A Montana Bound Christmas – by Linda Bradley

Introducing Linda:

I’m Linda Bradley, author of the Montana Bound Series.  After receiving reader requests for A Montana Bound Christmas, this merry band of misfits is together once again. Like warm cocoa and your favorite pair of slippers, I hope ho, ho, home for the holidays! warms your heart.

A little about myself…When I’m not writing or plotting my next Women’s Fiction book, you can find me teaching second grade, reading, dabbling with my art supplies, baking, walking my beautiful rescue dog, Maisey or traveling.

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Linda’s Books:


 

A Montana Bound Christmas:

 

Blurb: 

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

 

Buy Linkhttp://amzn.to/2bakz7T  

 

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

John

“DAD, WHEN’S MAGGIE going to get here?” Chloe’s breath fogged up the picture window. Her gaze scanned the snowy Montana mountains. “I hope she makes it in time for Christmas.”
Ruffling Chloe’s dishwater-blond mane, I prayed like hell Maggie and her mother, Glad, would get here soon. Traveling had come to a halt across the country thanks to the winter storm, but at least Maggie and Glad were safe at home and not sleeping on some airport floor like the many interviewed on the news.

Feeling anxious, I massaged my temples. Wrapping my arms around Maggie and kissing her lips were the only Christmas presents I needed.

“Not sure, Pumpkin. Depends on the flights.”

Crossing paths with Maggie the summer before last was like finding a rose bush on top of a mountain while searching for gold. As much as she resisted, her heart finally won. We all won. Acquiring Glad in the deal was a bonus. Without hesitation, she’d taken a special liking to Chloe. They’d bonded instantly through their love of mischief. Glad was like the grandmother Chloe never had, and her sense of humor cut to the quick. Glad wore her heart on her sleeve and was the only one capable of giving Maggie a run for her money when Maggie needed a challenge. Glad was Maggie’s mother first and foremost, but their relationship—built on sarcastic wit, middle-naming, and genuine love—was most unique.

“Maggie has to get here.” Chloe drew a heart in the moisture on the frosty glass pane. She wrote her initials above Maggie’s, then she added a plus sign. “The snow is so thick you can barely see through it.” Chloe hummed a holiday tune between thoughts. “Just think, Dad, next year at this time, I’ll be nine and Maggie will have been here a whole year.”

Nudging the hat back from my brow, I thought about the woman who’d stolen my heart. I never dreamed in a million years I’d fall head over heels for my Michigan neighbor lady, Maggie Abernathy. Living in Grosse Pointe hadn’t been on my agenda originally, but the picture was crystal clear why I’d established residency in the Great Lake State before coming back to Montana. If I didn’t believe in fate before, I did now, and I wanted Maggie to get here as much as Chloe. We had big plans of starting a life together and this was only the beginning.

“Why couldn’t Maggie and Glad come earlier?” When Chloe spoke, deep lines appeared along the bridge of her nose.

“I told you, Chloe, Maggie’s settling things with her house. Remember when we sold our house in Grosse Pointe? It takes time. Papers have to be signed, things need to be packed, and besides Maggie wanted to spend some extra time with her momma. You can understand that, right? When Christmas is over, Glad’ll fly home. I don’t think Maggie has ever really been apart from her momma.”

I lifted Chloe’s chin with my index finger. My daughter’s soul shimmered behind her green stare. Hope should’ve been Chloe’s middle name because my girl never gave up when the chips were down.
“Glad’s house is where Maggie grew up. Maggie’s saying her last goodbye.”

Chloe’s expression tugged at my heart like the snap of a lasso when wrangling a wild pony.

“I know what you mean. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to being apart from my momma, but maybe that’ll change someday. Hollywood sure is a far way away.”

Chloe’s momma was nothing like Maggie, and I wondered if I’d ever shed the guilt from our failed marriage that had left my daughter living with her old man. Chloe longed for a normal household, whatever that was in this day and age. Smiling at Chloe, I wished she’d see the well of hope I carried myself.

“I guess so, but I want Maggie to be here. It’s almost Christmas. We have so much to do.”

“I want Maggie here, too, Peanut, but it is what it is.” Resting my hands on Chloe’s thin shoulders, I prayed for the skies to clear so our Maggie’s arrival was sooner than later.

“Maggie promised she’d make cookies with me. Christmas will be here before you know it. This is our first Montana Christmas, and I want it to be perfect.” Chloe leaned her forehead against the window, closed her eyes then whispered in the sweetest of voices, “Please Lord, it’s me, Chloe. I know I can be kind of a pain, but can you please help Maggie and Glad get here, and fast?”

“Come here, Peanut.” Opening my arms, I scooped my little girl up. My cheek grazed hers. Nothing compared to her soft touch when pangs of disappointment bristled.

On the outside, my daughter was as tough as they come, but on the inside, she was soft and cuddly. Chloe rested her head against my shoulder, her warm breath like butterfly kisses upon my neck.
“Are you going to marry Maggie?”

“Without a doubt.” My heart pounded as I imagined sharing life with the woman I loved. “Don’t you worry.”

“Good,” Chloe whispered. “I can feel your heartbeat against mine. I think we both love her.”

“This is where Maggie needs to be, Peanut.” Holding my daughter tight, I breathed her in. She was a wee one, but something told me the years would pass in a blink of an eye if I wasn’t careful.

“I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, too, Munchkin.”
Outside, heaping mounds of snow grew deeper
with each passing hour. If Maggie and Glad couldn’t get to the 617 Ranch before Christmas morning this was going to be some Montana-bound holiday.

 

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2bakz7T  

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Blogger Tip 02 – How to Reduce the Number of Images Required in Your WordPress Media and SAVE STORAGE SPACE…

Need to save more storage? See what else you can do to limit the space used up by your images. Thanks so much for the tips, Chris, The Story Reading Ape!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

WP TIP 1

If you use more than one image in your posts, then use WordPress Publicize to automatically upload your post to Twitter, Facebook, etc, or, manually upload them, the image last inserted into your post, is the one that will be displayed on your media.

To avoid the wrong image being displayed, either:

Insert it LAST

OR

Select it as your ‘Featured Image’

Authors especially would probably prefer their Book Cover being displayed, rather than some other, random, image.

WP TIP 2

If you opt for using a Featured image, or, have the same image appear more than once in your post (as I’ve done on this post):

You DO NOT NEED to upload the same image for each separate appearance!

Select the same image to be inserted wherever you want it to be shown in the post.

This will save taking up unnecessary space in your media…

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Blogger Tip 01 – How to Resize Images inside your WordPress Media and SAVE STORAGE SPACE..

Phenomenal! On The Story Reading Ape’s blog I found blogger tip #1 to save storage space when it comes to our pictures. It’s a really important post to read for our very busy bloggers. Thank you, Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Have you been using images that are VERY LARGE, and/or, PNG Format?

Have you been reblogging and noticed how LARGE, some folks make their images?

Result

Running out of space in your WordPress Media Storage and thinking about paying for more?

Unless you are displaying your own images / photos, and WANT to have them full size

Before you spend any money, go through your Media Storage images and reduce their sizes

You might be shocked at how much longer you can work with the storage space you save.

Step 1:

Select an image and click on it to see it’s size (width x height in pixels)

and

how much it ‘weighs’ (i.e., how many KB or MB it is):

Step 2

My example has already been adjusted, but you can see it’s size and weight

To reduce them, click on the Edit Image button shown under the image:

Step…

View original post 127 more words

Chapters Indigo Announce That They Plan to Enter the US Market!

I found this article, written by Amy Collins, over at The Story Reading Ape’s blog. This is amazing news!
Thank you Chris and Amy for spreading word about this.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Amy Collins  in The Book Designer Magazine 

This is big guys….

While Barnes & Noble, the largest chain bookstore in the United States, has been struggling, Canada’s largest bookseller, Indigo Books & Music, announced plans to expand into the United States for the first time, starting with the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, in the summer of 2018.

Currently, Indigo runs 89 superstores under the names Indigo and Chapters, plus 122 smaller stores under the names Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company.

Unlike B&N, Indigo’s online sales grew 15 percent last year, and in the Canadian ebook market, Kobo outsells Amazon.

See the Indigo Q2 Report HERE

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Coping with Reading Guilt in 7 Easy Steps – Published by ‘Fantasy Faction’

Nicola Alter published this article about ‘Reading Guilt’ on the website of ‘Fantasy Faction’. I thought it was worth spreading the word about these seven steps, since I very much suspect I am suffering from reading guilt. Thank you, Nicola!


 

Every year, countless readers suffer from a condition known as Reading Guilt. According to a prominent scientist (or possibly, to no prominent scientists), anxious or time-strapped readers are particularly vulnerable. Sometimes the condition can be so debilitating it actively prevents the reader from reading, which can lead to a dangerous spiral that only further exacerbates the problem.

Signs you might suffer from Reading Guilt of one form or another can include:

1. The pile of unread books on your shelf, be it virtual or real, makes you feel anxious every time you look at it.

2. You occasionally dust off that book your friend loaned you and pretend you are about to read it, knowing in your heart you are just preparing it to collect more nightstand dust.

3. The sight of a bookstore evokes complex feelings of longing and guilt.

4. The book-devouring speed of a well-read friend makes you irrationally envious.

5. The question, “have you read…” elicits an instinctual dread, because whatever it is, you’ve usually never read it.

6. When someone recommends a book to you, you smile and make enthusiastic noises to cover the sinking feeling in your stomach, because it’s just another to add to the endless list and you’ll probably never get around to reading it anyway.

7. You are so behind on that reading goal you set that it just serves to depress rather than motivate you.

8. You have a vague but pervasive feeling that you haven’t read enough of the “important” books.

9. The hunt for bookmarks depresses you, because you realise they are all wedged in half-finished books and you can’t bring yourself to remove them.

10. You participate in online “How many of these books have you read?” quizzes, even though you know the results will not cheer you up.

Read the entire article here:

 

Coping With Reading Guilt In 7 Easy Steps