Tuesday, January 24, 2017


For a limited time, the ebook of 
Seven Brides for Seven Texans is on sale! 

You can buy the book for Kindle by Clicking AMAZON.

You can buy the book for Nook by Clicking BARNES AND NOBLE. 

You can buy the book for  other devices by clicking CHRISTIANBOOK.

The sale ends 1/31/17, so don't delay! 

Monday, January 16, 2017


The time has come to reveal the winners of last week's giveaways, AND the winner of the LOADED KINDLE FIRE!

So, without further ado...

The winners of a copy of the 7 Brides for 7 Brothers DVD are:

1. Kathy Jacob

2. Pail of Pearls

3. Lucy Reynolds (Plus one of Elise's Bath Bars)

4. Monica

5. Librarypat!

If you would each email me at ericavetsch at gmail dot com I'll get your prize to you ASAP!

and now...the winner of the LOADED KINDLE FIRE!!!!

A 7" Kindle Fire Tablet loaded with the following titles:

A Family Arrangement - Gabrielle Meyer
A Mother in the Making - Gabrielle Meyer
Family of Her Dreams - Keli Gwyn
A Home of her Own - Keli Gwyn
Make-believe Beau - Keli Gwyn
The Reliable Cowboy - Susan Page Davis
Heart of a Cowboy - Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough
The Bull Rider's Bride - Vickie McDonough
As Love Blooms - Lorna Seilstad
When Love Calls - Lorna Seilstad
While Love Stirs - Lorna Seilstad
A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, KS - Erica Vetsch
The Cactus Creek Challenge - Erica Vetsch
The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection - Amanda Barratt, Gabrielle Meyer, and Erica Vetsch

AND...7 Brides for 7 Texans! 

Goes to

Virginia Winfield!!!

Congratulations, Virginia! We'll be in touch about your prize!!!

The authors of the Seven Brides for Seven Texans collection want to thank each of you who entered our drawings, attended various launch events, and especially those who have purchased, read, and reviewed this novella collection. We fell in love with the Hart boys, and we hope you all did, too.

God Bless!

Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, and Erica Vetsch.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Peek Behind the Scenes #7 - With an Editor!

Erica here:

It was our total pleasure to work with JoAnne Simmons on the editing and polishing of this collection. JoAnne is a real pro with a great eye when it comes to editing, and she's also an all-around sweetie! :)

Several years ago, JoAnne was the acquiring editor for Heartsong Presents, a direct-to-consumer book club owned by Barbour Publishing. Not only that, but she was my first editor ever! The one who offered me my very first publishing contract. 

In addition to being a great editor, JoAnne is an author in her own right, too. Her latest work is Christmas Remembered: A Holiday Memory Journal for Families. 

Isn't it stunning? She's written devotionals, too. Be sure to check her work out wherever good books are sold! And now, here's JoAnne.

Editing a book by seven authors writing about the same characters in the same family? That sounded like a challenge I couldn’t resist! I jumped at the chance, especially knowing what a great group of authors this is, several of whom I’ve had the joy of working with on multiple books over the last 10+ years. And, really, this group made my job as breezy as possible with the fantastic series guide they’d already put together at the start of their brainstorming and plotting.

That guide contained all the info needed to keep the setting and many characters consistent throughout seven different stories and writing styles. From physical descriptions about every handsome Hart brother to mental pictures of each room of El Regalo and everything in between, these authors had the many, many, many details covered, much to this editor’s appreciation. A large part of my job was to make sure all seven authors stayed on track with this great guide--and what a pleasure to do so! Fascinating characters in a great western setting and unique stories for each of the brothers often made me forget this project was any kind of work.

The rest of my job was to look carefully at each individual story and all of them together as a whole to see how they could improve, asking questions and making comments and suggestions to the authors such as:

How could we make this plot even more captivating? What do you think of this idea?

This isn’t consistent with ______. Find ______ and compare.

The writing needs tightened up here. Are these changes okay?

This read awkwardly, and I’m not sure what you meant here. Can you revise?

This word choice might not be best. How about this instead?

This character’s motivation needs strengthened, what about this idea to do so?

Show us more about what the character is experiencing here.

Since I sound like a relentless nag in the majority of my notes to authors, my favorite part of editing is to add in encouraging comments, showing the authors where I best pictured their vivid description, where I laughed out loud, where I really connected with a character or message, and the spot where I shed a tear or two (or more sometimes!)

The goal by the end of my edit is to have my nagging comments resolved and replaced with even more encouraging ones, like “Yes, this fixes it. Good job.” or “Oh, I get it now. Thanks for clarifying”--so that by the time the book is in the hands of readers, we give them the best possible story experience.

I’m confident that Seven Brides for Seven Texans is an experience that lovers of inspiring historical romance stories do not want to miss! Enjoy!

Thank you so much to JoAnne Simmons for giving us a peek behind the scenes of what it was like to edit this collection. Hopefully we weren't too hard on her! :)

There are only a few hours left to enter! Don't miss your chance at these fabulous books and a Kindle Fire Tablet!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

A Two-Page Spread

Erica here:

Ever since I received my first publishing contract, back in the fall of 2008, I have marked writing milestones in the journey in a scrapbook. My daughter, Heather, has helped on many of the pages...and by helped, I mean designed, cut, and glued!

I have a page for each of my books or novellas, pages for awards won, for articles published, and other fun things that have happened along the way.

When it came time to create the page for Seven Brides for Seven Texans, I quickly realized that one page just wouldn't be enough.

We started with the left-hand page, a green background with gold embellishment and a pink flower. The colors exactly matched the tones of the book cover. Included on the page are a photo of El Regalo and GW and Victoria Hart's names in gold and pink hearts. Cowboy boot stickers and a map of the US with Texas in red complete the page.

On the left hand page, all the heroes and heroines are written on hearts, and the photos that the authors originally used as templates are included beside their names. A couple of Texas stickers and a cute surprise complete the page.

I drew an eye patch on Bowie. :)

Can you see the surprise? Here's a closer look:

It's hard to read on the gold foil in this picture, but the little heart attached to Emma's heart says "Jack." You can guess what that means!

7 Brides for 7 Texans was one of the most labor-intensive, exhilarating, fun projects I've ever worked on a s a writer. From the initial concept to the final pre-printing read-through, I learned so much about teamwork, about leadership, and about cooperation. I wouldn't change much at all!

We hope you've enjoyed learning about each of the stories through the past six weeks, and we hope you'll come back tomorrow when our guest will be our editor JoAnne Simmons giving us her take on what it was like to work with us on this project!

Today is the LAST giveaway of a dvd copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!

Every day this week, I'm giving away a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical!

To win the DVD, leave a comment telling me about your own creative efforts. Do you quilt or cross stitch or crochet or paint or play music or scrapbook or take photos? What is your creative outlet?

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cattle Dogs

Erica here:

One thing that makes my hero Bowie Hart stand out in this collection is his sidekick, Stonewall. Stonewall is a Catahoula Cur, also known as a Catahoula Leopard, and is named after Stonewall Jackson. (Bowie named his pets after famous people, in keeping with the tradition of naming Harts after famous Americans...perhaps because he had given up on the idea of ever having children of his own to name.)

Isn't he a beauty? The Catahoula Leopard is a mixture of Native American dog, Spanish mastiff, and Greyhound. They can be brindled, spotted, or solid in color, and they are considered part of the Herding Group.

Originally bred to herd cattle and pigs in the Louisiana swamps, the Catahoula has webbed feet, is athletic, and fearless. You can go to Youtube and search for Catahoulas loading cattle and see how active and intelligent these dogs are.

Bowie acquired Stonewall when he was a puppy. He rescued him from drowning in the Sabinal River. He rarely goes anywhere without his favorite dog.

Stonewall isn't the only cow dog Bowie has. Clara, named after Clara Barton (because Bowie has a soft spot for Civil War nurses) is Stonewall's mate.

Clara is lighter in both weight and color than Stonewall, and she is more aloof than her male counterpart. She has eyes only for Bowie. In Love at Last, Clara delivers a litter of puppies that are in high demand among the boys of Hartville.

I enjoyed learning about this amazing breed, and I thought they would be fitting animals for Bowie Hart.

Every day this week, I'm giving away a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical!

To win the DVD, leave a comment telling me about one (or more) of the pets you've had in your lifetime. (US Only.)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Elise Rivers

Erica here:

Today, we're talking about the heroine of Love at Last, Elise Rivers.

Elise hasn't had an easy life, losing her parents to illness and being forced to live and work for a cruel relative. And yet, she fights to find joy in little things, and to dream in spite of her circumstances.

Because she has been bereft of love in her life, she's learned to live a vivid inner life. When a handsome former patient dawns on her horizon and rescues her from a verbal and physical assault, she is ripe for a romantic and risky proposition.

Elise has a servant's heart, working in the Union hospital at Fort Slocum, NY during the War, and when she arrives in Texas, she does everything she can to keep her part of the bargain she made with Bowie.

I found a template for Elise perusing Pinterist. I didn't even know what she was going to look like until I found her picture. She's not a child as a spinster of 30, but there is a youthfulness there, too. I love the pensive, almost expectant expression on her face, and I think it captures what I wanted to portray in Elise.

Bowie has no idea what to do with Elise. She's pretty and considerate and treats him as if he were someone special, and just what is he supposed to make of that? From her long, brown hair, to her sweetness, to her haunting jasmine scent, she drives him crazy.

All in all, she's just the woman he needs to crack through the carapace he's built around his heart to protect himself.

Every day this week, I'm giving away a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical!

To win the DVD, leave a comment telling me what your favorite fragrance is. (US Only.)

And today, I'm also including a bar of custom-made Jasmine soap, Elise's signature scent.

And keep in mind, there are only a few days left to enter the big giveaway below!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bowie Hart

Erica here:

I love me a wounded hero. There's just something about a wounded warrior that makes my heart ache. When I knew my character Bowie Hart would be a Civil War veteran, I knew he was going to carry some battle scars inside and out.

The outer scars make him self-conscious...and people's responses to those scars make him angry. He's been called a monster and a freak, he's been used as a scare tactic to get children to behave, and he's been pitied, which feels the worst.

Bowie also carries inner scars. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, shunted from one hospital to another, (Which is where he meets the heroine, Elise Rivers.) and eventually sits out the remainder of the war as a prisoner in Elmira, NY. None of his other brothers who fought were captured. Austin was wounded, but his wounds aren't evident, and certainly aren't on display on his face as Bowie's are.

These insecurities mean that GW Hart's pronouncement of marry-or-be-disinherited lands a devastating blow to Bowie's hopes for the future. The ranch, training horses and cattle dogs, those are the ways that Bowie contributes to his family. If he is forced off the Seven Heart, what's left to him?

Bowie is complex, wounded, wary, and buried deep inside, he's a romantic. Before he was wounded in the War, he had dreams of becoming a builder, or even an architect, and he dreamed of having a wife and family, a happy home. Now he's sure no woman would have him and that happiness is something that happens to other people but not him.

He's also the kind of man who would keep and treasure the handkerchief of a woman he fell in love with a decade before.

The template I originally used for Bowie is Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. Then I found this one on pinterest for Tom Mison. Since Bowie has lost his left eye and has scarring on the left side of his face (The result of a caisson explosion.) this picture in profile of Tom Mison is perfect.

Every day this week, I'm giving away a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical!

To win a copy of the DVD, leave a comment here telling me what you wanted to grow up to be when you were a kid. (For me, I wanted to be a vet, then I wanted to be a nurse, and then I wanted to be a teacher, and then I wanted to be a writer. I never became a vet or a nurse, but I managed the other two.)

Enter our Rafflecopter for a LOADED KINDLE FIRE, and please, share this blog post on facebook, twitter, etc. We'd love to spread the word about this collection!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Love at Last

Erica here:

I'm so exited to get to blog here this week! I've been waiting and waiting to chat with you about my novella in the collection, Love at Last.

Here's a quick summary of the story:

When we first began planning and plotting the 7 Brides stories, I knew I wanted a hero named Bowie. I love that name. And the second born role is one that I get, because I'm a second born. And because I had been reading a collection of Civil War letters written by Louisa May Alcott when she was a nurse in a Union hospital, I knew I wanted my heroine to have been a nurse.

I have long been fascinated by Civil War History. I have dozens of books on the subject, as well as having visited many Civil War sites. I've seen some of the "Biggies" like Chickamauga, Andersonville Prison, Vicksburg, Franklin, TN, and the Lincoln Museum and Grave. And I've visited countless smaller sites, the Tilghman House in Paducah, The Richmond, KY battlefield, Fort Donaldson, TN. One area of Civil War history that intrigues me is what happened to all those Confederate soldiers when they returned home. How did they feel about themselves? How were they received? How did they deal with their experiences?

I knew that I wanted to explore these questions at least as much as I could in a novella.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, I'll blog about Bowie and Elise respectively, and how their characters were created. I hope you'll come back and hang out this week.

Every day this week, I'm giving away a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical!

To win the DVD, leave a comment telling me the Civil War sites you've visited and/or books on the Civil War that you recommend. (US Only.)

And time is running out to enter to win a LOADED KINDLE FIRE!

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Peek Behind The Scenes #6 The Release!

Erica Here:

We're just about a week away from the big reveal! Who will win the LOADED KINDLE FIRE?  You'll have to come back to find out, and you know it won't be you if you don't enter! What are you waiting for???? (Scroll down and enter!)

For this week, however, I'd like to give you another Peek Behind The Scenes, this time talking about the book release. The book released six weeks ago, and began shipping to those who had pre-ordered it even before that, but for the authors, the release is a long process! There's a lot of thought and work that go into a book release, and the seven authors of this collection put in the sweat equity for sure.

Months ago, there was the cover art to finalize

Often, the author has little or no control over the cover art for a book, but this time, Barbour was generous and let us have a say.

The first cover art came back and it was...fine.

It had pretty font, and a cowboy hat, and it looked western. However, we were a bit concerned, because it looked similar to a couple of other novella collections that Barbour had published recently, and the last thing we wanted was for someone to pass over this book thinking they had already purchased it because it looked too similar to one they already had.

Case in point. :) This fabulous collection released a few months before the 7 Brides Collection.

So, we asked if we could have a re-do, and after some give and take, we arrived at the beautiful cover we have now!

Once cover art was finalized, we could begin telling folks about the collection. And we could start brainstorming ways we would promote the collection, both together and individually.

We came up with a few things:


Every reader loves bookmarks, and they are a great way to spread the word about a new release.

Signed book plates:

It's hard to get a collection signed by all the authors, so we thought we'd sign book plates that we could send to readers to put in their books. :)

Goodreads Giveaway:

This one was Keli Gwyn's baby. She generously gave away 7 copies of the book on Goodreads.

The Group Blog:

We have loved having an online home to talk about our stories and connect with readers, and it's nice to have a place to send folks who ask about the book.

A Facebook Launch Party:

Again, Keli Gwyn had the lion's share of the responsibility on this one. In addition to hosting her part of the soiree, she also ran all the behind-the-scenes work, posting pictures, keeping things moving smoothly. This was one of the liveliest Facebook parties I've ever attended, with more than 1000 comments by the time it was all said and done. We had games and character sketches and prizes and laughter and cyber-goodies. It was an old fashioned hoe-down in a new-fangled delivery system.

The Rafflecopter to give away a Kindle Fire loaded with our books.

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(You have entered, haven't you?)

Review Copies

This is my post office...that I have visited many times lately...mailing out books to my review team, The Vetsch Posse. They are the best! And I know the other authors in the collection have sent out review copies as well. We have been thrilled with the reviews that are rolling in on amazon, Goodreads, and other places. Thank you! We LOVE reviewers!

In addition to these efforts, we've each guest blogged, done giveaways, and posted on social media.

It's been a lot of work, but we've enjoyed it! Mostly because we get to connect with readers like you!

So, for today, tell me, how did you hear about the 7 Brides for 7 Texans collection?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Do You Speak Texan?

Writers are taught not to overuse dialect in a story, which can be rather hard when you're writin' about a place where the language has a life of its own, like in Texas. Since I live so close to Texas, I'm fluent in Lone Star lingo. But how about you?

Here are a few simple lessons in talking Texan:

1. Never say "you guys" or "you people" etc. It's "y'all" or "all y'all." When talking to just one person, use "you." Two people earn a hearty "y'all." If you're addressing more than two, it's "all y'all." ie, Are all y'all gonna be at the town meetin' tonight?

2. Leave off the "g" when adding "ing" to a verb. ie. We're fixin' ta go to the store. You wanna ride along? I ain't goin' 'cause it's rainin'.

3. "Ain't is allowed--even preferred. ie, Ain't cha goin' to church with us? 

4. "Fixin'" has nothing to do with repairing things. And most of the time, it is followed by the word "to"--or rather "ta." ie, I'm fixin' ta go do my growshree (grocery) shoppin'. 

5. Why be a Plain Jane when you can use metaphors to describe things?

    He's as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.
    He is unwelcome.

    You can put boots in the oven, but it don’t make em biscuits.
    Say what you will, but it won’t change the truth.

    She’s got enough tongue for 10 rows of teeth.
    She sure can talk a lot.

Doesn't that just scare you outta of wantin' to go to Texas? You should go anyway. It's well worth the time and effort. Oh, before you go, make sure you study up on what a Coke is. It's not exactly what you're thinkin'.

Surprise give away! Tell me what these words in Texan speak mean & I'll put you in a drawing for my ebook: The Bull Rider's Bride--set in Texas. No fair looking them up online or copying someone else's answer. I tell you tomorrow's comments who won The Bull Rider's Bride, so be sure to check them.

1. Ahohno
2. Spoze
3. Yawna

All y'all be sure to come back next week to chat with Erica Vetsch. If you haven't read any of her books, you're really missin' out. Just look how excited she is to be here. 

Be sure to follow us to keep up with our book news!

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

All Roads Lead to Texas

Today I'm deviating from talking about the Hart brothers and book stuff and focusing on the state of Texas. I live in a state that borders Texas, so I've visited there many times. As a kid, going to Six Flags Over Texas was always something I looked forward to. I've enjoyed visiting the Dallas World Aquarium several times, as well as the Dallas Zoo. When our boys were small, we went to Houston and took them to the Johnson Space Center. 

My hubby and I have been to the panhandle, the Alamo, and Galveston--more than once. While traveling, I started snapping pictures, especially of animals, flowers, and butterflies. Here are some that I took in the Waco area.

Three hawks in the same tree.

Meep meep! Roadrunner!

Lovely butterfly on a pretty shrub.
About seven years ago, we spent a week in Waco doing research for a pair of books I set there. We were there before the Fixer Upper craze, so I haven't seen any of the Magnolia stores. I did love visiting the Texas Rangers' Hall of Fame and Museum, and we found the suspension bridge fascinating. We spent hours doing research at the Baylor Library. 

Historical Waco Church
As a historical writer, I especially like seeing the 19th century buildings. One of my favorite places that we've visited was Fredericksburg. It's an older German town with B & B's in vintage homes, fun places to shop, and some fascinating historical buildings. One site I found most interesting was the Vereins Kirche, formerly a church in a roundish building. Now it's part of a pioneer museum.

Vereins Kirche
Buckhorn Cabin


I have two unfulfilled Texas dreams. First is that I want to go to Round Top, Tx, during the Antique Week. I've seen it advertised many times but I've never gotten to go. Second, I want to see a giant field of blue bonnets in bloom. I've seen them in small quantities, and they are one of the prettiest flowers ever.

How about you? Do you have a favorite Texas site? Or is there a place you've always wanted to visit but haven't yet gotten to go?

I'm pasting in the Seven Brides for Seven Texans word search puzzle again. Work this by tomorrow at five p.m. Central time, then send me an email via my website: to let me know you completed it, & I'll enter in my drawing for The Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. You should be able to either click or right-click on the puzzle to save it. Open it and then print a copy. 

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