Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sneak Peek at The Texan's Engagement Agreement #Giveaway

Howdy y'all! Have we got a special treat for you today. Noelle Marchand is here today, granting us a sneak peek into her new release The Texan's Engagement Agreement. (Hang around till the end for the rest of the surprise. ;) ) Here's what Romantic Times says about it, "Marchand’s latest offers three-dimensional characters and layers of story with depth. There’s a sweet playfulness between the main characters as well."

The book blurb:

It's been five years since Adelaide Harper broke Chris Johansen's heart—and their long-distance engagement. But when she steps off a train in Peppin, Texas, and strolls back into Chris's life, he can't help but panic. Because to avoid his parents' plan to arrange a marriage for him, he's let his family believe he and Adelaide are still engaged.

Adelaide is facing her own troubles with a matchmaking mama and a parade of aggravating suitors. So pretending to let Chris court her could help them both. And after five years, there's no need to worry that the time together will reignite their long-buried love…is there?

Without further ado...the sneak peek...
Chris’s gaze continued to search his father’s for any indication that he was in pain or short of breath. Olan hated the worry his heart condition added to the family. This wouldn’t be the first time he’d tried to downplay one of his heart episodes with a distraction. Olan was flushed, but it only seemed to be with excitement, so Chris reluctantly allowed his attention to be drawn elsewhere.

It landed on the woman standing just in front of his father. A hat dipped low over her right eye. Yet it did little to hide the perfection of her slightly turned-up nose, the rosy blush racing across her high cheekbones or the sweet curves of her bow-shaped lips. She was beautiful. She was familiar. She was achingly familiar.

He caught her chin, tilted her face upward and got lost in her light green eyes. “Adelaide.”

A fleeting smile touched her lips. “Hello, Chris.”

Silence filled the air. He released her. His words came out as more of a growl than a greeting. “What are you doing here?”

Olan slapped Chris’s back just hard enough to knock some sense into him. “Son, is that any way to greet your fiancĂ©e?”

Time slowed. Chris saw Adelaide turn toward his father. He knew exactly what was going to happen. The truth was going to come out. He could almost see the disbelief, the shock, the disappointment on his father’s face. His imagination went even further until he saw Olan’s face whiten, his hand covering his heart as he sank to his knees in pain. Chris couldn’t let that happen. Instinctively, Chris reached for Adelaide. He caught her by the arms, tugged her toward his chest then stifled whatever she’d been planning to say with a quick, ardent kiss.

Noelle Marchand is an award-winning author of six published novels who graduated summa cum laude from Houston Baptist University with a BA in Mass Communication and Speech Communication. Her love of literature began as a child when she would spend hours reading beneath the covers long after she was supposed to be asleep. At fifteen, she completed her first novel. Since then, she has continued to pursue a writing career and was honored to receive the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for A Texas-made Match. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, learning about history, watching classic cinema and dancing. She is a member of ACFW.

You can find Noelle online at:

Noelle is also offering one paperback copy as a giveaway to one of this post's commenters. The winner will be announced in Monday's Weekly Windup post. 

Have you read any of Noelle's books before? Does this sneak peek make you want to read more? 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Palmiers for Valentine’s Day

Show God's love to your family and friends by sharing a French heart-shaped dessert with them on Valentine’s Day. Served with coffee, tea, or milk, everyone will enjoy this light, crisp pastry baked to sugary perfection. And it takes two ingredients—puff pastry and granulated sugar—and a wee bit of time.

I discovered Palmiers at a local bakery in Edison, WA, called the Breadfarm. But you can make them yourself. This recipe is from Taste of Home.


TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 24 servings

1 cup sugar, divided
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed


Sprinkle a surface with 1/4 cup sugar; unfold puff pastry sheet on surface. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Roll into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar to within 1/2 in. of edges. Lightly press into pastry.

With a knife, very lightly score a line widthwise across the middle of the pastry. Starting at one short side, roll up jelly-roll style, stopping at the score mark in the middle. Starting at the other side, roll up pastry jell-roll style to score mark. Cut into 3/8-in. slices.

Place cut side up 2 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Turn pastries over and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown and glazed. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Yield: About 2 dozen.

Some people like to substitute cinnamon sugar, but it's entirely your choice. Have you heard of Palmiers? Tasted them? Baked them yourself? By all means, share what you know about making French pastries and leave a comment to enter our Stitches Thru Time weekly giveaway. And go share a Palmier with someone special!



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What'd you say?

According to slang is defined as “very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language, as in hit the road.”

The use of slang, especially by a character in a story, can make them very memorable. But sometimes it’s even more fun in person. When I moved several hundred miles up the East coast from Virginia to New Hampshire in 2002, I didn’t realize I would have to learn a new language. However, I was delighted to discover that New England has their own slang vocabulary - as do most regions in the U.S., so I shouldn’t have been surprised. Examples include: “The kid’s got moxie,” “make a packie run,” (go to the liquor store) and “bang a u-ey” (make a u-turn).

World War II brought forth its own vibrant collection of slang. Here are some of my favorites:

6-and-20 tootsie: a girl worth the 6 demerits and 20 rounds of marching an aviation cadet got for returning to base late.

Ameche: a telephone, as in “I'll talk to you later on the Ameche.” Named for actor Don Ameche, who played inventor Alexander Graham Bell in a 1939 movie.

Army Strawberries: prunes, a less vibrant, more fibrous alternative to their slang namesake for GIs at the front

Baby: a plane's detachable extra fuel tank; this baby could be dropped in tight situations to reduce weight.

Blivit: anything (or anyone) big and floppy that goes plop when you drop it.

Birdbag: a flight suit

Behavior report: letter to a girl, a letter to the missus as in the prune always forgot to send behavior reports to his girl.

Bubble dancing: washing the dishes

Devils in baggy pants: what some German troops called US 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers, who tucked their pants into their boots

Dodo: like his winged by flightless namesake, this air force cadet had not flown (yet)

George: a name that originated with the RAF for a plane's autopilot, used in phrases such as “Let George fly it.”

Goozlum: goop masquerading as sauce or gravy – maybe atop a blivit on your plate

Naff: British slang for solders' clothing and ordinary belongings, perhaps from NAAFI – Navy, Army Air Force Institutes, which supplied such things.

Pineapple: deceptively sweet sounding slang for a hand grenade

Pollywog: A shipmate who has never crossed the equator; when he does he'll become a shellback

Roller skate: a tank

Sugar report: letter from a sweetheart
Tiger meat: an exotic name for not-so-exotic meat

Do you have any favorite slang expressions?

Don't forget to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for an Orphan Train Bride Audiobook by Teresa Ives Lilly! Winner announced in the Weekly Windup on the 15th. Check out all of our great prizes on the Prizes Galore page.

A freelance writer for over ten years, Linda Shenton Matchett also writes historical fiction. She is currently seeking a publisher or her series about WWII war correspondent Ruth Brown. Visit Linda at