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Monday, September 28, 2015

Sneak a Peak: Book Blurb Reveal for Plum Pudding Bride

             If you haven't heard, I have a Western novella coming out this Christmas. Read the book blurb and the excerpt below.

Plum Pudding Bride
by Anne Garboczi Evans

Patience Callahan is twenty-five and fast becoming an old maid. But she’s spent most of her life dreaming over romantic European literature and wants a dashing d’Artagnan, not a bookish Bob Cratchit. Alas, the Colorado town of Gilman’s chock-full of Cratchit’s without a d’Artagnan in sight.
Peter Foote, the general store owner, has been in love with Patience for seven years. But every time he’s on the verge of proposing, she cuts him off; he can only imagine on purpose. This time though, dadburn it, he’s going to go through with it.
Ring in hand, he’s moments from touching knee to floor, when Patience pulls out a list of mail-order bride advertisements and declares her intention of marrying a backwoods stranger on Christmas Day.
He’s got two weeks to change her mind.

The first page of Plum Pudding Bride

         There she was, the girl he’d loved for seven years. And she was sorting preserve cases at his store, as she’d done for the last four years. She stood not six paces from him, and yet so far away.
          Peter’s fingers squeezed the ring box in his jacket. This time he was going to go through with it, no matter if she pointedly changed the subject, or hastily found excuses to be elsewhere, or pushed other eligible young women at him. Dadburn it, today he’d have his answer, a “yay” or a “nay” instead of living in this wretched bog of uncertainty.
         The store had already closed. He just needed to grate the key in the locks while Patience tidied the shelves. The falling winter sun made long shadows on the floor between them. Now she had put down the strawberry preserves and taken an inventory list. She moved towards the mercantile section.
          His heavy boots clomped on the hardwood floor, but his heart clomped louder. His fingers tightened around the red velvet box. It was a white gold ring and a miner’s cut diamond. Size six, as he’d discovered four years ago when he’d stolen her glove.
           Patience’s brown hair twisted back around her ears. She always complained it lay too flat, and said her younger sister teased her about having a mottled complexion. But he’d never seen hair shine like hers, and her soft skin set off brown eyes that possessed a luster no girl in Gilman could match. And her smile. Oh, her smile. She could turn Antarctica into the tropics by just curving her lips.
           A head-high shelf of baking perishables hemmed them in on one side while bolts of fabric made up the other side of the narrow aisle.
          “Patience Callahan, will you,” Peter slid the box out of his pocket, and started to lower one knee to the ground.
           Her gaze flicked to the ring box. “Why, Peter,” she stepped into him, blocking all attempts at kneeling. “I’ve been meaning to tell you my news.”
           Her long fingers were slender. Yet, they could move lickety-split when sorting spools or organizing canned goods.
           “I just received this.” Patience tugged a newspaper clipping out of her pocket along with a small daguerreotype. “This is Arnie Dehaven. He’s a Montana rancher. I’ve answered his mail-order bride advertisement and I’m marrying him.”

What do you think? The kind of story you could enjoy? If you want to know when it comes into print (this fall!), like my Facebook page or sign up for my email list on the right-hand side.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer: Enter to WIN

Davalynn Spencer is another wonderful author who I've had the good fortune to get to know in the last few years. Below is her guest blogpost as well as some information on her new novella, Columbine Bride, that is part of the novella collection, 12 Brides of Summer. You can enter to WIN a free e-copy of the novella collection by commenting below. Deadline 10/7/15
I just read the book blurb so far, and I already know I NEED to buy this book. Read the book blurb for yourself below, and tell me what you think.

Rest for the Weary Soul
by Davlynn Spencer

Feeling overwhelmed is a common malady, regardless of one’s beliefs, occupation, age, or gender. And it’s an idea I explore in my newly released Barbour novella, The Columbine Bride.

Lucy Powell is a weary widow with two small children and a neglected ranch in the Colorado mountains. In her struggle to revive the ranch her husband left behind, she often pleads with God via a familiar scripture to show her “the path of life” (Psalm 18:11).

But Lucy has an aversion to charity that she can’t repay. Neighboring rancher, Buck Reiter, has his own ideas about watching a woman do all the work by herself—and he nearly gets himself shot in the process of lending a hand.

As they work side by side over the summer, Lucy and Buck discover more than they thought they were looking for, which is exactly what happens when we let the Lord show us the path of life.

This story is a continuation of my Christmas novella The Snowbound Bride in which Buck plays a secondary role as the hero’s uncle. Another verse from Psalm 18 offers the first scripture to bookend these two tales:

I have set the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psalm 16:8

Psalm 16 is my “life Psalm.” Through various journeys, struggles, and challenges, I have found it to be a sustaining promise of the Lord’s provision and guidance. I’m delighted that I could use two important verses from it to reflect that guidance in these two stories.

May I challenge you to read Psalm 16 with an open heart, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. The Lord is right there ahead of you and beside you, leading you in the path of life if you will let Him.

Buy 12 Brides of Summer:

Twitter: @davalynnspencer

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Because Two People Fell in Love: Amanda Zuber Shares Her Proposal Story

It's proposal month on my blog. Read our story here. Today I'm thrilled to share this story about how newly-wed blogger Amanda Zuber fell in love. Note: single ladies, she's got some great ideas on how to fall in love at a prayer service. ;)

Falling in Love

           Our story starts out not much different than everyone else's. Boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy is completely clueless . . .
          We first met at college as we were both apart of the music department as drummers, but because of my stubborn nature I ignored him for the first four months after meeting him. After those four months, I had disappeared from school (I'm sure he didn't notice), but it wasn't until I returned that he noticed the change in me. I was forlorn, sad, and no longer teased him, or yelled at him for setting up the drums wrong, again. I just was. Little did he know that the one man in my world, my grandfather, had passed away from lung cancer and I was there to witness it all. When I returned to school, a piece of my heart was missing and I thought there would be a longing there for a long time. Boy was I wrong, the Lord knew exactly what my heart needed and He put it there for me almost instantly.
          Upon returning to school, I was asked to put up posters for the choir concert, and who else should happen by to offer his help? The "new guy" of course. Too tired and depressed to care, I said sure, and the spark became lit once more. It took all week of me thinking about him, how stupid I was for not noticing him, his beautiful kindness, and really starting to obsess over him before the Lord stepped in once more. The two of us, with a mutual friend attended church each week and this week was the first week we chose to take notice or speak to each other. Luckily for us there, was a church picnic after church and our mutual friend was in on the whole ordeal. Thanks to her, I now have beautiful photos of myself falling in love with him. 262941_10151011106941610_1876068622_n "Somehow" we ended up on the same foosball team and so our time together began.   262857_10151011107006610_1141434128_n             As to his nature, he was completely unaware that this crazy girl next to him was head over heels for him. (Fedora and all.)   After the picnic, we were invited to yet another church, and so the three of us went to this new church, where I was lucky enough to hold "that cute guy's" hand during prayer. The evening followed with a trip to Denny's before we returned to campus. Two agonizing days later, he finally came to realize he had feelings for me as well.
         After a long walk around our town, the conversation came to pass: I turned to him and said "Let's be honest, I really like you, but I'm so done with this whole dating thing. If you really want to date me then you're going to have to marry me."
          He thought about it for a minute, and nodded, "I'm not much into dating either....I guess I'll have to marry you then." and that was it. We started courting (dating with the intent of marriage.)  

  Fast forward 9 months.
          Our routines had become set in stone, he would walk me in between classes. We would have meals together in the cafeteria. And we spent pretty much every waking moment together. We could even see each other through our dorm windows and I'd love waving goodnight to him every night. We continued attending the second church that we went to together and we attended weekly youth group meetings.
          January 22, 2013, four days into the new school term and it was -30f that night. We hustled over to the youth group meeting and during the entire meeting I knew something was up. He was not himself in the least and I could barely hold his attention. He then asked me to go on a walk to the edge of town (um hello, it's negative 30 degrees!!), but I agreed none the less. We walked the same route that we had taken that first night together until we got to the edge of town underneath the vast field of stars that filled the sky. (I wish now that I had taken a camera but alas, the only memories I have of this moment are mine and mine alone.)
           The train station behind us was closed and dark, the streetlights were out (again, welcome to Vermont) and the sky was filled with a massive full moon and as many stars as you can imagine. We were both frozen but we held each other as we gazed up with awe. Then he turned to me, pulling my attention away from the sky, and he got down on one knee, and through tears on both our parts he asked me to marry him. I said "yes" of course and it was a beautiful moment that I will never forget. He took no elaborate planning or technology of the sort to have such a beautiful and wonder filled moment. We then hurried to the general store to warm up and ran into one of our friends who was working that night (again, surprise, Vermont problems.) He gave us some tissues and let us warm ourselves before we headed back to the college.
            The next few days went by in a blur with congratulations, love and kindness from friends, family and strangers. I look back now and wish I had taken more pictures, written more in my journal and just appreciated those moments more. We took engagement photos in February (a day that was a whole -1f before windchill!) and they were beautiful! Here's a few of my favorites! 207346_10151255973741610_1339195062_n   14822_10151255973311610_525357241_n   My beautiful engagement ring that was a family heirloom that he got from my aunt. My beautiful engagement ring that was a family heirloom that he got from my aunt.420335_10151255973076610_1845679479_n We had to keep warm! The photo shoot took over an hour! But we loved our photographer!   Since then we spent over two years planning our wedding, due to my battle with cancer and financial issues (read more here) and finally got married this past May.10489735_979145225463509_944631375194691608_n This is the same pastor who was there the night I fell in love with him (from the second service) that was the pastor at our ceremony. We now adore that church and have together devoted our lives to Christ.   11390345_979144008796964_5006992488949728813_n   11295552_979146562130042_6493443428672876748_n Our entire wedding party.  
       I hope you've enjoyed reading my love story as much as I've enjoyed telling it. If you would like to read more about me or any of my posts, feel free to come on over to my blog A Pinch of Faith, where I talk about living life as a Christian wife and bunny mamma. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Feel free to edit some if necessary, etc. Let me know if you need anything else.

Friday, September 11, 2015

What's a Forever Family?: Going to Print SOON!

Remember Helen Cochrane and my picture book about foster care, What's a Foster Family? Available for purchase here:  The sequel is coming out SOON!

In What's a Forever Family?, Alex's a few years older and he's about to get more forever siblings than he bargained for. Follow the ups and downs of Alex's adjustment from only child to being part of a family of six as a mischievous sibling set joins his home forever. Laugh, cry, and smile as you watch the children bond through Helen Cochrane's delightful illustrations.

Geared at ages 3-7, this book is an excellent way to introduce your child to how families grow through adoption. It's also good reading for children who have friends, cousins, or extended family who are adopted.

What's a Forever Family? will release in November in honor of National Adoption Month.

Interested in being a reviewer or hosting a book giveaway on your blog? Shoot me an email at apgarboczi @

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sneak Peek At My Book Cover!

    In case you didn't know, I have a Christmas novella coming out this Christmas season with Pelican Book Group. I just got a copy of the book cover. What do you think?

    I love it! No precise release date yet, but I'm sure I'll be receiving that soon.
     What does the book cover make you think the story is about? Of course, I wrote it, so I know. But for me, the expression on that girl's face really makes me wonder what is going on. Oh and the top cover quote that my editor wrote. Love it!
       Are you planning on reading a copy when it's in print?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Love the Iran Deal? Hate the Iran Deal?: Can You Still Please Write Your Senator?

      Think the Iran deal's the best piece of diplomacy in the last century? Think the Iran's deal the worst example of American weakness and pandering in the last hundred years? Either way, can you please write to your senators as they vote very soon here and tell them that freeing the four innocent American citizens imprisoned in Iran is a must?

      Saeed Abedini is probably the most famous of the four imprisoned Americans. It's been three years of being repeatedly beaten in a brutal Iranian jail for him. He only went over to Iran to help with some local orphanages. Here's a video Saeed's wife made a few months ago, when Saeed missed yet another of his son's birthdays.

      If you're in Colorado, like me, here's the links to write to your senators.
Email Senator Bennet:
Email Senator Gardner:

      If you live in a different state, you can go here to find your senators. (Just choose your state from the drop-down menu.)

       Not an American? We'd still love your support for our imprisoned innocents. You can sign the petition for one of the Americans, Saeed Abedini, here:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Proposal Month: J'nell Ciesielski's Story

      Seven years ago this month, two orbits collided, and out of the ensuing dust rose a new solar system merged from the two. Or more straight-forwardly, it's proposal month on my blog because my man popped the question seven years ago. Read our story here.
     My fellow author and critique partner, J'nell Ciesielski shares her engagement story in a guest blogpost below. Check out more of J'nell's work at: I love her World War novels!

J'nell's Engagement Story

Something was up. He was acting too weird and the minute he announced he needed to run to the store to pick up a few things, I knew something was going on. We’d met almost two years ago when we both got stationed at Ramstein Airforce Base in Germany for jobs as imagery analysts. The morning of July 5, 2008 dawned bright and sunny, an unusual day as we both had it off from work. After running to the store, he comes to get me armed with a picnic basket and nerves. It was then I sorta knew, but I didn’t want to ruin all his hard work so I kept silent and didn’t mention how bad he was shaking.

So we drive out to an open field and tramp through the tall grass, him with picnic basket and me with a blanket that is very difficult to balance while watching where I was walking because who knows what’s hidden in that wall of grass? I do. I know. Things like snakes.

We finally make it out with all limbs still attached to a clearing by a stream surrounded by trees. Settling on the blanket, he starts pulling things out of the basket: grapes, cheese, wine, a shiny deep red ring box. I don’t remember all the words he said, mostly how bad he was shaking and then as soon as he placed the beautiful ring on my figure how all of his nerves transferred to me. And how I couldn’t stop staring at my newly engaged finger!

We didn’t waste time setting a date. Three months later to be exact at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion in beautiful Florida, my home state. It was a dream wedding with all the special touches that only Disney can create. And of course the lingering memories that only family can conjure. Like my dad telling the wedding coordinator to get the show on the road, my grandpa telling the musician to play some country on that there fiddle, my new brother-in-law toasting us as ‘happiness and happiness’, and our limo getting hijacked because a guest didn’t want to trek out to his vehicle in the rain making the new bride and groom stand on the curb awaiting his return.

But what would a wedding be without a coup de grace moment or two? Bryan’s boutonniere snapped in two moments before he walked out, and my parents’ cat ate my veil an hour before the ceremony. We did our best to laugh about it, and eight years later it still brings a smile to our faces. 

Sorta. I’m still not happy with that cat, but I am happily married to a wonderful man who still doesn’t bat an eye at my craziness. Bless his heart.

Born in Florida, J'nell spent a happy childhood splashing on the sugar white beaches only known to the Sunshine Stare. While in middle school, her dad got a job transfer to Texas where she graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Psychology. Not knowing what else to do with her life, and seeing as how writing wasn’t paying the bills yet, she joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany, she was privileged to travel to France, Austria, the Netherlands, England, and her favorite, Scotland. She also met her awesome husband over there. Finding him was worth wearing camouflage and combat boots every day. After serving their four years, they now live in Virginia where she's a stay-at-home mom to a busy two-year-old and a very lazy beagle.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's Engagement MONTH!

        Seven years ago this month, my then-boyfriend dropped to one knee and asked me if I'd take his last name. As always this time of year, I'll be featuring guest engagement stories on my blog. So check back for some romantic, humorous, and delightful engagement stories from my blogger friends. I'll be rounding the month off with seven tongue-in-cheek tips on how to plan the perfect proposal.
         If you haven't read my engagement story, check out last year's post

Relaxing Scenery by ZDW

"Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's house for love, it would be utterly scorned." (Song of Solomon 8:7)