A Book of my Heart–and a giveaway!

THE BALLAD OF EMMA O’TOOLE  (EMMA for short)  is a Book of My Heart.  In the 17 years that passed between its beginning and its publication, the story never left me, and I never gave up on it.  Seeing it in print at last, and being able to share it with you, is a very personal pleasure.  It will be available for purchase September 1, but since I have my author copies, you’ll have a chance to win one today.

Park_City,_Utah_(2)Even the setting of this book is personal.  Park City, Utah, is an hour’s drive from where I live.  Cradled by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, its history is as spectacular as its setting.  My own pioneer great-great grandfather directed the first settlement of the high valley—then known as Parley’s Park.  Its progression from farming community to silver mining boom town, to crumbling backwater, to world-class ski resort and home of the Sundance Film Festival, is a true American saga.


EMMA  is set amid the silver boom of the 1880’s that brought wealth-seekers from all over the world.  Young Emma O’Toole is determined to make a better life for herself.  But her beauty is offset by every possible strike against her.  She’s orphaned, impoverished, and pregnant by a nineteen-year-old boy as poor as she is.  Fate and tragedy intervene to thrust her into the reluctant arms of gambler Logan Devereaux, a cynical man with a dangerous past.  Can such an unlikely pair find happiness together?  I hope you’ll be cheering them on, as I was, all the way to the end of their story.

Emma frontHere’s a blog and a link to the Amazon site, where you can read an excerpt and pre-order a copy if you like.  There’s a different excerpt on my web site, which you can get to by clicking on my photo (yes?).

High Stakes Marriage

After shooting a man, the stakes for gambler Logan Devereaux have never been higher.  On trial for his life, he’s offered a shocking alternative form of restitution…marriage to his victim’s pregnant sweetheart. 

Beautiful Emma O’Toole has sworn vengeance against him and when a newspaperman puts her tragic story to song, the whole nation waits to see what she will do.  Their marriage is the riskiest gamble Logan’s ever taken.  But he’ll put all he’s got on the line for a chance at winning Emma’s Heart.


Because this is a celebration of a book I love, I’ll be giving one copy away for every ten readers who comment.  International winners will receive a PDF file.  So you have a one in ten chance of winning today!  Good luck and happy reading!

Park city photo by Bobak Ha’eri, 2004


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39 thoughts on “A Book of my Heart–and a giveaway!”

  1. Oh Elizabeth, I’ve not had a book from you yet and this one sounds very special. Bet I would enjoy it. Would love to be one of the 10 winners. Please put my name in that big ole stetson please. Thanks!
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. You’re in, Maxie. And I think you’re my all-time early bird.

    Slight correction, I’ll be giving away one book for every 10 readers who post, not necessarily 10 books. But you still have a good chance.

    Another correction. When I said here’s a blog, I meant here’s a blurb. Must’ve been off my coffee when I wrote that. Sorry everybody.

  3. “On trial for his life, he’s offered a shocking alternative form of restitution…marriage to his victim’s pregnant sweetheart.”

    Unique,interesting twist! I immediately wondered and cared about how Emma felt of being offered up as a bargaining chip. Revenge is a stimulating motivator. Powerful writing Elizabeth.

    I loved the parts of Utah I saw last summer: St George, Zion National Park, Torrey and all the scenic beauty in between. Hope to make it to Northern Utah some day too.

  4. Thanks, Laurie.
    To fit the Harlequin length, I had to cut a scene from an earlier version of the book where he’s leaving town after a run of bad luck, snatches her from the front of a train and decides the rescue will bring him good luck so he stays and ends up shooting her boyfriend. Wish I could have left that in.
    Utah is a beautiful state both north and south. Glad you had a chance to enjoy it.
    Good luck in the drawing.

  5. Thanks, Cate. And Emma really does get her revenge. Hope you get a chance to enjoy the book. Glad you got to enjoy Utah for a while. I live 15 minutes from a beautiful canyon with ski resorts at the top. Sadly I don’t ski.

    Thanks, Renee. I hated cutting that scene, although the book does work fine without it. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. You’re correct when you say that Utah is a beautiful State. I have traveled through it and have visited Park City.

    I am intrigued by you blurbs from your book and will be looking forward to reading it!

  7. What a great story.. I can’t imagine a man who is facing his own demise not to take up this new lease of his life… But then again, most men see marriage as a life sentence they don’t want.. Interesting story Elizabeth.. I love it.

  8. Oh I would love to read this book. It sounds awesome and I know it means a lot to you. I also love the cover and I can’t wait to read it.

  9. Elizabeth, the story is amazing in its own right, but your family’s personal history really adds to its allure. I am absolutely intrigued. A keeper for sure!
    Best of luck with this book of the heart xo

  10. Big Congrats, Elizabeth! I love the cover of this book and the premise is one that really grabs me. I like forced marriage stories. I always cry at the end when they get their happily ever after. I’ve got to have this. You couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful setting either.

    Wishing you tons of success!

  11. Neat that you’ve been to Park City, Connie. In 1898, after the setting of my book, there was a huge fire and most of the downtown area burned. The history is fascinating.

    Interesting observation, Kathleen. Emma actually wants to see Logan hang, but when he accepts the judge’s offer she has no choice except to get her revenge by marrying him and making his life miserable.

    Hope you get a chance to enjoy the book, anon. Good luck in the drawing!

    I love the cover, too, Quilt Lady. Emma and Logan and the background are perfect. Good luck in the drawing.

  12. Thanks, Tanya. Great great grandpa Parley P. was quite a character. Very prominent in Utah history. My father was named after him. But he never liked the name and let us know that he’d disown any of us who passed the name on to his grandsons. Nobody did. 🙂

    Bless you, Linda. I hope you enjoy the book. It was such a labor of love!

  13. Wow! Congrats on not giving up on your book! I am so happy for you that the book of your heart has been published! 🙂

  14. Congrats on your publish! Its so rewarding to see something you have worked so hard on finally make it to the end! this sounds so exciting. I cant wait to read it!

  15. Elizabeth, I love Park City too! We had a family reunion a few years ago in nearby Cottonwood Canyon and one day we spent in Park City! I hadn’t been there in several years and I loved the changes! I have children that go to BYU so I’m in Utah all the time it seems, plus almost all my relatives live there except my immediate family (well, not counting my college kids!) It sounds like this is book is a labor of love! I know I will enjoy it! So glad you got to write it!

  16. Oooh, I love the idea…and that this is a story close to your heart!
    Sounds like a great plot! Love that you mentioned the part you had to cut out…it’s like secret extra information…makes me feel like I’m in on something.
    Thanks for the chance at the win!

  17. Thanks, Coleen. I started the first draft of this book so long ago that what I had done was on one of those big old floppy disks. Luckily I’d printed it out before I got a new computer. Good luck in the drawing.

    Thanks for celebrating with me, Cori. This goes to show you, never give up on a story you really love. Good luck.

    Thanks for stopping by, Valri. I live just a couple of miles from the mouth of Little Cottonwood. So beautiful, I love driving up there, especially in the fall. And Park City has changed a lot. I used to think I’d like to live there, but these days the lifestyle is a little too rich for me. Glad you get to spend time in Utah.

  18. Sounds truly interesting. I like the fact that you have a history connected to it and who could resist “a book of my heart.” Best wishes.

  19. How wonderful, Elizabeth! I am thrilled for you about the publication of EMMA and am so glad this special story never left your heart. This book already has a special place in my heart as well, as my daughter’s name is Emma. I look forward to reading EMMA when it becomes available. Thank you for the chance to win an early copy. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed! Congratulations again on this very special release!!

  20. Thanks for the good wishes Catslady, and good luck in the drawing.

    I love the name Emma, Britney. FWIW, the heroine of my time travel book, CHRISTMAS MOON is also an Emma. And I had a great aunt named Emma. Such a simple, beautiful, classic name. You did something nice for your daughter when you gave it to her. Good luck in the drawing.

  21. I agree Utah has some beautiful scenery. Since we have relatives in Colorado, driving there has meant several trips through Utah. Love the book cover.

  22. Elizabeth, since this book is from the heart and waited 17 years, I know it’s an awesome book to read. Would love to win.
    Thank you for sharing and please enter me in the giveaway.

  23. THE BALLAD OF EMMA O’TOOLE sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  24. Thanks for your comment, Barbara. Sorry you weren’t a winner, but I appreciate your dropping by.

    And sorry you weren’t a winner, Emma. I would love to have given “Emma” to another Emma.

    Thanks again for visiting.

  25. What an original concept to this storyline! I love Westerns and can’t wait to read this. I’ll be home from Nicaragua mission work at the end of this month – hope the book is waiting for me!

  26. Thank you, Connie. I hope you enjoy EMMA enough to try more of my books. I love finding new readers.

    Melody, that’s fascinating that you’re doing mission work in Nicaragua–I’ve been there but it’s been many years. Beautiful country but so poor. Hope you get to enjoy the book.

  27. HEY, ALL!
    Because I’ve had several great posts that came in after I closed the contest I’ve decided to give away one more book to be drawn among the latecomers. I will wait till 10:00 pm MST (that’s midnight on the East Coast) on Wednesday August 14 to do the drawing. So if you’re just coming on board to post, you still have one last chance.
    Or if you posted for the earlier drawing and didn’t win, feel free to comment again for another chance. Hey I just want people to read my book!

  28. I am sorry my internet was down yesterday. This sounds like an interesting book. Quite a twist in the story line. Would a judge really think having a man marry his victim’s sweetheart, who has sworn revenge on him, will work? Whether a judge would try this or not, it makes for a good story.

    We were supposed to go to Park City a few years ago but had to change our plans. Too bad, it looks like a lovely place. Will have to try to go again.

    Best of luck with the release. I’ll be looking for it.

  29. Patricia I’m holding one more drawing Wednesday night for the readers who posted after I closed the contest early. So you’ll still have a chance.

    And the judge they get is somewhat unconventional–between the judge and the circumstances of the shooting I think it works. Hope you get a chance to find out.

  30. Elizabeth,

    This book sounds FABULOUS!! It’s going to the top of my TBR pile! So glad you didn’t give up on the book of your heart.


  31. I love historical romance, but I have never read one in this time frame, in this area. Sounds good & I love the cover art!

  32. The contest is still on. You’ll be entered if you comment here or on my announcement about the additional drawing.

    Please forgive me if I don’t get back here too often today. I’m just finishing a book–it’s sort of like giving birth, it hurts and I can’t quit till it’s done.

    Good luck to all of you.

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