sunday spotlight



Bree Cariad is back in the spotlight this week with her new book, Courted by Experience. Since I was a teenager, I’ve loved romance books featuring single parents. I have vivid memories of searching through the paperback romances in the grocery store (because I lived in the middle of nowhere an hour’s drive from a bookstore and the library was only open two days a week during daytime hours when I was stuck at school) searching for what I called “kid books”. Kid books did not mean children’s books. It meant romances where one or the other of the main characters had children. It was even better if the child or children was a fairly significant secondary character. That’s why Vanna, Marcus’s daughter, is perhaps my favorite character in Courted by Experience. Check out the excerpt. You’ll see why.

Sometimes imagination and what’s real do not coalesce.

When Celie comes to Hyacinth for her courting year,

she just might find that sometimes reality is so much better than fantasy

Courted-by-Experience_200 (2)

Celia Compton is thrilled to be back in Hyacinth where she lived until she was eight. A year of courting to meet her prince sounds lovely, especially when combined with loving discipline. Unfortunately, sometimes reality doesn’t quite meet up with fantasy. The man she wants, Marcus Hotham, seems inclined not to court and yet the more she sees him, the more the rest of the guys just don’t measure up.


As Celia learns more about Hyacinth life and gains friendships for the first time in over a decade, it becomes more like home. When Marcus finally asks to court her, his four-year-old daughter Vanna in tow, she’s thrilled. Everything is perfect, until her mother, who hates discipline and Hyacinth, comes to town and finds out about Marcus. Now, with the possibility of being ripped from the arms of the man she loves, Celia finds herself floundering with how to explain things. When decisions are made and everything comes to light, she just might find that sometimes reality is so much better than fantasy.



About the series “In Hyacinth” by Bree Cariad:


Hyacinth, Washington is all about old-fashioned values. In Hyacinth words like trust, honor, and kindness aren’t just buzzwords. Hyacinth is a community built on tradition and trust, where men are the head of the home and women are encouraged to follow their lead.


Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth’s old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.


“I’m surprised you haven’t been courted yet.”


“There has been interest,” she shrugged, taking a roll for herself, “but I’m as picky, if not more picky, than the men.”


“Here, here.” The deep voice made her look around and she smiled as Marcus walked out of the back, Vanna in tow.


“Celie!” she squealed, running forward and wrapping her arms around Celia’s leg. “Didja hear? Didja hear?”


“Hear what?” she asked, crouching down. Vanna’s eyes alighted on the roll and her mouth formed an O. Giggling softly, Celia looked up at Marcus. “Can she have some?”


“You eat yours,” he said calmly. “I’ll get one for her and me.” As he got them a roll, Vanna seemed to remember what she was saying.


“We got into the house! Daddy put my room together and we’re having a barbie on Saturday. Wanna come?” she asked hopefully.


“What’s a barbie?” she asked as he sat down on the floor nearby and pulled off a piece of cinnamon roll, offering it to his daughter who gobbled it down.


“Barbeque. Housewarming kind of thing,” he said, grinning as his daughter opened her mouth begging for another piece. “Chris and Stephanie Triton will be there and I believe Jerod and Camille Kinsley as well because they are now my neighbors and he’s Chris’s uncle. Tons of babies crawling around. You’ll have to watch where you step. But we’d love to have you.”


He gave his daughter another bite before taking one himself. “Whoa. Who made these?” he moaned, taking another bite.


“Oh, this is my newest success,” Celia admitted.


Pausing as he gave another bite to Vanna, he stared at her strangely. “How have you not already been courted?”


Heat infused her cheeks and she shrugged even as the butterflies let loose again. To get her mind off her blush, she asked, “So, Vanna, have you found your puppy yet?”


The little girl’s eyes lit up. “Not yet. Daddy’s looking.”




“For a good golden retriever breeder.”


“There’s lots of great dogs here,” she reminded him with a grin.


“Are you two ganging up on me?” he asked in amusement. “Vanna basically said the same thing.”


“We could have one of the Chihuahuas,” Vanna chipped in, grinning. Celia had a hard time not laughing because the little girl pronounced the word chi-hooah-hooahs.


“I would prefer a larger dog,” he said, “someone who could protect you with something other than a growl.”


“They’ve got those, too,” Celia teased and he lightly kicked her feet with one of his. Giggling, she licked her spoon even as Vanna started to laugh as well.


“Definitely being ganged up on,” he mused. “What’s a man to do?”


“Ice cream!” Vanna cried, making them both laugh.


“I think you have had more than enough sugar,” he said, swiping a little of the frosting off his napkin and dotting her nose with it. “Come on. Need to go home and shower and then go get some dinner.”


“Wanna come?” Vanna asked again as he lifted her off his lap.


Celia so wanted to say yes, though she knew her grandmother would have a hissy-fit.


“She can’t, pumpkin,” he said gently.


“Why not?”


“She’s courting. Do you remember me telling you about courting?”


She nodded, her little mouth forming a pout. “Yeah. Can’t she eat while courting?”


Celia smiled. “You’ll find out. Dinner and guys are part of the courting thing, Vanna. I can’t have dinner with a man unless he’s interested in courting me.”


The little girl listened seriously and then turned to her father. “Why don’t you court her? Then she could come to dinner with us.”


A few muffled chuckles came from the other people standing nearby even as Marcus smiled and picked up his little girl. “Well, you’re full of all sorts of ideas, aren’t you?” He dug his fingers into her ribs making her shriek with laughter and carried her out of the shelter.


Thankfully nobody teased her about Vanna’s suggestion and once she was done with her roll, her shift was up, so she emptied the few rolls that were left onto a plate and took the pan, heading home. As much as she didn’t want to think about it, Vanna’s final words kept replaying in her head. “Why don’t you court her? Then she could come to dinner with us.”


Out of the mouths of babes.

Available Now


Barnes and Noble

Blushing Books



About the Author

Bree enjoys good books with great characters. While she may be an adult, her favorite memories are from her teenage years reading inspirational romance with girls just like her and strong heroes. That’s one of the reasons she’s written In Hyacinth, a series of Courting Romances.


Courting Romance – where contemporary romance meets traditional values.


You can find her at:

Bree’s website/Blog –

Facebook Page –

Facebook Author Page –

Twitter –

Goodreads –

Google+ –