Thursday, March 31, 2022

AVOCADO TOAST by Author Nancy Fraser (The Orchard Brides - Book 1)

Welcome to Romance Sweet Reads! Today we're showing off the first book in the brand new contemporary romance series, The Orchard Brides. Over the next few weeks we'll be featuring all ten books in this clean and wholesome/inspirational collection of great reads.

The first book in the series just happens to be mine, and I'm uber-proud to share a bit about Avocado Toast!

The last place Andrew (Drew) Morgan wants to be is back on the family avocado farm in Plentiful. If he had his way, he’d still be active military and deployed someplace far, far away. Unfortunately, he rarely gets what he wants. And, being back in the orchard is just the latest in a long list of disappointments.

Single mother, Chloe Taylor has relocated from Fresno to the rural area of Plentiful, California to build her marketing business beginning with the local agriculture co-op. It’s her job to convince the local farms to invest in a major overhaul of the co-op’s publicity campaign. A mixture of modern operations, and older, family-owned farms, only adds to her frustration.

At the moment, her biggest challenge is bringing the owner of Plenty Good Farms in line with the others. The fact that the old curmudgeon of an owner, Samuel Morgan, has brought his nephew in to run things gives her hope. Surely, the younger Morgan will be more amenable to her progressive ideas.

When Chloe first presents her plan the Morgan men, it’s Drew who throws a monkey wrench into his uncle’s agreement to sign the necessary contract. What she doesn’t realize is that Drew’s reluctance has more to do with his uncle’s health issues, and the possibility that he won’t be able to talk the man who raised him into retiring.

When Drew is forced by the military medical team into choosing between a desk job or retirement, he shares his frustrations with Chloe and she helps him find a new purpose outside of being a full-time farmer. It also helps that their attraction is growing. Drew has definitely fallen for the independent woman, and her adorable daughter.

Will Chloe’s faith and determination help her lead Drew through his difficult decisions and bring them what they both need... a love that transcends their everyday challenges.

Available exclusively at Kindle Unlimited

Drew Morgan pulled his muddy four-wheeler to a stop on the side of the road just short of the driveway leading to Plenty Good Farms. The last place he wanted to be, but where he was needed most. After nearly twelve years of active military service, he understood duty. Responsibility.

It wasn’t like the military was giving him an assignment any time soon. If ever.

He killed the engine, slid from behind the wheel, and walked around for a few minutes, working the kinks out of his bum leg and stretching his back. It wouldn’t do to arrive on his uncle’s porch with a limp.

The stubborn old coot would likely brand him injured and useless, and continue to insist he could manage on his own.

Drew knew better. Thanks to a letter from Doc Taylor, he’d been apprised of Sam’s failing health. As badly as Drew wanted to stay close to Fort Hood in hopes of haranguing them into letting him go back to work, he couldn’t very well desert the man who’d raised him from the age of ten.

C’mon, Andrew, grow a pair!

His uncle’s familiar admonishment echoed in Drew’s ears. Samuel Morgan was—if nothing else—an opinionated and cranky curmudgeon who liked nothing better than to goad people into doing what he wanted them to do.

Still, Drew loved the set-in-his-ways old man with all his heart. So much so, he’d accepted his mandatory three-month medical leave without so much as an argument. Then, he’d set out on the eighteen-hour drive from the base to the farming town of Plentiful, California in order to check on Sam for himself.

No sense putting off the inevitable any longer. Drew hopped back into the car and turned up the long, winding driveway. Parking at the rear of the century-old farmhouse, Drew took the steps two at a time, the reward for his exuberance a shooting pain that ran from behind his knee cap, up the back of his thigh, and ended in his hip. With the pain came the flash of memory he couldn’t quite escape, the loud explosion of an IED, flames shooting into the air, jagged shards of shrapnel flying everywhere.

He stopped at the door and sucked in a breath before turning the knob and stepping into the warm and welcoming kitchen.

“About time you got here, Andrew,” Sam groused from his seat at the table. He cradled an all-too-familiar cup of coffee in his sun-tanned grasp.

The first thing Drew noticed was the way Sam’s hands trembled where he held the ceramic mug. “The road was wet,” Drew countered. “I couldn’t go top speed all the way.”

Sam’s faded gray gaze narrowed in his direction. “No doubt you’ve lost all the driving skills I taught you as a teenager.”

“After maneuvering caravans of military vehicles for a dozen years, handling a lightweight four-wheel drive takes a bit of practice.”

“Yeah, well, you’re home now. You’ll catch on once you’re back on the tractor and pulling a wagon load of fresh-picked ‘cados.”

Nancy Fraser is a best-selling and award-winning author who happily jumps across multiple romance genres with gleeful abandon.

She's also the granddaughter of a Methodist minister known for his fire-and-brimstone approach to his faith. Nancy has brought some of his spirit into her Christian romances. And, her own off-beat sense of humor to her clean & wholesome books.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

You can find all ten books in The Orchard Brides Series on

And, while you're there check out our companion cookbook, Treats From the Orchard

Just 99¢ or Kindle Unlimited
All proceeds to benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

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Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon. April's going to be a busy, busy month with more wonderful authors, great books, and a lot of fun!


Monday, March 21, 2022

AUDIE'S AUDACIOUS BRIDE by Author Kimberly Grist

Welcome back to Romance Sweet Reads. Today we're featuring another book from the Matchmaker's MixUp series. Audie's Audacious Bride, by Kimberly Grist is the 17th book in this great series.

Genre: Historical/Inspirational Western Romance

Faith Fairchild is destitute and has no other choice but to comply with her late father’s last wish—to find a husband through a matchmaking service. As a pastor’s daughter, she trusts his advice but believes hard work and commitment combined with a bit of romance will give her the desired goal of “happily ever after.”

Her application reads, “I’m at my best when surrounded by others. My ideal husband will live in town. Perhaps a tailor, shopkeeper, or someone running a diner. I am a hard worker, love to cook and sew, and would love the opportunity of working side by side as partners.”

Ranch owner Audie Harris has one single goal – to make the family ranch a success and secure it for future generations. He needs a wife who understands that the isolation and hard work of cattle farming are necessary to achieve his goal. With a young sister to raise and numerous ranch hands to feed, his application for a suitable wife reads, “a woman of robust stock, a good cook, and willing to produce a houseful of children.”

What does he get? “I asked for a practical woman with ranch experience, and they send me a Southern Belle who has more petticoats than she does sense.”

Can this mismatched couple blaze a trail to form a partnership of the romantic kind?

Available exclusively on Kindle Unlimited

My grandpa always said, ‘There are only two stances to take when arguing with a woman, and neither works.’ Which is probably how my sister talked me into this matchmaking scheme.” – J. A. Harris, III

“When the stage passes by this time next week, I will be on it.”

“What?” Twenty-eight-year-old Audie Harris glanced over his shoulder, noting the defiant lift to his sister’s chin. A burst of wind blew with a vengeance, causing the wooden signboard of the Rocking H Ranch to squeak and sway on its hinge. “Hold up a minute while I finish securing the water barrel to the wagon, then you can tell me what new burr is under your saddle.” His jaw twitched as he secured the last knot. He had to agree with his grandfather’s advice. “There are only two stances to take when arguing with a woman, and neither works.” The last thing he needed this morning was to waste time arguing.

“It’s the same complaint I’ve had since you inherited this ranch from Grandpa two years ago.” Nose in the air with nostrils flaring, Anna’s anger was as apparent as the wind billowing her skirts. “While you and the boys are out rounding up cattle, I’m stuck here by myself, miles away from town with only prairie dust, cows, and manure for company.”

“It’s not like you are entirely by yourself. You’ve got Katie and Buck to keep you company.” Audie smoothed his beard and stared at the sky—twilight faded into the break of day, sending rays of light toward the family’s five-room adobe structure. “You’re just tired. It was only last week that you declared your favorite place to be was on the covered porch late in the day when there’s nothing to see but blue sky and open spaces.”

“Just because I appreciate the beauty of the place doesn’t mean I want to live here the rest of my life. Truly our baby sister is the only reason I’ve lasted this long.” Straying locks of dark hair blew across his sister’s face, and her blue eyes, so like his own, grew misty. “Even though I admire your resolve to make the ranch profitable again, this has been the longest two years of my life. I’m lonely, Audie. I want a home and family of my own.”

“Which is the only reason I let you weasel me into this matchmaking venture. When my new bride arrives, she will give you the help and companionship you need.”

Anna tossed her long braid over her shoulder. “Your words, not mine. Using the matchmaking service may be my idea, but every decision I make is not about saving the ranch. I want us both to have a chance at happiness.”

“Things won’t always be this hard. While the war was raging, thousands of longhorn cattle left to breed unchecked still roam free for the taking. What’s proving trickier is how long it takes to fatten them up.” He inclined his chin toward the split-rail fence he’d rebuilt, pig-tight, horse high, and bull strong.
Several steers lay amongst the buffalo clover, seemingly unaffected by the vibrant sapphire blue petals. 

“This next roundup should allow us to pay the taxes and purchase some new horses. By this time next year, we will be sitting as pretty as that field of bluebonnets. That’s no exaggeration.”
“What about you personally? Your days are so focused on rounding up cattle, you’ve forgotten your dream of breeding and training horses.”

Audie rubbed his chest. “I haven’t forgotten. But the cattle will provide the cash flow we need to keep food on the table.”

“A table so extended it’s taken over the front parlor.” His sister let out an exaggerated breath. “Please try to see my side of things. This ranch is a dream you and our grandfather shared, but it’s not mine. The man I’ve been writing to owns a sawmill and lives close to town. He’s willing to share his life with a spinster like me.”

“You are only twenty-one, and that’s hardly old enough to be a spinster. The men in Texas must outnumber women fifty to one. Just because I’m settling and marrying for convenience doesn’t mean you need to. You still have plenty of time to meet someone, fall in love, and marry.”

“We’ve been over this again and again. How am I supposed to meet anyone? We are miles away from town and our nearest neighbors.”

Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson a former teacher and coach, now pastor. They have three adult sons, one with Down Syndrome and have a passion for encouraging others with family members with special needs.

As a young girl, I enjoyed making up stories to make people laugh. But in reality, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame. The problem was I was born in the wrong century. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and encourage you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance emphasizing Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.

You can find all the books in the Matchmaker's Mix-Up series on

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Thanks to Kim, and to my readers for stopping by today. Please come back again soon. April and May are going to be chock full of wonderful new sweet/inspirational romance reads!