Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Anolon Vesta Cast Iron 5Qt Braiser Giveaway (1 Winner ~ $130 RV) @SMGurusNetwork @Anolon


Welcome to The Anolon Vesta Cast Iron 5Qt Braiser Giveaway!

1 Winner

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy

Michigan Saving and More, Home Jobs By Mom, Gifts For All Seasons, My Silly Little Gang

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This giveaway's Sponsor is:

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1 Lucky Winner Will Win A Anolon Vesta Cast Iron 5Qt Braiser in Paprika Red ($130 RV)

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THE GIVEAWAY

Verre Esprit Valentine Gifts Giveaway Ends 2/14

Verre Espirt Valentine Gifts Giveaway

Welcome to the Verre Esprit Valentine Gifts Giveaway!

1 Winner

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This giveaway's Sponsor is:

VERRE ESPRIT

Verre Esprit, a gift and homeware brand which is all about the fun without sacrificing the luxury. Their beautiful products range from champagne flutes to jewelry dishes, and are all designed to add a touch of class to your home. Quality matters to them, which is why their products are made of the highest standard materials. All their products are BPA-Free and the wine and champagne glasses are even made of crystal - how’s that for quality!

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$40.98 RV

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THE GIVEAWAY

 





Welcome to the Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway!

Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 1/29 #MySillyLittleGang

Welcome to the Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway!

1 Winner

This giveaway is part of our Valentine's Day Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products.

Host is My Silly Little Gang

Michigan Saving and More
Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 1/29 #MySillyLittleGang
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This giveaway's Sponsor is:
Blueberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 12/31 #MySillyLittleGang

1 Lucky Winner will receive a 40 Coffee Pods Count Box of Slice Blackberry Pie Flavor Coffee!

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Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 1/29 #MySillyLittleGang

Available on Amazon

Check Out Review Here!

Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 1/29 #MySillyLittleGang

Giveaway Dates: 1/16/20 12:00 AM EST and runs until 1/29/20 at 11:59 PM EST

This giveaway/ sweepstake is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 1/29/20. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to silvie.mslg@gmail.com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for the shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with these contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. You are not eligible if you have won from this sponsor in the last 12 months. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Silvana Armas at mslgblog@gmail.com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.
Blackberry Pie Coffee Giveaway ~ Ends 1/29 #MySillyLittleGang

Delilah Home 100% Organic Cotton Towel 6Pc Set Giveaway! (1 Winner ~ Ends 2/18) @SMGurusNetwork @DelilahHome


Welcome to The Delilah Home 100% Organic Cotton Towel 6Pc Set Giveaway!

1 Winner ~ $150 RV

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy

Michigan Saving and More, Home Jobs By Mom, Gifts For All Seasons, My Silly Little Gang

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This giveaway's Sponsor is:

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1 Lucky Winner Will Win A 6PC Set of Delilah Home 100% Organic Cotton Towels In Their Choice Of Color (White, Natural, Light Gray & Mineral Green) $150 RV

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THE GIVEAWAY

GRAND FINALE BLITZ (share 1/25 - 1/29): The Matchmaker's Rogue #Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome to Grace-by-the-Sea, a Regency spa village where everything is designed for your comfort and delight. Just don’t look too closely at those who pass silently in the night. . .

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"The Matchmaker's Rogue was a pleasure to read. I loved the characters. The eccentric residents and the "crazy" aunt all added a wonderful feel to the book. . . . It was the perfect blend of romance, mystery, and townsfolk. I can't wait to see who is matched in the next installment of the series."


One of the reasons Jesslyn Chance loved the village of Grace-by-the-Sea is that it rarely changed. The same hot mineral water had been bubbling out of the limestone cliffs since before the Romans had landed in the little horseshoe-shaped cove below. The same families fished from the cove, farmed the chalk Downs above, worked at the spa, married at St. Andrew’s Church, and had babies who grew up to marry and have more babies.

For the last hundred years, the same sorts of people, from young misses nervously awaiting their come out to venerable military gentlemen nursing war injuries, had come to drink the spa waters and bathe in the sea. The village had grown up to cater to the needs of its guests, boasting shops and conveniences few of its size ever managed. It was all very civilized.

Until you introduced a rogue.

Among the Reads - Review

"It was such fun reading and trying to figure out who to trust and who the smugglers were. . . . While things wrapped up neatly, they didn’t. The ending hints at much more to come in this series: more mysteries to unravel, more adventures. I can’t wait!!"


"I’ve read books and novellas by Regina Scott before, and I am a fan! Her characters are always so well written and lively. The characters in The Matchmaker’s Rogue are no exception. . . . The Matchmaker’s Rogue is a mystery that will keep you guessing and a romance that will leave your heart feeling happy. I can’t wait for more Grace-by-the-Sea books."


“You see it, don’t you?” her aunt whisper, nodding toward the man approaching them across the polished floor of the Grand Pump Room. “He’s a pirate, a rogue. He’s out to steal our greatest treasure.”

Jess took a deep breath and raised her head. “Larkin Denby is no pirate. His mother and sisters live in Upper Grace. Very likely he’s merely here for a visit.”

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

“Good afternoon, Mr. Denby,” she said, launching into her prepared speech. “Welcome to the spa at Grace-by-the-Sea. I am your hostess, Miss Chance, and this is my assistant Mrs. Tully. If you have any questions or would like an introduction, you have only to ask.”

His head snapped up. Though he held her gaze only a moment, as was proper, she felt as if he were memorizing every feature, from the blond curls clustered around her face to her gloved hands resting on the table beside the book. His smile bloomed, and something inside her bloomed with it. “Miss Chance. How nice to see you and your charming aunt again.”


“Mr. Denby will get on with the others famously,” she assured her aunt, letting go of her cautiously. “Look, he’s talking with the general like a gentleman.” The two men chatted, strangers making idle conversation as so many of their guests did. Then Lark moved on, leaving the general smiling as he rubbed the paunch straining his waistcoat.

“Mr. Denby doesn’t fit in the spa,” Maudie argued. “He doesn’t look the least bit ill. He has no limp, no squint, no sign of a scrofulous cough.”

“Neither did most of our visitors to arrive this summer,” Jess pointed out. “Not everyone comes to the spa because they are ill.” She tidied the stack of pamphlets, noticed her hands were trembling, and shook them out. At this rate, her aunt might suggest that Jess take the waters!


"I love Regina’s writing and this one is probably among one of my favorites I have read by her to date. . . . I am giving The Matchmaker’s Rogue five plus stars. I can not wait to see what happens next in the Grace by the Sea series."

Becky on Books - Excerpt

“I am your devoted servant, sir,” he told the commissioner. “But surely there are other ways to identify these smugglers than to spend my time sipping the waters.”

“I don’t care if you sip them, dunk yourself in them, or pour them on the ground,” the commissioner had replied, face tight and eyes steely. “Our source says the man we’re after sails from Grace Cove, and we have reason to believe he moves among the gentry, perhaps even the aristocracy. Where else would you expect to find him but at the spa?”


Yet it was her eyes that drew him. Large, wide-spaced, and a delicate blue, they made her look as if she were perpetually amazed by the world around her.

He and Jess had been close when he’d visited eight years ago, the only two people that young at the spa then. They’d spent every day together, talking, walking, dancing at the assembly, attending church. Nothing had come of it. Nothing could come of it. They were too different—her content with life, him determined to see and do more. Still, perhaps she would indulge in a little gossip now.

“Mr. Denby?” she persisted in that soft, lilting voice. “Might I be of assistance?”


"I loved this story about Jesslyn and Lark. It is a sweet romance but has a lot more to offer with all that happened in Grace by the Sea and the spa that is so important to the families that live there. . . . I highly recommend this book to others to read and enjoy."

Remembrancy - Review

"Scott combines intrigue, romance, and small-town loyalty with a setting and characters I want to visit again. Not to mention an ending that makes me want to discover more about this sleepy little village. If you’re a fan of Regency and haven’t read Regina Scott’s books yet, you’re missing out."


"Regina Scott’s books are always great reads, but I’m pretty sure that The Matchmaker’s Rogue is my favorite of hers so far. I can’t wait for book 2 to release – especially after the way this book ends! A story with romance, intrigue, adventure, and endearing humor, The Matchmaker’s Rogue is the perfect next read for fans of Jen Turano, Tessa Dare or Mary Connealy."


"The Matchmaker’s Rogue is filled with charming and sometimes quirky secondary characters. . . . In addition to the criminal element of smuggling, there’s also the concern of spies and passing of England’s secrets to Napoleon. The author skillfully aroused this reader’s suspicion of almost all of Grace-by-the-Sea residents . . . . The ending arrives at a very satisfying conclusion, with the village coming together in a unique way. Very little is quite as it seems on the surface! I hated to leave Grace-by-the-Sea and its many endearing characters, but there’s the promise of much more to come."


He smiled at her. “I’m staying at the Mermaid for a few days, and I find myself wondering what to do for entertainment.”

“It depends on what you find entertaining.”

Said in such a disarming tone, he should not hear iron beneath the words, yet he did. She was being polite but letting him know she expected him to respond in kind. This was no time for coy comments, teasing remarks. She was no longer the young lady looking for companionship to while away the summer.



Over the next while, she looked for her opportunity. But it soon became apparent she wasn’t the only one interested in the Newcomer.

“And what can you tell us about Mr. Denby?” Miss Montgomery, the eldest sister, asked over tea that afternoon.

Jess handed her a snowy white porcelain cup of the steaming brew from the wheeled teacart she or Maudie generally rolled from chair to chair. “His family lives nearby, a mother and two sisters.”


"My second book by this author and once again she has written another wonderful story.
Great characters with a great plot that will keep you reading until the book is finished."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

The Matchmaker's Rogue
(Grace-by-the-Sea #1)
By Regina Scott
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 Pages
January 8th 2020

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Polished Jesslyn Chance has one of the most enviable positions in the little Regency coastal village of Grace-by-the-Sea. She is the hostess of the spa, arranging introductions and entertainments and playing matchmaker to the ladies and gentlemen who come to take the waters, promenade through the shops, and dance at the assembly. But when a rogue returns from her past, Jess finds herself suddenly at sea.

Always an adventurer, Larkin Denby left Grace-by-the-Sea to right the wrongful death of his father. Now he’s back on a mission: to identify the mysterious Lord of the Smugglers who allegedly sails from Grace Cove and takes England’s secrets to France. But Grace-by-the-Sea is the perfect little spa town, run by the still oh-so-perfect Jesslyn Chance. When the village’s future is threatened, Jess must work with Lark to solve the mystery and protect the town’s own. In doing so, the matchmaker of Grace-by-the-Sea may just find that the best match for her is the rogue who stole her heart years ago.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t sell her first novel until she learned a bit more about writing. Since her first book was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has more than forty-five published works of warm, witty romance.

She loves everything about England, so it was only a matter of time before she started her own village. Where more perfect than the gorgeous Dorset Coast? She can imagine herself sailing along the chalk cliffs, racing her horse across the Downs, dancing at the assembly, and even drinking the spa waters. She drank the waters in Bath, after all!

Regina Scott and her husband of 30 years reside in the Puget Sound area of Washington State on the way to Mt. Rainier. She has dressed as a Regency dandy, learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course. Learn more about her at her website.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive print copies of all six books in Fortune's Brides series (Never Doubt a Duke, Never Borrow a Baronet, Never Envy an Earl, Never Vow for a Viscount, Never Kneel to a Knight, and Never Marry a Marquess)

US only
Ends January 29, 2020

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GRAND FINALE BLITZ (share 1/25 - 1/29): DawnKing #Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

. . . DawnKing is the fourth book in the series and wraps up many story threads from earlier books. It can be read as part of the series for a fuller experience or read as a stand-alone. Following the stops on this blog tour will offer you glimpse into the lives of engaging characters within a vivid storyworld.

—Janalyn

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

Elcon and Mara had been among those who’d escaped with him from Torindan. If he had anything to say in the matter, they would yet avoid capture. Surviving a clash with two of Freaer’s finest seemed unlikely, but Kai could delay the assassins.

The giant raptor birds flapped their ragged wings and snapped the air with pointed beaks in a display of ferocity. Sunlight gleamed along their rider’s swords, no doubt honed to wicked sharpness.

Kai’s skin crawled. Garbed in the red of Freaer’s elite assassins, the welke riders glared at him across the intervening distance, a space closing with alarming speed.

Uplifting Reads - Excerpt

The assassins took turns punishing Kai, allowing him no rest.

Flecht’s sides heaved but bore Kai without balking. Kai faced his tormentors, panting like an old man. Neither he nor his wingabeast could go on like this. If the assassins took his life they might spare Flecht.

Kai bowed his head and waited for the end to come.


"As the last book in the series, DawnKing had a very triumphant and satisfying ending. . . . I enjoyed DawnKing just as much as I enjoyed the rest of the series and I recommend you pick up this series today!"


Something felt wrong.

A grove of strongwoods lifted twisted branches against the deepening sky. The trees bordered a meadow thick with undergrowth. Anything could be hiding in there.

She should go back. Curiosity lured her onward. The bend wasn't far. She started forward, darting glances into the shadows. The sensation of someone watching crawled over her skin. Mara’s steps slowed. She should persuade Rand to come back with her.

Movement flickered at the edge of her vision.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

". . . This book lived up to my hopes and expectations.

The best part is there is a happily-ever-after for several of the characters. Two of them, in particular, made me very happy. :) If you follow the series you should know what I mean. If not, you should read it to find out."


“What shall we do with him?” A burly man, one of several who remained beside Rand, asked in gruff tones.

“Blindfold him.” The outlaw leader gestured with his head. “Take him to camp.”

“Must we?” the burly man screwed up an eye. “I’ve an idea he’s trouble.”

“You’re probably right, Trader, but he and I need to finish our talk.” He circled Rand, looking him up and down. “Something tells me he’s not who he seems.”

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

“Milady…” Eathnor moved to her side. “My brother is doing everything within his power to help the Lof Shraen.”

“Except remove him from this cave.” Dorann’s frustration came through despite the soft tone he used.
Anders’s eyes gleamed as he glanced back from the cave entrance, where he stood guard. “Do we dare risk leaving?”

“It might save the Lof Shraen’s life,” Eathnor answered, “but at the risk of ending it. With Pilaer’s warriors searching the forest for those fleeing Torindan, we could all be killed.”

Remembrancy - Review

"In the fourth and final book in her Tales of Faeraven series, Janalyn Voigt weaves a story of a group of people split apart, surrounded by danger, and all trying to arrive at once destination. . . . I was pleased to find that Voigt managed to resolve everything I’ve been following since book one. Plus, she did it in a way that left me satisfied with the end results."


"I really love how this series is written, and I enjoyed this one perhaps most of all! So many twists and turns, and I loved all the surprises!"


"Whether you have a child in need of some good reading, want to read the book(s) aloud to your family, or if you yourself enjoy fantasy tales, the Tales Of Faeraven have you covered. It's an excellent series and one that I would not hesitate to recommend."

Among the Reads - Excerpt

She stirred as if irritated. “I didn’t seek you out to talk about Searcher, if that’s what you mean.”

He glanced up, surprising an expression of sorrow on her face. “What do you want with me?” He went on in a softer tone.

Her chest rose and fell on a sigh. “Only to say goodbye. We’ll ride for Cobbleford soon.”

Jypsylynn - Review

"Overall, this story is thrilling, dramatic and thought provoking with courageous sincere characters. The journey is imaginative and unique, and the author beautifully renders the background setting. It has been my pleasure to read each book, and I recommend for anyone looking to start a new series in the new year."


"All in all, I was pleased with how it ended and how Janalyn pulled the entire series together. With four books, that took some serious skill on her part. . . . If you enjoy a good fantasy series, I recommend this one. It has all the requisite characters and elements with plenty of ups and downs to keep you on your toes then pulls together beautifully in the end."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

DawnKing
(Tales of Faeraven #4)
By Janalyn Voigt
Fantasy, Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 342 Pages
February 1st 2020 by Pelican Book Group

A prince marked for death, a princess without a kingdom, and a world at war.

Unlikely travelers band together to accomplish the impossible—bring peace to their kingdom. But traitorous forces are at work, and a treacherous hand is destroying everything they accomplish.
Honor and soul-searching bring the travelers to hidden truth, and when a sacrifice is made, the broken-hearted band of misfits must cleanse the evil from their midst to free their world...or lose everything.

(Affiliate link included.)

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Janalyn Voigt is a writer and professional speaker with a photography habit and a passion for travel. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Tales of Faeraven, her epic fantasy series beginning with DawnSinger, carries readers into a land only imagined in dreams. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a Tales of Faeraven bookmark and a $15 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
Ends January 29, 2020

ENTER HERE
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Sticks & Stones Cover Reveal


Sticks & Stones
Dianne Beck
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 18th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
When fifteen-year-old Emily Greene wakes up to police banging on her door, she is shocked to see her mother arrested on drug charges.
Uprooted and in disbelief, Emily moves to a new town to stay with her grandmother, known as Crazy Carol for her outspoken faith and quirky behaviors. As if the arrest isn’t enough, kids at her new school immediately begin to stereotype and judge her based on the news they’ve heard about her mom.
Emily is sure her mother’s fiancĂ© is to blame for the crime. He has conveniently disappeared since the day of the arrest. She’s determined to find him, and prove he’s at fault. But something awful happens, shaking her world yet again.
After this string of tragedies, Emily starts to question God, but is gently and consistently reminded by her grandmother, through stories she tells of all the sticks, leaves, and stones she collects, that God is her good and faithful parent.
Emily must learn that the words others say about her don’t matter, that her mom’s mistakes don’t define her, and she is always deeply loved by her heavenly father. If only she can learn to forgive herself.
Are you a book blogger?
Join the blog tour here!

Author Bio:
Dianne Beck has spent the majority of her career teaching students ranging from Kindergarten through adult. No matter what age, her biggest goal is to encourage her students to be their own unique selves, to have confidence in who they are, and to follow their passions.
Dianne’s debut young adult novel, Sticks and Stones, was inspired by her years of teaching, where she saw so many students struggle with varying issues, and also experienced how an understanding ear and relevant literature could make a significant impact on their lives. She hopes young people as well as adults can find faith and strength, like her main character Emily does, even when things seem to be falling apart.
Dianne is motivated daily by her faith in God, her husband, and her four adult children. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, sipping coffee, browsing a bookstore, or pursuing a part-time faith and fitness ministry at www,ofcommonground.com.

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Finding Our Morning Book Blitz #Giveaway


Finding Our Morning
Mickie B. Ashling
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery
May 1977
Ginny Tate bides her time on the family stud farm in San Antonio, Texas, waiting to start veterinarian school in the fall. Bullied as an adolescent, she’s finally shed her old skin, but the emerging beauty still harbors insecurities and would rather hang out with horses than people.
Sponsored by his uncle, the Shah of Iran, Dariush—David—Akbari, a twenty-five-year-old NYU grad with a degree in International Law, is also a skilled polo player. He joins the royal traveling team for a tournament in Plano, Texas.
A decade in America has gradually altered David’s views on certain aspects of his culture. Torn between familial obligations and his adopted country, David resists the idea of returning to Iran so soon after graduation.
At the traditional after-party, David strikes up a conversation with Ginny, who is refreshingly honest. He receives an invitation to visit Tate Stud Farm and, on the pretext of buying another polo pony, persuades the shah to make a detour.
Great horsemanship coupled with self-effacing charm sets David apart from the entitled braggarts who normally populate the sport, and Ginny falls hard. His visit turns into a life-changing week that neither can foresee. Will they walk away unscathed or live to regret their impulsive behavior?
Inspired by events preceding the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, Finding Our Morning is a love story that catapults us from Texas Hill Country to the epicenter of a monarchy on the brink of collapse.
EXCERPT:
So much time had elapsed since Ginny issued the invitation, she didn’t know what to expect when David called two weeks later to arrange a meeting. Was he passing through town or was this an intentional stop? Either way, the days leading up to his arrival were pure torture.
On the morning in question, Ginny took longer than necessary to get ready. She left her hair loose instead of tying it back in her usual ponytail. Her luxurious locks were the only thing she could count on to draw eyes away from her face. The dark blond strands fell in a silky curtain to her midback and had been compared to a palomino’s coat on many occasions. As for the rest of her, it was business as usual. Faded jeans, a checked cotton shirt, and her favorite red cowboy boots. Her complexion was clear this morning, thank God, and she took her time applying eye makeup. It was out of the ordinary to get dolled up during the day, and her parents noticed as soon as she sat down to breakfast.
“Going to a party?” Margery asked.
“No, but you know the Shah of Iran is about to grace our doorstep, and I thought I’d look nice for a change.”
“You always look good,” Ray commented. “Anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.”
“Thanks, Dad.”
“What about your chores?” Margery inquired. “Won’t your hair get in the way?”
“I’ll get ’em done,” Ginny promised.
“See that you do,” Margery replied. “I know you want to make a good impression, sweetie, but those foreigners aren’t coming to socialize. We have to present our best, and a clean, well-organized farm is just as important as our livestock. You wouldn’t eat in a dirty kitchen.”
“For Christ’s sake, Marge. Leave the girl alone.”
“Seriously, Mom. You’re overreacting as usual.”
“Then explain why you look more like a debutante than a rancher’s daughter this morning?”
“He offered dinner and dancing the last time we were together. I don’t want him to change his mind.”
Aghast, Margery exclaimed, “The shah?”
“God no,” Ginny said. “David.”
“Which one is he again?”
“Their number-three player.”
“He was good,” Margery recalled.
“Right?”
“What are you going to wear tonight?”
“I’m not sure it’s happening, but I bought a new dress in case.”
“What color is it?”
“Black.”
“You’re too young to wear black,” Margery opined with a tsk.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Give it a rest, Mom. I’m eighteen.”
“Black is more appropriate for someone older and more experienced.”
Ginny refused to take the bait. Her mother was being overprotective, given her dating history, and was understandably worried. Nonetheless, it was too early in the morning to argue. She scooped up the last of her egg yolk on a piece of toast, swallowed it down with orange juice, and stood up to go. “I’ll catch you guys later.”
Standing on the steps outside the kitchen door, she paused and scanned the horizon. The sun was already a bright ball of pulsing heat in the cloudless blue sky, and she could tell it was going to be another scorcher. Ginny hoped the Iranians had the good sense to come early to avoid the worst of it.
As she headed toward the stable where they kept the horses for sale, she scrutinized their property and tried to see it through the eyes of a stranger. Theirs was a small operation compared to other stud farms, but they had a stellar reputation. Margery Tate was the driving force behind their prosperity. The woman was a stickler for order and quick to remind new employees that pride in ownership was as important as a good pedigree.
Margery acquired her code of ethics from her parents who’d started the stud farm with one stallion and a few mares. As their only child, she’d inherited the bulk of the estate, with small portions divided among the loyal ranch hands who had been around until her father finally passed, a year and a day after her mother died of cancer. Her gender had never been a good enough excuse to avoid the hard work necessary to ensure the success of the farm, and Margery expected her only daughter to work as tirelessly as the rest of them.
She did have a point, Ginny conceded begrudgingly, but her advice was often framed in criticism, which usually rubbed people the wrong way. Horse breeding could be a messy business when things got out of hand, and organization was key.
She made the rounds swiftly this morning, inspecting each area with a critical eye, paying particular attention to the horses for sale. This would be their first stop and she wanted the area to be in tip-top shape. She could only imagine what the royal stables must look like with dozens of helpers at the shah’s beck and call. Well, they might not have his manpower, but over the years, the stud farm had gained a well-earned reputation for their excellent stock and integrity.
By the time the shah and his entourage arrived two hours later, her nerves were frayed. The group of six, dressed in casual attire, climbed out of a gleaming limousine. Ginny wasn’t sure what to expect, given their status, but these men looked like any prospective buyer, albeit better dressed. Her parents greeted the Iranians deferentially and offered to be their guides as they toured the premises. While they concentrated on the shah, Ginny walked up to David with an outstretched hand.
“I’m glad you could make it.”
“Was there any doubt?” he asked, stepping forward and clasping her hand in his. He was so close she could smell his sweet breath, overlaid with a hint of coffee. His eyes weren’t black as she’d first thought. They were deep brown with a touch of caramel and were gazing at her appraisingly. Now that he was actually here, Ginny’s confidence faltered as she met his intense scrutiny. Had he come to buy a horse or check her out? Her heart rate sped up as nerves and anticipation made her breath falter. It was at once unexpected and exhilarating. Ginny withdrew her hand and stepped back, laughing off the moment awkwardly.


Author Bio:
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multi-published author who resides in a suburb outside Chicago. She is a product of her upbringing in various cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West.
Since 2009, Mickie has written several dozen novels in the LGBTQ+ genre—which have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Lately, her muse has been nudging her in a different direction, and she’s learned through past experience to pay attention to creative sparks that show up unexpectedly. Her pen name is a part of her now, and will travel along on this exciting new journey, wherever it might lead. She promises to be very specific in her book blurbs and cover art to avoid any confusion.





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