Friday, November 4, 2016

"The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection " Book Tour and GiveAway

To purchase your copy, click here.

Blog Stops
November 1: Simple Harvest Reads
November 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
November 3: Bibliophile Reviews
November 3: Smiling Book Reviews
November 5: A Greater Yes
November 6: Artistic nobody
November 7: cherylbbookblog
November 8: Jeanette’s Thoughts
November 9: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner (Spotlight)
November 9: inklings and notions
November 10: Lighthouse Academy
November 11: The Scribbler

November 12: Karen’s Krayons
November 13: Daysong Reflections
November 14: Splashes of Joy
November 14: Blogging With Carol

About the Book

Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

My Review: 
"The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection" is a nine novellas by nine different authors. They all are about fairs and strangers meeting strangers and immediate attraction is present. They all have different scenarios but the hero saved the heroine from a mishap. In some cases the hero has the mishaps that made me laughed out loud. Even if some of the mishaps were caused by the hero. These stories are fun and I think I liked them because a Facebook friend that died of cancer is a character in one along with a character named Sarah, my daughter-in-law’s name, another had a coal miner owner, my step father was a coal miner.

In "Requilted with Love" the story line is quilts and hot air balloons. The heroine thanks the hero is something he isn't.

In "Seven Medals and A Bride" the story is a woman botanist and a man who others are determined to find a wife for. There is also facts and history in this story. I really like how this story ends.

In "A Taste Of Honey" the hero and the heroine both want the honey meadow but for different reasons. This story is about compromising for love. 

"Altered Hearts" is a story about doing what you want and not doing what your parents do just because they expect of you.

“Better With Butter” has this quote which I love, “I agreed that everything is better with butter.” “But I absolutely believe that everything is marvelous with margarine”. I would love to see the butter sculptures of cows and the peacock. A surprise ending  really makes this a super exciting read.

“Driven to Distraction” This story is all about forgiveness, not about the hero and the heroine but their fathers.

“First Comes Pie” Lorelei needs to bake the winning pie for a bigger reason than just getting the blue ribbon. There is a bit of danger for the hero and the heroine in this story. It might be bad for all! There are apple pie recipes at the end of this story.

“Front Page Love”  this story is about a journalist and I feel like this story might lead to another story because I feel it ended with this “ They might not have a plan for  where they were headed, but he'd make certain they would enjoy the journey on the way there.” 

“Competing Hearts” is a story about trusting God to provide. 

Oh, my favorite of the nine stories is ALL OF THEM! I think my favorite character has to be Annie Mae in “Competing Hearts” because she is a worry wart like me.

I am giving"The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection five stars.

I was given a complementary copy of this book by Net Gallery and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my mine own.

About the Authors
Jennifer AlLee believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God—a theme that carries throughout her stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and RWA’s Faith, Hope and Love Chapter. When she’s not spinning tales, she enjoys board games with friends, movies, and breaking into song for no particular reason. Jennifer lives with her family in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Please visit her at

Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author, host of Grace Under Pressure Radio, and the Christian Author Network’s president. And yes, she’s half of the fun fe-lion comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Note from Angela: “I love hearing from readers and enjoy book club chats. To drop me a note or set up a book club chat, contact me at Let me know if you’d like me to post a quote from your review of this story. If you send me the link and your social media handle, I’ll post it to my social media with a word of gratitude including your name and/or social media handle, too!”
For more about Angela’s books (especially more Montana-inspired romances) and podcast, or to set up a book club chat, please visit her website:
Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Author Page:
Bestselling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online at
Cynthia Hickey grew up in a family of storytellers and moved around the country a lot as an army brat. Her desire is to write about real, but flawed characters in a wholesome way that her seven children and five grandchildren can all be proud of. She and her husband live in Arizona where Cynthia is a full-time writer.

Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

TIFFANY AMBER STOCKTON has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today she is an award-winning author, speaker, social media consultant, and a freelance website designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son and a vivacious Flat-coated retriever named Roxie. Her writing career began as a columnist for her high school and college newspapers. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Historical Romance Writers. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for the Heartsong Presents book club. You can read more about her at her website.

Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, and blogger. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colo­rado Press Association annual convention. She is a coblogger at Niki is the president of the Western Slope chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Connect with Niki on Facebook or Twitter, and visit her website for information on her other books:
ECPA- bestselling author Gina Welborn worked for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She serves on the American Christian Fiction Writers Foundation Board. Sharing her husband’s love for the premier American sportscar, she is a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club and a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five Okie-Hokie children, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn’t realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Find her online at!

Becca Whitham (WIT-um) is a multi-published author who has always loved reading and writing stories. After raising two children, she and her husband faced the empty nest years by following their dreams: he joined the army as a chaplain, and she began her journey toward publication. Becca loves to tell stories marrying real historical events with modern-day applications to inspire readers to live Christ-reflecting lives. She’s traveled to almost every state in the U.S. for speaking and singing engagements and has lived in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Alaska.  She can be reached through her website at
To celebrate their tour, The Blue Ribbon Brides authors are giving away an award winning themed basket that included a quilt and an Amazon Kindle Fire!
Be sure to comment on this blog post below. If we have ten commentors (not including the authors), I will be picking one person to win a book!

Guest Post A

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Blog Hop!!!
Carrie Fancett Pagels
Gina Welborn is the brainchild of this collection. The majority of the authors had participated in another collection with her and she got the notion of doing a fair-themed collection set at either state fairs or county fairs and the heroine going for the Blue Ribbon! We all agreed that it sounded like great fun! So Gina threw out the idea to us and we each picked the state we wanted and then the type of Blue Ribbon activity our heroines would have. Fortunately, we all chose different things!
Why I wrote “Requilted with Love” for the collection:
I am from Michigan, so I immediately thought of the Michigan State Fair. And when I go to the fair, I love to go to the Quilting Pavillions and my mother was an excellent quilter so I grew up sleeping under beautiful quilts and have many of my own that she made. For my novella, “Requilted with Love,” I got the idea of having a wedding quilt requilted with appliqués because my mother had made me a gorgeous wedding ring quilt for my first engagement. When we broke up, she held onto it. Later I told her, Mom, I’m not getting married – how about you just send it on to me, and she did. Then when Jeff and I got married, she made us a beautiful appliquéd quilt. I put those two together, so that my heroine, Sarah Richmond, whose first two fiancés died, has requilted atop the wedding ring quilt and is trying to win the Blue Ribbon as a vehicle to promote her wish for better medical care in upper Michigan, where she is from. Gina had suggested I include a balloonist, thinking that would be a fun addition at the fair. So Grant, my hero, is a balloonist who is also an engineer – but Sarah is confused by his uniform and thinks he is a state fair groundskeeper!

Guest Post B

From Gina Welborn:
Bravery God’s Way
Naturally brave people exist. I’m not one of them. And I think I’m all right with that. Or at least I used to think that I’m no brave. As I started writing “Altered Hearts” (Blue Ribbon Brides Collection, Barbour, 11/16), I finished reading Let’s Be Brave by Annie K. Downs. In it she writes:
To see yourself the way God sees you is the first step in being brave. If you are seeing yourself the way God sees you, then you can see your strengths and weaknesses. And you can see they are different from mine. You can see the unique ways you are wired and the rare combination of qualities and desires that make you uniquely you. And you, my friend, have a unique call to be brave.”
In the beginning of my Blue Ribbon Brides novella, my heroine’s father tells her, “You are braver than I have ever been.” She’s also brave than I have ever been. Then again, maybe we demonstrate our bravery differently. I can’t help but remember the day my oldest son’s choir teacher belittled him and his friends in front of the whole class. She said, “These are the failures in life.” I could have said nothing. I chose to be brave and have a talk with her. Not only did she apologize to my son (and he to her), she also apologized to the class.
For my son’s 18th birthday, he gave me a letter with 18 reasons why he loved me. One of those reasons—for standing up to his choir teacher and helping raise his grade from a C- to an A.
Bravery begins with seeing yourself for how God sees you.
According to Colossians 1:22, God sees me-you-us as holy, blameless, and beyond reproach.
That right there is enough to make us brave!

Guest Post C

By Jennifer AlLee
Have you ever done something for a really good reason, but when you looked back, you realized that may have been when your problems began? That’s pretty much what happens to Max and Ella, the main characters of “Better with Butter!” Ella dreamed of creating images in clay, stone, marble. Instead, she’s making butter sculptures all because of one crazy, well-intentioned idea to garner publicity for the family dairy. Max grew up on a farm, and after years of working at the dairy, he wanted out. So he left to work for the Joy Margarine Company. Trouble is, he didn’t just leave the dairy, he left Ella, a move he’s regretted ever since. When Max and Ella find themselves both pushing their products at the Nevada State Fair, sparks fly, in more ways than one. The attraction between them is definitely still there, but it’s buried under layers of hurt and mistrust. The decisions they make at the State Fair will be a lot bigger than winning a blue 4ibbon. They’ll change Max and Ella’s lives.

Guest Post D

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…
By Angela Breidenbach
In Seven Medals and a Bride, Bettina enjoys the new inventions on display at the Columbian Expedition. That’s the name of the World’s Fair in 1893. The entire fair grounds were built on a marsh in Chicago and never expected to last more than the six months of the event. All the buildings sparkled a brilliant white, and so it was dubbed The White City. Although the “city” wasn’t expected to last beyond that event, many of the inventions did—so much so that they became household staples. Do you know what some of those inventions are that you use regularly today?
  • Electricity! The White City was so bright it dazzled the world, but the massive building that powered the lights was plagued by noise and fires all that summer.
  • The telephone—people were able to place calls in booths inside The White City.
  • Shredded Wheat—you eat that, right? (Okay, I know it’s not your favorite cereal, but did you know cereal wasn’t common before it was introduced at the Columbian Expedition?)
  • Coca-cola—it was a huge hit! But back then it was also used as a medicinal in the syrup form. Did your grandmother give you a teaspoon or two for upset stomach? No? Mine did. Coca-cola syrup became a medicinal staple due to excellent marketing.
  • Cracker Jacks—the original form that debuted was pretty sticky. It wasn’t until a few years later that the company managed to bake the confection into a dryer, less sticky form in order to mass sell it nationwide. But Chicagoans could order it regularly from a little shop in the middle of town before the World’s Fair ever opened.
 Little survives today of The White City splendor. A few buildings that have been refurbished and turned into museums stand as a memory. But flip on your lights, open your fridge for a soda, and check your cupboards for that caramel treat to take to the ball game and the spirit of the Columbian Expedition will live on… Psst, be sure to share a little Americana Past with your children.

Guest Post E

First Comes Pie – History of Apple Pie Days
Niki Turner
In First Comes Pie, Lorelei Boyd is preparing to enter the Apple Pie Days Contest in Rifle, Colorado. Apple Pie Days began in 1908 in Rifle, predating the Garfield County Fair, which is still held in Rifle, even though it’s not the county seat. The first Apple Pie Days was a celebration of the construction of a bridge across the Colorado River in conjunction with the apple harvest. Someday I’ll find time to write about the woman who operated the ferry that hauled people back and forth across the Colorado River before that bridge was built! That’s the problem with historical research… the more research you do, the more story ideas you find!
The idea for First Comes Pie came from an interview I conducted with an elderly couple for a newspaper column. The couple shared their memories of the Colorado River valley being home to thousands of acres of orchards, farms, and agricultural production. Today most of those orchards are gone, and the sugar beet farms have been replaced with hay fields. Then I learned about Apple Pie Days, and the germ of an idea blossomed into a story.
Every year, each woman in the Rifle area was asked to bring six home-baked apple pies to town in September. Free coffee and pie were served to all in attendance. Thousands of pies and thousands of gallons of coffee were consumed, and as with most community events, activities began to be added. Eventually there was a parade, rodeo, dance, and plenty of excitement downtown.                                                                                                                              
Although I couldn’t find evidence that there was ever a contest for the best pie, the local museum has a framed picture of the first Apple Pie Queen on display. Miss Blanche Grace Goodrich was chosen as the first Apple Pie Queen in 1909. In 1910 she married the Texaco Oil Consignee in Rifle and, after his death, operated the oil company with her son Jack. She passed away at the age of 98. Her photo in the museum speaks a thousand words, in my opinion. I like to think Lorelei “inherited” a little bit of that attitude!


  1. Thank you for the chance to win this beautiful collection of novellas! I don't get to go to the fair much so this would help me get my "fix", lol!

  2. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. LOL....I liked it too Debbie :-) I also shared this on FB to generate some traffic to the blog hop stops and comments here!

    3. Thanks for sharing, Trixi, and for coming by! I don't get to the fair either and I miss it, so it was fun to "attend" the 1889 Michigan State Fair in Lansing by writing Sarah and Grant's story set there!

  3. Thanks for hosting us on the Blog Hop, Debbie!

  4. Thanks for this great giveaway! These stories all sound very interesting. I've been to a few fairs but am not able to walk much anymore so that limits how much I am able to get out and about. I'm looking forward to reading this collection!

    1. Hi Donna! I went through many years where I couldn't walk much, so I commiserate! Thanks for coming by!

  5. Beautiful review! I loved this book! Each author did an amazing job writing their stories, all of them are talented authors! I beta read Carrie's book, then I read through all of it with Netgalley.

  6. What a wonderful review. I love these collection and it's by my favorite authors.

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  7. County fairs no longer occur in my county but I have fond memories of the ones from the past.

  8. County fairs no longer occur in my county but I have fond memories of the ones from the past.

  9. I love the post Debbie.Thanks for sharing.I am looking forward to reading this book.