Promise, Texas [NOOK Book]

Overview


DebbieMacomber.com

Let Debbie Macomber take you into the HEART OF TEXAS

In Promise, Texas, people know what really matters—family, friends, community. And they know that love gives meaning to every day of their lives….

Some of the people in Promise are from old ranching families—like the Westons and Pattersons—folks who arrived in the Hill Country more than a century ago. And then there are newcomers like ...

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Promise, Texas

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Overview


DebbieMacomber.com

Let Debbie Macomber take you into the HEART OF TEXAS

In Promise, Texas, people know what really matters—family, friends, community. And they know that love gives meaning to every day of their lives….

Some of the people in Promise are from old ranching families—like the Westons and Pattersons—folks who arrived in the Hill Country more than a century ago. And then there are newcomers like Annie Applegate, who opens a bookstore in town. Some might say Annie does things backward. She marries a widowed veterinarian for the sake of his kids…and discovers that marriage can lead to love.

In Promise, everyone's life is a story! The people here, like people everywhere, experience tragedies as well as triumphs, sorrow as well as joy. This town, like towns everywhere, has its share of secrets. But whether times are good or bad, you're never alone in a place like Promise. And as Annie Applegate knows, that makes all the difference.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Debbie Macomber] is skilled at creating characters who work their way into readers' hearts." -RT Book Reviews on Dakota Home

"I've never met a Macomber book I didn't love!" - #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

"Popular romance writer Macomber has a gift for evoking the emotions that are at the heart of the genre's popularity." -Publishers Weekly

"Debbie Macomber's name on a book is a guarantee of delightful, warmhearted romance." -Jayne Ann Krentz

"Macomber offers a very human look at three women who uproot their lives to follow their true destiny." -Booklist on Changing Habits

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460322444
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Series: Heart of Texas , #7
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 12,552
  • File size: 374 KB

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at DebbieMacomber.com.

Biography

Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "It cost $10 to mail it off," Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. "My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can't tell you what $10 was to us at that time."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with ContemporaryRomanceWriters.com. "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

"Annie, I'm so sorry! I can't tell you how sorry I am."

Annie Applegate shifted the receiver to her other ear and blinked repeatedly. Jane Patterson's sympathetic voice had brought tears to her eyes.

"You should've let me know," Jane continued.

It'd taken Annie nearly twelve months to write her childhood friend about the disasters that had befallen her in the past two years. Jane had called the minute she'd read the letter; Annie was grateful for that, although even now, a friend's genuine sympathy threatened her shaky resolve in a way that indifference didn't.

"I. .couldn't," she said. "Not right away."

Four years ago, Jane had left southern California—where Annie still lived—and moved to Promise, a town in the Texas hill country. She'd gone there to work in the local health clinic as partial payment for her medical-school loans. Her parents had been dismayed and delighted in equal parts when their only daughter married a local rancher and settled in the small community.

"What are you going to do?" Jane asked briskly. She'd always had a practical, we-can-deal-with-this quality that Annie envied. "What are your plans?"

Annie wished she knew. The question was one she'd asked herself a thousand times since the car accident and everything that had followed.

"Do you think you'll stay in California?" Jane pressed when Annie didn't answer.

"I…I don't know. Probably not." Only she had nowhere to go, nowhere she needed to be, and no real family to speak of. Her friends here all seemed at a loss. They urged her to get on with her life; what they didn't understand was that she needed a completely different direction. A new sense of purpose. If she was going to pick up the shattered pieces that had once been her comfortable orderly existence and move forward, she had to make some real changes first.

"Come to Promise," Jane said, her voice unnaturally high with excitement.

"Texas?" Annie murmured. "You want me to go to Texas? "

"Oh, Annie, you'd love it! This town isn't like anyplace else in the world. The people are friendly and kind and there's a…a kind of caring here. Promise is smalltown America at its best." Jane's enthusiasm was un-mistakable—and contagious. "Small-town Texas at its best, too."

Annie smiled. "I'm sure a visit would do me a lot of good," she said, thinking aloud, deciding then and there to take Jane up on her offer.

"I'm not suggesting a visit," Jane said, interrupting Annie's musings. "I think you should move here. You need a change, a fresh start—you know you do." She hesitated. "It might sound odd, but I have this feeling that Promise needs you, too."

Staring out the display window, Dovie Hennessey watched her husband hurrying along Promise's main street. He was headed toward her shop, and judging by the look on his face, he had something he couldn't wait to tell her.

"Dovie!" Frank barreled into the store a moment later, his eyes twinkling with amusement. At sixty-five, he remained muscular and fit, she noted with pride. Every time she saw him, he gave her heart a little thrill—even after three years of marriage. Their romance had begun more than a decade before they decided to "make it legal," as Frank put it. He'd initially been reluctant, since he'd never been married before and was afraid of losing what he'd thought of as his freedom. Dovie, who'd been widowed for years, had desperately wanted the comfort and respectability of marriage. In the end Wade McMillen, the local pastor, had suggested the perfect compromise: marriage with separate residences. It hadn't taken long, however, for Frank to move into Dovie's house full-time.

"My goodness, Frank, what's gotten into you?"

"Adam Jordan," Frank told her, shaking his head. "I swear I've never seen anything so funny in my life. Just wait'll you hear what that deputy did this time round."

"Sheriff Jordan," Dovie gently reminded him. Frank had retired five months earlier, and it had been an adjustment for both of them. After serving as the town's sheriff for almost fifteen years, he'd found it difficult to hand over the reins to someone else.

Especially when that someone had been such an unpromising specimen as a teenager. Adam Jordan had gotten into one scrape after another and had nearly worried his parents sick before he enlisted with Uncle Sam. Somehow the army had straightened him out. To everyone's amazement, Adam had thrived under the structure and discipline of military life. After basic training he'd applied and been accepted to Airborne Ranger School, and from there had gone on to serve a distinguished twelve years as a member of the elite outfit.

With the recent cutbacks in the military, Adam had returned to Promise. Much to the delight of his parents, who owned the local western-wear shop, he'd applied for a job with the sheriff's department. Frank immediately saw that he'd found his replacement. Al Green, who'd served as deputy for almost twenty years, had no desire to assume the responsibilities of the sheriff's position.

So Adam had arrived at precisely the right time. When Frank announced his retirement, the ex-Airborne Ranger had run for the office of sheriff and promptly been elected; that was almost six months ago now, in the November election. Frank continued to spend much of his time with Adam, helping, he claimed, with the transition. Dovie didn't know who required more assistance, Adam or Frank.

"Boy's made a fool of himself with that new teacher." Frank chuckled. "Again. Locked her keys inside her car trying to show her the importance of security."

Dovie groaned, embarrassed for Adam. Anyone could see he was infatuated with Jeannie French. Fresh out of college, the first-grade teacher had been hired the previous August, and Adam Jordan hadn't been the same since. He'd done everything he could think of to attract her attention, but according to rumor, he hadn't yet asked her out on a date. Some days, it was all Dovie could do to resist shaking some sense into the man.

"Naturally he had no way of knowing she always throws her car keys under the front seat," Frank explained.

"Why in heaven's name would she do something like that?" Dovie was exasperated with Jeannie, too. Surely the girl could figure out how Adam felt! She sighed; she could just imagine Adam's face when he realized what he'd done.

Frank shrugged. "Why do women do anything?" he asked philosophically. "She had her purse with her, as well as the keys for the school. Apparently she picked up the habit from her father. He's got a ranch a ways north of here. Not much concern about theft in a place like that. Or here, either."

So Adam was smitten and the new schoolteacher ignored him. The two of them had become a running joke around town. Jeannie was sweet enough, and a dedicated teacher, determined to make a difference in her students' lives. And Adam, for all his skills and talents, didn't know a damn thing about letting a woman know he was interested. Now, after a series of embarrassments, Jeannie refused to respond to Adam's overtures. Not that Dovie believed the girl should get involved in a relationship if she didn't want to—but for heaven's sake, she could give Adam a chance! The pair of them needed some guidance and good advice, but Dovie didn't know who was going to provide it. At one time that role would have fallen to her, but these days, with her antique shop doing so well, and Frank's retirement, she already had more than she could handle. Then, there was the situation with her friend Mary Patterson, only she didn't want to think about Mary just now.

"How'd Jeannie take it?" Dovie asked.

"Not too well. You'd think poor Adam had done it on purpose."

"He was able to unlock the car, wasn't he?"

"Oh, eventually, but while he was fiddling with the door, Jeannie was giving him a piece of her mind."

"Poor Adam," Dovie said.

"Poor Adam, nothing. That boy got exactly what he deserved. He was showing off his authority, playing big man in town, and it backfired. Sure, his ego got dented, but it was a lesson he won't soon forget."

"And you loved it."

Frank sobered. "I did," he admitted, "but not for the reasons you think. That boy reminds me of myself thirty-five years ago. Cocky as a rooster and high on self-importance. He'll learn the same way I did—and probably a whole lot faster."

Dovie wrapped her arms around her husband. He was right—there were similarities between him and Adam. She just hoped it didn't take Adam as long as it had Frank to marry and settle down.

"By the way," he said, "I stopped at the travel agency. Gayla had our tickets." Frank slid the airline packet out of his hip pocket and set it on the counter. This European vacation had been planned for months. It was going to be a combination of business and pleasure; Dovie and Frank would spend two weeks touring major cities on the continent, purchasing a few antiques, visiting a museum here and there. They considered the trip a honeymoon of sorts—although Frank was quick to insist that their entire marriage had been a honeymoon—plus a celebration of Frank's retirement.

"Hey," Frank said, tilting Dovie's head up so their eyes could meet. "You should be showing more excitement than this!"

"I am excited," she told him, and she was. They'd talked about this trip for years, dreamed about it, too. Dovie had assumed they'd take budget tours, but Frank had insisted they go first-class all the way. While he was willing to go to a couple of museums, shop for antiques and help her arrange shipping, he wanted to make sure they had ample opportunity to enjoy the sights. And each other.

"Dovie Hennessey, I know you too well to be fooled," Frank said, holding her gaze. "Something's troubling you."

It astonished her how well Frank did know her. She'd been married to Marvin Boyd for twenty-five years, and he'd always been oblivious to her moods. That certainly wasn't the case with Frank. There was an almost intuitive bond between them, one that marriage had honed and strengthened. She'd never expected to fall in love again, let alone experience a love like this. And the love-making, oh my, just thinking about the delights they'd found with each other…well, it made her heart beat triple time.

"It's Mary," Dovie said reluctantly.

"What's the problem with Mary?"

Dovie didn't know how to answer. Mary Patterson had been Dovie's best friend for most of her life. They'd graduated from high school together. She'd been Mary's maid of honor, and later Mary had returned the favor.

Over the years Dovie had watched Mary and her husband, Phil, raise two fine sons.

It was Mary who had stood with her when Marvin was buried, Mary who'd helped her through the difficult months that followed. After Phil's heart problems were diagnosed, Dovie had encouraged the couple to hand over the management of their cattle ranch to their sons and move into town. Not ready to retire completely, they'd started a bed-and-breakfast—and no one was more surprised at its success than Mary and Phil themselves. For years she and Mary had spoken on the phone every day or so, saw each other often and shared all their joys and sorrows. Dovie felt the same way about Mary as she would've felt about a sister.

"You're not answering me," Frank said softly. His hands caressed her shoulders as he studied her.

"Because I don't know how."

"Start at the beginning."

If only it was that easy. "Something's…not right." There wasn't anything Dovie could put her finger on, nothing she could pinpoint other than a vague feeling. In fact, until this very moment, she hadn't intended to say a word, not even to Frank.

"How do you mean?"

"Not right" was nebulous, she realized, but it was the best she could do. "I don't know," Dovie had to admit again. "I just don't know. But it seems we're not as close as we used to be."

Frank took a few moments to consider this. "Do you think she might be a little jealous of our taking a trip to Europe?"

Dovie laughed outright at that, but then, Frank didn't know Mary the way she did. "Not in the least. Mary doesn't have a jealous bone in her body."

"So, what do you mean you're not as close as you used to be? Seems to me you two are constantly chatting on the phone."

"Yes, but…" What her husband said was true enough, yet lately their almost daily talks had felt strained. Even strained was too harsh a word—this change had begun months ago, very slowly, only Dovie wasn't sure how she knew that. The difference was subtle, but somehow Mary seemed less attentive, less interested in their conversations.

That very morning was a perfect example. One thing Mary and Dovie enjoyed was sharing recipes and ideas about food and decorating. Both of them took an unabashed delight in everything domestic—the Martha Stewarts of Texas, Frank called them. Mary had been instrumental in convincing Dovie to open the small tearoom inside the antique store and had encouraged her to serve some of her special recipes. Because of Mary, Dovie's chocolate-dipped peanut-butter cookies and the buttermilk crust for her apple pie were two of the town's favorites. Yet this morning, when Dovie had mentioned a new coffee-cake recipe she planned to try, Mary had sounded…indifferent.

"But what?" Frank asked when she didn't continue.

"I just don't know," Dovie said, starting to feel a bit desperate. "Something's wrong. I feel it in my bones."

"Come to Promise." Annie Applegate repeated Jane's invitation aloud as she drove down the narrow Texas highway toward her new life. Her friends thought she was crazy to pack up everything she owned and move to Texas, to a town she'd never even seen. Perhaps they were right, but it felt good to be taking some positive action.

When they were teenagers, Jane Dickinson had been one of her best friends. Correction, Dr. Jane Patterson. It was hard to remember that Jane wasn't simply Jane any longer, but a fully certified physician. Not only that, Jane was married—and Annie wasn't. Oh, she had been, but a serious car accident had left her with a permanent limp and a husband who found himself incapable of loving a woman whose once-perfect body was now marred by ugly red scars.

No, Annie told herself, she was not going to dwell on Billy, although that had become nearly impossible since she'd learned his new wife was pregnant. What hurt most was that Billy knew how much she'd longed for a child. Before the wedding, they'd frequently discussed the family they'd have—at least three kids, close together. As an engineer, Billy earned enough to support a wife and children; he'd claimed he was willing to forgo extra cars and trips and other luxuries. Annie had thought of little else but quitting her job at the library and becoming a full-time wife and mother.

During the five years of their marriage, Billy had put her off with a detailed list of reasons they should wait before starting a family. In retrospect, it was a blessing children hadn't been involved in the divorce.

Annie had wanted to put all the pain and betrayal of the marriage behind her; she'd done that symbolically by reverting to her maiden name.

The car accident had cost her six months of employment, three operations, physical therapy and almost constant pain. But those were minor inconveniences compared to the death of her marriage.

"Make a new life for yourself in Promise," Jane had suggested. "Our library has a limited budget and is only open part-time. This town needs a good bookstore."

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2004

    IF YOU DIDN'T READ SERIES-DON'T START THIS!

    I was looking forward to this book, because I love Debbie Macomber's books! However, I found this book a bit disconcerning. It is very hard to follow the characters if you didn't read the Heart of Texas series. However, you CAN'T get the series because it was published in 1998 and hasn't been released since. I had to search for used copies of the series and am HOPING I receive all the parts. I guess it would have been okay if I had read at least 2 out of the 6 books in the series, but to keep over 20 characters straight plus their children (and in some cases grandchildren) the first time you are introduced to them is almost not worth the effort. I'm going to wait until I get the entire series before I pass final judgement, but if you are reading this review BEFORE you buy/read Promise, Texas, then I recommend you try to get at least 2 books from the Heart of Texas series BEFORE you start this book! It will save a lot of headaches!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    highly recommended

    As with all of Debbie Macomber's books, it was a very enjoyable book to read. Makes me want to find out if there really is a Promise, Texas. Sounds like a great place.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    I read this book out of sequence, but I do plan to read the others in this series. The characters were wonderful and I felt as if I lived right ext door! So well written that I would like to move to Promise, Texas!

    I rated this book 4 stars. The characters were so real and romance was wonderful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    I look forward to reading this new book and I hope it is as delightful as all the other books in the series for Texas. I found the Heart of Texas Series,copyright 2007, all 6 books/volumes combined into 3 books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2013

    Great Book!! Recommend Highly!!

    Great Book!! Recommend Highly!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Series

    I havent read this one yet. But was able to get all of the books in the series on my nook @ about $2.50 each. Cheaper than buying the big books with multiples.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Love this series. However I really whish that Vol 1 was on the nook. Makes no sence to have the whole series exept vol 1 on the nook

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another good book

    This is another good book of Debbie Macomber.. I also read Return to Promise, which is also good. I wish Macomber would write more on this series... Love the town and the people in all the books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2003

    Great Story and Characters

    Once I started reading Promise, Texas I couldn't stop. I finished it in one day! I love the way Debbie Macumber creates her characters and gives such good story lines. It's a down to earth book, and I love reading about country life. I'm a big Debbie Maccumber fan! The books she writes makes you want to hear more about the characters!

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