Miss Jenna Kernan will step from the stage here in Wildflower Junction on Saturday, February 18.
She’ll share the ins and outs of how she and three other authors wrote four stories in four months. THE LAST CAHILL COWBOY is the final product of their endeavors. I’m sure you’ll love finding out how they did it.
And just look at the sexy cowboy on that cover! It’s my kind of man.
The best part is Miss Jenna is toting one copy to give away to one commenter.
So don’t lollygag around. Rise and shine come Saturday and saddle up.
To Celebrate I’m giving away a signed copy of In Too Deep to one lucky commenter.
And here is a scene from In Too Deep that I thought was pretty funny.
You need to remember that Ethan is a complete innocent. He’s married but he’s never been around woman. He’s stayed to ‘manly’ places. Logging camps and seagoing ships and the Rocky Mountains.
He married Audra today-a complete marriage of convenience. Now they’re together, their first night and Audra keeps talking and Ethan has no idea what she’s talking about, he only knows she let him kiss her good-night and he’d like to do it again.
IN TOO DEEP
Sweat broke out on his forehead as he heard her take one slow step at a time toward the bed.
He was glad he’d dozed off because that might be the only sleep he got tonight. He didn’t think it was going to be possible with her next to him.
It was a strange business having a woman in the same bed as him. Wildly strange. A good kind of strange.
Quiet as a ghost, she lay down beside him. The bed gave, the covers shifted on his body as she adjusted them.
Ethan was glad he was lying down—because he was suddenly a little dizzy.
“Ethan?” Audra whispered.
“Yeah.” He was lucky to get that much to come out of his suddenly dry throat.
“I—I feel like this needs to be said.” He heard her shift, felt her shift, too.
“Okay.” Another word. Ethan was amazed he managed it as he rolled onto his right side and looked at his very own sworn-an-oath-before-God-and-man wife.
“What passes between a man and wife. . .” She fell silent. There was a window behind Ethan and the night was bright. Her white hair glowed and her skin was as pale and fine as her hair. The starlight cast all the shadows in deep blue. She was stunningly beautiful.
Ethan knew it for a fact because he was fully stunned.
“Go on.” He swallowed hard to make his throat work and he might’ve gotten up to get a drink of water if he’d been able to make himself leave the bed.
“Well, I know about a wife’s. . .duty. I expect to—to—to honor you as a wife must. In that way.”
Ethan wasn’t sure if she was talking about making meals or what. “That’s good then. I’m glad to have you for that.”
“I’m not surprised.” She sounded disgruntled. Maybe she hated cooking. He wondered if she hated good-night kissing.
Ethan rose up on one elbow so he could look down. His body blocked the moonlight but he could still see her, enough. Then, driven by an urge he couldn’t control, he bent slowly down and kissed her. She lay still for seconds while Ethan marveled at the touch of her lips on his. He marveled at a few more things that came to mind. Some of them shocked him.
Then she sighed and her lips softened and suddenly she was kissing him back. He’d never kissed a woman besides her so he didn’t know there was more than a touching of the lips.
There was a whole lot more.
He ended the kiss and was surprised to find just how close he’d gotten to her.
“Ummm. . .” Audra’s eyes flickered open. He could see them shining in the darkness because he no longer cast a shadow on her, not with her tucked beneath him.
“We can’t. . .that is. . .the. . .the. . .the baby is too young.”
“Too young for what?”
“A woman can’t—well, she can’t.”
Ethan didn’t know exactly what she was talking about. He only knew that he wanted to kiss her a lot more than he wanted to talk.
“I suppose—I mean I know because of—well, after Maggie it was—probably too soon. Yes, much too soon.” Audra’s delicate hands caressed the back of his neck as she talked. “And now there’s Lily.”
It was so distracting Ethan had his hands full listening to her. He kissed her again hoping she’d stop talking.
For a long time.
Then she turned her head aside. “But she…that is…we shouldn’t, Ethan.”
Lily shouldn’t do something? Babies didn’t do much but sleep and cry and eat. He wondered which of those Audra wanted to put a stop to.
I’d say leave a comment about your own wedding night except…that could just get way out of hand. So ANY comment 🙂 gets your name in the drawing for In Too Deep.
A hearty welcome today to inspirational author DARLENE FRANKLIN!. Please leave a comment…Darlene has a signed hard copy of A Ranger’s Trail for one lucky person. Darlene, tell us a little bit about your latest release, fourth in your six-book series:
When Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough and I first brainstormed about the Texas Trails series, I chose the decade that includes the Mason County “Hoo Doo” War. The brief information I read—a range war—sounded like an action-packed, natural fit for any Texas historical series.
By the time we received the contract and I researched the book, I doubted the wisdom of my choice. “Range war” hardly does justice to the violence that erupted across Mason County and the surrounding area in 1874 and continued for several decades. In fact, the definitive history of the war, The Mason County “Hoo Doo” War by Johnson and Miller dates the end of the war as 1902, the year the last of the major players died!
More than a range war, the Mason County turned into a blood feud between the self-styled “Americans” (we might call them “Anglos” today) and the “Germans,” more recent immigrants who had settled in the Texas in the 1840s (the subject of my first book of the series, Lone Star Trail). Charges of cattle rustling started the war. Americans were tried, found guilty, and got off with a slap on the wrist fine. Germans took the law into their own hands and murdered several of the rustlers.
Before long, they had killed a close friend of a former Texas Ranger, Scott Cooley. The former ranger galvanized the Americans and made it their mission to kill the people responsible for the death of his friend. What emerged was the continuing story of blood feuds or gang war, two factions exchanging life for life. None of the principal players was ever brought to justice.
My heroine’s husband was killed by the Germans—and my Ranger hero’s family is German. An unlikely romance develops between the two of them, but Ranger’s Trail is also about forgiving the unforgivable. More than that, it’s about moving forward when a bad deed isnot punished, at least not in this life. How can someone move past the trauma? This is one period of history I am thankful I did not experience first hand!
Here’s the blurb: When Leta Denning’s husband is killed by the German mob at the beginning of the Hoo Doo War, she vows to seek vengeance on his behalf. William Meino “Buck” Morgan, one of the Texas Rangers called in to quell the violence, has ties to one of the German families. Buck is the oldest son of Jud Morgan and Wande Fleischer from Lone Star Trail. In his quest to get to the truth, Buck interviews Leta but she is not interested and believes that former rangers may be behind the violence. As Leta struggles to keep the Denning ranch afloat, Buck sees a chance to help her while searching for the truth. Their respect for eacho ther grows but will Leta’s quest for vengeance keep her from forgiveness?
Excerpt: “Found not guilty of any wrong doing. Praise the Lord.”
Derrick Denning lifted his cup of coffee in a mock salute to his wife Leta. “As the good book says, ‘Thou hast maintained my right and my cause.’ Though I feel bad about the fines the other fellows have to pay.”
Young Ricky clapped his hands, although he didn’t know what they were celebrating. Leta looked into her husband’s eyes over their son’s head and felt a smile come from the inside out. She hadn’t had a genuine smile for about a week, ever since her husband had been arrested for helping M.B. Thomas and Allen Roberts take their cattle to Llano County from Mason County. The week might have lasted a year, as scared as she had felt. The court case had set her insides all worrying, troubling the baby growing inside her, especially when six of the cowhands had been found guilty and fined $25 a head.
Derrick’s case had been dismissed for insufficient evidence. The German cattlemen had grumbled at the verdict. Leta suppressed the niggling worry that threatened to destroy this night of celebration. God had answered her prayers. She and her family—Derrick, their son, and her brother Andy—could stay put in Mason County, Texas. They wouldn’t have to move every year or two the way Pa had dragged them all over the map.
“It’s not right, the other men getting fined.” Andy stopped shoveling beans into his mouth long enough to grumble. “They didn’t do nothing wrong. The cattle belonged to Mr. Roberts and Mr. Thomas.”
Tell us about a period in history YOU are glad you didn’t experience first-hand!
Visit Darlene at //darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com Click on cover to purchase.
Her other recent releases: Lone Star Trail (Rivernorth Fiction, 2011) and Christmas at Barncastle Inn (Barbour, 2011)
I’m so excited. The re-release of my third single title western romance in Kindle format is almost as thrilling as it was when it first hit the bookstores in 2005. I tell you it’s been a while coming.
REDEMPTION is set in 1869 in the East Texas fictional town of Redemption. It’s a small town on the banks of Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou, not far from the real town of Jefferson.
This story is one of secrets and what happens when they start unraveling. Laurel James and Brodie Yates, who is also known as Shenandoah, have to come to terms with their past mistakes.
Here’s the blurb:
Two brothers…one woman…and a secret that can destroy them all.
Laurel James thinks she’s found the respectability she craves when she agrees to marry the town mayor. While she doesn’t love him, she hopes to build a comfortable life with him. And everything goes according to plan…until Shenandoah rides into town.
Shenandoah just wants to see family and find a place to rest his weary body. The swamps of East Texas offer a respite from the men who hunt him. Temporary or not he’ll take the peace he finds. But then he runs into Laurel and his dreams of a wife and family that he’d counted lost give him reason to hope. He’ll do anything to have Laurel in his arms…and in his bed.
But they wonder if redemption will ever be possible for people like them.
I had to do a lot of research when I wrote this story, specifically about Jefferson, Texas. Looking at the town today, it’s hard to imagine that The Queen of the Bayou as it was called was an important and thriving port city from 1845 to 1872. It was the sixth largest town in Texas and boasted a population of almost 30,000 at one time.
A 100 mile long logjam on the Red River made it possible for paddleboats and steamships to travel from New Orleans and even St. Louis to dock at Jefferson. Tons of goods arrived and departed from Jefferson making it Texas’s chief inland port that was second only to Galveston. To say it was a bustling city put it mildly.
But all good things must come to end. When nitroglycerin came along in 1873, the Army Corps of Engineers blasted through the logjam and cleared it away. This lowered the water level of Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou and made it impossible for steamships to get to Jefferson.
Today the population is a little over 3,000. But the citizens have done a great job preserving the history. Almost every commercial building and house on the main thoroughfare has a historical marker in front of it.
And it’s become one of the most haunted towns in Texas. Tourists flock there, staying in the many Bed and Breakfast businesses and taking part in their annual events.
REDEMPTION is available in the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99. Just click HERE and it’ll take you there. Very easy.
I’m giving away one copy of the book in Kindle format to one commenter. Plus, as a special Valentine gift I’m also giving away one copy of BE MY TEXAS VALENTINE to another commenter.
The winner of THE LAWMAN’S VOW and some Ghirdelli chocolate is … Virginia C.
Virginia, you can contact me with your snail mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know what kind of chocolate you’d like. The choices are: (1) Solid dark chocolate bar (2) Dark Chocolate with mint (3) Milk chocolate with caramel or (4) Milk chocolate with raspberry cream.
Tomorrow will be Valentine’s Day. For many folks that means roses and heart-shaped cards inscribed with sweet sentiments. Not me. I go for the good stuff…chocolate!
Humankind’s love affair with chocolate goes way back. In the early 1500’s, the first Spanish conquistadores to arrive in Mexico discovered the Aztecs enjoying chocolate as a beverage. They called it the drink of the gods—they had the right idea. But today I want to tell you about the chocolate that became part of Western history.
Domenico Ghirardelli was born in Italy in 1817. His merchant father apprenticed his son to a confectioner and spice importer. At the age of 20, Domenico moved to South America, changed his name to Domingo and went into business for himself. In Peru he opened a chocolate shop next door to an American piano maker named James Lick. Lick decided to leave Peru for California, arriving in San Francisco on January 11, 1848, just 13 days before gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill.
Lick had brought with him 600 pounds of Ghirardelli’s chocolate. Soon he wrote Ghirardelli that he’d sold all the chocolate and there was a big demand for more. Ghirardelli packed up and followed his friend to San Francisco.
Arriving in 1849, he prospected a while, then owned a general store. In 1852 he opened his confectionery now known as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Early business was up and down, but by 1885 the company was importing 450,000 pounds of cocoa beans a year, as well as grinding spices and selling coffee, wine and liquor.
Chocolate was the mainstay of the business. The equipment to process the cocoa beans took up so much space that the business needed bigger quarters. After Ghirardelli retired in 1892, his sons purchased the square block in San Francisco presently known as Ghirardelli Square. Luckily it survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. It remains a major tourist attraction today, even though the chocolates are now made at a modern factory in San Leandro.
There’s no reference to chocolate in my March 2012 historical, THE LAWMAN’S VOW. But it does take place in northern California at the time Mr. Ghirardelli was starting up his business. Another connection—I fuel my writing brain by nibbling Ghirardelli’s bittersweet chocolate chips, so there’s a bit of Ghirardelli chocolate in every line of the book.
Here’s a blurb for you.
A MAN WITH A MISSION…
San Francisco Lawman Flynn O’Rourke swore he’d bring his sister’s killer to justice. So when suspect Aaron Cragun is identified, Flynn will do anything, even rent a boat and sail to Cragun’s remote home to find him. But Flynn doesn’t anticipate the storm that wrecks his boat, the injury that erases his memory…or the beautiful woman who rescues him.
Sweet Sylvie is loving and kind—and Aaron Cragun’s daughter. As Flynn’s memory returns, will the lawman keep his vow or allow himself to fall for the one woman forbidden to him?
What’s your favorite kind of chocolate? Today’s posts will be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of THE LAWMAN’S VOW, and a special treat from Mr. Ghirardelli’s establishment.
Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented writers here at Wildflower Junction. To purchase any of these fine books, just click on the book covers. And to learn more about the authors, click on thier names.
No bloodline can tear them apart.
A love that defies the ocean. A secret deeper than blood..
Driven from her home inEnglandby hostile political forces, Estrela was little more than a girl when she came to be raised by a far western Lakota tribe. On the wide, sweeping plains she grew tall and strong, and won the love of a handsome warrior.
But on the eve of their marriage, she is torn away from her native family, torn from the man she loves, and forced to return to a place that feels more like a foreign country than her home. There she merely exists, haunted by her love’s sweet kisses and heated embrace, yearning for his unforgettable touch.
Black Bear has braved the ocean to find the woman whose beauty has captured his soul. But no sooner has he arrived inEnglandthan he is called upon to save her life. Who in their right mind would want to murder such a gentle spirit?
As Black Bear comes between her and death time after time, Estrela wishes they could both just disappear back to the plains, and bury the secret she has long hidden—even from him. A secret from which only their love, truer than blood, can save them.
In 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.
And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they’d planned.
Ethan doesn’t expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he’s terrified of the pain he’s felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He’s determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch.
Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another–and they’ve done a poor job of it. Now she’s planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!
What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?
What is it about cowboys and horses and rugged individualism that brings readers back to Westerns again and again? Their popularity may wax and wane, but the stories of cowboys and the West are constants in the fiction world that might see the rise and fall of vampires, wizards and fantasy. (I’m not criticizing—I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter and Twilight series.) The Western is always there, like a patient, mild horse, waiting for us to come back. And we do.
Even now, I’m often drawn to contemporary feature articles and photos about the vast rangelands on the east side of the Oregon Cascades. Cowboying, though diminished by time, is still alive and well over there, and those vast, wide-open spaces make up a majority of the state’s area. The entire West is huge compared to places in the East. Here we think nothing of getting in the car and driving 25 or 30 miles to have lunch with a friend. Imagine doing that on horseback or in a buckboard with no cell phone, no nearby help, and only your wits and survival instincts to rely on in case of a catastrophe like a horse breaking a leg or a wagon wheel coming off. Those are the characters I write about.
For my latest release, Home By Morning, I updated the period a bit. It takes place during the Spanish influenza epidemic and World War I. Although many cities were bustling places of commerce and modern conveniences, the majority of the US was still agricultural, and the town I created for my backdrop has a mix of both. A few people actually have telephones but most do not. There is a car or two but original, four-legged horsepower is still the primary means of transportation. For my heroine, Jessica, who has lived in New York for a few years, this return to a slower pace of life is a welcome change.
Dr. Jessica Layton returns from the East to her hometown for a visit, only to find the Spanish influenza has arrived as well. Although she has not planned to stay more than a few days, with no other physician in Powell Springs she feels compelled by duty and loyalty to care for the people she’s known since childhood.
Believing Jessica abandoned him for her career in medicine, horse breeder Cole Braddock has been half-heartedly courting her sister. Jess sees Cole as a fickle and faithless, and yet neither can ignore the heat that still sizzles between them, or recognize the duplicity that drove them apart.
Want to know what happens next? This book is available in both e-book and paperback from Amazon.com.