Category: Book Covers

VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE 1880’s and 5 Sweetheart Ebook Giveaways!

 

Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a day of love and romance.  Can you guess what the gift of choice will be this Valentine’s Day?  If you guessed flowers, you’d be right, coming in first place at 1.9 billion. In second place, for a measly 1.7 billion is candy! That’s right and I’d bet most of those edible delights would be chocolate.  While 38 % of us will go out to dinner, 20% will receive jewelry and 1.1 billion will be spent on greeting cards.

Amazing.

The Valentine Card first came about in the 1500’s and by the 1700’s people began sending lace and paper flowered cards to each other on printed cards.

But the first American Valentine’s card didn’t hit our shores until 1849 when Ester Howland of Massachusetts designed 12 beautiful cards made by hand and gave them to her brother who was a salesman. She was hoping to make a small profit of $200.OO by selling her cards and to her great surprise, her brother came back to her with orders for $5,000 worth of cards.

 

And Ester found herself in business.  Her valentines made her famous throughout the United States and she became known as the “The Mother of the American Valentine.”  She is also credited with developing the first “lift up” valentine and another design of layering lace and a three dimensional accordion effect where a bouquet of flowers can be moved by a pull down string to reveal a verse.  That concept is still used today.

Ester continued making her valentine cards for the next thirty years.  She sold her business in 1880 to George Whitney in order to care for her ill father.

 

 

Valentine cards have surely gone through a progression of change.  Friends, family, lovers, husbands, wives and even children indulge.  It’s a fun heart-filled day to enjoy and appreciate the ones we love.  These days hubby and I go out to dinner to celebrate the day. Do you have a favorite way to celebrate?  Candy?  Cards?  Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?   Today I’m giving away 5 sweet reading treats– my back list EBOOK of The Billionaire’s Daddy Test to 5 lucky bloggers!.  (check later tonight for a list of giveaway winners)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you a very happy sweethearts day and please keep reading as I have two new events to share with you!

Yay!  Taming the Texas Cowboy is available for pre-order:

 

 

After a disaster destroyed nearly everything Maddie Brooks owned, Trey Walker offered the petite redhead shelter at 2 Hope Ranch. A veterinarian, Maddie was smart, sexy, and good with animals… Impossible to resist, yet Trey is convinced he is cursed when it comes to women.
The temporary arrangement Maddie made with Trey was supposed to be strictly business. Easy, since Maddie had tried and failed to catch the handsome cowboy’s eye for a year. She thought she was so over him…until he kissed her. 

AMAZON    https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Texas-Cowboy-Forever-Book-ebook/dp/B01N7RZPSA/?tag=pettpist-20

Barnes and Noble Nook –

 

Friends, if you’re in the southern California area, SAVE THE DATE, for this fun Reader Appreciation Day.  Come sit at the table I’ll be sharing with the awesome Christy Jeffries and join the conversation, play Book Bingo where you can win GREAT prizes, enjoy sweet treats and simply have a wonderful afternoon.  This is how it works: You buy a $5 ticket ahead of time to reserve your spot and pick the author you want to sit with for the event. It’s like an exclusive, backstage pass to Romancelandia. Then, you will get a $5 voucher for the onsite bookstore (so really, your ticket is FREE), fun tote bags with FREE swag (Christy and I are giving away a   GIRLS NIGHT IN gift bag to our readers) and books, plus a FREE raffle ticket for some amazing gift baskets. Did you catch the “free” part? It’s a Win Win for readers!  To purchase your ticket go to: TICKETLEAP

 

Updated: February 8, 2017 — 11:52 pm

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course by Charlene Sands

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In my new release THE TEXAN’S ONE-NIGHT STANDOFF, my heroine Ruby Lopez is an expert horse wrangler and trainer.  As a result I had to do some extensive research on the subject of training horses.  I found some inspiration in the Australian television series Downunder Horseman, a tutorial on how to train horses. Believe it or not, horses aren’t exactly docile and they have many fears that they need to overcome, such as approaching a body of water, or going into the water.  It is not necessarily an inherent trait.  Ruby is a gentle soul when it comes to animals, but she’s a spitfire and an independent woman, who isn’t opposed to flipping a man over her shoulders when he deserves it.  She was so much fun to write, seeing how the man she nicknamed Galahad, because he rushed to her defense one night, softens her rough edges.

 

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How many of these fun horse facts did you know?  I was amazed at some of them!

Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.

Horses can run shortly after birth.

Domestic horses have a lifespan of around 25 years.

A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ is said to have lived 62 years.

Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton

Horses have been domesticated for over 5000 years

A horse’s teeth take up more space in the head than a horse’s brain.

Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day, more in hotter climates.

Horses are herbivores (plant eaters).

Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.

Horses gallop at around  27 mph.

The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 55 mph.

Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world.

Scientists believe that horses have evolved over the past 50 million years from much smaller creatures.

When horses look like they’re laughing, they’re actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing technique known as “flehmen” to determine if the smell is bad or good.

Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.   (That’s amazing!)

 

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I’ve been running this fun prize package on Facebook, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Prize includes DVD, Bracelet Bling,  two Charlene Sands’ books and Santa Kisses!   Please stop by and enter to win my Twelve Days of Desire Giveaway!

And Happy Holidays from me to you!

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AMAZON 

AVAILABLE NOW ACROSS ALL BOARDS AND IN STORES!

Updated: December 5, 2016 — 2:48 pm

A Sneak Peek at The Texan’s One-Night Standoff by Charlene Sands

Hi Y’all.   I’m head deep in my next Texas Cattleman’s Club book, working on a deadline and hoping you’d like a sneak peek at my upcoming Desire.  The early reviews of this book have been wonderful garnering an average of 4.75 Stars out of 5 on Goodreads. Charlene-with-Books

 

And now for a little peek under the Christmas tree:

 

Brooks Newport swiveled around on the bar stool at the C’mon Inn, his gaze fastening on the raven-haired Latina beauty bending over a pool table, challenging her opponent with a fiercely competitive glint in her eyes. With blue jeans hugging her hips and creamy skin exposed from the cropped red plaid blouse she wore, the lady made his mouth go dry. He wasn’t alone. Every Stetson-wearing Texan in the joint seemed to be watching her too.

His hand fisting around the bottle, Brooks took a sip of beer, gulping down hard. The woman’s moves around the pool table were as smooth and as polished as his new Justin boots.

“Five ball, corner pocket,” she said, her voice sultry with a side of sass, as if she knew she wasn’t going to miss. Then she took her shot. The cue ball met its mark and sure enough, the five-ball rolled right into the pocket.

She straightened to full height, her chest expanding to near button-popping proportions. She couldn’t be more than five foot two, but what she had in that small package was enough to make him break out in a sweat. And that was saying something, since he’d come to Texas for one reason, and one reason only.

To meet his biological father for the first time in his life.

He’d spent the better part of his adulthood trying to find the man who’d abandoned him and his twin brother, Graham in Chicago. Sutton Winchester, his bitter older rival and the man Brooks thought might be his biological father turned out not to be his blood kin after all. Thank God.

But Sutton had known the truth of his parenthood all along and all Brooks could figure was the ailing man, plagued by a bout of conscience, had finally given up the name and location of his and Graham’s father.

Brooks would have been speaking with his real father at Look Away Ranch in Cool Springs right now, if he hadn’t gotten a bad case of nerves. So much was riding on this. The trek to get to this place in time, to solving the mystery surrounding the birth of the Newport twins, as well as his younger brother Carson, would finally come to fruition.

So, yeah, the powerful CEO of the Newport Corporation from Chicago had turned chicken. Those bawking noises played out in his head. He’d never run scared before and yet as he was breezing through this dusty town the Welcome sign and Christmas lights outside the doors of the C’mon Inn had called to him. He’d pulled to a stop and entered the lodge in need of a fortifying drink and a good night’s rest. He had a lot to think about and meeting Beau Preston in the light of day seemed a better idea.

He kept his gaze trained on the prettiest thing in the joint. The woman. She yielded the pool cue like a weapon and began wiggling her perfectly trim ass in an effort to make a clean shot. He sipped beer to cool his jets, yet he couldn’t tear his gaze away. He had visions of taking that bend on the pool tthe-texans-one-night-standoffable with her and bringing them both to heaven.

Long strands of her hair hung down to touch her breasts and as she leaned over even further to line up her shot, those strands caressed green felt. She announced her next shot and bam, the ball banked the left side and then ricocheted straight into the center pocket.

The whiskered man she was playing against hung his head. “Man, Ruby. You don’t give a guy a chance.”

She chuckled. “That’s the rule I live by, Stan. You know that.”

“But you could miss once in a while. Make it interesting.”

So, her name was Ruby. Brooks liked the sound of it, all right. It fit.

He had no business lusting after her. Woman trouble was the last thing he needed. Yet, his brain wasn’t doing a good job of convincing his groin to back off.

The game continued until she handed the older guy his vitals on a silver platter. “Sorry, Stan.”

“You’d think after all these years a man could do better against a teeny tiny woman.”

She grinned, showing off a smile that lit the place on fire, then set a sympathetic hand on the man’s shoulder and reached up to kiss his cheek.

The old guy’s face turned beet red. “You know that’s the only reason I endure this torture. For that kiss at the end.”

Her deep, provocative chuckle rumbled in Brooks’ ears. “You’re sweet for saying that, Stan. Now go on home to Betsy. And kiss your sweet grandson for me.”

Nodding, Stan smiled at her. “Will do. You be good now, you hear?”

“I can always try,” she said, hooking her cue stick on the wall next to a holly wreath.

Stan walked off and Ruby did this little number with her head that landed all of her thick silky hair on one shoulder. Brooks’ groin tightened some more. If she was any indication of what Cool Springs was like, he was quickly growing an affinity for the place.

The woman spotted him. Her deep-set eyes, the color of dark cocoa, met his for a second and time seemed to stop. Blood rushed through his veins. She blinked a time or two and then let him go, as if she recognized him to be an out-of-towner.

He finished off his beer and rose, tossing some bills onto the bar and giving the barkeep a nod.

“Hey, sweet doll,” a man called out, coming from the darkest depths of the bar to stand in front of her. “How about giving me a go-round?”

Ruby tilted her head up. “No thanks. I’m through for the night.”

“You ain’t through until you’ve seen me wield my stick. It’s impressive.” The big oaf wiggled his brows and crowded her against the pool table.

She rolled her eyes. “Pleeeeze.”

“Yeah babe, that’s exactly what you’ll be crying out once we’re done playing.”

“Sorry, but if that’s your best come-on line you’re in sad shape, buster.”

She inched her body away, brushing by him trying not to make contact with the bruiser. But the jerk grabbed her arm from behind and gave a sharp tug. She struggled to wiggle free. “Let go,” she said.

Brooks scanned the room. All eyes were still on Ruby, but no one was making a move. Instead, they all had smug looks on their faces. Forget what he’d thought about this town; they were all jerks.

The muscles in his arms bunched and his hands tightened into fists as Brooks stepped toward the two of them. He couldn’t stand by and watch this scene play out, not when the petite pool shark was in trouble. “Get your hands—”

The words weren’t out of his mouth, before Ruby elbowed the guy in the gut. “Oof.” He doubled over, clutching his stomach, and cursed her up and down using filthy names.

Crap. Now she was in deep. The guy’s head came up; the unabashed fury in his eyes was aimed her way. Brooks immediately pulled his arm back, fists at the ready, but before he could land a punch, Ruby grabbed the guy’s forearm. The twist of her body came so fast, Brooks blinked, and before he knew it, she’d tossed the big oaf over her shoulder WWF-style and had him down for the count. As in, she’d laid him out flat on his back.

Someone from the bar groused, “No one messes with Ruby unless she wants to be messed with.”

Apparently, the oaf didn’t know that. And neither did Brooks. But hell, the rest of them had known.

She stepped over the man to face Brooks, her gaze on the right hook he’d been ready to land. “Thanks anyway,” she said, out of breath. Apparently she wasn’t Supergirl. The effort had taxed her and he found himself enjoying how the ebb and flow of her labored breaths stretched the material of her blouse.

He stood there somewhat in awe, a grin spreading his mouth wide. “You didn’t let me do my gladiator routine.”

“Sorry, maybe next time.” Her lips quirked up.

Behind her, the bartender and another man began dragging the patron away.

“Does that happen often?” he asked her.

“Often enough,” she said. “But not with guys who know me.”

He rubbed at his chin. “No. I wouldn’t imagine.”

He kept his gaze trained on her, astonished at what he’d just witnessed. Her eyes danced in amusement, probably at his befuddled expression. And then someone turned up the volume on the country song playing, and his thoughts ran wild. He was too intrigued to let the night end. This woman wasn’t your typical Texas beauty queen. She had spunk and grit and so much more. Hell, he hadn’t been this turned on in a long, long time.

A country Christmas ballad piped in through the speakers surrounding the room. “Would you like to dance?” he asked.

She smiled sweetly, the kind of smile that suggested softness. And he would’ve believed that, if he hadn’t seen her just deck a man. A big man.

Her head tilted to the left and she gauged him thoughtfully.

He was still standing, so that was a plus. She didn’t find him out of line.

“Sure. I’d like that, Galahad.”

I hope you enjoyed my sneak peek!   Check out my website next week for more details on this fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.  To celebrate the fall, I’ve teamed up with more than 60 fantastic contemporary cowboy romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!  Here’s what’s happening starting NEXT WEEK.  And remember to visit me on Facebook and on my website.

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The Texan’s One-Night Standoff is available for pre-order on Amazon and all other stores today.

Updated: November 9, 2016 — 10:48 pm

Jolene Navarro… A Texas Girl

jolene author

Hello, Jolene Navarro coming to you from the Hill Country of Texas and I’m so excited to be here.  When I say I’m from Texas, I’m talking seven generations of ranchers, horsemen and framers. I’m a Texas girl through and through. So I think it is safe to say that Texas is one of my strongest characters throughout all my stories. This land shaped who I am and it shapes the people in my books.

I took this picture of the stock tank and windmill on my way home the other day. I have driven past it for nineteen years, and thought I needed to take the time to enjoy the view and share it.

Jolene tank

Growing up, my dad was a commercial pilot, but he couldn’t help himself when it came to his roots of ranching. We had a small twenty-three-acre place in Bergheim Texas, population 12 if you counted the horses. Many days we would ride our horses to the general store to get an ice cold bottle of Dr. Pepper or Big Red. We couldn’t buy a chocolate bar because they melted too fast in the heat.

Many times we’d ride bareback. Tourists driving through Hwy 46 would stop and take pictures of us, which we thought was funny, because riding was just what we did. Now I wish I had at least one of us with the horses at the old limestone store.  The precious moments in life you take for granted because it’s so ordinary to you, that is until you get to look back and realize how blessed you were.

We always had animals. Sometimes rescued baby squirrels or bottle feed angora goats. We had horses, sheep, pigs, dogs and cats along with rabbits, chickens, a few deer and one duck. That duck sat on turkey eggs once. That was great fun.

jolene squirrels

The one thing my father loved more than anything was his angora goat. Here’s one of my favorites with some kids and my little sister, Amanda Warren (who now lives on an exotic game ranch).

jolene dad

 

Even though we live out in the country we don’t have goats or horses now – I leave that to my little sister, who still carries on the family tradition. Her family is on an exotic game ranch on the border and spends as much time at stock shows as anywhere else. But I do find many of my stories not only reflect the Texas I know and love, but they are also full of animals. I didn’t set out to do that, but it comes naturally to each story.

The book that was released September 1, The Soldier’s Surprise Family, has a menagerie of misfit farm animals and two dogs that are strong secondary characters. Dogs that are based on some real life companions I happen to know. Just like the people in my book, the dogs have full personalities all their own. Unlike the fictional people, the dogs are based on my family’s Catahoula Cattle dog and my other sister’s Yorkie. They took on starring roles.

jolene dog 1

jolene dog

Former solider and lone wolf, Garrett Kincaid, had no plans for a family not even a dog, until he discovers he has a son he never knew existed. And his son has a baby sister with nowhere to go and a dog that he’s holding out judgment on until he proves himself. Now his child and his lively nanny he’s hired are quickly capturing his heart. Falling for Anjelica isn’t part of the plan. Yet even Garrett can’t deny that love has begun building a family of four right around him.

Jolene cover                                                                                                                                             AMAZON

 

Did you have unusual pets growing up? Maybe as an adult you finally got the pet you always wanted. I would love to hear about your furry (or not so furry) family members.

Since I’m so excited being here and want to hear from you – I will give one printed book copy of The Soldier’s Surprise Family – One ebook copy of The Soldiers’ Surprise Family and one ebook copy of A Texas Christmas Wish – that features my favorite horse.

Just leave a comment to have your name thrown in the Stetson.

 

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Bio:  A seventh generation Texan and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author, Jolene knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that dancing in the rain never gets old.

She uses her art degree to teach inner city kids about the world and they teach her about life.

She loves creating worlds of strong heroes and powerful heroines who find love in spite of the obstacles they face. She is currently working on her first Historical romance that will be out in June along with her fifth Clear Water Book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired that will arrive in bookstores in July.

Updated: September 7, 2016 — 9:49 am

Roseanne Bittner Blogs at Petticoats and Pistols!

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Dear Petticoats and Pistols!

I guarantee you will not be disappointed with my new book, LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE (September 2016 – Sourcebooks in e-book form and in print/mass paperback)!   If you haven’t read OUTLAW HEARTS (#1) and DO NOT FORSAKE ME (#2), you will want to read those two also, but you don’t necessarily need to have read them to enjoy LOVE’S SWEET REVEGE (#3), which is the continuing story of reformed outlaw Jake Harkner and the woman  (Miranda) who has been to hell and back with this man.  Jake loves “Randy” beyond measure and would step in front of a train for her. Randy has seen him through running from the law and then prison, followed by the dangers and heartache of Jake being sentenced to serve as a U.S. Marshal in Oklahoma when it was referred to as “no man’s land.”  Through it all these two raised a son and daughter who stand by their parents through thick and thin and eventually, in books 2 and 3, give them beautiful grandchildren.

 

In LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE the Harkner family has grown and are extremely close and supportive of each other.  Even though they are getting older, Jake and Randy’s love endures and strengthens, and these two are still “hot” for each other.  Randy is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and Jake is a tough, tough man, hardened by an abusive boyhood and the perils of living by the gun and always fighting a past that won’t leave him alone.  Once known as the “handsome outlaw,” Jake retains his good looks and ages well, the type of man who just seems to get better as he gets older. He is damn good at making love and a man no woman would turn away, especially when he flashes his very fetching smile.   He is extremely defensive of his family, and handsome or not, this man can be incredibly ruthless to his enemies.  When his son is shot while they are all in Denver for a Cattlemen’s Ball, the “outlaw” mode comes forth full force when Jake thinks his son is dead, shot in cold blood.  He blows the shootist’s head off right in front of everyone at the ball, an act that for reasons you will have to read, lands Jake in deep trouble with the law wherein he faces a hanging.  This is a powerful part of the story, and family unity is HUGE here.  Things happen that will truly tug at your heart.

Loves Sweet Revenge

These Outlaw books show how Jake learns to love, and how he gradually learns to forgive himself through the love of his family – and how he grows stronger on the inside thanks to the love of a good woman.  He once never dreamed he could have the life he’s come to have in LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE, the entire family owning and living on a big cattle ranch in Colorado.  Something truly dramatic happens at the end of this story that will carry over into the fourth book of the series, THE LAST OUTLAW, scheduled for September 2017.  I just finished the book and it’s a beautiful, beautiful story, very fitting for the last book of the series.

 

I am proud of how I’ve handled the psychology of Jake Harkner throughout these books, from a young, confused, troubled, vicious and unforgiving outlaw who walks a thin line between darkness and light, sanity and insanity … to (slowly but surely) a man who is strong enough on the inside to face his past.  The woman he loves (but who he’s always felt he does not deserve) brings him out of darkness and helps him grow stronger on the inside – to the point where in LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE it’s Jake who must be the strong one for Randy.  Up to then Randy has been the emotionally strong one.  Jake is damn good with fists and guns and as brave and able as they come, but because of his horrific childhood of living with a drunken father who beat Jake regularly and beat Jake’s mother to death in front of his eyes, there is an abused little boy down deep inside who just wants to be loved but who feels unworthy.

My readers are all in love with rugged, handsome Jake Harkner and wish they were his beloved Randy.  I guarantee you will get hooked on this whole family once you start reading these books which by LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE cover 31 years of Jake and Randy’s life together.  Jake was raised by prostitutes and he damn well knows how to handle a woman, which is part of the reason Randy can’t say no to him – but she also can’t say no to that little boy who wants her home.

THEIR PASSION SHAPED A NATION:

Over the years, Jake and Miranda Harkner have endured all the dangers a wild and brutal West could throw at them.  Now, settled on their ranch in the beautiful Colorado hill country, they’ve finally found peace.  But for a man like Jake Harkner, danger is always lurking, and the world may not be ready for an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman-turned-legend to hang up his guns.

Threatened by cruel men in search of revenge, the Harkner clan must be stronger than ever before.  Yet nothing can stop the coming storm.  With the Old West dying around them and the rules of this new world ever-changing, Jake vows to end the threat to his family no matter what it takes …

Even if it means sacrificing himself so his beloved Miranda may live.

“An emotional powerhouse!  The strong flavor of the Wild West combines with a beautiful love story, creating a true saga of the era … This classic historical Western is destined for the ‘keeper’ shelf.”  ROMANTIC TIMES BOOK REVIEWS “TOP PICK” FOR DO NOT FORSAKE ME

Outlaw HeartsDO NOT FORSAKE ME

USA TODAY best-seller Rosanne Bittner has been writing for approximately 35 years, selling her first book, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, in 1982.  That was 63 books ago, and she hasn’t stopped and promises more to come.  Her first love is American history, especially the Old West and Native American history.  She writes well-researched books that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious WILLA award from Women Writing the West, and was named “Queen of Western Romance,” by Romantic Times Reviews, who nominated DO NOT FORSAKE ME for best western romance for 2015. That book and LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE also received great reviews from the very important reader/writer national review magazine, Publisher’s Weekly.

 

Rosanne belongs to several writers’ groups and historical societies and is president of the Coloma Lioness Club, a local charity organization in the small town where Rosanne lives in southwest Michigan.  She travels to conduct workshops and give talks to writers’ groups.  This month she is speaking at a library in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a literacy fund-raiser that last year raised $20,000 for teaching and mentoring programs throughout the Tulsa area.

 

Rosanne and her husband Larry have been married almost 52 years and have two sons and three grandsons.  She and her husband own a condo in Las Vegas, where they stay part of the winter to get away from Michigan’s snow.  They also often travel west in the summer for research for Rosanne’s books.  Her newest book, LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE, is the third book in Rosanne’s “Outlaw” series, with a fourth book coming in 2017, THE LAST OUTLAW.  And Roseanne has offered one lucky blogger today a chance to win the full 3 book set of the Outlaw series!! 

http://www.rosannebittner.com

http://www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com

rbamericahistory@parrett.net

Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads and more!

Updated: September 2, 2016 — 6:57 pm

Lacy Williams: Bullfighters and Butterflies

Well looky here! Lacy Williams has come back for a visit. I swear to goodness that woman writes some good stories. Guess that’s how she got to be a bestselling author, huh? Let’s give Miss Lacy a big ol’ howdy!

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lacy-williams-media-1Lacy Williams here, excited to be back with P&P!

Today I want to chat about the men who risk their lives in the rodeo arena. No, not the ones with the vests and helmets… the other ones. They wear colorful outfits and clown makeup. You know. The bullfighters.

Their job is two-fold. When the bull riders get bucked off (or jump off), the bullfighters distract the bulls to buy the riders time to get out of the arena. In between rescuing riders, the bullfighters also entertain the crowd with their antics and often over the loudspeaker, so they have to have a sense of humor and be able to think on their feet.

Can you imagine racing around in a dirt-packed arena, just in front of a fifteen hundred pound bull that wants to pound you into the ground? You jump into a barrel (have to be pretty fit and more agile than I am!) and wait for the bull to leave the arena. Then you do it all over again!

Ty Pozzobon Invitational PBR

 

What would make a man choose bullfighting for his job? That was the question I asked as I created the hero for my June release, Luke Starr. As Pamela Tracy and Vickie McDonough and I brainstormed the Lone Star Brides series, I knew their heroes would be twins and bull riders. I also knew Luke would secretly be a little envious of their close twin relationship. But the real thing that drove him to choose bullfighting is his guilt over something that happened when he was sixteen. I won’t spoil the story for you, but Luke uses bullfighting to distract himself from the guilt that eats him alive… until he’s forced to come home to his family’s ranch and face the memories that haunt him.

THE BUTTERFLY BRIDE is book three in the Lone Star Brides mini-series and is Luke’s story. When heroine Jess Sadler ropes him into reaching out to a special needs student, Luke uses the skills he’s learned in the arena to reach out to the boy. And what woman can resist a man with a soft spot for kids?

THE BUTTERFLY BRIDE is releasing in ebook only and I’d like to give away two ebook copies, names to be drawn from anyone who comments today. Do you have a favorite kid-friendly hero? It could be a single dad, uncle or otherwise. Let me know!

Thanks again for hosting me today. I always love visiting Petticoats & Pistols!

 

lonestar brides-3_lowres copyAbout The Butterfly Bride:

The prodigal son is back. Ever since the terrible mistake he made in high school—a mistake that cost his best friend his life—bullfighter Luke Starr has stayed far away from Pecan, Texas, and his family. But with his twin brothers gone on their respective honeymoons, Luke is forced to come back to town to watch over Gramma and the family ranch. And he can’t wait to leave again. Because being home hurts more than being stomped on by a bull—and it’s only a matter of time until he messes up all over again.

Special ed teacher Jess Sadler will do anything for her students—even abandon her comfort zone to convince a reluctant rodeo cowboy to give “horse lessons” to a student she can’t reach. But when feelings for Luke blindside Jess, she knows she’s in trouble. The man is counting down the minutes until he can leave Pecan. Will he take her heart with him when he goes?

Then a little boy goes missing on the family ranch, and Luke must confront the ghosts of his past or lose the future he never dreamed was possible.

 

About Lacy Williams:

USA TODAY bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment with three-point-five kids ages 6 and under. In spite of this, she has somehow managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing 26 books and novellas. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT BOOK REVIEWS Reviewers’ Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, ALLi, and Novelists Inc. Visit her online at LacyWilliams.net.

 

Image © vanell via depositphotos.com
Cover art © Lacy Williams via Serenade Books

Double the Trouble or Twice as Nice? by Charlene Sands

Charlene-with-BooksI married a twin of the fraternal variety and we were married nearly right out of high school, so it baffles me why it’s taken me this long to write a twins story!  For me, loving a twin has been twice as nice, and not double the trouble.  But that isn’t always the case. And so, I penned a story about a hunky father of twins, who meets up with trouble in the form of a spirited woman whose car has broken down along the side of the road.  Texas Style.  

In doing my research I found out some amazing trivia about twins:

The word twin is probably derived from an ancient German word twine, which means ‘two together.

1 in every 32 children born is a twin (1 in 65 pregnancies results in a twin birth). Twins account for 1.5% of all pregnancies or 3% of the population.The twinning rate has risen 50% in the last 20 years. This is attributed to an increase in maternal age, wider use of IVF and assisted conception and advancement of medical technology.

 Fraternal twins do run in the family but only on the maternal line. If a mother herself is a fraternal twin, the chance of conceiving twins increases four-fold.
 The rate for identical twins, or monozygotic, multiples is random and universal (no influencing factors) and occurs 1 in every 285 births. They are the same sex, have the same blood types, hair and eye color, hand and footprints and chromosomes, yet have different teeth marks and fingerprints.
 Mirror image twins account for about 25% of identical twins. Their hair falls in opposite directions, they have mirror image fingerprints and if one is right handed, the other is left handed.
 Twins and multiples have been known to develop their own ‘language’ that only they understand. This ‘twin talk’ is known as cryptophasia or idioglossia.
 The world’s oldest twins were born on Feb 14 1803 in Virginia and died at the ages of 108 and 113 respectively. The chances of identical twins surpassing the age of 100 is 1 in 700 million.
 The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria have the highest twinning rate in the entire world (3 sets of twins in every 19 births). The Nigerian people attribute it to their population’s consumption of a specific type of yam. China has the lowest twinning rate with only 1 in 300 pregnancies resulting in a twin birth.
 Up to 22 percent of twins are left-handed. In the non-twin population the number is just under 10 percent.
Twin types and genders are oddly symmetrical. 1/3rd of all twins are identical, 1/3rd are the same sex fraternal and 1/3rd are male/female fraternal. Of the identical twins, half are male/male, and half are female/female. Of the same sex fraternal, half are male/male, and half are female/female.
 Australia produced the world”s first test-tube twins in June 1981.

Twins for the Texan_Sand

AMAZON    BarnesandNoble  HARLEQUIN   ITUNES  KOBO   GOOGLE PLAY

Here’s what they are saying about Twins for the Texan! 

Their explosive attraction is just the beginning of an unexpected journey full of love, parenthood and second chances.  Expressive characters bring authenticity to the emotional and sometimes chaotic aspects of falling love while raising small children. This Billionaires and Babies romance is sizzling!…Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine 

Wyatt is an amazing hero, a wonderful father and an incredible lover. Brooke cannot help but fall in love but she is not sure Wyatt is ready for more. The path to true love is never easy and this one has more than a few rocks to navigate. The story unfolds magnificently as Brooke helps Wyatt by serving as the nanny for his children. He accepts her help and hopes for some more time in other areas as well. It was also nice to visit with Brooke’s brother and her best friend. Charlene Sands knows how to capture us and keep us reading until the last word.  Debby Guyette, formerly of Cataromance 

Do twins run in your family, like they do in mine?  How would you feel about raising twins?  Any fun twin stories? I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours?  Post a comment and be entered in a drawing for my new western ebook release Bachelor For Hire or one of my print backlist books…

Sands-Bachelor-MEDIUM

 

 

The Outlaw Kathleen Rice Adams Confesses

Kathleen Rice Adams header

Why do so many women named Kathleen become romance authors? They’re everywhere.

Filly Fun 2016Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Kathleen Kane, Kathleen O’Brien, Kathleen Baldwin, Kathleen Eagle, Kathleen Kellow, Kathleen Maxwell, Kathleen Bittner Roth, Kathleen M. Rodgers, Kathleen Ball, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Kathleen Winsor… They’re all somewhat celebrated, and some are still writing today.

Then there’s that other Kathleen—the one who finds humor in the most inappropriate places at the worst possible times. The Kathleen whose wardrobe consists primarily of egg on her face and the taste of shoe leather on her tongue. The Kathleen who encourages fictional characters to cuss and steal and murder and commit all manner of other dastardly deeds because they can get away with it and she can’t.

The troublemaking one. The one who reveres sarcasm as high art. The one who should be rich and famous by now if for no other reason than name association.

The Hideout

My current hideout. Forget you saw it.

To tell you the truth, I find it more satisfying to be poor and infamous—which is a good thing, since I’m a pro at both pursuits.

Here are a few more truths:

1)  I’m the eldest of four siblings: two girls and two boys. (Yes, four middle-aged hooligans with similar DNA remain at large. Be afraid.) Three of us are overachievers: My sister is a retired judge, the eldest of the boys is literally a rocket scientist, and the baby of the family is a computer systems engineer. And then there’s me.

2) My sister, brothers, and I played cowboys and Indians a lot when we were kids. I was always the outlaw. Why no one saw that as a warning remains a mystery.

3) I retired from the U.S. Air Force at the ripe old age of 22. No, I was not mustered out on a Section 8, although that would’ve surprised no one.

4) I still have my wisdom teeth, my appendix, and my tonsils. My mind, on the other hand, hasn’t been seen in years.

Hole in the Web Gang

The Hole in the Web Gang, clockwise from top left: Dog, age 12; Underdog, 7; Little Ol’ Biddy, 15; Mr. Ed, 4.

5) As a journalist, I’ve worked the scene of a major airline disaster, covered political scandals, written columns about poltergeist-infested commodes and human kindness, won awards…and found myself staring at the wrong end of a gun—twice. Thankfully, I’ve yet to be ventilated. (A more astute individual might have realized it’s unwise to antagonize crazy people.)

6) My author bio says I come from “a long line of ranchers, preachers, and teachers on one side and horse thieves and moonshiners on the other.” I did not make any of that up. Some of my relatives still ranch, preach, and teach. The horse thieves and moonshiners found other lines of work.

7) My paternal grandmother’s mother was American Indian. Grandma never knew what tribe; consequently, neither do I. In the late 1800s, Kentucky hillbillies considered marrying an Indian shameful, so no one talked about great-grandma’s heritage. My grandmother never met her mother’s relatives. (My dad, who as a child helped his father run moonshine, was the first in his family’s history to earn a college degree. He referred to himself as a “hillwilliam.”)

Peaches by Kathleen Rice Adams8) My short story “Peaches” was based on my maternal grandparents’ courtship. Granny, a young widow who taught in a one-room Texas schoolhouse and had her hands full with three rowdy boys, took a peach pie to a church social. The man who was to become my grandfather, a bachelor rancher in his 50s, won the accidentally over-seasoned pie at auction. He nearly choked to death on the first bite. His response? “I s’pose I ought to marry that little woman ‘fore she kills somebody.”

9) My house celebrated its 100th birthday last year. Compared to some of the other homes on Galveston Island, it’s a youg’un. The Capt. H.H. Hadley House (yes, it has a name) was completed in August 1915…two weeks before a deadly Category 4 hurricane struck. More than three dozen big blows later, it’s still standing.

The Dumont Brand by Kathleen Rice Adams10) Four Chihuahuas ranging in age from four to fifteen live in this house. Whatever they’ve told you about the intractability of their servant, don’t believe them. If they didn’t want to be deviled by a spoiled-rotten delinquent, they shouldn’t have rescued me.

There. Now you know all of my deep, dark secrets. Before you decide to pursue blackmail, read “The Ransom of Red Chief.”

To compensate for the loss of financial opportunity, I’ll give away a copy of The Dumont Brand, which contains the first two stories in a series about a Texas ranching dynasty with more skeletons in its closets than there are in a graveyard. “The Trouble with Honey,” a new story in the series, will be published this summer.

To enter the drawing, leave a comment revealing something about you. Oh, c’mon. It’ll be fun! Your life can’t be any more embarrassing than mine.  😉

 

Lights, Camera….Motion! by Charlene Sands

When we speakCharlene-with-Books about Hollywood, everyone immediately thinks about the film industry.  The big sign in white lettering on the mountaintop looks down upon the area that is affectionately known as Tinsel Town that is synonymous with the film industry.  It’s so close to home to me, that nearly one in every ten people I know work in moviemaking in one way or another.  Film editors, grips, casting, cameramen, screenwriters, actors, digital experts, etc.  So, it wasn’t a coincedence that I wrote a Moonlight Beach bachelor who was a celebrated movie star, think Ryan Gosling or Chris Hemsworth or Brad Pitt.  Yes, it was deliberate because, let’s face it, these celebrities lead amazing, interesting lives.  Dylan McKay is all that and more.  But his story is not your usual suspect.  But we do have suspects, a bit of mystery, amnesia and lots of plot twists.

So how did we get to this point?220px-Muybridge-2

Well, my research took me back to one very ingenious Englishman named Eadweard Muybridge, born in 1830 who was a bookseller first, before becoming a pioneer in photographic studies in motion and early projection.  Leading a mondane life was not in the cards for Eadweard, though.

Although he first arrived in New York city, he soon traveled to San Francisco during the Gold Rush period.  At that time there were 40 bookstores and 60 hotels and many photograhpy studios in the area and he spent his youth working as a bookseller.  But his love of photography and motion took him back to England for a time and then back to America.

In 1860, while traveling to St Louis he was involved in a horrendous stagecoach accident.  Edweard was thrown ten feet in the air and hit his head on a rock.  He suffered great head injuries and some say, it was the cause of often bizarre and highly innovative behavior.

Then in 1874, he shot and killed his wife’s lover.  He originally pleaded insanity due to the head injury,  but had shown brilliance to the jury, seeming to undo the insanity case.  He was acquitted of all charges on the grounds of justifiable homicide.

In 1887 and 1868 his photographs of the Yosemite Valley made him world renowned.

170px-Eadweard_Muybridge_-_Pi-Wi-Ack_(Shower_of_Stars),_Vernal_Fall,_400_Feet,_Valley_of_Yosemite_-_Google_Art_Project - Copy

But his work with motion is what fascinated me the most.  Take a look at how he studied and put together these amazing early photos in stop-motion.   It is said he had produced over 100,000 images of animals and humans in motion.   His invention, zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures predated the perforated film strip later used in cinematography.

 

 

 

The_Horse_in_Motion

Eadweard Muybridge spent many years perfecting the technique ( commissioned by the former Governor of California, Leland Stanford- a race horse owner) to determine the much debated topic of whether when a horse gallops, all four feet leave the ground at once, thus flying through the air.  I find it fascinating that the movie making world we have all come to know, dated as far back as the 1800’s.  Take a peek HERE to see how these twelve images become stop motion.

 

Every time I see the beginnings of what we now take for granted, I’m floored by the inventive spirit of our ancestors.  I happen to love the entire movie going experience. It’s one of my favorite things to do.  I wonder if Edweard would have ever imagined how this medium has taken flight!

While the romance is prevalent in my new release, One Secret Night, One Secret Baby, there’s a behind the scenes look at Hollywood, celebrity and film making and I have to thank my son-in-law for his help and expertise in keeping me honest and authentic with my story!  What about you? Does this fascinate you?  Are you a movie goer?  I’ll be giving away a copy of a backlist book to one lucky blogger today!!

 AMAZON

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Updated: March 10, 2016 — 10:42 am
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