Hello Sweet Readers!

Hey, I hope everyone has had a great week!

I promised some $50 Amazon egift card winners celebrating FIFTY Dyess/Gussman audios and here they are!

josrefu
fosterr
suzannene
Rbndbl
Sormchl

Congratulations! Your gift cards were sent last night. : )

My lovely friend, Alexa Verde has a romantic suspense box set on sale – three books for only $.99! It’s a best-seller and I’m sure you’ll love it. Check it out below.

The incredibly talented Jay Dyess has another Baxter Boys audio out today! Forever with You released just this morning on YouTube! I am just over the moon that Jay is voicing this series (and he’s doing a phenomenal job!) and I would absolutely love love love for you all to check them out for FREE on Say with Jay!

I’m collecting BBQ recipes for our cookbook. Scroll down and click on the pick to add yours and to enter to win a $25 Amazon egift card!

Alright, I have a devotion I wrote last fall for my Facebook group below.

Thanks so much for spending time with me today.

Hugs and love,

Jessie🌷


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Excerpt:

“I’d better get this car done.” He fingered the lighter in his pocket. Sure, he admired Kelly. Liked her. There was even this little crazy attraction. But that’s all it could be.

She stepped back, and the longing for a cigarette hit him hard. Not for the nicotine craving but for something to do with his hands, his mouth. A distraction from what he wanted to do, which was keep her from backing away from him.

“Yeah. It’s late. I’m sure my fiancé will be calling me any time.”

Her words hit him like a hammer to his thumb. Exactly the way she intended for them to hit, he assumed. But he couldn’t just let her walk off into the darkness.

“I’ll walk you to your car.”

“That’s not necessary.”

“Then I’ll walk to the corner and watch until you get in.”

“I’m not a child.”

“No.” He certainly wasn’t confused about that. “But it’s late and these streets aren’t safe.”

“I’m on these streets all the time. I just dropped kids off two blocks over. Plus…” She moved, rustling in her purse, he assumed. “I have this.” She held something up.

Pulling the lighter out of his pocket, he flicked it on. “A rabbit’s foot?”

“A lucky rabbit’s foot.”

She had a lucky rabbit’s foot. He couldn’t stop the smile that turned the corners of his mouth up. Crazy woman. “You don’t actually believe that’s going to keep you safe?”

“Not because it’s magical, exactly,” she said with a saucy tone. “But, come on. Who’s going to hurt someone who’s waving a rabbit’s foot around?”

He grunted, which, to his surprise, was almost a laugh. “I’ll visit you in the psych ward.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I was being serious. I can see it now. Gang members capturing you and turning you in, because the streets aren’t safe with a psycho like you on the loose.”

“Wow. I had no idea you had such an overactive imagination.”

“Hey, criminals have feelings too.”

“You just switched sides! Defending the criminals. You are definitely not walking me to my car.”

This time he did laugh, a short, rusty sound. He reached out in the dark and took her elbow. “I’m always on your side, Kelly. Come on. Let me walk you to your car because I like you and it’s fun to walk in the dark with a pretty girl.” Not that he would know or anything.

She moved easily with the pressure on her elbow. “You like me? How come you weren’t talking to me earlier?”

No. No secret sharing. Not with anyone, but especially not with Kelly.

They made it to the corner and the edge of the streetlight before she spoke again. “You clammed up on me again?”

He ignored the question. There was no answer for it anyway. “That your rental?” He nodded at the sleek muscle car that looked very out of place along the cracked and broken sidewalk.

“It’s my fiancé’s spare.”

There he was again. Between them. As he should be. “Nice wheels.” Far nicer than anything he’d ever be able to offer Kelly. She deserved every nice thing.

She shrugged. “It starts when I turn the key. I’m not picky about anything else.”

“Heat? AC?”

She laughed. “Okay. That’s true. A good heater and AC in the summer.” Her phone buzzed in her purse, and she dug it out. “I’m good. I know you have a car to finish. Thanks for being the bunny foot backup.”

Tough waited. He wasn’t walking until she was in her car driving away.


Here’s a THREE book box set for only $.99 from Alexa Verde of mine!

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Three riveting, unputdownable romances filled with love, faith, and danger to warm your heart and set it racing! Sparks and bullets fly as couples join forces to survive, solve mysteries, and find love along the way, too.
SCENT OF DANGER
To find her missing sister, small-town cop Maya Hutchinson risks her life by posing as her glamorous twin. Under escalating attacks, Maya accepts protection from dashing senator’s son, Connor McNamara. Cop turned PI, Connor McNamara has his own secret mission and is forced to choose between family loyalty and love. When the scent of danger draws near, will Connor and Maya survive long enough to forgive and accept each other?
DANGER UNDER THE MISTLETOE
Eager to heal after losing her husband, security consultant Rachel Evans moves to the small Texas town of Rios Azules. When one of her clients is found murdered under the mistletoe and her rental is broken into, the former thief realizes danger has found her once again. Her neighbor’s widowed son volunteers to help her. But as Rachel’s attraction to him grows, can she trust him with her heart – or her secret – before someone takes her life?
MISSING AND IN DANGER (previously published as Heart Restored)
After her fiancé died in her arms, Liv Knox gave up on romance and now dedicates her life to her ranch. But when a friend needs her expertise as an ex-runaway and a former PI, she agrees to help maths teacher Diego Laguardia find his missing daughter. Now, not only does Liv have to draw on her traumatic memories, she also struggles with her untimely attraction to reserved and kind Diego. When someone makes it clear they might die if they don’t stop the search, can she and Diego solve the mystery in time to get a second chance at love?

Welcome to Rios Azules, a small south Texas town, where rivers and emotions run deep, and the secrets are deadly.

Have a yummy BBQ recipe you’d like included in our year-end cookbook? We’d love to have it!

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Jessie here with a devotion I wrote last fall for my Facebook Reader Group:

I wanted to talk about the day I unloaded a load of manure and had a baby and how that led to the one thing that improved my spiritual walk more than anything else.

Our second child was due in September, and that whole summer I had been begging my husband to get a load of manure for me to put on my garden.

At my last appointment, the midwife did all the things they do at those things and then told me, “I have no idea why you’re not in labor right now. If you do just a little bit of something this week, you’ll have this baby.”

Ha. So, when I told Watson that, he said, “I bet if you unload a pickup truck full of manure, you’ll go into labor.” So at the end of that week, he finally brought me home that very thing.

I had a toddler – the one who walked out of the house and over the hill in the snow, losing his boots, the kid who burnt his eyebrows off, the baby who never stopped crying – you can imagine what this child was like as a two-year-old, right? So anyway, my toddler and I unloaded that whole pickup load of manure on one of the five above-90-degree-days that summer while I was nine months and one week pregnant.

I showered, cleaned up my kid, took him to the neighbor’s house and went to my appointment.

They sent me to the hospital and Boo was born about four hours later.

I was pretty tired.

It had been a weird pregnancy anyway. I gained nineteen pounds and Boo weighed nine and almost a half. Maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe it was the manure. Whatever it was, I struggled with, not Baby Blues, exactly, but more like severe anxiety, for several months after his birth.

That sounds like a bad thing, but it turned out to be something really great.

I’d been brought up that you turn to the Lord when you have a problem, but I really didn’t have the knowledge of exactly who He was and how He could help.

Isn’t that true of a lot of Christians? We know the Bible stories. We might even be able to recite a few Bible verses, but we really don’t know what exactly the Bible says. Not about what we should do, nor about who God is or how we show our belief in Him.

We know sin is bad, but what constitutes sin?

We know we’re supposed to love God (commandment #1) but how do you love someone/something you’ve never seen and how do you know Him anyway?

So we kind of just decide that every man should do that which is right in his own eyes and live that way, giving lip service to a God we don’t really know. Not personally. (And just to be clear – the Bible is very clear that it is wrong for every man to do that which is right in his own eyes. God isn’t shy about telling us what is right and what is wrong.)

But how do we know?

That September shortly after my baby was born, I knew I wanted to cling to God, but I wasn’t sure how.

So I got my Bible out.

It happened to have one of those Bible reading schedules in the front of it – where you can follow the schedule and read the Bible through in a year. I decided to start right then and read it through by the next September.

The Bible is a pretty big book, and that was a pretty big plan for a mother of two littles, whose husband was gone most of the time and who was already exhausted and at her wit’s end.

But each day right after I put my toddler down for a nap, I’d sit on the couch, nursing my newborn and spend about ten minutes reading the chapters for the day. That’s all it took. Ten minutes. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. Boo was a great baby but he was up a lot at night and my toddler didn’t let me sleep much during the day.

But I kept that appointment every day with my Bible.

Actually, I really like to be ahead, and I figured I probably ought to read ahead just in case something happened and I missed a day.

I ended up reading the whole Bible through by Christmas.

My anxiety was gone.

It’s funny, but in those four months, I could tell a difference in myself.

I was happier, for one.

I was more patient. Kinder. More thankful. I started thinking about others.

It’s crazy, but reading the Bible one time, changed me. In a good way. (I’m not saying I understood everything, or even most of it. I’m not even saying I loved every word. I do know the more you read it the more familiar and beloved it gets and the more God opens your eyes and gives you understanding.)

When you think about it, doesn’t it make sense that God’s Word would change a person in a good way?

If the Bible is God’s Word, it’s powerful. Just in reading it, we get that power in our minds. Stronger than any medication. It changes our minds – our very being. Which changes who we are – our very lives.

Have you ever heard, you are what you read?

Whatever you allow (or deliberately put) into your brain is what you become. For me, I am very, very careful what I allow into my head.

I don’t want to be a passive person who becomes whatever the wind is blowing in.

I don’t want to allow the world, or Hollywood, or CNN to determine who and what I am. I want God to have that control. I want Him to form me, mold me, shape me and keep me growing into someone who can be a blessing to my family, my town, the world, if I get the opportunity.

The only way that can happen is by me, on purpose, putting God’s Word into my mind, and by me, on purpose, keeping as much of the other junk out of it as I can.

If you think about it, isn’t it crazy that we have a book, written by the Creator of the Universe – and the One who made each of us – at our fingertips. We can read it any time. We can come to know Him better and become better ourselves.

Yet, rather than reaching for the Bible, we scroll Facebook, watch mindless TV, or waste our time debating politics that really don’t matter. Why? Why am I so dumb sometimes? Why do we choose to feed our brains junk, when we have brain food in the Bible? All we have to do is open and read it.

But we don’t.

I didn’t. Even though I knew I should.

The year my second son was born marked the first year I read the Bible through, cover to cover. I did it again the next year and the next.

Every year since, except one, I’ve read the Bible completely through – every word. I can tell you for a certainty, it’s changed my life. Not just making me realize what I believe as a Christian – and being able to recognize the many, many times people say what Christians should do or be that is absolutely incorrect – but it’s changed who I am, what I love, what I want, how I act and react, how I treat others…it’s touched and changed every part of me.

You all know I’m not perfect. Oh, goodness, that’s a joke. But, if there’s any good in me, it’s because of God and the changes He made in me through His Word.

I challenge you to let Him change you, too.

Friend, read your Bible. I promise you, you’ll never be the same.