Miss Jean Brashear certainly fills that bill. She’ll be at the Junction tomorrow, Monday, May 27th.
Miss Jean is going to give us some insight on what it’s like to love a real honest-to-goodness cowboy along with some insights on life on a Texas ranch. I can’t wait. Maybe she’ll teach me how to rope a cowboy.
She’s also packed a prize in her saddlebags for one person who comments.
Keep the party going. Get up bright and early and hightail it over to the Junction.
That’s tomorrow, Monday, May 27th.
Don’t be late!
Romance, adventure, chivalrous cowboys with chiseled chests and jawlines, and gorgeous horses, placed against the landscape of the open sky and mountainous backdrops of the nineteenth century west—these are some of the things that draw us in to the world of western historical romance.
While we have come far from having to wait ten days to receive any communication from the opposite end of the country (and only that fast because of the efforts of the riders of the Pony Express), and we no longer have to trudge through five feet of snow in the middle of the night in winter to locate the facilities, we do have our own set of challenges. In fact, some of the advances that were designed to make our lives easier often complicate our lives instead. We have all sorts of gadgets that help us organize and manage our time, yet we fill the saved minutes or even hours with additional projects, jobs, hobbies, or other tasks. So, how do we find balance?
I wish the answer to that question was simple. However, it varies for every person because our personalities, our priorities and abilities are all different. My Redbourne series surrounds the lives of eight siblings—seven brothers and a sister—with unique strengths, flaws, and personalities. In each of their stories there are obstacles to surmount, lessons to learn, and potential to discover. Some of the biggest challenges or difficulties hit them because their lives have been thrown off balance by one event or another. Here are just three of the many things I believe we can learn from them:
Find a quiet place to think, ponder, or meditate. In The Bounty Hunter, my most recent release, Rafe, the hero, loves to sit on a bench just outside of the house and gaze out into the countryside in the quiet of the evening or early morning. This is when he can think, free of distraction. We don’t all own a plot of property that extends as far as the eye can see, but we can imagine those places and take the time to calm our minds from the chaos that is often in our lives.
Be active. Life in the west was not sedentary. They did not have dishwashers or laundry machines to help with their chores, cars to get them to the next town, or the ability to shop from the comfort of their own homes. They used elbow grease to get things done. They walked, rode horses, or drove wagon teams to get where they needed to go. And, they had to get out of the house and travel to make all purchases. The act of doing something is invigorating to the soul and releases endorphins, which make us happy. They may not have known about the benefits of being active back then, but the heroes in my books certainly have earned their hardened physiques.
Cultivate family relationships/Spend quality time with family. With all of the modern technology at our fingertips, it is easy to text instead of talk, to fill our calendars with outside activities, to squeeze more time into our work days, and to spend countless hours watching television or gaming at the computer. I believe that we cannot comprehend true happiness without positive, healthy relationships. I think much of the strength inside each of these Redbourne characters stems from the bond they developed as a family as they worked together, played together and stood by each other without question.
I am thrilled to share the first two books in The Redbourne Series with the readers at Petticoats & Pistols. These books have been so much fun to work on as I have gotten to know each member of the Redbourne family, their friends, their enemies, and their love interests. My novels are written on the sensual side of PG—without the graphic love scenes. It is my hope that every time you open one of my stories you will find yourself transported to a different place and time, and when you are done, you will walk away inspired, uplifted, and ready for the next adventure.
Please enjoy this excerpt from The Bounty Hunter: Redbourne Series #2, Rafe’s Story
“Tayla,” Rafe knocked softly on her bedroom door. It was getting late and he didn’t want to disturb any of the other inn patrons. He realized, with some irritation, that she had no idea that she was Tayla.
“Locket,” he tried again, “will you please answer the door?”Hawthorne or not, his mama would have tanned his hide had she ever heard him talk to a woman the way he had spoken to Tayla all day.
The lock on the bedroom turned and she opened the door just enough that he could see one eye peering at him. She slammed it shut.
“Go away. I have no desire to talk to the likes of you.”
“Locket, please. I have to talk to you. It’s about your father.”
The door swung open wide.
Rafe stood in the doorway of her room, frozen. The neckline of Tayla’s nightshift plunged low and hugged her breasts. Her locket dangled between them. She held a brush in one hand and her hair fell in loose tendrils around her face and down her shoulders. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
She pulled her robe more closely around her. “What do you know about my father?” Tayla crossed her arms, hiding his distraction from view.
Rafe needed something to wet his dry throat.
“He’s alive,” Rafe croaked.
“I don’t understand. Do you know me? My family?”
“Your name is Tayla Hawthorne. The rest we’ll talk about later.”
“I don’t want to wait until later. If you can’t provide me with answers then this conversation is over.” She started to close the door again.
Rafe’s patience was growing thin. He put his boot between the door and the frame.
“You’re not safe here. If they find you, they’ll take you again and I can’t let that happen.”
“Who will find me? And why do you care? You hate me.”
Rafe felt a twinge of guilt twist in his gut. “I don’t hate you.” He took a deep breath. “There is no excuse for my behavior today. I-I’m sorry,” he choked out.
“All the same, I’m staying here with Maggie and Jacob. And Pete.”
The muscles in Rafe’s jaw flexed involuntarily. Pete. She wanted Pete. He was tempted to just walk away and never see her again. He motioned to leave.
Tayla uncrossed her arms and nearly flew out after him. When her fingers touched the skin of his forearm, he froze. She pulled her hand back as if she’d been bitten.
She narrowed her eyes at him. “What about my father? How do I know you’re not dangerous?”
“Oh, honey, I’m dangerous all right…”
I am giving away an e-copy of The Rancher, an autographed paperback of The Bounty Hunter, and an “I Ride With the Redbournes” t-shirt to three separate commenters. Share with us why you love western historical heroes.
My newest book, Stealing the Preacher, releases June 1, but I received my author copies early and would love to give a couple away. But before I do, I thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes secrets from the making of Stealing the Preacher’s book trailer.
The marketing director from Bethany House contacted me back in April, worried that they wouldn’t be able to get the trailer done in time for my release because of the long winter they were experiencing up in Minnesota. The snow just wouldn’t melt. Thankfully, God brought the sun out just in time, and one week after the thaw hit, the creative team grabbed cameras, donned costumes, and brought Crockett and Joanna to life.
Dan Pitts, the creative genius behind the camera, actually sneaked in front of the camera for a cameo. Rather “Hitchcock” of him, don’t you think? Dressed as Crockett, he became my leading man, lassoed by the pretty heroine in pink. One of the editorial assistants, Elisa, stepped in to play Joanna and reeled him in. I just love how everyone at Bethany House is willing to get in on the action. Such great sports.
The result is a fun trailer that carries an old-time silent movie feel. Enjoy!
If you’d like a preview of the first three chapters, they are available as an excerpt on my Facebook page. Anyone who likes my page will gain immediate access to the content.
You can find it here.
So now for the giveaway! Since Joanna Robbins receives a huge shock when her father presents her with the preacher he stole as a birthday gift in Stealing the Preacher, I thought it would be fun to hear about the most surprising brithday gift you ever received.
I will choose two winners from those who leave comments, so be sure to include your email address to make it easy for me to contact you if you win. Unfortunately, I can only mail to US addresses. I’ll post the winners’ names by tomorrow.
Wishing you all luck!
Please email me separately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net, and we’ll figure out which form of the book you’d like or if you have that book, what other book you’d like.
My thanks to all those who came to the blog and left a comment!
This dear lady has written two western romances and I suspect she’s only beginning. Her passion is the old west and the strong determined cowboys who settled this land.
I’m not rightly sure what Miss Kelli will talk about but you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll be interesting.
She has a new book out called THE BOUNTY HUNTER.
My dear Lord! Just look at that cowboy on the cover. He can put his boots under my bed anytime!
So get up when the rooster crows on Saturday and hightail it over to the Junction.
We’ll be expectin’ you!
One of my favorite books as child was The Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. A Newberry Award winner published in 1960, it’s the story of Karana, a Chumash Indian girl who is left alone on San Nicholas Island off the coast of California. When a Russian ship arrives for the purpose of hunting sea otters, a fight breaks out between the Russian fishermen and the native island dwellers. Karana is the lone survivor on both sides.
San Nicholas is one of the eight channel island off the coast of California. Some of the islands are desolate and deserted, home to only birds and seals. A few of them are used by the military, and others form the Channel Islands National Park. Only Catalina Island, located 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles is populated.
These islands strike me as a perfect setting for a historical romance, in part because of Margaret Holden Eaton and her autobiography, Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife. A Canadian woman, she relocated to Santa Barbara around the turn of the century. There she met a sea captain and married him in 1903. They moved to Santa Cruz Island, the biggest of the eight islands, where they ran a small hunting and fishing business. The island was inhabited with wild boars, otters and all sorts of sea life. The Eatons and Santa Cruz Island somehow caught the eye of 1920s Hollywood. A few movies were filmed there, and Margaret’s book shows pictures of actors John Barrymore and William Boyd in his pre Hopalong Cassidy days.
What an interesting setting these islands would be for a book . . . It’s one of the places I can feel in my bones. I’ve never been to either Santa Cruz Island or San Nicholas Island, but I once had the pleasure of camping on Anacapa Island. Standing on what’s literally a slab of eroding land twelve miles off the coast, seeing the city lights so far away and hearing only the lap of waves–not noisy cars–is an experience I treasure to this day.
Then there’s Catalina Island . . . Catalina is a populated tourist spot and has a history all its own. My own best memory is taking a boat to the island for a family weekend. Halfway there we were suddenly surrounded by an acre of dolphins. At least a hundred of them were jumping in perfect arcs right in front of us. I’ll never forget that scene . . . I wish I had a picture of it, but we weren’t quick enough (or skilled enough) with the camera to get a shot that did the moment justice. I’m planning to use this scene in the book I’m working on right now, a contemporary romance for Bethany House.
California’s in my blood. How about you? Where are you from and what are you favorite bits of local history? I’d love to hear about your home towns and places that are special to you!
I just drew my winner for KANE’S CHANCE, and I drew….
Kathleen, congratulations on winning a digital copy of KANE’S CHANCE! It’s your lucky day!!! Please e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll see that you get your prize!
Thanks to everyone for coming by and celebrating my new release with me today!
I started to write a short story several months back that turned into a novella. I wrote the novella and realized I wasn’t done with the story…so I wrote two more. These were my “Kane” trilogy—Kane’s Redemption, Kane’s Promise and Kane’s Destiny. These stories really wouldn’t be classified as a “romance” story. There’s no sex, not really even any spoken words of love between Jacobi Kane and his love interest, Laura, who later becomes his wife.
I did this on purpose, since the stories are told from the point of view of a young boy. That stuff would be too mushy for him to think about for too long. No, these stories are more action oriented, and being told from the first person viewpoint, it’s necessary to keep a high level of feeling to the forefront.
Will Green is the young boy who tells the stories. In KANE’S REDEMPTION, we meet him at the age of 9, almost 10. His parents and older sister have just been murdered by the Apache, and he has been kidnapped as they torch his home. But a few days later, just as he’s given up hope, a mysterious man walks right into the Apache camp and rescues him. Jacobi Kane has a mysterious past that he isn’t too keen on discussing with Will, though Will senses a kind of kinship between the two of them as they travel toward Fort Worth and safety. Kane harbors a terrible secret that might force Will’s hero worship of him to turn quickly to hatred…or of understanding, that Kane is a man who does what he must. But will that realization be enough, and is Will mature enough to come to grips with what Kane had to do?
In KANE’S PROMISE, Will continues to learn more about Jacobi Kane’s past when a group of law officers seek Kane’s help in capturing some of the same Apache Indian band that killed Will’s family. Kane resists going because he is now re-married, with a new baby on the way and tells the lawmen he’s turned in his badge for good—years ago. But a promise he made in the past keeps him hungry for vengeance, and his new wife urges him to go and see an end to it all. Of course, Will is not going to be left behind. Jacobi might need him!
KANE’S DESTINY wraps up the trilogy with a surprise visit from a man Will had never expected to see—his ship building magnate grandfather, from Boston, Robert Green. His grandfather first tries to intimidate him into returning to Boston with him, then falls back on honesty only when he must to convince Will to come back. Will vehemently refuses, but when he hears two of his grandfather’s men planning to murder his grandfather, he knows he has to go at least part of the way—to the first stop, back where it all started—the little burned out cabin where his family was murdered over two years past. Jacobi is out there, trailing them for protection, unseen and silent, but then Will learns a secret that makes his blood run cold. A man that Jacobi thought of as a friend is also caught up in the plot—but Jacobi doesn’t know the tide has turned. He’s in as much danger as Will and his grandfather are.
This is just a short bit about each story, but the big news is, now you can get all three stories under one cover, KANE’S CHANCE! With a little bit of editing and changing here and there for “flow”, these stories are all combined into one novel now. This book is loved by young and old alike, a great YA novel for boys (and girls!), but also something adults enjoy as well. I loved every minute of writing these adventures of Will Green and Jacobi Kane, and I have a feeling I’m not done yet.
Karen M. Nutt did all my wonderful covers, and she came through again for KANE’S CHANCE. I’m giving away one digital copy of KANE’S CHANCE today to a commenter, so please comment and remember to leave your contact info!
Here’s an excerpt from KANE’S CHANCE. Thirteen-year-old Will and his grandfather are having a meeting of the minds as they travel up to Indian Territory from Fort Worth. Surrounded by men who want to kill both of them, they find themselves at odds in this conversation where Will tells his grandfather some things about himself that his grandfather didn’t know.
I had learned a lot from Jacobi. And by the way my grandfather looked away and fell silent, I knew there was a mighty big hole in the story somewhere.
“What is it you’re not tellin’ me, old man?” My voice was strong but quiet. I wasn’t sure if this was some kind of family secret or somethin’ he didn’t want Jack Wheeler, riding a few paces behind us, to hear.
He gave me a sharp look. “You may call me Grandfather, William. There’s no need for disrespect.”
“No need to tell half the story, either.”
At first, he looked at me from under his eyebrows like he’d like to take a strap to me. But I looked right back at him. Finally, he nodded and glanced away.
“I’ve been so desperate to find you because…you’re my only living heir. I built a ship building dynasty for my family, Will, and there’s no one left but you.” He cursed as the wagon hit a hole and jolted him sharply.
“My sister married a man, Josiah Compton, whose wife had died. He brought two sons to the marriage, but he and Margaret never had any children together. The boys are men, now, of course. George, the eldest, is a pastor. But Ben, the younger of them, is quite a wastrel. He has squandered his inheritance and is looking for more. If you weren’t…alive….well—everything would fall to the two of them. And though George is not the type to seek gain, Ben is quite a different story.
“Ben knows I won’t be around much longer. But you will always be a threat, Will. I’m afraid this is going to end badly for one of you.”
I thought about what he’d told me. It seemed like maybe he needed me to say somethin’. It bolstered my confidence to know that somewhere out there, Jacobi was ridin’ along easy, keepin’ a eye out on us. Especially, now that I’d learned this part of the story.
I looked at him straight in the face. “I’ll tell you one thing. It ain’t gonna be me that ends up dead.”
“I didn’t say that—”
“It’s what you meant though, ain’t it? When there’s a pile of money to be had, somebody’s always worried it’ll get taken away from ‘em. Even if he knows I don’t want it, he’ll be worried about it. I’ve killed before. I’ll do it again, if need be.”
His expression turned to one of shock. I went on with what I was saying. “Ain’t nobody gonna take my life over somethin’ I don’t even want.”
He studied me openly, as if he were trying to decide what he should say. I saved him the trouble.
“I know you’re wonderin’ about it, so I’ll tell you.” And I did just that, from start to finish, from the day Papa and I had been out working together and seen the Apaches ride up all the way through when Jacobi had rescued me and we’d ridden out of the Apache camp together.
“We rode as long as we could, until I fell off the horse. Then Jacobi picked me up and we rode some more. When Red Eagle caught up to us, Jacobi and him fought.” My throat dried up just thinkin’ about how I’d felt to see Red Eagle and Jacobi locked close together, fighting with everything they had, and knowin’ one of ‘em was gonna end up dead.
“I killed Red Eagle. Shot him dead.”
Grandfather was quiet.
“I ain’t sorry for it, either. It felt good. Every time I think about what he did to Papa and Mama, I know it was the right thing. But mainly it was right because he was so dang pure evil.”
In an age where youth is almost worshiped, I thought I’d do an about face and talk about those people I admire most — our elders. To that end, I thought I’d pass along some Native American wisdom that has been passed down from the ages. I’ll also be giving away a copy of the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, a book that honors one’s elders.
Off to the left here is my mother-in-law, Joyce. who taught me patience and themeaning of family. She has departed from us now, but her influence lives on and on. I must admit that I miss her very much.
Off to the right is Grandfather George, who is 93. This was taken at a recent booksigning. Grandfather George walks everyday, and I do believe he’s as limber as a person in their 60?s — maybe even younger.
On that note, here are some wise, wise sayings from our Amerian Indian elders:
“The Creative principle of the universe and its organization and intelligence is not an external principle but an internal one.” This is from the Koyukon, Alaskan.
“The air is precious to the red man. For all things share the same breath — the beast, the trees, the man, they all share the same breath… What is man without the beast? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected…” Chief Seattle
Here’s one of my favorites: (I’ve been known to paraphrase this.) “You can’t take care of yourself if you’re taking from others. It will come back on you. The more bad you give out, the more you get. If you give good, you get good because it’s all a circle.” Tadodaho Chief, Leon Shenandoah
I love the principle of this quote. Even if we don’t see it, those who deal in suppressing and making nothing of those around them eventually do come acropper. We may not see it, but it is there just as surely as the day is long.
Here’s another piece of wisdom that we don’t often think about in our society nowadays. But this is very wise, I think: “Sex is good. It has such a strong pull that it can cloud your vision. It’s one of the stronger powers that were put here on Mother Earth. But if all you think about is sex, then you’re not going to be doing your ceremony. Give that sex power only the attention it deserves and no more. That way you won’t miss out on all the rest of the things the Creator has for you. Train your mind. You can do it if you don’t let your body lead you.” Tadodaho Chief, Leon Shenandoah. This picture off to the left, by the way is of one of the most ingenius men in history, Chief Joseph.
Here’s yet another piece of wisdom from Chief Leon Shenandoah: “The way you live tells everybody what kind of person you are. Your actions speak for you. You can talk all you want, but everybody around already knows who you are. Treat others kindly and you’ll never have to say a word. Somebody is always watching. They’ll want to be like you and you’ll never have to open your mouth. Through you the world will be more peaceful.”
And here’s another gem from Tadodaho Chief, Leon Shenandoah: “”It’s even in our Instructions that a man can’t be a chief if he has killed. People don’t understand what they’re doing when they take life. The person who does it is in for trouble, even if they’re never caught. The Creator know. Our Instructions say that the one who does it gets all the dead person’s karma. They have theirs and the other person’s, too. The one who dies is relieved of their karma and goes straight to the Creator’s place clean.”
Before I leave Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah, let me share this with you: ” One of the Instructions the Peacemaker gave us was for our leaders. They were to work for the welfare of the people. It was not meant for you to build yourself up above the people. It was for everyone to be equal. Our leaders don’t get paid. Even I have to make my own living. So the way I see it with the United States, it seems to me the leaders are making a living off of the people, their own people. That’s not going to work and it’s not working.”
Interesting, huh? What do you think would happen to our country if we demanded that our leaders not get paid. In the beginning, they didn’t get paid, at least not very much. They each had their own income and careers. Interestingly enough our Constitution states that Congress has to meet at least twice a year. Somehow I wish it were still that way.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed the post today. Please come on in and let’s talk about elders and how wise they are to teach us of their experience.
And please if you’ve enjoyed the post today, please pick up your copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today — a story that also honors our elders. You can order it here: www.novels-by-KarenKay.com.