everything away. Rest assured, I’ll let everyone know the rating when the time comes.

What about you? Have you ever had this happen, where you have been uncertain of what God wants from you? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you! Remember please to keep it positive and spread JOY.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday September 1, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 31, 2017.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.

I have 2 winners I need to announce today–one from last week and the second from the week before. But…my right hand (you don’t have to tell Stacey I called her that) has been working a lot this week and I have to get with her. Never fear, those winners will be chosen. And even announced. Sometime. Soon. Until then, thanks for reading! :)

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Aren’t changes usually associated with the Spring? Spring has definitely sprung here in OK and changes are all around. My blog is no different. This week I should be talking about the Reading Challenge, but I had to adjust the schedule due to the news I’m about to share.

You may  or may not have noticed that some of my books are currently  unavailable. Here’s a list of affected titles:

The Wildflower Bride

Southern Hospitality 

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop

Blame It On Texas

With a few more changes waiting in the wings. But for now, here’s what’s happening.

The Wildflower Bride has gone out of print. Bottom line is a cover change. Thanks to our wonderful friend the Internet, books go out of print from the publisher and yet are still available from third party sellers and even distributors who have stock in the warehouse. You’ll still see the 12 in 1 volume, The 12 Brides of Summer, for sale, but you’re also going to have the opportunity to buy the e-novella in a special 1-in-1 version that hasn’t previously been released. I don’t have plans to put this book out in print, but I do have a few 4-in-1 copies that were compiled for Walmart, and I’ll be giving a few of those away in the upcoming weeks. Here’s what to look for:

The Wildflower Bride is a Green Apple rated book.

Blame It On Texas: Due to a change with the publisher, I now have the rights back to this contemporary, western novella. It too has undergone a small cover change, but the most exciting thing…? I am making this book available in print for the first time! Keep in mind that this is a novella so it’s short, and I’m doing everything in my power to keep the price as low as possible for my print readers.

Here’s what to look for:

Blame It On Texas is a Red Apple rated book.

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is in the same boat with Blame It On Texas. I am currently working to get it back onto the cyber shelves, but these things take time. And I never have enough of that! <g> It’ll most likely go up in e-book first and then in print. The good news is since I am offering this book myself, I’m hoping to be able to get the paper in at a much better price than before.

Here’s what to look for:

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is a Red Apple rated book.

And that brings me to Southern Hospitality (and Southern Comfort) … the two books in the Hot Southern Nights Series will most likely be off the shelves for a bit longer than the others on this list. Southern Comfort is currently available, but will be disappearing in the next few weeks. It’s going to take a bit before I can get these back out, but never fear, they will be back and with their companion book, Southern Charm. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

I don’t have covers or anything to show you, but when I do, I’ll be sure everyone knows what’s coming. In the mean time, just be patient and I promise to make it worth your while. And so everyone knows, The Hot Southern Nights Series is a Red Apple rated series.

With the republishing of the Hot Southern Nights series, my pen name will be a thing of the past. I hope this isn’t confusing for anyone. If you ever have a question about a book, when something will be available, or even its rating and what that means, don’t hesitate to send me over an email. Since I write different genres and different ‘heat levels,’ I feel it’s extremely important to make sure you know the rating of the book you have in your hands. Since I work with different publishers the quickest way to check a book’s rating is right on my website.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for a reading challenge update. I’m doing my best to get caught up after reading my RITA books. I’ve knocked one more challenge book off my list, and I’m working on another two.

How’s your reading going this year? Are you living up to the challenge? Do you have a question for me about one of my re-releases? Leave me a comment below. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Small Town Summer Brides which includes my novella, The Wildflower Bride, as well as three more novellas by other great authors!

And as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

And don’t forget…Marrying Jonah releases tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best “Girl” Movies of All Time

I recently ran across an article online that listed the top 30 chick-flicks of all time. As I read through them I admit there were several that I agreed with, a few that I haven’t seen, and several more that I knew had a sad ending, which knocked them off my list for sure.

I’m sure there are plenty of movie goers out there who don’t mind leaving the theater with mascara tracks down their cheeks, but I’m not one of those. If you’re going to make me cry, it better be for a darn good reason.

So I decided to come up with my own list of the best chick-flicks and invite you to add your vote in as well. Here’s the link for the original article so you can judge those for yourself.  LINK

Here’s my list:

Sweet Home Alabama

French Kiss

Sabrina

Steel Magnolias

Mom’s Night Out

27 Dresses

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

Sleepless in Seattle

You’ve Got Mail

When Harry Met Sally

Six Days and Seven Nights

Raising Helen

Enchanted

Friends with Benefits

The Holiday

Kate and Leopold

Just Like Heaven

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Thirteen Going on Thirty

And these made me think of other movies that could be considered chick flicks, depending on your definition.

What about:

Tin Cup

For Love of the Game

Far and Away

Meet Joe Black

One for the Money

Witness

Sense and Sensibility

Urban Cowboy

Or these classics:

Dear Ruth

Send Me No Flowers

That Touch of Mink

An Affair to Remember

Gone with the Wind

Some Like It Hot

And what exactly is a “chick flick?” Wikipedia says, “Chick flick is a slang term for the film genre dealing mainly with love and romance which is targeted to a female audience.”

Well, that knocks out a few of these…My husband has seen at least a third of the movies in the first section. And I know he’s seen almost all in the second one. Let me pause here and tell you that I am not keeper of the remote at my house and I am definitely married to an alpha male.

So how do I narrow this down? Okay, I’m on a desert island with a DVD player and ten DVDs. Don’t question the electricity factor. Just go with it. (Dang! I forgot to add that one to the list!) What ten “girly” movies would I/you want to take? Here’s my edited list:

French Kiss

Tin Cup

Far and Away

Witness

Some Like It Hot

Gone With the Wind

Sweet Home Alabama

Sleepless in Seattle

Six Days and Seven Nights

A River Runs Through It.

What’s that you say? A River Runs Through It is not a chick flick? Well, those who know me know that have a “thang” for Brad Pitt. I wouldn’t be able to make it stranded on an island with questionable electricity without at least one of Brad’s movies and he is sooooo much cuter in A River Runs Through It than he was in Meet Joe Black.

What about you? Ten chick flicks you can watch over and over. Okay, nine chick flicks and one pretend boyfriend movie. Go!

Everyone who comments will be put in a drawing to win an autographed copy of Healing a Heart. And as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Release Day ~ Healing a Heart

healing-heart-3d-cover-2It’s here! Finally! It’s release day for Healing a Heart! In honor of the occasion, I’ve added a new excerpt. Hope you’ll stay and read a little more about Healing a Heart. It’s a sweet story about forgiveness, second chances, and leaving yourself open enough to find love again.

As cowboys, the Langston brothers of Cattle Creek, Texas, know it’s easy to mend a fence. Mending a broken heart, however, takes time…
 
Rancher Jake Langston prides himself on being the sensible type. But five years after the loss of his wife left him to raise their daughter alone, he indulges in a one-night stand with a sexy stranger. He thought he’d never see the woman again. Four months later, though, she’s standing in his drive with a big surprise.

Bryn Talbot wants nothing from the hunky cowboy who got her pregnant, but her Southern nature demands she at least tell him about it. When Jake’s family persuades her to stay for a while, she’s soon won over by their charms—and by Jake. But with the losses the two of them have suffered in the past, neither is sure if they’re ready to take the leap to forever…

peek-at-healing-a-heart

AMY LILLARD PINTEREST Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks  Amy Lillard readers group Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks  

 

Amy Lillard Amazon icon bw Amy Lillard B&N icon bw  Amy Lillard apple icon bw  kobo-icon-black-white Amy Lillard BAM icon bw  indie bound

Leave a comment and be entered into this week’s drawing for an audio copy of Loving a Lawman.

When you read a series, do you always read in order, or do you read them as you find them?

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Should You Date a Cowboy?

Days…There are mere days until the release of Healing a Heart! Can you say Amy is excited? And I am. This book—this series—has been a long time coming, and I love that I finally get to share my cowboy brothers with you!

Healing a Heart is Jake’s book. If you read Loving a Lawman, you probably remember Jake, sweet, grieving Jake whose wife died in childbirth. Now he’s doing the best he can, running the family ranch and raising his daughter as a single dad. His life is in something of a holding pattern, that is until Jessie McAllen Langston enters his name for the most eligible bachelor in Texas. Jake comes in fifteenth, but it’s enough to wreak havoc on his calm and peaceful life. Women are coming out to the ranch hoping to snag themselves a real-life cowboy.

date-a-cowboy

Now, I love cowboys. I love cowboy movies, rodeos, and everything to do with the history of the Old West. But I didn’t marry a cowboy. Which made me wonder, how many women out there really can handle the cowboy life? Or is it just a romantic fantasy better lived through wonderful romances?

So I developed a quiz to help you determine…

Could you date a cowboy?

Answer the questions below—honestly, of course.

  1. Have you ever dated a cowboy?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Never

2. Would you ever date a cowboy?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Maybe

3. Do you know what a real cowboy is like?

A. Oh, yeah! Ropes, Pick-ups and Good livin’

B. You mean like John Wayne?

C. I have a pink cowboy hat.

4. Do you know the difference between a bull, steer, cow, heifer, and calf?

A, Of course

B. I think so

C. There’s a difference?

5. Do you know what Copenhagen is?

A. Long cut or snuff?

B. A city in Denmark

C. No idea

6. You see a guy in Wranglers, your first thought is

A. Let me at ‘em

B. What are Wranglers?

C. No way

7. What kind of beer?

A. Coors

B. Corona

C. Heineken

8. Do you watch the PBR?

A. Every chance I can

B. Sometimes

C. What the heck does that mean?

9. Does a ride in a pickup out in the pasture on a starry night (while keeping a close eye out for coyotes) sound romantic to you?

A. Sign me up!

B. Maybe

C. Are you crazy?

10. I could spend the rest of my life staring at wide-open spaces and livestock.

A. Sounds like heaven

B. The rest of my life?

C. Count me out!

Give yourself 3 points for every A answer, 2 for every B answer, and 1 for every C answer.

If you scored 30-25 Yes! Go find yourself a cowboy!

24-18 Maybe…but you better think this through

17 to 10 You see a cowboy hat and a belt buckle? Run! Run as fast as you can!

Below 10 did you even answer the questions? Seriously, the lowest you can get is 10

Leave me a comment and let me know how you did. Or at least leave me a comment, even if you don’t want to share your results. (LOL) Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed copy of Healing a Heart.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the book, please feel free to leave a review on your favorite online site or drop a line to my publisher Berkley/Penguin and tell them how much you enjoyed the story. Kind words go a long way!

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Countdown to Healing a Heart

Guess what? We’re just a little over two weeks till the release of Healing a Heart! Can you tell I’m excited? Excited is a mild word. I’m downright giddy!healing-a-heart-meme-for-website

I grew up with a love of cowboys and all things Western. So I guess it only makes sense that I would want to write books about them too. To me, there’s something inherently special about a cowboy hero. And Jake Langston is no exception.

Jake is Seth’s brother (Loving a Lawman). Jake is the second oldest in the Langston family and runs the family ranch in the absence of Mav, the oldest.

Jake has had a rough spell, beginning with the death of his wife in childbirth and continuing on as he does his best to raise his daughter with the help of his family, namely his mother and grandmother. And he has no intentions of ever getting married again. Ever.

Then a one night stand turns his life upside down.

Even the mighty fall.

Now Jake is torn between his vows to himself and his responsibilities to this new child entering his life. But Bryn Talbot, the mother, is unlike any woman he’s ever met, and Jake finds himself thinking about more than visitation rights and financial support.

peek-at-healing-a-heart

Bryn looked out over the pool to the ranch beyond. The buildings and other fenced areas created an L around the property, and she wondered what they were all used for. She had no idea the ranch would be this . . . sprawling. But it seemed as if that was the measure of Texas. Sprawling.

Even the table they had eaten at was a huge entity that seemed to go on for miles.

But it had been fun. She had worried about sitting at a table with a bunch of strangers. That was what they were to her, strangers. Even Jake.

And that was the weirdest part of all. They were having a baby and they didn’t know the first thing about each other. But come tomorrow, that was one thing they were going to have to work on. Just how did one go about getting to know the father of their child?

She moved a little further out onto the patio, staring up at the billion stars in the sky. Maybe it was because the land was so flat or maybe things really were bigger in Texas, but it seemed that there were twice the number of stars here than in Georgia.

She heard a clicking noise and looked to see Kota padding across the patio. She didn’t know a lot about dogs, but he seemed friendly enough. What was it Jake had said? As long as she didn’t break from the herd. She wasn’t exactly sure what that meant but she could guess.

“Come here, doggy.” She lowered her voice and stooped over a bit, holding her hand out toward the pooch. He really was the craziest-colored dog she had ever seen. Mostly black, white, and gray with rusty patches thrown in for good measure. Kind of like a German shepherd that had been liberally flecked with bleach. She supposed he was some sort of herding dog, though she had no idea of the exact breed. Wait, weren’t they just called cow dogs?

Kota came closer, slowing and finally coming to a stop right in front of her. He sat on his haunches and stared up at her expectantly.

“You’re a good dog, right?” She hesitantly scratched him behind one ear.

He tilted his head to the side and she took that as a good sign.

“Yes, you are,” she said, gaining more confidence where he was concerned.

“Nice night.”

She nearly jumped out of her skin. Dog forgotten, she whirled around, hand pressed to her pounding heart. “Jake! You scared me!”

“I didn’t mean to.”

She lurched to the side and apparently Kota considered her breaking from the herd. He nipped at her heel, effectively keeping her in place.

“Ow,” she exclaimed more from surprise than pain.

Concern immediately took over Jake’s expression. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?”

She shook her head. “He just scared me a bit.”

Jake nodded, though he let out a high-pitched whistle. Kota immediately left Bryn to stand at his side, though she could tell Kota really wanted to make sure she behaved. Well, according to a cow dog’s standards anyway.

“What are you doing out here?” she asked.

“Same thing as you, I guess. Enjoying the evening.”

“Wesley in bed?”

“Finally.” He chuckled “She was pretty wound up at supper.”

“She’s a wonderful little girl.”

A silence fell between them, broken only by the sound of the night. There were no cars or horns. No sirens out here, just the low of the cows and the occasional bark as one of the other dogs heard something it didn’t like.

Kota’s ears stood up and he let out a small whine, but he never left Jake’s side.

“Go on,” Jake commanded.

The dog took off into the night.

She could hear the dogs barking, then things grew quiet once more.

“What are we going to do?” she quietly asked.

“Get married.”

She shook her head. “I can’t marry you.” Though her heart leapt at the prospect. Down, girl. He might be one of the most handsome men she had ever met and the fifteenth most eligible bachelor in the entire state, but she didn’t belong here. And he surely wouldn’t pick up and move to Georgia. So where did that leave them? “I guess we should talk about visitation and that sort of thing.” It sounded cold, like they were talking about something other than a living, breathing child. Something less.

“Why not? I have a good job, enough money to take care of you and the baby, and all my own teeth.”

“This is not why I told you about the baby.”

He took a step toward her. A menacing step, or was that a trick of the shadows where he stood? “Then why did you tell me, Bryn? You obviously don’t want money or a ring. So why come here and tell me when you have no intentions of letting me be a major part of the child’s life?”

“Maybe this was a mistake.”

“You think?” He took another step, this one bringing him close enough that she had to crane her head back to meet his cold green gaze.

“Not the baby.” She waved a hand around as if to dismiss that idea. “Coming here.”

“That’s what I’m talking about as well.”

She swallowed hard as he continued to tower over her.

“So why did you?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered in return.

Something changed between them, shifted, until the night seemed to hold something each one had been searching for but had never managed to find.

“Could it be you want to know if what we shared that night was real?”

“Of—of course it was real,” she sputtered. Deliberately obtuse was not her best look.

“You know what I mean.” He reached up a hand and brushed her hair back from her face. “I don’t remember the purple,” he murmured.

“Rick—my friend I was with that night—he thought it would be fun.”

“Does he always advise you?”

“Sometimes.” When had he gotten this close to her, and why had she only noticed now? It would take only a breath and he could swoop in and capture her lips with his own. Or maybe she should raise up on her toes and see if his kisses were as hot and sweet as she remembered.

And if they were? What then?

She wrenched herself from his embrace, only then realizing that somehow his arms had gotten wrapped around her.

“No.” The one word was breathless with anticipation and disappointment. “You can’t manipulate me this way. It’s not fair.” She backed away from him and fled to her room.

She could not fall under his spell again.

Healing a Heart will be available in paperback and ebook formats on February 7, 2017.

Hope you’ll check it out!

And I hope you’ll leave a comment. I’m giving away a signed copy of Healing a Heart (paperback version) to one luck commenter. Tell me, do you prefer paper or digital books? (I’m a paper girl myself.)

Thanks for reading!

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Reading Challenge 2017

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It’s that time again. A new year, the perfect time to set new goals, or even recommit to the ones from years before. I vow every year to lose weight, eat healthier, blog more consistently, and/or to not complain when I don’t get my way. Yeah, well…the best plain plans…

Anyway, one resolution that is easy to keep (at least easier) has to do with reading and books. Last year I posed a 10 book reading challenge. Now this isn’t a challenge like some. The point here is not to see how many books you can read in a year, but to stretch your reading legs and get out of your comfort zone a little. Try something new. That’s why there are only 10 challenge books. I couldn’t go the entire year without reading my favorite genre. And I don’t expect you to either. Just to push yourself out of your cozy spot 10 times this year and read something you might not normally read. I’ll be honest; there will be new books you love and new books you hate, but at least you’ll be able to say that you read something you might not have otherwise read.

Below is a list of 15 types of books to help you find new things to read. If you’d like to join me in this challenge, all you have to do is check in here once a month (the second Thursday of the month) and leave a comment. Let me know what you’ve been reading and where it falls on the list. Yes, there are 15 choices in a 10 book challenge. Pick your faves and start reading.

What am I reading right now? Well…I’m between books. But I’m about to start A Man Called Ove. I got it in a Christmas book exchange, and since it’s going to be made into a book soon, I’m calling it my #14.

I hope you’ll join in the challenge! Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog will be entered into a drawing to win a mystery book. And with any luck, it’ll be a book to help the winner read more and read differently in 2017.

Happy Reading!

Amy