Regina Walker Insists Genealogy Isn’t Such a Bore After All!

The Fillies give a big welcome to Regina Walker. Regina crafts interesting characters facing some of life’s hardest challenges. Her heart’s desire is to always point toward Jesus through the way her characters face challenges, relationships, and adversity.

Regina is an Oklahoma import, although she was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. She likes to curl up on the couch and binge-watch crime shows with her hard-working husband. When she’s not wrestling with a writing project, she can be found wrangling their children, riding their horses, or working around their small hobby farm.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment and thank Karen Witemeyer for so graciously inviting me to write a post for Petticoats and Pistols. I appreciate all of the ladies that run this fun site, and I’m thankful you are here to read this post and the others!

For as long as I can recall, my mother has traced our family history. Sometimes she makes slow progress, occasionally great leaps, but it’s something she has built for years. While her dedication and commitment have always inspired me, I must admit that I thought it was such a boring pursuit.

I listened with half-hearted attention, my mind always wandering to something else. When I decided to take my writing seriously, I swore I would never write historical anything.

See, not only did genealogy bore me endlessly, but history, in general, made my eyes bug out of my head. I know it is important to understand certain aspects of history, but it was never my thing.

When I received a message asking me to join the Mail-Order Mama series, I wrinkled my nose. Historicals and I don’t mix! But I read the premise, and immediately, Mary Ann came to life and started whispering her story to me.

The way she respected and loved her father, the way he cared for their family, and the struggles with her mama all blossomed in my mind.

How could I say no to a story that was writing itself with no help from me?

I did end up helping sort out a few things in this story. I started my research on my mom’s website, reading about real-life people in our family. I selected Wyoming because my great-great-grandfather homesteaded there. The old house, although in terrible disrepair, still stands near Lake De Smet.

I chose to give Mason the last name Barkey to honor my heritage. Although my great-great-grandfather did not order a bride via the mail, it was my way of honoring where I came from to include the last name in this story.

Now, don’t let me fool you. I didn’t become a history buff and I’m not going to take up genealogy the way my sweet mom has. I did gain an appreciation for both history and genealogy that I did not have before.

 

Now that you know a little bit about how I came to write Mary Ann’s story – A Maid for Masonhow about a chance to win an e-book copy of my book? Three lucky winners will be drawn at random for this giveaway. To be entered, leave a comment on whether you’ve ever developed an appreciation for something because of a book you’ve read. 

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for spending a little time with me today.

Rachel Fordham Finds Treasures of the Past

While researching a book, I came across several accounts of hidden money sewn into clothing, hat brims, or fake compartments in luggage. I didn’t end up using everything I’d discovered in my novel, but it did send my mind racing and ideas spinning. We are so used to electronic funds, checks, and secured shipping that we don’t often worry about traveling with the family’s heirloom jewels or your life savings, but times used to be different.

During the prime stagecoach and railroad days people often traveled with money or valuables. Robbers knew this, which is why we have so many accounts of stagecoach robberies and trains stopped by bandits and looted. Some passengers took to hiding money in their clothing, sewing it into the hem of their pants or skirt, or stitching it into lining of a jacket.

There have been other times in history when hiding money and valuables became the norm. During and after the Great Depression there was a general mistrust of the banking system. Our grandparents and great-grandparents (depending on your age) may have been some of those that weren’t quite ready to trust their hard-earned savings to an institution.

Rather than sew their money into their clothing (though, some of them might have), they could have buried it in the backyard, under floorboards, behind the mantle, in the piano, and even in the outhouse (gross).

There are fantastic stories of people buying old homes and finding “treasure” hidden in the floorboards or in the rafters of the attic. I can’t help but wonder how many homes have been torn down with their treasure never found, or items of clothing discarded that held a secret. The author in me wonders the circumstances that led to someone hiding away their money—were they saving so they could reach for a dream? Preparing for a rainy day? Hoping to give their children a better life?

When my husband and I moved to Buffalo, New York so he could attend dental school there, we bought a small, OLD home. I asked the neighbors about it and learned as much history as I could about the charming little place. It had once housed a large family. (Where they all slept, I will never know.) I tried to visualize them and often thought about those that had lived inside the walls of my beloved first house. At one point we decided to add more insulation. (Those Buffalo winters are brutal!) While working we discovered a small box tucked way back in the eaves.

I was not an author at the time, but I still had a vivid imagination and can still remember my heart beating a little faster when I reached for the box. It didn’t contain any gold, no rare coins, or fine jewels. But it did contain handmade Christmas ornaments from decades ago. As a lover of history and stories, I found my discovery fascinating. Holding those ornaments in my hand made it easier to picture the big loving family that I had only heard a few scattered details about. I confess, I still think it would be fun to prowl through an abandoned house and discover treasure, a journal, or any other fascinating piece of history. Wouldn’t it be so fun to sneak around a ghost town…sigh, someday!

Whether hidden to avoid bandits, or fear of a depression, or simply an accident, the pieces of the past we discover tell us a little about those that came before. I wonder what the next person to live in my beloved Buffalo house learned about me. We were students and had no money to hide, but there is a bird house my son made with his grandpa and nailed to the back fence, scratches in the floor from a baby walker, and probably a few missing socks behind the washing machine. (It’s been a decade, so maybe those are gone by now.)

And now after writing this and thinking about hidden treasure and stories, I am convinced that all writing retreats should take place in very old houses or near other prime locations for treasure hunting. Maybe we would all find a story worth telling!

 

Rachel Fordham is giving away a copy of her latest novel Where the Road Bends. To be entered in the random drawing, leave a comment for Rachel telling her if you’ve ever stumbled across a treasure or family heirloom.

Pendleton Petticoats Get a Makeover

The past six weeks or so I’ve been working on a big project.

Oddly enough, it doesn’t involve writing, at least not directly.

Like clothes that get worn out or a house that needs painted, sometimes book covers need a makeover.

Then multiply that times ten because instead of giving one book a makeover, I gave a whole 10-book series a brand new look.

I’m excited to share these new Pendleton Petticoats covers with you today. In fact, you are the first to get to see them!

Before I share them though, I thought I’d walk you through some of the changes one or two of the covers have gone through since I first published the books.

When I originally released  Aundy, the first book in the series, I had zero budget for hiring someone to design covers or buying high quality images.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? This desperate measure was for me to pull on a blue calico wrapper my mom had made eons ago, pin eyelet lace inside it so it looked like a petticoat hanging out, and lace up a pair of reproduction Edwardian era boots (talk about pinched toes!) I’d had since high school days. I enlisted Captain Cavedweller to take the photo, then I added in the sheep and the wheat field in the background. I try not to cringe when I see it now. At the time, it filled a need!

Fast forward to 2017 when I had a subscription to a stock image website. By then, I’d picked up a few design skills (not nearly enough, but a few!).

This was the original graphic I used for the new Aundy cover. It had some great elements.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of “dressing” models in photos. It’s a lot harder than it might seem when the model is in a reclined position like this. Again, it filled a need when I wanted an upgrade.

 

What do you think of the new and improved Aundy?

I love this so much, mostly because this is exactly how I picture Aundy, from the braided hair to the peach-hued gown, to her sheep grazing in the distance. I really did have a lot of fun designing this cover.

Here’s another makeover example.

 

 

It was impossible when I was working on Millie’s story to find any appropriate artwork for the cover. You see, Millie is strongly against alcohol being sold in town and becomes one of the leaders of the local temperance union. How to convey that in a cover shot?

Well, yours truly may or may not have ordered a corset, cinched it so tight I could barely breathe, and assembled a costume from things I had buried in the back of the closet (minus the axe, that was CC’s contribution to the photo). I photoshopped in the house in the background and the whiskey barrel.

When I changed the cover in 2017, I decided to ditch the whole temperance idea for the cover and focus on Millie’s job as a telephone operator.

This cover was better, but still not quite right.

 

The new and improved Millie makes my heart so happy. I adore the colors and the fact she’s sitting on a bench reading. It makes me want to sit with her and peek over her shoulder to see what story has her so enthralled.

 

Here they are! All 10 books with shiny new covers!

Set in the western town of Pendleton, Oregon, at the turn of the 20th century, each book in this series bears the name of the heroine, all brave yet very different.

Aundy (Book 1) — Aundy Thorsen, a stubborn mail-order bride, finds the courage to carry on when she’s widowed before ever truly becoming a wife, but opening her heart to love again may be more than she can bear.

Caterina (Book 2) — Running from a man intent on marrying her, Caterina Campanelli starts a new life in Pendleton, completely unprepared for the passionate feelings stirred in her by the town’s incredibly handsome deputy sheriff.

Ilsa (Book 3) — Desperate to escape her wicked aunt and an unthinkable future, Ilsa Thorsen finds herself on her sister’s ranch in Pendleton. Not only are the dust and smells more than she can bear, but Tony Campanelli seems bent on making her his special project.

Marnie (Book 4) — Beyond all hope for a happy future, Marnie Jones struggles to deal with her roiling emotions when U.S. Marshal Lars Thorsen rides into town, tearing down the walls she’s erected around her heart.

Lacy (Book 5) —  Bound by tradition and responsibilities, Lacy has to choose between the ties that bind her to the past and the unexpected love that will carry her into the future.

Bertie (Book 6) — Haunted by the trauma of her past, Bertie Hawkins must open her heart to love if she has any hope for the future.

Millie (Book 7) — Determined to bring prohibition to town, the last thing Millie Matlock expects is to fall for the charming owner of the Second Chance Saloon.

Dally (Book 8) — Eager to return home and begin his career, Doctor Nik Nash is caught by surprise when the spirited Dally Douglas captures his heart.

Quinn (Book 9) — Full of opinions and plans to help women, Quinn Fairfield has no time for such nonsense as falling in love.

Evie (Book 10) — Will a man focused on his work notice the love of a lifetime in his client’s effervescent nanny?

 

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think it might just be Aundy. Or maybe Evie. Or Quinn. Or…

Which one is your favorite? 

Post your answer for a chance to win the Pendleton Petticoats boxed set which includes three Pendleton stories!

 

An Interview and an e-Book giveaway

Howdy!

Welcome!  Welcome to a terrifically beautiful Tuesday!

Recently, I was interviewed by Tory Richards at Coffee Time Romance concerning the book, SHE STEALS MY BREATH.  She asked me some interesting questions and so I thought I’d share the interview with you.  Tory is the author of many erotica romances.  So, without further ado, here is the interview:

Interview for Coffee Time Romance and More

Welcome, today we are talking with Karen Kay! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.

**Can you share a little something about Karen Kay that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website? 

This question got me to thinking a bit, because, on my website, I really do tend to share my life with my readers.  But, here’s something I don’t usually share:  I’m pretty much a food purist, so to speak.  I don’t eat anything that comes in a box and nothing processed by another.  I make all my own catsup, mustard, sauces, sweets, etc.  Takes a bit more kitchen time and tends to make my life constantly busy.  It has taken me a bit of time, a lot of research and a couple of illnesses to reach this point, because I have loved fast food as much as anyone else.  But, not any more. 

 

**How long have you been writing? 

Twenty-six years round about.

 

**What have you found most challenging about it? 

Golly, what don’t I find challenging about it?  I’m not a slow writer, but I’m also not a fast writer.  I ache and struggle over sentences and descriptions that really matter.  Promotion also tends to make me a little high strung when a new release comes out. 

But, the things I do love, which keeps me going, is the research about the American Indian long-ago way of life — I’m always learning…taking on new things, i.e. recently I’ve become very interested in really learning to “speak” the gesture/sign language in common use all over America before English came in and replaced it.  And, love.  I truly believe that the love and love-making between a man and a woman who are truly committed to each other are probably one of the most beautiful creations on earth, their love, of course, creating a whole new generation. 

There are factions at work, in my opinion, who work to make us think that this (love-making) is filthy or dirty and they go out of their way to make it appear this is true. 

But, love and love-making between two people committed to one another is God’s plan, and, being God’s plan, is naturally one of the most beautiful things still found on this earth.  I do believe this to be true, and so in my stories, I try my best to make the love scenes as beautiful as I possibly can.

 

**What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional? 

Great question — I had to go and look up the word, cathartic, to make sure I understood it…and it means using some sort of medium to purge or cleanse some emotional aspect about something.  Okay, so I admit that sometimes when it comes to the bad guys in my story, I sometimes am writing real dialogue and real happenings — not always — but I’ve noticed when it comes to the bad guys in the story, I generally am working from real life, unfortunately.

 A story where I specifically remember doing this is PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN — and even then, I went back and edited out much of the bad parts because I thought no one would ever belief a man could say such things to a woman.

 Actually, I get very emotional about the stories and try to make them as light-hearted as possible, given the subject and the fact that one is writing a novel which must contain conflict.  In Native America, there is so much real trauma from the past, and even today, that I like to make my stories somewhat light-hearted, even when dealing with subjects that are not light-hearted.

 And, of course, they must always end well.

 

**Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?

 I’m pretty disciplined.  I’d had to be when I wrote for two major publishing houses in New York.

 No, I don’t have to be in the mood.  But, I do like to look at pictures of what I’m writing about or pictures of a possible hero before I sit down to write.  I’ve tried to get rid of that habit, but I still do it, nonetheless.

 

**Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?

Actually, no to both.  When I was growing up, my life was filled with music — I play piano and clarinet.  I practiced everyday and I loved it.  It filled a creative need.  When I had young children and my ex-husband was often gone (out-of-town), I began to feel the need to bring a creative influence back into my life.

I began to read love stories to fill that gap, but even this wasn’t enough.  I began to yearn for a piano or clarinet to play.  We were mighty poor and the thought of getting a piano was out of the question.  But, I discovered that it didn’t take much cash to buy paper and pen.  That’s when I started to write.

 

**What inspires you?

Golly, a lot.  My husband is number one inspiration.  Native America and doing my best to “set the record straight” on what happened here in America also inspires me.  It makes me hunger for doing the research and so I have my nose in some sort of book almost constantly — history books or another Indian book.  And, I love to tell stories.  When I pick my grand kids up at school, I often tell them stories I’ve heard, but sometimes I make them up.

**Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.

** What are your pet peeves?

Many of the old movies tend to irritate me.  They tell bad history, tell lies about Native Americans, usually have non-Indian people playing the major roles and don’t show the facts as they were.  Rarely, do they present the truth of the people who were first here.  And, almost always those old movies end in a bad way for the Indians.

The truth is that the Native American of old was honest almost to a fault, deeply spiritual and religious, trained his body so that he could run miles in order to save his people if the need ever arose.  He respected (as a rule) women and their voices and their roles in the Indian culture.  He was often wise, could track better than anything we’ve ever known, and if he were a true medicine man, his ethics had to be without fault.  He did not deal in magic, as the movies depict — this is the true medicine man I’m talking about — he healed by being completely ethical in his life so that God could work through him to heal others.

Yes, some men pretending to be medicine men who were yet not true medicine men, went astray and often, when they let hate fill their spirit, ended up on the black side of magic and sometimes were cruel or used their “medicine” against others.  But, these were not the men whom God chose to work through.  History tells us that the God of Creation abandoned them.

I’m only learning this now because of the series I’m writing about the medicine man.

** Who is your hero?

My husband.

 

**Give us one thing on your bucket list.

Okay, back to the dictionary…I didn’t know what a bucket list is.  Am I showing my age?  I’d say the one thing on my bucket list is what I try to do in my writing is to depict the American Indian of the past in as true a picture as I can paint him, given that I am writing some 150 years after the fact.  I try to do this by reading and learning the writings of George Catlin, James Willard Schultz and others, who lived with the Indians and saw them with a contemporary view.

 

**What would readers find surprising about you?

Perhaps that I love reading and learning about law and common law, as well as our Founding Fathers.  Often, I search for and read their own documents, not what others say about them.  There’s a book entitled, the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers.  Although I haven’t read it cover to cover, it certainly is interesting.

 

**If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?

Many people.  My parents, my sister, many of my friends, and people I admire, including but not inclusive of: John Trudell, Russell Means, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Thomas Jefferson and L. Ron Hubbard.  The first five I didn’t know personally in this life, but the last I did, and he was always one of my best friends.

**Just for fun. What is your least favorite:

Least favorite Hero type –  Probably men who murder for a living.

Body part – Hmmmm.  Not sure on this one.

Overused word in a title – Hmmmm.  Again, not sure.

Least favorite Genre – I tend to read in many different genres, but I’d say any genre that makes fun of being human and/or being humane.

Least favorite Dirty word – I’d say it would be any word that takes the name of the Lord in vain.

 

**Now that our readers know who Karen Kay is let’s get down to the business of your book, She Steals My Breath, The Medicine Man Book 1, which just came out in March of this year.

 Please tell us a little bit about, She Steals My Breath.

This book was inspired by being in a point in my life when I truly desired to have a tough, rugged hero who was also very kind.  The story was one I began to tell to my grandchildren, but was also inspired by several different things, one of them being that in Montana there is a lot of snow and many blizzards that can kill a man in minutes.  I’d never written a story set in the snow.  While visiting on the Blackfeet reservation a few years ago, I became aware that they’d had 8 feet of snow that winter.  Eight feet!  Wow!  This added to wanting to write a story set in the snow.

At this time period in history, there were supposed to be no white women in the West, but this wasn’t quite true…although almost true.  There were women married to traders and those women and their daughters sometimes made the journey upriver.  While they may not have gone completely up to Fort Union, why not?  They often traveled on the steamships and went north and this was considered acceptable at this time.

So the heroine is the daughter of a trader and the hero is a Blackfoot medicine man, who has come to the fort to find his missing brother.  When the hero first sees the white woman, she is so beautiful that she takes his breath away, thus the title of the book.

She is caught out in a roaring blizzard, and, when the hero discovers this and that she is out there alone, he leaves the fort to go and find her and save her if he can.

**What was your hardest challenge writing this book?

The ending of the story.  All the while I was writing the book, I had no idea how to end the story.  Yes, I knew how things had to be at the end, but how to get there.  I brainstormed with some of my readers and a good friend, as well as my husband and it was their imput — especially my husband’s– that showed me how I might get from where I was to where I needed to be to end the story.  Those readers who were corresponding with me at the time often heard me mention that I had no idea how to end the story.  Finally, I had to sit down, and, using the ideas from my husband, I just wrote it and then went back through it several — many, many times — to get it “right.”  I hope I accomplished it.

**What kind of research did you have to do?

 Lots of research on the medicine man including a book on an Apache medicine man, two medicine men of the Lakota, Fools Crow and Black Elk.  Also, the writings of James Willard Schultz and his observations of the medicine men and women.  Also, I had to research snow storms and blizzards and shelters and gullies and Fort Union and the surrounding landscape, as well as a little about steamboats.

**What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

 For me, I think they have to really be in love with each other, though it’s not acknowledged, and they each one have to have solid, hard and firm reasons or beliefs why a union between them is not possible now or ever.  Their beliefs can be completely 180 degrees different.  The American Indian culture makes this a little easier than other sub-genres in romance, I think.

 **How many books do you plan in the series?

 Right now I plan four books in this series. 

 **Any other works in progress?

 The book I’m writing now is about half done and is the next book in The Medicine Man series and right now is called, SHE CAPTURES MY HEART. 

**Any advice for aspiring authors? 

It’s my belief that storytelling is the most important thing in writing a fictionalized novel.  I would say to forget about grammar, spelling, punctuation and other things if you don’t think them helpful or if knowing about them keep you from writing what is in your heart.  You can go in later and fix them. 

Set a time each day and write.  Don’t worry about page count, just write as much as you can and don’t beat yourself up if you sit for 4-5 hours staring at a blank screen.  Get in there the next day, same time, and write.  Tell your story. 

This is what I would suggest. 

 **Final words? 

Although my heritage is mostly European, I figure I am about 1/8 or thereabouts, Choctaw Indian.  My grandmother used to talk to her best friend about her Indian heritage and I learned that she was proud of it.  When I was growing up, I was sure that I must have had some kind of Indian heritage.  One has only to look at my features to see it is there.  But, my mother insisted there was none in our family tree and I know she did this to protect me because we lived in a small, southern town.  But, when I finally discovered the history passed down verbally from my grandmother, I, at last, knew why I had always felt I had so much in common with the American Indian.  And, so I did.

Please include the following links: 

Website:  https://novels-by-KarenKay.com

Blog:  https://petticoatsandpistols.com — I blog usually the second Tuesday in the month.

Email: karenkay.author@startmail.com — I love to hear from readers

 

SHE STEALS MY BREATH:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/4y6kdvaa

Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/4anbp4az

Itunes:  https://tinyurl.com/2w6f7epv

KOBO:  https://tinyurl.com/pwa88n3v

Google:  https://tinyurl.com/mr2byszp

 

 NOTE:  To enter into the drawing for the free e-book giveaway, please look at the give-away rules over to the right here and just leave a comment.  Be sure to check back in a couple of days to see if you are the winner.

 

 

 

 

The Making of a Cover

The final installment in the Hanger’s Horsemen trilogy is coming June 7. Just around the corner! Last month I shared a glimpse into how the title came to be (here), so I thought this month, I would give you some insight about how the cover evolved. Authors working with a traditional publisher have much less say in the cover design process than authors who indie publish. The publisher’s marketing, sales, and editorial teams work together with the design team to craft a cover that will entice readers, convey the novel’s mood, and highlight details of the story itself. No easy task. I’m more than grateful to have the help. At the beginning of the process, my project manager asks me for story details, physical descriptions of the characters and setting, and any ideas I have for cover design. Yet that is where my input ends until the very last stages of the design process. Here is the final product we arrived at for Luke Davenport’s story.

I love the end result. However, this cover (like the title) went through several revisions during its journey to perfection. Below on the left is the original cover my publisher sent me. I liked the model and the background was gorgeous, but it didn’t really tell a story. It was a little too static. And having the hero’s back turned didn’t feel terribly inviting. So I asked if there was a way to create more of a sense of movement and story. They came back with Version 2. Seeing more of the hunky model was a plus, but what really got my attention was the addition of the three cowboys in the distance. Such a small thing, but it was genius. Exactly what this cover needed. Are they the other three Horsemen racing to join Preach in his fight for justice? Or are they the gang of rustlers causing havoc in Madisonville, TX? Could be either one. You decide!

The last change I asked for was in the color of his vest and hat. In the current version, the brown vest and light tan hat are nearly identical to the ones worn by the model for the first book in the series. I wanted the men to feel distinct and carry their own personalities. So in the final version, you will see that the vest is blue and the hat is a darker shade of brown. Just the type of change I was looking for! They also added a bit more vegetation in the foreground for an extra pop of color. I’m so pleased with the final product!

My inspiration for Preach’s physical appearance was a cross between two football players—one from my generation and one who is actively playing. Howie Long and JJ Watt. I think the model they found pairs well with the image I was envisioning.

Pre-orders are available now!

If you prefer print books, check out the pre-order deal from Baker Book House. Forty percent off with free shipping is hard to beat!

Pre-Order Here:

Now that the series is complete, I thought you would enjoy seeing all the covers side-by-side.

They look good together, don’t you think? Which cover is your favorite of the series?

White Eagle’s Touch — Behind the Book

Howdy!

Welcome, Welcome to another terrific Tuesday.

Well, today I’m going to do something that is considered a no-no in the promotional world of books.  I’m going to tell you a bit about an older title of mine, WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH, which will be coming out in the next few days as a 25th Anniversary book.

Let me explain:  This book was originally written for AVON books in 1996-97 and published in 1998 (I think that’s right.)  My husband and I were married in 1996 and so in the end of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, I was falling deeper and deeper in love with my husband.  We had married in a whirlwind and so it was after we were married that we really started to get to know each other.

This is the new cover for the book.  The male model, by the way, is  Lakota Indian.  And, he models under the name of “Lakota.”

In these anniversary books, we are correcting errors made when the book was converted to e-book from the original mass market.  There is no plot change or anything like that.  It’s just correcting computer errors made in the conversion.  Also, I might give the book a few better word choices here and there.

But, it was in the editing of this book that I began to see how much I was (at that time) falling deeper and deeper in love with this man I had married.  It’s there in the conversations between White Eagle and the heroine, Katrina.  Both of them are changing in regards to each other.  More love.  More understanding.  And, at that time, I guess I couldn’t help but write about how deeply I was in love with this man.

Our courtship (my husband and me) is pretty well illustrated in the first book in this series, GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  But this book goes one step further.

So, in ending, I’ll leave the blurb for the book and an excerpt.  Hope you’ll enjoy!

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH

by

Karen Kay

Two worlds. Forbidden love.

Blackfoot Warrior, Book 2

Katrina Wellington is vexed. She must marry to obtain the rest of her inheritance. But her uncle, who left her in New York with a governess to make his fortune out West, has suddenly decided he must approve of her fiancé before he will loosen the purse strings to her dowry.

Swallowing her outrage, the socialite treks to the same wilderness that claimed her parents’ lives years ago. Some small part of her is crestfallen that her uncle is not waiting with open arms. Only three guides, Indian guides, await her, and one of them is far too handsome for his own good.

At first, White Eagle does not like the spoiled, willful niece of the white trader. When he catches a glimpse of the vulnerability behind her prickly exterior, he can’t resist challenging the dazzling beauty to rediscover her true inheritance—the inner strength bequeathed to her by her parents.

Close contact on the trail soon arouses a soul-stirring passion and in its turn, love. But love may not be enough to sustain a relationship that is forbidden in both their worlds.

This book has been previously published.

Warning: Sensuous Romance that contains a captivating passion that could lead to a romantic evening spent in the company of one’s own love.

This is the original cover done for AVON Books.  The excerpt is the first meeting between White Eagle and Katrina in the book (and after many years of being apart).

Chapter Four

June 25, 1833

Midmorning 

 

“I say, what vision of loveliness descends upon us now? Is she a princess, a queen? Do you think I should bow? Or is she a mere fleeting whiff of my fancy? Oh, dear, I don’t think I can rhyme fancy…can you see?” The Marquess of Leicester chuckled before he put a finger over one nostril, taking a sniff of the powder which he held in a box in his hand. “What do you say, my friends? Am I poetic?”

The marquess’s two friends murmured polite words of agreement at all the appropriate places, while the marquess, pocketing his snuffbox, paced forward to take hold of Katrina’s hand. “Ah, my dear, you look stunning, simply ravishing, rather.”

“Thank you, Lord Leicester.” Katrina suffered her hand to be kissed by lips which looked as though they bore more rouge than her own. She pulled her hand back as quickly as possible, but failed to loosen his grip. “Are we prepared to meet the new guides?”

“Yes, I say,” the marquess replied, setting her hand onto one of his lacy cuffs.

Katrina smiled at him.

“Am I to understand, my dear, that the guides of which you speak are to escort me to yet another fort?”

“Yes, that is correct. My uncle has been delayed, and he asks that you join him at a place called Fort McKenzie. The scouts are to take you safely to him.”

“Quite unusual, wouldn’t you say? But I must ask you: The hunting, is there good hunting at this fort? After all, mustn’t disappoint the dogs, don’t you know? Brought the hounds all this way to hunt, and hunt we shall. Why, do you know that I have met the most interesting fellow, a Mr. Hamilton, although I don’t believe that Hamilton is his real name. A right good sort of chap. English, I say. Says he has been here at this fort for several years. Seems to like it here, though he does appear to hate Indians.”

“Does he?”

“Yes, rather. Well, now, come along, my dear. Mr. McKenzie informs me that his clerk is awaiting us outside the house here to escort us to the guides on the other side of the gate. A monstrous proposal, I must say. That is why I have asked Mr. Hamilton to make the introductions. I can’t say that I am overwhelmed by Mr. McKenzie’s manners. A clerk to see to us, indeed. Ah, here is Mr. Hamilton now. Come along, my dear. Let us get these introductions over with.”

“Yes,” said Katrina, “let us.”

And with little more said, she allowed Mr. Hamilton and the marquess to lead her out into the sunshine of a new day. That the marquess’s friends followed the three of them wherever they went, that the marquess’s men kept murmuring always agreeable tidbits concerning Lord Leicester’s undoubtedly brilliant humor, did little more than annoy her.

At least for now.

 

 

McKenzie’s clerk, Thomas, was waiting for their entire party just outside the gate. And what a party they made. Not only were the marquess, his two friends and Hamilton in their group, somehow the marquess’s dogs, barking loudly, had joined them.

“Come this way, Gov’nor, the men ’ee seek are by the wall over thyar,” Thomas said.

“Where?”

“Over thyar, do ’ee not see?”

“They’re…”

Conversation ceased, replaced with silence. Dead silence.

Their entire entourage, even the dogs, stopped completely still. No one said a word; no one moved. Then the dogs started to whine, and the shuffle of feet could be heard—moving away.

It was he, the Indian she had glimpsed from the boat, along with a few companions.

“Why, Thomas,” said one of the men, “they are—”

“Yep, Injuns.”

Now, it wasn’t as though their party had never seen an Indian until this moment, nor was it possible that anyone in this party had thought never to encounter an Indian in this country. After all, they had glimpsed enough of the native population from the steamboat as it had made its way up the Missouri.

But never had the people in this group seen primitives such as these—at least not so close to their own person. Warriors, all, were these savages and, by the looks of the heathens, dangerous.

But Katrina stared at none other than him.

She opened her mouth as though to utter something…some scathing comment, perhaps. But when no words issued forth, she closed her lips.

“This one hyar’s name’s White Eagle.” Only Thomas seemed able to speak. “Them three behind him are Night Thunder and Good Dancer. The woman is married to Good Dancer, near as this ole coot can tell. Blackfeet, they are. Gov’nor?”

“Indians?” This from Katrina, at last, her glance never wavering from him.

“Yes, ma’am. But they’ll get ’ee through Blackfoot country all safe. They knows the way.”

“He goes too far!” She glanced toward the clerk.

“Ma’am?”

“My uncle goes too far this time.”

“You tell the man,” the marquess spoke up from behind her. “Yes, my dear, tell the man.”

Katrina gazed over her shoulder. The marquess had positioned himself to her rear, his own men standing, as though in a line, behind him.

“Does your uncle not think favorably of you, Miss Wellington?” This from Hamilton, who seemed as dumbfounded as the rest.

She ignored the Englishman, glancing instead at him, the Indian, the same one who had so disturbed her thoughts, the one called… “What is this man’s name again, Thomas?”

“This one hyar, ma’am? He’s White Eagle. He’s their leader, near as I can tell, a chief maybe.”

White Eagle. So, that was his name. Katrina stared at the Indian. He, back at her. The man looked dangerous—foreign, frightening…handsome. Handsome?

He still wore no shirt, exposing to her view that muscular chest she had glimpsed the previous day. And she would have looked at it, at him, had she been of the mind. But she wasn’t.

She swallowed with difficulty and, allowing her gaze to drop no farther than the bridge of the Indian’s nose, asked of him, “Does my uncle bring word to me?”

The Indian just stared at her. No grin, no recognition of her, no intimation that he had seen her, too, the previous day—nothing, not even an acknowledgment that she had spoken.

She raised her chin. “Do these Indians not speak English, Thomas?”

“Guess they do well enough, ma’am. They been tradin’ with us long enough now to have learnt it. But ’ee is a woman. No Blackfeet is goin’ to speak to ’ee b’cause of that, beg pardon.”

Katrina looked at the Indian from down the end of her nose. She said, “Then ask him for me if he brings me word of my uncle.”

Thomas stepped up to her side. “Very well, ma’am. ’Ee heard her, Injun. Does the lady’s uncle send word?”

The Indian didn’t move, didn’t speak, didn’t even shift his weight. He just stared, his glance never wavering from her.

“Speak up there, you primitive animal,” Hamilton demanded.

None of the three Indians, and especially not White Eagle, paid the Englishman the least attention.

“Are ’ee sent here from the woman’s uncle?”

Nothing. No response at all, until, at last, piercing Katrina with his glance, the Indian said, “I have news for the woman alone.” Oddly enough, the man spoke in unbroken English and, Katrina noted, his voice, low and baritone, was peculiarly pleasant, almost melodic.

“Alone?” Hamilton again spoke up from a safe distance away. “Is the Indian mad? Does he presume to think we would leave the lady unaccompanied with him, so filthy a creature as he is?”

The Indian didn’t move a muscle, nor did he indicate in any way that he’d even heard Hamilton’s comments.

Katrina stepped forward, away from the crowd. Glancing around behind her, she ordered, “Leave us.”

“What?” This from all five men.

“Leave us, but take this man’s Indian friends with you. I will do as he asks and speak with him, but only with him. Here, Mr. Hamilton, give me your pistol that I may defend myself, if I must.”

“But milady,” Hamilton protested, “surely you can’t mean to—”

“Mr. Hamilton, your pistol, please.”

The Englishman looked as though he might protest further, though he nevertheless pulled the weapon from his coat and handed it to Katrina.

“Leave us.” Again she addressed the men who remained behind her without turning toward them. “I warn you, Indian,” she said confidently, “I can use this firearm Mr. Hamilton has given me as skillfully as any man. So do not think me defenseless that you might take advantage of me.”

The Indian said nothing, nor did he give her any sort of acknowledgment, not even by the bend of his head or a flicker of emotion across his features.

Katrina listened to the fading footsteps of the men behind her. After a nod from White Eagle, the Indian’s two companions followed.

The deference shown to this man did not escape her notice, but when she spoke, she made no mention of it, saying only, “What you ask is highly irregular and impolite. Hear me now, Indian, I am humoring you only because I wish to know what my uncle has to say. That is all.”

Glancing directly at her, he replied, “I will speak to the white woman only within the walls of the fort.”

“You will not,” Katrina countered. “You asked for an audience with me alone. You have it now.”

The Indian didn’t utter another word, just gave her a peculiar look and made to move away from her.

She reached out, grabbing at his arm, effectively staying him. He glanced down at her hand as it lay upon his arm, then back up at her. Something…some little excitement passed between them as they stared at one another, the intensity causing Katrina’s knees to buckle. Several moments passed as they stood there, sizing one another up.

At last, Katrina stuck out her chin and asked, “Who do you think you are, Indian, that you gape at me? Do you not know it is impolite to do so? Now, you will tell me what it is you have to say to me, right here and now…or not at all. Do I make myself clear to you?”

The Indian had become perfectly still as she spoke; his gaze roamed from the top of her bonnet to the very bottom of her skirts. Katrina watched him, ignoring the tingling sensation which spread throughout her nervous system. Fear, she supposed.

Odd, too, but she noticed he smelled good: of wood and smoke, of grass and mint—she had heard that the Indians chewed the leaves of the mint plant to stave off hunger, as well as to scent their breath.

His skin felt warm, too, moist and…strange, there was no hair upon the flesh of his arm where she touched him.

He was close to her, too close. The wind suddenly blew a lock of his long raven hair over her hand where she still touched him. The feel of those strands against her skin was fleeting, sensual, its effect sending shivers through her body.

She glanced up, startled, and wondered if the Indian had felt it, too, this strange sensation, but his expression revealed nothing.

She didn’t know how it was possible, yet she considered this man, this Indian, handsome almost beyond belief, in a primitive sort of way, of course. Not a man she would ever admit to being attracted to, particularly since he was nothing more than one of the savages that this country produced. And yet, she couldn’t help but admire the straight, imposing figure he cut as she looked up to where he stood over her. With his shoulders back, displaying his sculptured form, he looked as though he were a work of art, not a person of substance.

Something within her reached out to him, and she felt as though she knew him, his thoughts, his passions. It was as though there were a part of him that matched her perfectly…

She gave herself a shake. What was wrong with her? This was not the first time she’d felt as if there were something between them. It had happened the first time she’d glimpsed him, there from the boat…

She stared up at him then, in silent challenge, if only to purge this sensation from her consciousness. Yet, all the while, her touch upon his arm never relinquished its hold. His eyes were black, she noted, the darkest eyes she had ever seen, and they revealed nothing.

Suddenly, his look turned sardonic, and he broke eye contact with her, pulling his arm back, out and away from her grasp.

He turned from her then, suddenly and without warning. He began walking away from her at a steady gait, following on the footfalls of the other men. The Indian was treading, it would appear, toward the main entrance of the fort.

Katrina stood still for several moments, watching him, until she suddenly realized what he was doing. This man—this mere Indian—was defying her. She had made demands of him; he had told her nothing. Nothing!

Somehow this fact disturbed her more than any other detail she had observed about him. Blast!

She had to try to detain him. She took one step forward, and called out, “It was you who demanded to speak to me alone, Indian.”

No response, not even a catch in his stride.

“If you wish to talk to me, do it now, for I will not see you once we are in the fort.”

The man didn’t turn around, nor did he say or do anything further, except to present her with the view of his backside as he continued to walk away. She should have been appalled by the man’s bad manners and by his dress, or rather, its lack thereof. In truth, she was…almost.

She watched him, his lean, sculpted figure an unusually strange and exciting sight. And then she saw it, the man’s breechcloth fell apart from the outline of his leggings now and again, presenting her with an occasional view of a portion of hard, muscular buttocks.

Katrina was almost struck dumb with the observation. Never, not once in her life, had she ever witnessed so much of a man’s anatomy.

How utterly heathen. How primitive.

She didn’t, however, glance away. “I won’t meet with you,” she announced again. “And that’s my final word on the subject.”

Her challenge had no effect on the Indian’s actions.

Katrina was fuming. She felt like shouting at the man; she felt like pummeling him, but she refused to reduce herself to a show of temper.

She did, however, stamp her foot. The insolent barbarian. And to think she had been admiring his looks.

Humph!

She picked up the front of her skirt, her white petticoats contrasting oddly with the brown of the earth beneath her feet. She would follow that Indian back into the fort. Not because she had to, she reminded herself. After all, she was residing within the walls of the fort. She had a right to be there. This Indian did not.

Oh, but she didn’t like this. It was she who should be the person putting forth demands. It was she, not this man, White Eagle, who was the civilized one here, the more intelligent one.

So why was she the one left staring after him?

Well, it made no difference. There was at least one action she would take as soon as she met with this man: She would ensure he would hear her opinions of him and his insolence—that is, if she met with him.

She wasn’t certain at this moment that she would even permit the man an interview. There must be some other way of soliciting news of her uncle.

The Indian turned around at that exact moment, catching her staring at him, and goodness, but it looked as though he smiled at her. Did he know her thoughts? Could he see her frustration? Worse yet, had he felt her gaze upon that more intimate portion of his anatomy?

How dare he! Oh, what a wicked, wicked man!

She threw back her head and thrust out her chin. Ah, but it would please her to tell this Indian what she thought of him…and soon!

Make no mistake.


White Eagle turned his back on the woman and walked away from her, a grin tugging up the corners of his mouth.

In truth, he had enjoyed the confrontation with Shines Like Moonlight…but he would never let her know it. Not when she had dared to try to command him, a Blackfoot warrior. Such was the height of bad manners.

Yet, he could appreciate her spirit, her courage in confronting him when even the men who had surrounded her had shied away from him. Too, he acknowledged her unusual beauty; in truth, she had overwhelmed him with the allure of her feminine charm, more pleasing in close proximity than from a distance. He could still smell the sweet fragrance of her, hear the silvery timbre of her voice, and if it hadn’t been for her lack of manners…

Certainly, she was fairer than he’d anticipated she would be, but this wasn’t what bothered him about her. No, it was her touch, the simple graze of her hand upon his arm. With that touch…

He grimaced. And he wondered if she knew she had stirred something to life within him, something sweet, something carnal, something completely sexual. It was one of the reasons he had turned his back on her—that, and her insolence.

Hánnia! He should have more control. He was not some young boy, unable to control the physical urges of his body; and yet, even now he could feel the result of her effect on him down there in the junction between his legs. It was good that he had left her before his physical reaction to her became more pronounced.

Did she remember him?

A picture flashed in his mind, an image of a child, frightened and crying, clinging to him as he had hung onto the crest of a hill, both he and the child watching the gushing floodwaters rush past them, its danger only a short distance away. He had almost lost her in those waters.

He remembered again that he had clasped her to him then, whispering to her, giving her as much comfort as he was able, until long after the danger had passed. But that had been much too long ago. They had both been different people then, children.

That the child in her had grown up was evident. That she had reached adulthood without the guidance of a mother or a father to point out the necessity of courtesy and good manners was even more conspicuous.

Would she remember him given more time?

White Eagle thought back to the world he had known so long ago, to the people he had befriended, to a little white girl he had admired—a girl with yellowish-gold hair—to the child’s father and her mother.

They had perished, her parents. The girl had barely survived, and her father’s brother had sent her away long ago.

So, her uncle had been right about her. The woman he had met today was spoiled, a person completely devoid of maidenly gentleness. She spoke when not asked, demanded when a man’s mind was already settled; in truth, her spirit towered over the white men who had accompanied her.

Did she rise above these men because she had bullied them into submission with the same womanly harping and angry tongue she had shown to him? Or was she merely stronger-willed than they?

Whatever the reason, White Eagle despaired of the intervening years since he had last seen her.

If he reminded her of it, would she remember?

It was doubtful. She had been before the age when a child comes into its senses, and he had been no more than a young boy. He’d kept a lonely girl company during those times when her father and uncle had journeyed to his tribe on trading excursions. If he told her what he knew of her, of her family, would any good come from it?

He did not think so. This person he had observed today had been as someone alien to him—certainly not the girl he had remembered…had once known.

In truth, he had caught her looking upon him with not only a womanly sort of attention, but with contempt, the same sort of foreign attitude that White Eagle had witnessed upon the countenance of the white man.

He didn’t like it.

No, it was better that he keep what he knew of her to himself. It was apparent she did not recall her life before the white man’s world, and he was certain she would not care to hear what he had to say to her.

So be it.

He entered the fort, taking his place amongst his friends. Good Dancer’s wife had already started setting up their camping lodges in the area surrounding the fort’s flagpole. One for himself and Night Thunder, the other for herself and her husband, Good Dancer. That Good Dancer’s new wife had demanded to accompany them on their journey did not bother White Eagle, nor did it seem strange to him.

The young couple had just been married, after an unusually long courtship. Of course they would want to be together now. Such was to be understood. Such were the ways of married people.

Besides, he’d wanted a woman along to keep Shines Like Moonlight company and to provide her with a chaperone. White Eagle grimaced as he adjusted his breechcloth, certain Shines Like Moonlight would need that chaperone.

He glanced around him, at his place within the fort. He had noticed, when he had first come here, that several half-breed hunters resided within the tepees around the flagpole. This seemed only right to White Eagle; that these half-white, half-Indian men chose to live not in the square, wooden houses of the white man, but rather in the more comfortable lodges of his own people.

At least this is how it appeared to White Eagle.

He could not know, nor would he understand that to some within the fort, the mixed-bloods were not on an equal footing with the more European breed of men, that such would not be allowed the right to live in the square, wooden houses.

And so, not knowing, White Eagle settled down, content for the moment, to initiate the necessary chores needed for the return journey to Fort McKenzie.  Indeed, the time consumed in fashioning arrowheads, making a new shield and manufacturing a new spear was time well spent.

He was certain that Shines Like Moonlight would delay a meeting with him for as long as she was able. This didn’t bother him. Why should it? Time was not an enemy to him, and White Eagle was full-blooded Indian; he was a patient man.

He smiled. Perhaps here was something else he could admire about this woman: She had a stubborn strength of character. And this was good.

She would not be one to come a cropper in an emergency. Such people were few. Such people were valuable.

He shrugged. Whatever the case, his next few days within this fort promised to be far from dull.


Well, that’s all for now.  Look for the book in a few days.  At present, it’s undergoing the final proof reading.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Oh, and this is the cover to the left is the cover of the book currently up at Amazon.  This cover was done when I was writing for Samhain Publishing.

Indeed, all of these covers have a special place in my heart.  I am, however, extremely drawn to the new cover.  Hope you’ll like it, too.

Setting the Scene in Durango, Colorado

MK McClintock

Are you ready for an adventure in the rugged Colorado mountains? Let’s take a journey back to 1899 with Cassandra McKenzie and Quinn Morgan, the duo out for justice in my latest release, The Case of the Copper King.

When Samantha St. Claire pitched the series and invited me along for the ride, I knew my original choice for a setting was not going to work. The historically rich town of Durango was not the original setting, but as Cassandra (aka Casey) and I were getting to know each other, we couldn’t agree on several things, and where she would spend most of the book was among our disagreements.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Durango is a railroad town in southwestern Colorado, and Silverton is a small mining town to the north. Durango was quite different today from what it was in my youth, but what has not changed is the intriguing history of a wild west town filled with contradictions and tales of both survival and prosperity.

View from the Durango & Silverton train_1989_MK McClintock

I couldn’t wait to get started on the research, and I have no problem admitting that it distracted me from the writing on numerous occasions.

Durango, founded in 1880, was constructed because of the gold beneath the rocky mountain soil and built on the backs of miners, prospectors, bankers, and enterprising men and women who found various ways to make a profit off the land, and off the people who worked the land.

Around Silverton and Animas Forks, Colorado_1989_MK McClintock

My memories of a babbling creek beneath a footbridge behind the house, walking around on all fours with the horses in the pasture, brunch at the Strater Hotel, and playing tourist at nearby resorts were not going to give me the foundation I needed for an 1899 setting. After months of research, I realized those youthful recollections were quite valuable when it came to Casey’s character. When she stepped off the train in Durango or rode into Silverton on the back of her mare, I was right there with her, seeing through her eyes, the hustle, dust, and color of those booming mining towns.

The Strater Hotel, opened in 1888 during a mining boom in Durango, Colorado | Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress

Durango and Silverton, like settings in many books, became secondary characters. From dusty streets to grand hotels, stockyards to caves, and saloons to sporting houses, Casey and Quinn experienced both the unsavory and the beautiful during their adventures.

If you haven’t been to these fascinating towns in Colorado, I highly recommend them. In the meantime, you can join the intrepid crime-solvers and experience a bit of how life might have been when a plucky Pinkerton and a bounty hunter with a conscience join forces.

If only the Rocky Mountain Funnel Cake Factory had been around in 1899, we could have had some real fun in Silverton.

Have you been to Durango or Silverton? If so, what is one of your favorite memories from your visit?

Giveaway!

I’ll be giving away both a of The Case of the Copper King and The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance to one random winner!

For a chance to win, leave a comment about one of your favorite western-related memories, or what wild-west era town you’d like to visit today.

To read an excerpt of The Case of the Copper King CLICK HERE.

Award-winning author MK McClintock writes historical romantic fiction about courageous and honorable men and strong women who appreciate chivalry, like those in her Montana Gallagher, British Agent, and Crooked Creek series. Her stories of adventure, romance, and mystery sweep across the American West to the Victorian British Isles, with places and times between and beyond. She enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains.

To purchase The Case of the Copper King CLICK HERE.

Website: http://www.mkmcclintock.com

Cover Reveal & Book Sale

Seeing a cover for the first time is a nerve-wracking mix of excitement and terror. As much as we say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do. The cover is one of the biggest marketing tools an author has. This single picture needs to speak 1000 words to the prospective reader. It needs to convey time period and setting. It should hint at key story elements as well as project emotion. Most of all, it should please or intrigue the reader enough to prod them to learn more. To pick it up and read the back cover or make that click that takes them inside for a sample.

Covers for novella collections are especially tricky since they must convey details from more than one story. Different characters. Different settings. Even different time periods. Because of that, novella covers usually focus on creating a more general mood than honing in on specific details, thereby creating an image that would apply to any of the stories contained within.

My latest cover is just such a project. Three novellas whose common ground consists of four things: Historical time periods, Texas settings, Christmas themes, and romance. So while the scene depicted does not relate directly to any of the three stories, it conveys those four commonalities to perfection.

The long skirt and beautifully knotted updo on the model combined with the wrap-around porch commonly found in 19th century homes immediately places us in the historical time frame. The serif fonts and swirled design around the subtitle and name also give it a Victorian feel. The rugged landscape combined with the cowboy riding home in the distance hints strongly at Texas. Then there are the beautiful Christmas touches of garlands wrapped around the porch railings and the bold red pop of color in the heroine’s dress combined with the green subtitle bar. Finally, the romance. What says romance more than mistletoe? And having it dangling right above the heroine’s head as she leans forward, eager for the hero’s return makes it clear that love is in the air.

Under the Texas Mistletoe will release this fall.

What element of this cover is most inviting to you?

Book Sale

Grab some Valentine’s chocolate and treat yourself to some classic romance, Archer style. The book that started it all – Short Straw Bride – is on sale for only $1.99 until February 17.

If you already own a copy of Travis and Meredith’s story, consider sharing a little romance with your favorite “gal”entine by surprising her with a gift copy. All you need is an email address to share the love.

Grab a copy from your favorite e-book retailer.

Amazon | Christianbook | Barnes & Noble

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Once Upon a Mail Order Bride Cover Reveal

 

I just love when I get a new cover. It’s like opening a present on Christmas morning. I never tire of seeing the new designs by the people at Sourcebooks. They’re truly amazing.

I especially love this one. The colors are so beautiful and the models are truly romantic

This is Outlaw Mail Order Brides #4 and the ex-preacher Ridge Steele gets a bride at last.

Except Adeline Jancy cannot speak.

She communicates through writing so she carries paper and pencil everywhere. But just because she can’t speak, doesn’t mean she’s passive. Ridge finds that out pretty quick and doesn’t make the mistake again.

This story is about finding hope and having the courage to right wrongs. Ridge and Addie are reaching for the impossible. Oftentimes it’s easier to let things stay the way they are, especially when living in a safe, outlaw town. It’s a lot harder to force change and they had to reach a point where they could accept that it would be possible by the slimmest of margins to make their lives better and grab hold of their future.

I’m going to be very sad to leave Hope’s Crossing. I love all these people. But a new series awaits and will start soon.

So tell me what you like or don’t like about this cover and/or the title. The book comes out on November 24, 2020.

Amazon  |  B&N  |  APPLE

 

To Marry A Texas Cowboy Cover Reveal!

Last week was crazy for me. I played What if…with a lot of you for June’s Game Day. I had a pin removed from my right index finger on Tuesday. The fourth book in my Wishing Texas Series, To Marry A Texas Cowboy, was due Wednesday, and then it was the Fourth of July weekend. Lesson learned? Consult my calendar more carefully when scheduling events and deadlines.

But I have a surprise for you, Today I received the final cover for the book!

Though I don’t have a release date yet, here’s the backcover copy for the book:

She lives by a set of rules. He aims to break each one.

When Zane Logan returns to Wishing, Texas, he’s shocked to learn that his grandmother has hired an assistant to manage her wedding planning business as she heals from surgery. With five marriages between his parents, just the thought of weddings breaks him out in hives. To look out for his grandmother’s financial interests, Zane takes charge. He doesn’t trust easily, especially when the assistant is prettier than a Texas spring day.

Childhood taught McKenna Stinson an important rule: never count on anyone but yourself. She dreams of working hard to have her own business. Stepping in for a successful wedding planner in a small town known for big weddings is the perfect opportunity…until her employer’s grandson announces he’s the new boss. He’s cynical about love and knows nothing about weddings—so why is she falling for him?

Even worse, Zane’s so hot McKenna has to make up two new rules: don’t date a man more attractive than you and never, ever, date a man you work with.

Being a mom to three sons has helped me create heroes. I learned early on males communicate differently. I wasn’t surprised to learn women use 20,000 words a day and men 7,000. In an interview Clint Eastwood said the first thing he did with a script was cut dialogue. Before I send a book off, I look for where my hero is too wordy. I also check for non “guy speak” dialogue. For example, men don’t use qualifiers. They don’t say “Would you like to…” or “What if we…” Nope. We women do that. Men simply cut to the chase. “Want to get pizza?”

From the book I just turned in, To Marry A Texas Cowboy:

Zane tried to tune out the women talking about how else Susannah would incorporate her color scheme. Who wanted to waste their New Year’s Eve at a wedding? Not him. Why did a bride have to ruin a perfectly good holiday and football night? From the color scheme, they chatted back and forth about whether they should eat or check out dresses first.

Ridiculous. It wouldn’t take him and his buddies a minute to decide. You hungry? No. Me neither. We’ll eat later. Done. Issue settled. But women made every discussion as hard as finding hair on a frog.

There are more ways men and women communicate differently, but I’ll leave those for another time. Today’s giveaway is a Warrior Not Worrier Cozy Sleeve and a copy of Home On The Ranch: Colorado Rescue. To be entered in the random drawing, leave a comment about the way men and women communicate differently or your thoughts on my cover or the backcover copy. Basically, just leave a comment and talk with me!