Category: New Releases

Cattle Rustling Makes a Comeback ~ by Anne Carrole

In The Rancher’s Heart, the third book in my contemporary Hearts of Wyoming series, the hero and heroine own neighboring ranches, both inherited from feuding fathers. The feud goes back generations and has to do with water from the creek that separates their properties. But they quickly realize that each is the solution to the other’s ranching problems, and soon, love knows no boundaries. But cattle rustling and the fallout from that act will soon test both love and loyalty.

Buy on Amazon

Isn’t this a contemporary western romance, you ask?

While talk of cattle rustling usually conjures up images of the Wild West and memories of 1960s television westerns like Rawhide and Bonanza, the crime of cattle rustling is on the rise in the twenty-first century, driven largely by the rise of beef prices.

A calf can bring upward of $1,000 at market; an uncastrated bull more than $2,500. Calves are particularly susceptible because of the lag time between birth and branding.

One heist in northeast Texas involved 1,121 calves worth over $1.4 million. Four thieves in Waco, Texas, stole 107 calves for a payout of $139,000. But more common, and easier to execute, is theft of a few animals from small ranchers who don’t brand their cattle.

To combat this outbreak of thievery, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has a team of thirty lawmen, described as special rangers, who investigate livestock-related crimes throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Just like their Old West counterparts, these rangers sport six-shooters and cowboy hats but drive pickups instead of ride horses. Rather than relying on tracking skills, these officers use advanced law enforcement tactics, including digital databases that track every head of cattle sold in a state, and they utilize DNA testing to discover the dam and sire in order to ascertain if the cattle have been stolen.

While we no longer hang cattle thieves, stealing even less than ten head of cattle in Texas is considered a third-degree felony and punishable by up to ten years in prison. Texans don’t fool around.

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, Marvin Wills, the special ranger who was in charge of the Waco case, noted “there’s three types of thieves here: there’s family, employees, or someone who knows them.”

You’ll have to read The Rancher’s Heart to find out which of those categories fit the cattle rustlers in the story, but needless to say, suspicion falls on the hero precisely because the Taylors, who own the neighboring ranch, have been feuding with the McKennas for generations, and everyone in town knows the Taylors need the money. The fact Cody Taylor got roped into helping lovely Cat McKenna, who prefers high heels to cowgirl boots, only means he had opportunity. But Cat has fallen for the stubborn rancher, and she will have to decide if she will let either history or circumstantial evidence shake her trust in the man who has captured her heart.

Here’s an excerpt:

Cody placed his shotgun firmly by his side, shaken by the fact he’d pointed it at Cat before he’d realized just who had followed him. Having tied his horse behind the old line shack and camped out on the far side of one of the small hills that mounded the rocky pasture, he had found a spot to watch the herd unobserved. Only to find someone trailing him. With her hair tucked under her hat and her back to him, he hadn’t been able to tell who it was until she’d turned around.

Only then had he realized he could have shot her. He wiped an arm across his brow. Despite the cool air of the higher elevation, he was sweating.

“I’m trying to catch a rustler who I hope isn’t scouting right now, because I’ve certainly blown my cover. I didn’t want to risk you telling someone. I don’t know who the culprit is yet, but I suspect it’s someone who knows Pleasant Valley Ranch pretty damn well. That could mean it is someone working for you.”

Her hands were on her curvy hips, and her chest rose as she took a deep breath. He admired her chest. Perky and perfectly sized.

“That description would include you.”

Cody felt the verbal slap as if his face had met the flat of her hand, sparking anger he struggled to control. A man’s reputation summed up his worth.

And no one had ever trampled on his.

Too furious to speak, he turned on his heel and walked away, toward his gear and the line shack. While the cows lowed in the background, he could feel the steam rising in his blood as his boots crunched along the rocky soil. He didn’t deserve her suspicions. He merited better than this. If she’d been a man calling him out as she had, he’d have decked her.

Despite the loss of money he so desperately needed, better to find out now how little she thought of him than to go on fooling himself that she respected him, maybe even liked him. Enough to find some solace in each other’s arms. What a fool he’d been to even contemplate such an arrangement with a woman who couldn’t hide her disdain for him and the life he valued.

“Cody,” she called from behind him, her voice loud but wavering. He kept walking, taking bigger strides to lengthen the distance between them.

Nope, he’d dodged a bullet.

He heard her boots scuffing along the stony ground at a run as she breathlessly called his name.

He was surprised at how much her lack of faith cut him. Anger was one thing. But her lack of confidence in who he was felt more like betrayal. More like she’d knocked the supports right out from under him, sending him into a free fall of emotion. He’d thought they’d gotten beyond mistrust. Way beyond.

The scuffing noise was getting closer.

He turned. Ready to have it out. She stopped just a few feet away, her breathing ragged.

“I’m sorry. I…” There was desperation in her voice.

“You don’t accuse a man of stealing and then think you can say a few words and all is forgiven. I may not have much in this world. But I do have my reputation. Yet just now you accused me of something no rancher accuses another of unless it’s meant. You either believe in me, or you don’t. There are no shades of gray in this.”

The Rancher’s Heart is the third book in the Hearts of Wyoming series, where love is given a second chance, and is available in either e-book or print on Amazon.

I am guessing we’ve all lost some treasure at one time or another. Could be we valued it for sentimental reasons, for its monetary value, or we just liked it. I’ll gift a Kindle e-book of The Rancher’s Heart to one lucky person who leaves a comment about something they lost or which category they think the cattle rustler in The Rancher’s Heart falls into—family, employee, or acquaintance. And in the comment section, you can also read my note about something I lost and how my hubby became the hero who saved the day.

 

Anne Carrole writes both contemporary and western historical romances. She’s an eastern girl with a western heart who was raised on a farm (yes, they have them in the East) with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter. Besides reading and writing romances, she loves western history, rodeo, football, gardening, and tennis. Married to her own urban cowboy, she’s the mother of a college-age cowgirl. Her latest releases are The Rancher’s Heart and an historical short story about a Harvey girl in the Wild West titled When Love Comes Calling, part of the recently released Journey of the Heart Anthology.  Buy Journey of the Heart on Amazon

Updated: February 21, 2017 — 11:47 am

Giveaway to Celebrate a new release!!!!!!!!!!!!

LONG TIME GONE — Book #2 of the Cimarron Legacy Series, releases in under two weeks1!!

Leave a comment today to get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of

Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing

them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?

~~~~~~~~~~

This is a fish out of water book. A citified woman from waaaaay back east (Omaha! smirk) comes west and is falling in love with a New Mexico rancher who owns (with his family) about half a million acres.

And she doesn’t know how to cook. Or gather eggs. Or ride a horse (unless it’s going really SLOW). So of course when Justin Boden meets her he is immediately smitten, at the exact same time he knows ranch life will probably kill her. And it’ll kill her NOT COUNTING the outlaws threatening to steal the Cimarron Ranch, a Mexican Land Grant that isn’t all that secure when the land under it suddenly is in America, after the Mexican American War.

Plenty of challenges ahead, until Angie faces real true danger and then we see just how tough she can be.

Can you think of ‘opposites attract’ books or movies? Here’s a few that came to mine. Pretty Woman, Titanic. Ummm…searching for the name, the one where Jennifer Lopez is a maid in a fancy hotel and she falls for a rich guy and wears a rich lady’s clothes, who is staying in the hotel?

I looked it up. Maid in Manhattan. I left the paragraph earlier so you can see my jumbled thought processes. 🙂

What about a book? Name an opposites attract book.

Mine Til Midnight by Lisa Kleypas. An over-stressed ‘Lady’ trying to hold her eccentric family together falls for a wealthy gypsy.

I read one by Nora Roberts, the hero is an immortal, the heroine is a werewolf. Trouble there.

Karen Witemeyer’s Full Steam Ahead…great, fun book.

Let’s hear some of yours.

And, brand new on Amazon, available for preorder

(Cimarron Legacy bk #3)

coming October 3, 2017

Cole Boden’s story and the exciting conclusion to the Cimarron Legacy Series

Cole spent years back east and loved it, but he missed his family. Now he’s home and happy to be with his family except he misses Boston and the work he did back east. Is he a man who can never be happy anywhere? Or maybe he’s a man who can enjoy whatever life throws at him. Even Cole doesn’t know the answer to that. Not until Melanie Blake adjusts his thinking just a little bit.

 

 

 

Updated: February 16, 2017 — 12:17 am

The History of Paint – by Faith Blum

 

 

The first book in my new series releases in 16 days! I’m excited to share a little tidbit of research I had to do during the proofreader stage of my writing. Here are a few things I found interesting about paint from various time periods:

Ancient Egypt

In Dendera, there is a house that has paint that looks as if it were painted just yesterday, but it was painted thousands of years ago! Can you imagine having paint like that today? No more repainting due to the sun fading or chipping.

1200-1400 A.D.

There were quite a few artisans and craftsmen who were hired to paint houses. My guess is that these would be the houses of the rich, not the paupers.

14th Century England

Housepainters created a guild of their own and divided into two groups: The Painter’s Company and The Stainer’s Company. A few hundred years later they merged to become the “Worshipful Company of Painters and Stainers.”

1600s America

House paint was a thing to be avoided as the Puritans and Pilgrims thought that a colorful home expressed vanity and excess of happiness.

1700

Thomas Child starts the first recorded paint mill in Boston.

 

1718

Marshall Smith invented a “Machine for the Grinding of Colours” which caused a race to find the best way to produce color for paints. By the 1800s, linseed oil began to be used as a less expensive binding agent that also protected the wood.

1833

Benjamin Moore began operations in making paint and when Sherwin-Williams opened for business, they became a rivalry that continues to this day.

1866

Henry Sherwin, Alanson Osborn, and Edward Williams formed Sherwin, Williams, & Co. in Cleveland, Ohio.  They later developed a tin can that was able to reseal.

1982

Benjamin Moore’s company designed the computer based color-matching system that helps to pick the perfect color for your home.

 

To conclude, I’ll leave you with a short excerpt from my book mentioning paint. Be sure to comment with the facts you found most interesting. Three lucky commenters will receive a free eBook of Savior, Like a Shepherd. I’d also love it if you could come to my Facebook Party celebrating the release of two of my books! Here is the link.

 

“Why is this not a place for children? Didn’t you grow up here?”

“Yes. Trust me, I hated it.”

“So sell it or buy and build someplace you would love.”

He shook his head, a faint smile on his face. “You are so much like Louisa. She would have said exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Father made it so I can’t sell the house.”

I looked around and stood up. After making a full, slow circuit of the room, I stopped in front of him. “So transform this house into something you would like to live in.”

He stared at me. “How?”

“For starters, take down all the dark and dreary drapes, paint the walls bright and cheery colors, and open up the windows on nice days.”

Mr. Meyer raised his eyebrows. “We’ll see.”

About the Book

When an illegitimate young man is orphaned, he must take care of his sister and brother as winter approaches, all while not being allowed to work anywhere.

Now available for a special preorder price, just $0.99! Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more: http://books2read.com/SaviorLikeAShepherd.

About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family.  She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.protectpainters.com/our-blog/2016/april/a-brief-history-of-house-paint-color/

https://www.franklinpainting.com/blog/home/a-brief-history-of-house-painting/

 

New Release and Giant Western Romance Giveaway!!!

Worth the Wait is here!!!

YeeHaw! It’s always fun to see hard work come to fruition, and this last week my latest addition to the Ladies of Harper’s Station series was released into the world. Worth the Wait is a sequel to No Other Will Do, but it can be read on its own if you haven’t read the first one.

This e-novella pairs shopkeeper Victoria Adams with freighter  Benjamin Porter. Tori is a single mom with a four-year-old son and has been hurt in the past by men. She tries to keep Ben at a distance despite his honorable ways and kindness toward her and her son, but when an opportunity to expand both their businesses by forging a partnership in a delivery service presents itself, she can’t say no. Ben woos her with patience and practicality, and Tori slowly begins to warm to the idea of letting a man inside her heart. But when an accident strikes, and the ugly truth about her past is exposed, their chance at love may be lost forever.

This is a quick read and priced at only $1.99. I hope you’ll give it a try. You can click the cover to order.

Giant Western Giveaway!!!

And just in case my new release isn’t enough to get you excited, there is a huge western romance giveaway going on this week that I can’t wait to tell you about. Four of the Fillies from right here at Petticoats & Pistols are participating, but so are 50 other authors. That’s right. You can win up to 54 western romance novels. How awesome is that?

Grand Prize is a Kindle fire and the 54 books.

First Prize is all 54 books.

All of the prize books will be in digital format.

To enter, click on the graphic above and you will be taken to the BookSweeps page.

The books included in this giveaway run the gamut from sweet to spicy, but they all feature swoon-worthy cowboys and western adventure that will put the giddy in your giddy-up.

The graphic to the right shows all the titles being given away, many by authors who have been featured guests here at P&P.

Be sure to click on one of the graphics to be taken to the contest page. Leaving a comment here will not enter you in the contest.

However, I would still like to hear from you.

  • What do you love best about western romance?

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Why My Friend Sends Me Pictures of Cows – by Jodi Thomas

I’ve been working on my series, RANSOM CANYON, for two years now.  I’ve completed 6 books and two short stories and have just contracted to write 4 more books.

Though my family has been in Texas for seven generations, and I was raised in a ranching and farming community, I have never made my living at either.

So, when I started the series I spent six months researching, studying, and driving around the Panhandle.  A dear friend of mine and author, Natalie Bright (http://www.nataliebright.com) offered to let me come out to her ranch and watch how a big operation works.

The first day I climbed into a pickup with her husband Chris Bright, we crossed back and forth over the land often without a road to follow.  At the end of the day every muscle in my body hurt from hanging on, but I not only had a better understanding of the land and the jobs, but I had an idea for my first character, Staten Kirkland.

Chris said that he didn’t really think about owning the land.  He saw himself as the caretaker.  The pride, the responsibility he felt, the worry and the long hours of work was exactly what I wanted to show in my character.

From Natalie I learned not only terms, and how the work changes as the seasons pass, but she taught me about the etiquette of daily life.  I even learned a little about cooking for 45; of course I don’t cook very well for 2, so I had a long way to go.

I spent time on other ranches and talking to brand inspectors and cattle men in different areas of ranching as well as reading about ranch life.  I met a woman named Bunny who had her grandparents’ original homestead all fixed up.  She even offered to let me stay there.  No indoor bathroom and all.

Some friends share pictures of grandkids, but Natalie Bright makes me smile every time she sends me pictures of cows.  She’s a writer.  She knows what another writer needs to see.

I may have had the imagination and the characters dancing around in my head, but I needed the ‘real life’ as well. As a dear lady Bunny Leathers told me once, “bury me in my Levis, because if I’m fortunate enough to make it to Heaven, I want to go in two-stepping one more time.”  Somehow, for her, I think there was a country song playing when she passed the Pearly Gate.

 

 

 

 

Buy Jodi’s newest book, Wild Horse Springs, on Amazon

I look forward to chatting with you today. Please let me know what you’re passionate about, and I will enter you in a drawing to win an autographed copy of my latest book WILD HORSE SPRINGS, the fifth in my Ransom Canyon series.

Remember: In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect… 

Jodi Thomas

http://www.jodithomas.com

http://www.facebook.com/jodithomasauthor

http://www.twitter.com/jodithomas/

TEXAS REDEMPTION and a Giveaway!

I’m so excited! TEXAS REDEMPTION will be out on Feb 7th- a week from today! This is a reissue of REDEMPTION that released in 2005. The book never got its due back then so I’m very happy to have it back in readers’ hands.

The climate of the story is during a bad time of our history. It takes place in 1869 –4 years after the Civil War. Texas was living under military occupation and the army was still searching for Confederates, especially the spies. Brodie Yates (legendary spy called Shenandoah during the war) is tired to running and wants to see his brother one more time before he dies. He’s going to make a final stand in his hometown of Redemption, Texas. The town is situated in the swamps of far East Texas.

During the war, he meets a beautiful woman known only to him as Lavender Lil in a brothel and loses his heart. Separated by war and miles, he never keeps his vow to get back for her. His skill with a Colt that hangs from his hip is the only thing keeping him alive. But can it when the army has built a stockade a few miles away?

Laurel James (Lavender Lil) is also in hiding after escaping the brothel where she was taken after being kidnapped from the area of Redemption and her family lives nearby but she can’t reunite with them until she cleanses her soul and regains respectability. She engaged to the town mayor, Murphy Yates.

So Brodie and Laurel are deeply shocked when they come face to face and they realize they’re still in love.  But they can’t hurt Murphy.

It’s a no win situation. Someone is going to lose.

One man offers her the respectability she craves. The other his heart. Which will she choose?

Here are a few pictures that I took when I visited Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake in East Texas where this is set. Dark, mysterious, and haunting, the swamp was the perfect place. My camera back in the late 1990s wasn’t very good, so excuse the quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * *

Their secret pasts hold the power to destroy them and everyone else around. The stage is set. What will be the outcome?

Question for readers—Are you a fan of unrequited love stories between two people who meet, are torn apart by fate then brought together again—only insurmountable odds keep them from taking what they most want?

I’m giving away two copies of the book. Leave a comment. I’ll draw the winners on Sunday!

Updated: January 31, 2017 — 1:46 pm

Special Guest – Sondra Kraak

Some places sow themselves into your memory. They must be cherished. Revisited, even if only in the imagination. And if those places have been sown into the fertile loam of a writer’s imagination, they must be written about. Plain, Washington, is such a place for me.

Originally known as Beaver Valley to the pioneers who settled it, Plain packs a fierce visual punch with its medley of grassy meadows and pine forests. Rocky peaks play sentinel over the winding Wenatchee River, formerly a favorite site of native tribes for salmon fishing. Anything but plain, as its name might suggest, this pastoral valley has the power to send you back to frontier time with the soundtrack from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers rolling through your head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like the perfect setting for a historical romance, right? Which is why I based my first two novels on beautiful, Plain, Washington, renamed Pine Creek in my stories. And though I’d promised myself I wouldn’t write about a school teacher—it’s been done and overdone—my debut, One Plus One Equals Trouble, turned out to feature not one teacher, but two. Hence, the math equation and the trouble that ensues when two teachers are accidentally hired for the same position.

The red one room schoolhouse I pictured as I wrote about Barrett and Claire battling for the teaching position, was this historic gem below.

 

The old Winton schoolhouse used to sit several miles from Plain before being moved into Plain to be preserved. As a child, I visited it numerous times during camping trips to nearby Lake Wenatchee. The bright red building sat by the tracks, a delight for my dad, an avid railroad photographer. While he waited to photograph a freight train, my sister and I would wonder what it would be like to attend a one room schoolhouse. We thought of Christy and Anne of Green Gables. Ideas spun my thoughts as robustly as the steel wheels clickety-clacking over our pennies on the tracks. I suppose it was inevitable that when I began to write, a red schoolhouse with a pair of teachers pushed its way into my novel.

What is it about schoolhouses, horse-drawn wagons, and rugged valleys with refreshing streams that so intoxicates our senses and paints a whimsical idealism over our impression of frontier times? Because really, it was hard living without plumbing, electricity, or Nutella. I think it’s the simplicity that lures us into a love of the past. When I think of Plain—Pine Creek—I feel that quirky, old-fashioned charm that acts like a balm against today’s busyness and our media-crazed society. And I hope readers feel it, too. I hope they can hunker down in that Cascade Mountain valley beside San Franciscan native Claire as she adjusts to frontier life in a landlocked town. Or keep in stride with easygoing Barrett as he sets out to woo his unexpected and stubborn competition.

To show my gratitude for being able to visit the Petticoats and Pistols blog today, I’d love to giveaway print copies of the first two books in my “Love that Counts” series: One Plus One Equals Trouble and Two Ways Home.

Would you leave a comment telling me about a special setting in your life that carries you back to the past? Maybe a small mountain town like Plain, or a rustic desert valley? And after you comment, I’d be delighted if you’d hop over and visit my One Plus One Equals Trouble page on my website. You’ll get a little taste (four excerpts) of Barrett’s and Claire’s struggle to win the position without losing their hearts.

 

This is how the story starts: Killing Edward Stevens was beyond her proper ways. So instead, Claire Montgomery made tea. Even if she wanted to kill him, which she didn’t—not entirely—he was two states away, and she was here, stuck in a sparsely furnished cabin with a drafty window and a roof that moaned with the slightest wind.

And for those of you who like to read the last page first, who can’t stand a little mystery, I’ll share the last line—and only the last line—with you: “Ever.”

Bio:

A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul.

Author Links

Buy links

 

New Release: GLORIA’S SONG

 

Release Day Gloria's Song

When love happens…

Do you question the cost?

About a year ago, a group of authors I blog with at another blog ~ Sweet American Sweethearts ~ decided to collaborate with a collection of stories that were loosely connected. We brainstormed and found that many of us enjoyed the pioneer craft of quilting. Out of that brainstorming session came the Series ~ Grandma’s Wedding Quilts.

Grandma Mary’s traditional gift to each of her grandchildren on their wedding day was a hand-pieced and hand-stitched quilt, made with love and woven with memories, wisdom, and a family legacy of enduring love. Starting in present day with the prequel, Hannah, the assistant curator at a museum, opens a trunk that has been donated and discovers an unusual sampler quilt. The strange connection she feels to that quilt leads her on an investigation that will eventually mean more to her personally than she can ever realize.

Even though the rest of the books in the Series are historical Western romances, my “granddaughter” Gloria, ended up in the east. This happened when her father, Stephen Palmer, left Grandma Mary’s ranch looking for a better shipping price for their cattle. He traveled east to negotiate with the big railroad tycoons and ended up marrying one of their daughters and settling down to help run his wife’s family business.

While the great west was being explored and settled, many other things were happening back east. The Gilded Age was in full swing with all of its disparities between the upper class and the lower. In the book industry, stories that went on to become classics were being published.

  • Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ
  • Treasure Island
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin
  • Pinocchio
  • The many westerns of Zane Grey ( Riders of the Purple Sage.)

It was also at this time that Tin Pan Alley in New York City was forming. Printed music fMusic for Gloriaor the masses increased in popularity as pianos, built right here in America, became more affordable to everybody. Popular music at the time of my story takes place included ~

  • Where Did You Get That Hat?
  • Home on the Range
  • Oh, Promise Me!
  • The Washington Post (march)
  • Down Went McGinty
  • My Old Kentucky Home
  • Clementine

Gloria’s Song is a story I have wanted to write for a long time–a story of disparity between the classes and the common thread of music that can speak to a person’s soul no matter how rich or poor one might be. I dedicated this book to my mother, whose name just happens to be…Gloria. My mother’s family hails from the Alexandria, Virginia area of the country where I have set this story. Much like the Gloria in my story, my mother is a well-versed pianist (and also a red-head) although that is where the similarities end.

*~*~*~*

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed,
soothes the mind and gives it a rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole,
flows from heaven to the soul.”
—AUTHOR UNKNOWN.

*~*~*~*

BLURB:
GLORIA’S SONG ~ Book #11 in the GRANDMA’S WEDDING QUILTS Series

Gloria Palmer has always done the proper thing expected of her as the daughter of a shipping tycoon. The approval of her family and friends mean everything. And yet, when the perfect suitor offers for her… she hesitates.

Colin McDougal has little use for those living on the fancy side of the trolley tracks. He is too busy managing the family pub and, in his spare time, writing down the lively tunes in his head. So, when Miss Palmer asks for his help to prepare for a music audition, he is flummoxed. What does he know of highbrow music?

But with each practice session, their feelings for each other grow. When it comes time for Gloria to make a choice between what is proper and what she desires, will she realize that if music can cross class lines, it might also be able to harmonize two hearts?

*~*~*~*

For an excerpt of Gloria’s Song, click HERE!

Grandma's Wedding Quilts Series Pic

You will want to enjoy the love stories of Gloria’s siblings and cousins! There are eleven in all! And remember to start with the prequel which sets up the entire series.

These Sweet Historical Romance Novellas and Novels are from Eleven USA Today Bestselling, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors. Each book of this series is a sweet, clean (wholesome) romance, and each is complete with its own happily-ever-after.

To celebrate my new release, I would love to gift a copy of this ebook to one lucky person who comments. Sorry, I don’t have any print copies yet.

To enter the giveaway, just mention a favorite song that you have always loved from your childhood.

SENECA SURRENDER — An Excerpt, a Couple of Reviews & Give-Away

 

Howdy!

Welcome to another Tuesday at P & P.  Am so glad you decided to visit today.  You’re in luck cause I’ll be giving away a free e-book of SENECA SURRENDER today — over to the side here are the Giveaway Guidelines, so please have a look, come on in, put your feet up and leave a comment.  So thought I’d start out with an excerpt from my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER.  Here you go!

 

SENECA SURRENDER

By

KAREN KAY

An Excerpt

 

It was only a few days later when, with the aid of the cane White Thunder had fashioned for her, she struggled onto her feet and slowly, with one foot placed carefully after another, began to walk. Soon, within a matter of days, she was walking without aid. And though her muscles still spasmed with pain now and again, neither she nor White Thunder had dared to repeat the deep massage.

It was liberating to be able to amble about again, and she realized a limited truth. Lack of movement created, to a greater or lesser degree, a sort of enslavement. Certainly it made one dependent on the goodwill of another.

Within days, she could leave the cave on her own, and although at first she was reluctant to venture too far, eventually she conquered her fear and strolled out farther and farther into the woods. As she became stronger, she realized that for all practical purposes she would be able to leave this place soon. Not yet, because her legs wouldn’t always obey her every command. But soon.

Where would she go? What would she do? The worry hung over her like a dark cloud, since, to date, her past life remained a mystery to her.

It happened late one afternoon, suddenly and without warning. One moment she had been safe and warm in the cave, the next she had ventured out of it to come face-to-face with a bear—a big, fully grown black bear.

She froze.

The bear growled, stood onto its hind legs and pawed at the air. She was dwarfed by it. It howled, the sound terrorizing. Adrenaline and fear washed through her.

She remained frozen to the spot. Though the bear made no forward movement, it was close enough that the air around her became scented with the animal.

Without warning something changed, and the bear came down on all fours and started toward her.

She screamed.

Stunned at the noise, the bear stopped, and looking right and left, it pawed at the ground. Bringing its attention back to her, the bear slowly, carefully, closed the distance between them.

“Put your arms up over your head and growl!” It was White Thunder. “Do it. Now!”

She did as White Thunder ordered. Raising her hands over her head, she opened her mouth and snarled at the bear.

As before, the bear stopped, sniffed at the air and gave her a cautious look, but plodded forward.

“Keep growling. Louder! Make your voice more savage,” ordered White Thunder, who was crouched atop high ground next to the cave. “He’s tired and looking for a place to sleep. He may decide you’re too much for him. Keep growling.”

Adrenaline pumped through her as, following White Thunder’s orders, she mustered up her loudest voice, as well as what she hoped was her most ferocious-looking face.

Again the bear hesitated, but hearing White Thunder, the bear finally took notice of him. Sensing he was the greater danger of the two, it came up onto his hind legs and growled at White Thunder, as though warning him away from his find.

When White Thunder did nothing but stare back and snarl at it, the bear came down to all fours, and ignoring White Thunder for the moment, turned back to continue its path toward her, as though it had decided she was the least likely to give him problems.

Step by step, the bear progressed dangerously close. All at once it rose to its hind legs and roared at her, this time extending its sharp paws outward. Only one thought surfaced: She was dead. She was dinner. Never had the desire to own and have a gun in her hand been more prevalent than it was at this moment.

Then it happened so quickly, she could hardly credit it. White Thunder shot straight in front of her, placing himself directly between her and the bear. The noise was deafening, for White Thunder was roaring and kicking up as much commotion as the bear.

It was either the most courageous act or the most reckless, for what White Thunder did next startled her. He bent forward, sticking his face into the bear’s, which was only a few feet away, and he snarled and snapped as though he were the more dangerous creature of the two.

The animal yowled right back at White Thunder, and so shrill was it, she thought her eardrums might never mend. Then it changed, and White Thunder was yelling directions at her. “Make noise!”

Without delay, she screamed and clapped her hands.

“Now we back up,” he shouted at her, “so as to tell him we give him the cave. We are no threat. Slowly, we back up, all the while we make as much noise as possible.”

Although White Thunder was holding his gun pointed directly at the bear, she knew it wouldn’t be protection enough against a head-on attack. After all, the musket had only one shot, the next attempt requiring priming and reloading.

He took a step back. She followed suit.

The bear came down onto all fours. It roared so vehemently, she wanted to run for cover. But it was impossible.

“If he starts toward us,” yelled White Thunder, “and paws at me, you are to turn and run—do you understand? Run downhill. A bear cannot easily follow if you go downhill. You are to run as fast as you can and don’t look back.”

“I won’t leave you!”

“You have no choice. I give you no choice. If I say run, you are to run. If I am to fight him, I cannot worry about you.”

Another step back followed these instructions, another and another.

Abruptly, the bear chose to take a leap toward them.

“Run!”

She turned to do exactly as told, but her legs refused to move. What was she to do? Even taking painfully slow steps was impossible. It was as if she were inadvertently crippled.

That was when she spotted it. Fire! Weren’t all animals afraid of fire?

The bear was already attacking White Thunder. She could hear their struggle, though because of the fear gripping her, she didn’t dare look back. But her legs responded at once, and rushing back into the cave, she picked up several of the sticks that were burning red-hot at their tips.

Without thinking of what she was about to do, she rushed out of the cave. Later in life, she would wonder where her courage and strength had come from. Until this moment, she’d never been aware of being particularly brave. She could only thank the good Lord that when valor was necessary, it was lying dormant within her.

White Thunder was on the ground, the bear over him. She rushed at the bear with the fire.

“Shoo! Get out of here!” Her voice was piercing and loud. She waved the weapon at the bear and tried to get close enough to light its fur on fire.

Her attempts did almost nothing to the beast. Its fur was too matted. Startled, the bear jumped back, allowing White Thunder a moment to bring up his musket and take careful aim.

Boom!

White Thunder shot off a ball aimed straight into the eyeball of the bear.

It hit.

Still animated, the bear struggled forward. Had the shot served no purpose? White Thunder was reloading as fast as was humanly possible, and as she watched him struggle against time to prime and reload his weapon. She wondered, was this it? Was life suddenly over? This easily?

Memories instantaneously rushed through her mind. They came with no fanfare, no bells. Rather, they swamped her. Moments from her past flickered before her so quickly, she could barely take hold of them.

So overwhelming was it, she rocked back on her feet.

Meanwhile, the battle with the bear was coming to a close. The animal took one final step forward and fell over, dead.

She watched in horror, almost afraid to turn away from it, fearful it might only be catching its breath. Even as she looked at it, she wondered, what damage had it done to White Thunder?

No sooner had the thought formed within her mind than she was struck with another truth. She cared for White Thunder. Sexual tension aside, she honestly cared for this man.

She was breathing hard and fast, and she could hear White Thunder behind her, doing the same. At least he was still alive.

Though out of breath, he called out to her. “I told you to leave!”

“I could not do it, sir,” she cried. “You forget that my legs do not always obey me.”

At last she turned toward him. He was on the ground, his shirt torn with claw marks. There were several gashes on his chest and arms where the bear’s claws had found their mark. As she caught her breath, she could only thank the Lord in Heaven that because of the cool weather, White Thunder had worn a shirt this day. But his clothing was blood-soaked and was becoming more so by the minute.

“Look at what he’s done to you,” she said as she took several steps toward White Thunder, and came down on the ground beside him.

“They are scratches.” White Thunder did the unthinkable. He opened his arms to her, and she went into them willingly, both of them uncaring that he was bleeding all over her.

“You saved my life,” she whispered.

“As you did mine.”

“You came to my defense. You jumped in front of me and confronted the beast head-on.”

“Of course I did. Did you expect me to leave you to fight a bear on your own?”

“I didn’t expect anything, sir. I…I thank you.” Then a little shyly, she added, “I think also that my mistress will thank you as soon as I manage to find her again.”

He pushed her back from him and stared at her.

Tears were streaming down Sarah’s cheeks. “It’s true. I have remembered my past life and who I am. It happened suddenly. I remembered everything.”

“This is good.” He was smiling.

“Yes, it is very good. I will tell you more about it later. But come, you are hurt, and first I must do something about that.”

“I think I will need little attention. They are only scrapes,” he reiterated.

Sarah drew back to look at him. “I will be the judge of that. Come.”

Placing her arms about him, she helped him to his feet, taking a great deal of his weight upon her. Together they limped into the cave…

 

REVIEW by Rhapsody on SENECA SURRENDER

“SENECA SURRENDER is a thrilling voyage into the hearts of two people fighting for love against all odds.  Bringing to mind THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, it’s a book for all fans of romance and adventure.  Lock the doors, turn off the phone, and enjoy.”

RhapsodeBookClub.com

A Prairie Rose Publications Historical Romance
ASIN: B01M3QAE67
October, 2016
Historical Romance

Sarah Strong is an indentured servant who has endured many struggles while traveling to New Hampshire. When she meets White Thunder, it may be her greatest yet.

White Thunder vowed to find his wife’s killer no matter how long it took. When he finds an English woman washed up on shore, he has no idea the impact she will make on his heart.

White Thunder knew that with the war surrounding them, he needed to keep Sarah hidden in a safe place. He had no idea why he was helping an English woman, but he could not leave her to die. He was trying to go on with his life and not worry about the French and Indian War. The war only wanted to take control of Indian land. For the past fifteen years, he has been searching for the man who murdered his wife. With five years left to serve her master, stumbling upon White Thunder proves a greater undertaking for Sarah during her journey. Can the two find a common bond among such struggling conflict?

Seneca Surrender is a tale with true-fold characters that open up their heart, emitting real emotions. Sarah and White Thunder live up to the happenings around them and try to accept things while enduring hardships. I enjoyed their conversation, their cultures, even though separate, and how they reached out to each other. With tormented souls, they do everything to find a way to become one. The secondary characters enhance the story making it even more realistic. Karen Kay writes a story enabling the reader to feel the pain, agony, anguish, peril, and racism that goes much deeper, within the characters, of some of the people, in the story, to make this read remarkably good. She pens an outstanding extraordinary story beyond words. ~ Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

“(A) great read…Completely mesmerizing.” ~ Publishers Weekly WW Ladies’ Book Club

“Heated passion” ~ Romance Readers Connection 

Updated: January 9, 2017 — 9:33 pm

New Release – Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff

Tomorrow is the release of my latest sweet western historical romance

Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff

Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff

 

To celebrate, I am holding a giveaway. Details are at the end of the post.

This is the last book (#4) in my Heroes of San Diego Series. Each of the books can be read on their own without needing to read the others, but if read together, the reader will get to know the inhabitants of Clear Springs and enjoy the sense of community the series has.

Here is the blurb from the back cover of the book to give you a little idea of the story —

 

A Christmas to Remember!

Clear Springs’ new schoolteacher, Gemma Starling, feels as if she’s been given a fresh start. So long as no one discovers her dark secret—she once shot a man in self-defense!

Sheriff Craig Parker has forsworn love, but delightful Miss Starling intrigues him. And when events at the school turn dangerous, Craig won’t let her face it alone. Gemma might just be the one woman he could ever love, but will the secret she’s hiding tear them apart or bring them together by Christmas?

Gemma Starling had traveled two thousand miles from her former life to flee a crime that she committed. As the new schoolteacher in Clear Springs, she tries to blend in, but the sheriff in town is not so easily deceived. Gemma’s attempts to avoid Craig Parker only intrigue him more. When her life is threatened, he realizes that his personal feelings for her have far surpassed his professional responsibilities for the case. He can’t lose her…yet does he even know who she truly is?

Since the title mentions a Christmas Kiss, I thought I’d share with you the excerpt of Craig and Gemma’s first kiss in the book.

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  – Excerpt –

Craig’s gaze narrowed. “That’s not what I mean. What happened that you traveled all the way from Boston to California…and I suspect…alone? That’s unusual for a woman. Even more so for a woman who obviously had money. What did your family have to say about it?”

He was figuring out too much. If she wasn’t careful he would eventually add things up and realize she wasn’t who she said she was, but she should tell him something to appease his curiosity. Perhaps then he would leave her past alone.

“Mother died when I was very young. A carriage accident. I don’t remember her. My father raised me on his own…with a few servants.”

“And tutors.”

“He died recently. It was his heart,” she answered the question that appeared immediately on his handsome face.

Craig frowned. “How long after his death did you leave?”

“A month later.”

“Didn’t give you much time to put his things in order.”

She could hear the question in his voice. “I couldn’t bear the quiet. I was so close to Father. He supported me in everything I wanted to do.”

Craig’s brow raised.

It didn’t take a scholar to recognize the look he gave her. “I was, perhaps, a bit spoiled. We discussed his law cases. He challenged me to think for myself and thought I’d make a good lawyer. I was in my second year of law school at the university when he died.”

They turned from the main road of town and headed down the lane to the boardinghouse.

“They let women in?”

“There were two other women in my class.”

“Why didn’t you stay and finish?”

“When my father died, I had to start afresh—somewhere totally different. I’d been writing for years to Elizabeth. She wrote to me and poured her heart out in her letters as her world was falling apart. She is the sister I always wanted. When my father died, all I could think of was seeing her.” She looked down at the ground. “That’s when I packed a bag, closed up the house and left Boston.”

“No relatives? No one tried to stop you?”

“No.” Thank goodness they were nearing the boardinghouse and the twilight shadows hid her face from his scrutiny. She’d told him the truth…just not all of it.

He stopped before Molly’s fence and whipped the lead strap around the top railing. Then he walked her up to the door. Molly’s parlor lantern spilled light outside and onto the small porch.

“Do you ever think about going back?”

“And leave Clear Springs?” she teased at first, and then grew serious. “I may move somewhere new. But no, I won’t ever go back.” She knew full well what waited for her in Boston—a jail cell.

“Maybe someday you will finish law school.”

That would make her too easy to track down. Women lawyers were few and far between. No…that dream had ended abruptly and was best left in the past. “Someday never comes.” She pasted on a smile to take the sting out of her own words. “Good evening, Craig. Thank you for…everything.”

When she turned to go inside, Craig stepped forward. “Wait.”

“What?”

“You answered a few questions I had.” He searched her face as though still trying to figure out more. His face was inches from her own. She breathed in the scent of leather and horse that always hovered around him. The brown stubble on his jaw caught her attention. So rough…and yet the ends gleamed gold.

“It’s getting late. Molly will have supper waiting.” She didn’t want him to know more…see more…because if he did, he might see that she was coming to care for him even though she oughtn’t. He was too smart.

With his hand to her waist, he pulled her close.

She stiffened. “Craig? What are you doing?”

He gazed at her, his blue eyes intense. “Be still.”

She knew that look. It thrilled her…and yet she couldn’t let him kiss her. “Craig… No. Remember,” she said desperately fighting the tug inside her that drew her closer to him. “I promised Mr. Tanner? You…should…unhand me.” Her words were a bare whisper and she couldn’t help but stare at his lips. They looked soft…and inviting.

“I plan to.” He lowered his mouth to hers, touching her lips lightly, tentatively with his. His warm breath tickled her face.

Just the lightest butterfly touch and she calmed, suspended somewhere between Boston and Clear Springs, wrong and right, despair and hope.

Inch by inch his fingers walked around to encircle her waist and then, holding her gently secure, he slanted his mouth over hers and deepened the kiss.

She melted.

Her lips tingled under his, the sensation spreading and rippling through her entire body and into her toes. Her heartbeat quickened. This shouldn’t be happening. She knew this shouldn’t be happening. She even clenched her hands into fists on his chest to push him away, but then found herself stopping just short of doing that and instead, grasping his leather vest, unwilling to let go. Oh, my…

He took his time ending the kiss.

His gaze pinned her in place even though she knew she should take her leave. For an earth-shattering moment as they looked at each other, time seemed to stop.

Then he released her. “Good night, Gemma.”

He strode down Molly’s path, mounted his horse and rode away.

It was then she remembered to breathe.

 

Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff
© 2016 by Kathryn Albright
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

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To enter the giveaway for a copy of Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff, tell me what profession Gemma was working toward before she came to Clear Springs.

 

ckfts-promo-fr-2Available now for Pre-Order!

AMAZON

HARLEQUIN

BARNES & NOBLE

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