A Road Trip with Jay!

Hello Sweet Readers!

I hope you all are having a great week!

First I wanted to make sure you all know that Jay has a new preview below – and he’s not cooking today, he’s traveling! : ) You’re gonna laugh and be entertained as Jay shows us a little of his hometown. Check it out below and be sure to leave a comment and tell him what you think!

Guess what?

Today is ebook release day for my 70th book!

Goodness I can hardly believe it. Especially since it’s been four months since I released a book – the longest I’ve gone without releasing since I first hit “publish” back in December of 2018.

I definitely had a lot of unexpected things happen in the last year. But, I really didn’t want to talk about that today.

Usually I don’t do a lot of celebrating or looking back. I like to look forward and make plans and goals and work as hard as I can to achieve as much as possible. That’s fun for me. : )

But, maybe because of the year I’ve had or maybe I just slowed down enough to get curious, but I looked in my Book Report and I thought I’d share a few numbers with you.

I was honestly surprised to see that I’ve given away MORE books than I’ve sold. Ha. Don’t take business advice from Jessie. lol

Seriously, the Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you. Pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom.” God’s promises never fail. Never.

I’ve talked about this once or twice and I always have people who write me worried about how I’m feeding my family, etc. when I’m giving away so much. I promise you, none of us are starving. Not even close. I could stand to lose a few pounds or twenty, to be honest. : )

Alright, The Cowboy’s Second Chance is permafree (always free) and I’ve given away more than 20,000 copies of that one book alone.

Take My Place, Christmas Car Kerfuffle and Dreaming of His Kiss are also permfree and I’ve given away well over 10,000 copies of EACH of them.

I’ve given away more than 15,000 copies EACH of The Cowboy’s Best Friend, Best Friends in the Show Me State and Dreaming of Her Cowboy’s Kiss.

Out of all 70 books that I’ve published, I’ve sold the most copies of The Cowboy’s Best Friend.

The Cowboy’s Secret Baby has the most page reads and is my most profitable book. The Cowboy’s Convenient Marriage is a close second.

The Sweet Water Ranch series is easily my most popular series and most profitable.

And, just to show God’s provision, last month, when I hadn’t had a new release in three months, and had basically walked away from my writing to be with my family, was my most profitable month ever as an author.

I’m constantly amazed at God’s goodness and His provision. And, part of that provision is you – all of you who read, buy and borrow my books. Who leave reviews. Who send me encouraging notes and corrections and suggestions and tell me what a blessing they were or offer ideas for improvement. Who read this newsletter and share it with your family and friends and laugh and cry and allow a little piece of my life to influence and inspire and encourage and uplift you.

I mentioned at the beginning of this that I love setting goals and working hard to make them happen, and I love selling books, but that’s not what motivates me. It’s writing the words and doing the things and putting in the time and early and late hours and doing the hard work and then finding out that in something I did or wrote God showed up and turned it into something more than just a mess of me or a mess of words and somehow used it for His glory. Because every day is a gift. And I want to use it, every minute, every heartbeat, every breath to do with all my might the work He’s placed in front of me, not wasting a second, because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever and the opportunities it had are gone with it. I don’t want to get to Heaven and see the people who could have been touched if I had done more, given away more, written more, but wasted those opportunities instead.

I’m not perfect in this all the time, but I said we didn’t celebrate, and it’s not because my family doesn’t care. It’s because they don’t know. I don’t really talk about my writing with my family (other than Julia) or my real-life friends. I don’t want things to be about me and my so-called accomplishments. Because it’s not.

There’s a song that my kids used to sing written by Ron Hamilton, and one of the lines goes like this:

There are people around us
Crying out for a Savior
And their lives are a treasure
Of worth beyond measure
More precious than gold.

That’s the reason I want to do all I can – because there are people everywhere who need something – and they are valuable – and there might be something I can do or write that can help.

So, I guess if I celebrate, a big part of my celebration would be thanking God who has given me a love for the work He’s put before me and thanking you. I hope and pray that if there are any lives changed, any encouragement given, any comfort, any conviction of sin or changed hearts because of anything I write, that any credit I get on my Heavenly account for well-doing is shared with all of you – for your encouragement to me, your kind words, your help, your support, both with buying and reading my books and supporting us on YouTube – because without you, there would be no Jessie Gussman, author of seventy books.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You make what I do possible and you encourage me to keep doing it and you all deserve just as much credit as I for anything good that comes out of my writing.

Alright, Cowboy Stealing Her Heart is out in the world, and I have an excerpt below.

Thanks so much for celebrating with me today! : )

~Jessie

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Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The sports car missed his toe by an inch.

Calhoun Powers jerked his head up from his phone. He should have been paying attention. But he’d been eager to let his brother know that he’d found the O-ring they needed at Sweet Water’s hardware store and they wouldn’t need to order it in to finish the rebuild they were doing on a turbo.

But it was Sweet Water. There was never any traffic. The traffic that they did have took it nice and slow through town.

Not this sports car.

Out-of-state plates.

California.

That explained everything.

Calhoun’s lips pursed as brake lights came on, tires squealed, and the car stopped before the reverse lights came on, and it backed up.

He stood in front of his pickup, waiting for the driver to do whatever they were going to do before he hopped in and headed back to the garage.

The car stopped in front of him.

Dude probably wanted directions.

The tinted window slowly went down, and from the angle he was looking at, he saw a long, slender leg.

It wasn’t a dude.

He took a step back and lowered his head slightly, looking in the window to meet the eyes of the driver.

Wasted effort, since she wore huge, dark sunglasses, that took up most of her face.

Long golden blonde hair poured down her back and over both shoulders.

There was something familiar…

Calhoun’s eyes lifted slightly from the woman, looking over her low-slung car at the movie theater that was directly across the street.

Usually they played movies that were several months old or even older.

But the entire town had been abuzz, along with the rest of the country, about the brand-new romantic comedy that was set to release in the next week.

The highest-paid actress in Hollywood was in it, and her leading man was the man that she just had a one-million-dollar divorce settlement with.

Their chemistry on-screen was supposed to be sizzling, even though they’d been fighting and barely speaking to one another off-screen.

It was such a big deal that the owners of Sweet Water’s movie theater had actually bitten the bullet, paid the high fees, and ordered the movie in.

Figuring that even a small theater like them would be able to make their money back on such a huge movie.

The poster for that movie took up the entire front window.

The actress on the poster was smiling coyly and had her finger wrapped around the tie of the actor standing across from her.

The lady in the car wasn’t smiling and didn’t look coy, but there was something familiar about her, and Calhoun searched the poster for just another second before his eyes dropped back down to the woman in the car.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” he drawled, putting a little more country in his words than was strictly necessary. He wasn’t sure why, other than he didn’t want her to mistake him for anything other than what he was, which was a blue-collar dude who might be able to work on her car but would never drive one as fancy as that.

He could build her house, but he’d never live in it.

That thought came to him, since he had been renovating the vacation rentals for Rem and Elaine Martinez, one of them just for some big Hollywood hotshot.

Maybe that was this lady.

She didn’t bother to lower her glasses, but she did manage to look down her nose at him when she said, “I’m looking for the Martinez vacation rentals. My GPS seems to have quit working.”

“It does that around here,” he said, and there was no sympathy in his voice. Hard to dredge up any feeling of compassion when she obviously had everything she could ever want at her fingertips.

He ought to know, since he’d spent the last month turning one of Rem’s rustic cabins into the lap of luxury. For him, anyway, since it included a jetted hot tub, a massive large-screen TV, skylights, stainless steel appliances, wall-to-wall tile in the bathroom and kitchen, as well as voice-activated lighting and heating.

Each request had seemed more ridiculous than the last, as they came in one by one. Almost as though the woman were changing her mind, needing more and more in order for her to retreat to the country.

“Well?” the woman in front of him said, irritation in her tone.

“Well, what?” he asked, wondering if she thought that he was going to somehow be able to fix her GPS. He wasn’t a magician.

“Can you give me directions to Martinez vacation rentals, or should I ask someone a little higher on the evolutionary ladder?”

He grunted, not because he needed to make a noise, but because he clamped his teeth over the “yes” that wanted to come out. Just because this woman rubbed him the wrong way didn’t mean he needed to be rude.

He forced a pleasant, if small, smile on his face. “Keep going straight out of town. Just follow this road for about thirty miles. There’ll be a right-hand turn and a little wooden sign with white lettering and an arrow. The name of the road is Convenient Marriage, and you’ll just follow that back until you see the rentals.” He nodded his head in that direction and then figured he’d better add, “If you need to talk to Rem, you have to stop at the house which isn’t far off Convenient Marriage Lane on the left.”

The woman pursed her lips and somehow looked like she was smiling and holding her nose at the same time. “Thank you. Do I need to pay you?”

He almost thought she was asking that question as an insult, but he supposed he wasn’t sophisticated enough to be offended.

He just shrugged and said, “No.”

He had no desire to continue a conversation with her and even less to try to figure out what was offensive about what she had just said.

She looked smug.

She didn’t look away, although her finger moved slightly, and the dark tinted passenger window glass slowly closed.

Calhoun didn’t wait for it to shut the whole way before he straightened and took a step back, ready to get in his truck and pull out as soon as her car was no longer in his way.

He didn’t have to wait for long, as she took off quickly. The tires didn’t squeal, but he figured it was just a miscalculation on her part.



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