Cold Justice and Kathi Orom Peterson

Photo by Marc Reynolds

A fiction writer is always looking for wonderful people in life to pattern characters after. As I researched Alaska where much of my new release, Cold Justice, is set, I found a wonderful character in Klondike Kate aka Kathleen Rockwell. While none of the characters in my novel were patterned after Kate, I think my main character had some of her spunk and determination.

Klondike Kate led a very interesting life. She lived in many states: Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, New York, and Oregon. But the state that really made her famous was Alaska.

Her heart must have yearned for adventure, for after trying to break into show business in New York, she decided to head north. At the time, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were making it difficult for miners and others to get to the Yukon to find gold. Kate was refused entry, but the story goes that she dressed up like a boy, jumped aboard a ship heading to the Yukon, and that was just the beginning of her life in Alaska.

Miners called her “The Flame of the Yukon.” She earned that name because of her flame dance. Wearing an elaborate, red-sequined dress with an enormous cape, she would start her dance. As the routine developed, she took off the cape (this is where it became really interesting). The cape was 200 yards of red chiffon attached to a cane. She’d twirl and leap with the cape making it look like flames were all around her. By the end of her dance, she’d dramatically drop to the floor, which probably looked as though she was consumed by fire. The miners loved it.

Kate’s dancing act was such a huge success that the miners called her Klondike Kate. She had many admirers.  It was reported that Kate fell in love and married Alexander Pantages. But sadly one time upon returning home from a trip, she found Pantages had married someone else, and not only that, he took all of her money.  But Kate pressed on.

When the gold rush died, she moved to Oregon. I found one web site that said later in life Kate married a miner name John Matson, though he remained in Alaska while she was in Oregon. I don’t know if they stayed together or not, but I’d like to think that Klondike Kate found her true love. She died in 1957. I’ve often wondered while she lived in Oregon if she missed the Yukon.

Beautiful Alaska was rich with history and breathtaking environment. While writing my novel, I knew that Regi Bernard and Samuel Tanner—the two main characters in my book—would find out who they really were in a place God’s hand had touched in so many different ways: the beautiful ocean and harbor villages, the northern lights, the snow-covered mountains, the Native Alaskan people, and the myths and legends that keep that area grounded and humble yet mystical.

Here’s a small excerpt from Cold Justice:

            He stood among barren aspen trees, knee-high in winter snow—watching. Always watching. The binoculars were cold as he pressed them against his eyes. Freezing weather would neither impede him nor stop him from his mission.

            He asked Raven to guide his every step. Raven helped his eyes to see and his ears to hear, but would he help him kill if he must before completing the task?

            Justice must be served.

So where’s the romance? Don’t worry. The book opens on the eve of Regi and Samuel’s wedding day. After years of being apart they are finally going to have their happy-ever-after. However, that night Samuel is kidnapped. At first Regi thinks he’s run out on her, but as she checks his place she finds clues that lead her to believe he’s been kidnapped.

I think Regi’s take-charge attitude is something she has in common with Klondike Kate. The two of them would have been good friends.

To learn more about Cold Justice or my other books, please visit my website: www.kathiorampeterson.com or my blog .

AMAZON

I’d love to give one lucky person an opportunity to win a copy of Cold Justice on Petticoats and Pistols. To win please leave a comment telling me what you love about Alaska.

 

Winnie's Giveaway Winner!!

I had great fun reading all the comments that came through on my post.  I put everyone”s name in a hat and casino pa natet the one I pulled out was

BRANDY

                             

Congratulations Brandy! 

If you”ll send me a note via my website  (www.winniegriggs.com) with your mailing info, I”ll get a copy of Handpicked Husband out to you ASAP.

Developing a character and a Giveaway!

Hi, Winnie Griggs here.   I have a new book coming out next month, Handpicked Husband, and I thought I’d give you just a small peek into what goes through my mind as I flesh out a character for my books

 Regina Nash, the heroine of the book, is , a maiden aunt and a woman with a personality as big as her heart.  She’s also opinionated, independent-minded, and an unapologetically quirky individual.  One of the first things I had to decide about her is how she got by financially since she has no husband, no benefactor, and no ‘inherited money’.  After cogitating on this a while I decided photography would be the perfect vocation for her – it would allow her to work for herself and set her own hours – important since she is caring for her nephew – and would give her a creative outlet.

Then I decided that I needed something else, some outward sign of her quirky side.  Again, this took some thought and I came up with and then discarded quite a number of items as being ‘not quite Reggie’.  I finally came across an article about gypsy caravans and knew I had hit upon just the thing.  I decided the conveyance she would have to travel in and transport her equipment around with would be something very colorful and garish, something that would turn heads and raise brows.   I envisioned something between a gypsy caravan and a circus wagon.

 

I had great fun researching these and found any number of very colorful examples.  (You can see images of gypsy caravans HERE and circus wagons HERE)

In the end, I found an example of just what I was looking for.  You can see a picture of it, along with all the other visuals I used for imaging people and places in my story, on the Pinterest board I created (but you need to imagine it with much brighter/gaudier colors)  HERE.

And to celebrate the upcoming release of Handpicked Husband, I’m going to giveaway an advanced copy to one of today’s commenters. 

 Note, in the interest of full disclosure I want to let you know that this is a refresh of a story that was originally released under the title Lady’s Choice under the Dorchester Leisure Books imprint.  In addition to the hero, the story features three bachelors who came toTexasas potential grooms for my heroine.  I always wanted to give each of these gentlemen stories of their own, butDorchesterand I parted ways before that could happen.  I was discussing this with my editor at Love Inspired and we decided to move forward with the idea.  But I wanted to make that first story available again to those who may have missed it the first time.  So I did some fairly extensive rewrites, both to fit within the guidelines of the Love Inspired Historical line and to ‘fix it up’ based on things I’ve learned in the seven years that have passed since I wrote this story.

 So that’s how Handpicked Husband came about, and it becomes the first of my four book Texas Grooms series.

Here is an excerpt to (hopefully) whet your appetite for more.

 

Northeast Texas   1894

An ear-splitting shriek ricocheted through the forest, startling a raucous cloud of blackbirds from the roadside trees. 

“Easy, Trib.”  Adam Barr patted the horse’s neck as the animal shied.  What now?  

The buggy behind him slowed to a stop, but Adam ignored it, along with the uneasy questions from the three men seated inside.  He’d promised to escort the men from Philadelphia to Texas, not be their nursemaid.

The wailing continued and Adam fought the urge to tilt back his head and answer with a wild, full-throated howl.  He’d gritted his teeth so often these past few days the muscles in his jaw hurt.  Taking on this job when more important business waited for him in Philadelphia had him in a foul mood, as his companions could no doubt attest. 

After six years of biding his time – six years, two months and thirteen days to be exact – he’d thought he could finally pursue his goal without distraction. 

If this assignment had come from anyone but Judge Madison…

Adam scanned the brush-skirted hardwoods lining the trail.  Whatever the source of that eerie sound, it was headed their way.

He eased his rifle from the scabbard.  Anticipation stirred his blood.  He might have to employ his ‘company manners’ with his three charges, but this bellowing beast was another matter. 

No telling what manner of creature roamed this forsaken backwoods.  The wail was too high pitched for a bear.  A large cat maybe? 

He urged Trib closer to the trees.  There seemed to be a pattern to the sound, a certain mangled cadence.  Almost as if–

Well, what do you know? 

He leaned back.  Not a wild animal after all.  Too bad.  (read more)

 

CHANCE TO WIN A NOOK COLOR!

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy | Nook Color Giveaway, Facebook Party and Blog Tour

Welcome to the campaign launch for my latest book, Over the Edge. I’m celebrating the release of the newest Kincaid Brides series by giving away a Nook Color and hosting an “Over the Edge” Author Chat Party on Facebook (Save the date for 8/29!).

Keep Reading for details to enter the giveaway…it is NOT by leaving a comment here.

Already Over the Edge is receiving praise:

Romantic Times gives it 4 Stars: 

Book three of the Kincaid Brides is Seth’s story.

With her trademark laugh-out-loud moments, Connealy breathes new life into an old storyline. The characters are fresh and innovating.

There is romance, mystery, laughter and secrets for readers to discover.

Library Journal

Over the Edge By Mary Connealy

Seth Kincaid hasn’t been right since he escaped a cave fire. The last time his family saw him, he was running off to fight in the Civil War. Now he’s returned home. So too has his bride. Callie has searched for Seth high and low, finally arriving at his family’s ranch. When she discovers he doesn’t even remember her, she’s ready to kill him. Yet, Seth knows that Callie may be the only one who can truly help him heal.

 VERDICT With trademark humor, Connealy (In Too Deep; Out of Control) weaves a delightful tale that is sure to please her fans and win her new readers. Recommend it to those who enjoy the fiction of Mona Gansberg Hodgson.

{More about my Nook Color Giveaway and Facebook Party}

Celebrate with me by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

One winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • The entire set Mary Connealy’s The Kincaid Bride series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 28th. Winner will be announced at the “Over the Edge” Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/29. We’ll get a chance to chat and you’ll get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of Over the Edge and join me on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

 

More about Over the Edge:

Seth Kincaid remembers almost everything… except getting married! Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he’s never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he’s gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he’s got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn’t happy to find out Seth doesn’t remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she’s come to the Kincaid family’s ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn’t a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She’s not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth’s pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can’t sort things out. It’s enough to drive a man insane–but somehow it’s all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

   

 

                    

 

 

          

AND there’s a blog tour, for a whole lot of people’s opinions about OVER THE EDGE

{Blog Tour Schedule}

8/16
Jami’s Words http://jamiswords.blogspot.com
Molly | Reviews By Molly http://reviewsbymolly.com
Kaylea | My Scrappy Life Http://www.myscrappylife.com
Cristi’s Reviews http://www.myproductreviews-cristi.blogspot.com
Janet | Along the Way http://a-long-the-way.blogspot.com
Kelli | The Zen of Motherhood http://www.thezenofmotherhood.blogspot.com

8/17
Charity | Giveaway Lady http://giveawaygal.blogspot.com
Michelle | Our Little Corner of the World http://www.littlecornerofworld.blogspot.com
Alena | Our Little Bit Of Wonderful http://www.ourlittlebitofwonderful.com /
Crystal | Created for Home http://www.createdforhome.net
Crystal | Cinnamon Hollow http://thecinnamonhollow.com
Bab’s Book Bistro http://www.babsbookbistro.net/blog

8/18
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com
Krystal | Live To Read ~Krystal http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com
Laura | Lighthouse Academy http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com
Lydia | The Overweight Bookshelf http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot.com
Patty | Broken Teepee http://brokenteepee.com
Kristie | Moments http://kristie-moments.blogspot.com/

8/20
Cindy’s Book Reviews http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
Megan | When life gets you down…read a book http://hopintomyworld.blogspot.com
Brenda | WV Stitcher http://www.kittycrochettwo.blogspot.com
Kimberly | Turning The Pages http://turningthepagesx.blogspot.com
Marissa | The Review Stew http://www.thereviewstew.com
Sophie | The Opening Lines http://theopeninglines.blogspot.com

8/21
Vic’s Media Room http://vicsmediaroom.wordpress.com
Shondra | Give Me Today http://www.givemetoday.blogspot.com
Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer http://www.coffeeaddictedwriter.com
Patricia | It’s Time To Read Mamaw http://itstimetoreadmamaw.blogspot.com /
Lenore | Crazed Mind http://theysayimnuts.blogspot.com
Dawn | A Passion For Pages http://dawncrandall.blogspot.com
Leila | All Meant To Shine http://allmeanttoshine.blogspot.com

8/22
Hannah http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1054028/hannah_e_trotter.html
Heather | Servant Wife Mother http://servantwifemother.blogspot.com
Betsy Ann Writer at Large http://www.betsy-ann.blogspot.com
Book Reviews By Jenny http://bookreviewsbyjenny.blogspot.com/
Karla | Quiet Quilter http://www.karla-hanns-karla.blogspot.com
Carrie | Farming On Faith http://www.farmingonfaith.blogspot.com/
Dianna | Savings in Seconds http://savingsinseconds.com
8/23
Becky | Christian Chick’s Thoughts http://christianchicksthoughts.blogspot.com
Angela | All Grown Up? http://pantylesspreacherswife.wordpress.com
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks http://www.anestintherocks.blogspot.com
Michelle | Healing Hearts Book Review Blog http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com
Whitney | Rambles of a SAHM http://www.RambleSAHM.com
Alicia | Surrendering All of Me Http://surrenderingallofme.blogspot.com
Tammy Is Blessed http://tammyisblessed.blogspot.com

8/24
Net’s Book Notes http://annetteirbyreviews.blogspot.com
Mary’s Cup of Tea http://www.mmbearcupoftea.com
Karen’s Korner http://stillmagnolia.blogspot.com
Tracy | No Greater Joy http://preecevilleprincess.blogspot.com
Maopa | Luscious Deals http://lusciousdeals.blogspot.com
Reviews by Renae http://www.renae-sattazahn.blogspot.com

8/25
Ruth | My Devotional Thoughts http://mydevotionalthoughts.com/
Lena Nelson | A Christian Writer’s World http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com
Tracy’s Book Nook http://www.tracysbooknook.com
Heather | Purple Frog Designs http://purplefrogdesigns.blogspot.com
Joy | Splashes of Joy http://www.splashesofjoy.wordpress.com
Tammy | Bluerose’s Heart http://bluerosesheart.blogspot.com

8/27
Victoria | Snail Pace Transformations http://snailpacetransformations.com
Jetties Ramblings http://jettiesramblings.blogspot.com323
Nancy | Sunny Island Breezes http://sunnyislandbreezes.com/
Nicole | Wyoming Girl *turned* Coastie Wife http://www.wyominggirlcoastiewife.com
Patricia | (Live and) Dream a Little Dream http://liveanddreamalittledream.blogspot.com/
Shirley | A Mom After God’s Own Heart http://therempels4.blogspot.com
Mindy | A Room Without Books is Empty http://detweilermom.blogspot.com

8/28
Lisa | Seeking with all Yur Heart http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/
Ladette | The Life and Times of a Pwnmom…. http://pwnmom.blogspot.com
Kianna’s Korner Http://kiannaskorner.blogspot.com
Jill | Frugal Plus http://www.frugalplus.com/
Lauri | Knits, Reads and Reviews http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
Stacey | WORD up! http://word-up-studies.blogspot.com
Lisa | Reviews http://storyreaderjune17.blogspot.com

8/29
Shari | The Knit Wit By Shair http://www.theknitwitbyshair.com
Carrie | Our Blessed Chaos http://www.ourblessedchaos.blogspot.com
Jennifer | Just Wedeminute http://wedemeyerfamily.blogspot.com/
Amber | Snidbits http://amberfrench.blogspot.com
Linda’s Lunacy http://lindaslunacy.com
Teresa | Nanna of 3 http://nannaof3.blogspot.com/
Faith | Labor Not In Vain http://labornotinvain.blogspot.com

Here Come the Brides–True Love!

Welcome to our final day of

HERE COME THE BRIDES 

as Cheryl Pierson and Tracy Garrett share scenes of  

TRUE LOVE

from their novels, Fire Eyes and Touch of Texas!

 

 


FIRE EYES

Fire Eyes was my debut novel in 2009. It has since been re-edited and re-released with a new publisher, WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER. When wounded U.S. Deputy Marshal Kaed Turner is left in Jessica Monroe’s care, they both find a love they didn’t bargain for.

BLURB:
A gritty, sensual western novel not meant for the faint of heart…

Renegades…
Lawmen…
Love’s healing power…

Wounded by sadistic renegades who rule the borderlands, U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner understands he faces certain death. Then Fate and a war party of Choctaw Indians intervene, delivering him instead to an angel with the skill to heal him.

Jessica Monroe has already lost a husband and a brother to the outlaws who tortured Marshal Turner. As

 

 the rugged lawman lies bleeding on her bed, she faces a difficult decision. Can she afford to gamble with her heart one last time? For when Kaed recovers, he is sworn to join the battle to wipe out the renegade gang—once, and for all.

When vengeance is done, will Kaed keep riding? Or will he return to claim his future with the beautiful woman the Choctaw call Fire Eyes?

THE SET UP: 
Marshal Kaed Turner has been deposited on widow Jessica Monroe’s front porch by a band of Choctaw Indians with orders from the chieftain:  “Do not let him die.” He’s been severely beaten by Andrew Fallon’s band of renegades that run the borderlands between Arkansas and Indian Territory. The last man the Indians brought to her doorstep died.  As the relationship between Kaed and Jessica deepens, she vows to move heaven and earth to heal him, even though it means he must leave her. There can be no future for them as long as Andrew Fallon lives.  

 EXCERPT FROM FIRE EYES:
    
Jessica Monroe was a woman he could love. A woman he did love. That realization was not easy to face. Love was for other people. Not for him. He had his job, and that was enough.
    
Or was it? More and more lately, thoughts of a place of his own, a family, a yearning to put down roots, had begun to plague him.
     His lips twisted. It was too soon. He’d had a fever, and what he thought he’d seen in the depths of her eyes had probably been a trick of the faulty workings of his own mind. Yet, he was drawn to her, not just her outward beauty, but her determination and strength. She was like a draught of strong liquor that he couldn’t put down once he had tasted it. Fire Eyes. A question formed in his mind, even as he tried to crush it, to evade the answer that might devastate him more completely than he thought possible. But it escaped his lips before he could thrust it away.
    
“Do you love me, Jessi?”
    
She turned slowly from where she stood beside the crib to face his level look.
     “Jessi.”
    
The firelight touched her dark hair, setting it aglow with auburn highlights, and Kaed thought she could never be more beautiful than she was at this moment. Her eyes registered disbelief at what she thought she had heard, her sensual lips parted, as if she wanted to reply, but was unsure. She stood, motionless.
    
He made his expression unreadable, but he couldn’t stop the ragged edge to his breathing that had suddenly developed. He forced the fingers of his left hand to unclench and relax, let the veil cover the tell-tale surge of need in his eyes as he lay looking at her. He knew not to speak again, even to say her name, until he gained control of his emotions.
    
She came toward him, and stood between the bed and the baby’s crib, need and want and fear all written on her beautiful features.
    
Kaed swallowed hard, and despite the chaotic rush of blood pounding in his ears, he made his voice even. “Do you love me?”
    
Jessica put her hand to her throat, tears filling her eyes. Before she could speak, he went on.
    
“You said the next time you married, it would be for love. I wouldn’t want you to make a mistake. But, from where I’ve been the past three days, I could swear I’ve seen love in your eyes. Like you said, though, sometimes it’s hard to recognize. So, I need to know, Jessi. Is what I see real?”

* * * * *

     She knelt beside him on the floor, her breath catching in her throat. She looked into the depths of Kaed’s dark gaze. He loved her. She was right about not mistaking it again. Slowly, she nodded, unable to find her voice, afraid it would crack if she did.
    
Relief flooded his pain-shrouded eyes. He reached to spear his fingers through her hair, pulling her to him. Her lids drifted closed in anticipation of his kiss, but he held her a hairsbreadth from him. When he spoke, his voice was husky, as if tenderness was not a thing he was accustomed to.
    
“When I take you tonight, Jessica, I want you to understand something.”
    
His clean breath was warm on her cheek, and she opened her eyes slowly to look at him once more. “When I come into you—” He swallowed hard. “—that’s my promise to you that I take you for my wife. This isn’t something I do lightly, and it isn’t something I haven’t thought out.”
    
“Marriage? Kaed, you need to be sure—” She stumbled over her words like a schoolgirl, her cheeks flaming.
    
Kaed’s eyes crinkled, and he smiled at her incredulous tone. “It’s all I’ve thought about. That’s why it’s important that you…that you love me. That I’m what you want. So you don’t marry for the wrong reason again.”

The love was there, lighting his eyes. She didn’t doubt what she’d seen. She bit her lip, wanting him to continue. No one else had ever said such things to her.


I’m giving away a copy of FIRE EYES to one lucky commenter today. Just leave a comment and your contact information—it’s that simple! I’ll draw a name out of the hat and announce the winner.

The e-book version of FIRE EYES is available now at Amazon, Lulu, Monkeybars, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Apple, as well as many other e-book retailers. The new print version will also be available soon! (Or drop me a note at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com and I will be glad to send you an autographed copy for only $10, including the shipping!)

Here are the links for Smashwords and Amazon: 
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/162817
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Eyes-ebook/dp/B0083JYET8 

Don’t forget to comment to be entered in the drawing, and thanks for coming by today!

Cheryl

 

TOUCH OF TEXAS

I’m thrilled to be wrapping up our week of Happy-Ever-After. Brides and Grooms—I just love them. All the lace and candlelight and promises of forever. 

In my first book, Touch of Texas, Texas Ranger Jake McCain was convinced he would never have the kind of forever his adoptive parents had. He was a half-breed, good enough to kill outlaws, but never worthy of a seat at the dinner table of society folks. Of course, he was wrong. Rachel Hudson, school teacher, orphaned early, raising her little brother on her own, was strong, beautiful, intelligent—and the perfect match for Jake. 

At this point in the story, Jake has dispatched one of the bad guys and is going to have to leave Rachel & Nathan, her eight-year-old brother, for good.  

I had such fun writing the scene where Jake finally realizes he doesn’t want to go on without her in his life. So he gathers his courage, walks in to propose—and comes face to belt buckle with loaded rifle.

EXCERPT FROM TOUCH OF TEXAS
     Jake sat in the dark, watching the cabin. It was where he’d been for the last hour, trying to gather the courage to go in and face Rachel. “Damn it.” He cursed the night and the lack of any proof someone had been near the cabin. Mostly he cursed himself. How did he make her see he was the wrong man for her when he no longer believed it himself?
     Somewhere during the long day, he’d realized he didn’t want her to find someone else. He wanted to be the man she turned to, the one she relied upon.
     “I love her,” he whispered to the stars. How the hell had that happened?
     It wasn’t possible. He waited for the familiar panic, the trapped feeling he always got when he considered marriage and a family. But it never came. Instead, a warmth filled him when he pictured Rachel, heavy with his child, and guiding Nathan as he grew into a man any father would be proud of.
     He must look ridiculous, sitting in the dark with a stupid grin on his face, but he didn’t care. He wanted Rachel and he would have her. What if she’d changed her mind? That gave him pause. Maybe a half-breed renegade lawman wasn’t what she wanted after all? Then he’d convince her to change her mind right back. Nothing could be as hard as facing a future without her.
     He caught himself before he straightened and presented an easy target to whoever might be watching. He didn’t doubt someone was. Though he’d found no evidence, his instincts were screaming at him that Rachel was in danger. Checking the shadows, he slipped up to the house and made a complete circuit before setting foot on the porch. He came up on the far end, near the window where the candle that saved his life had burned.
     “Rachel?” He kept his voice low, not wanting to wake the boys. “Honey, it’s me.” He leaned closer to the window, but he couldn’t hear anything inside. Was she asleep? Hoping he wasn’t destined to a night on the ground with no bedroll, he called out a third time. Finally, sounds of movement came from inside, then an uneven shuffle as she approached the window.
     “Jake?”
     “It’s safe, pretty girl. You can open up.”
     He heard her drag the bar from the door and lower it to the floor, but the door didn’t open.
     “Come inside, slowly. I have a gun and I know how it works.”
     Jake grinned. He couldn’t help it. Here he was, anxious to tell the woman he wanted forever with her, and she met him at the door with a loaded rifle. It was a story they could tell their grandchildren. He opened the door with his left hand, careful to stay out of her line of fire, just in case Wolf wasn’t as good a teacher as he thought.
     “Rachel, honey, I’m coming in. Put the rifle down.”
     “Are you alone?”
     “I’m alone, pretty girl.”
     “Then come on in.”
     Relief was evident in her voice. He peeked around the doorframe to be sure she knew it was him before stepping into the open.
     She faced the door from across the room, the rifle cradled in her arms. It wasn’t pointing at him, but she wouldn’t have to move it far to find a target.
     Jake came inside and closed the door, barring it again. When he looked back, Rachel had pointed the rifle at the far wall and was struggling to uncock it.
     “Let me, honey.” Taking it from her shaking hands, he eased the hammer forward and set the gun aside. When he opened his arms, she stepped into them without a word. Hugging her close, he let the last of his resistance melt away. Whatever it took, this woman was his and he wasn’t letting her go.
     “I’m sorry. I needed to be sure. You were gone so long,” she admonished without looking up. “I was worried.”
     “You were safe. I wasn’t far away.”
     “I wasn’t worried for me, I was scared for you.”
     Jake swore he heard a muttered dammit as she turned away to the stove. He snagged her hand and pulled her back against his chest. “What did you say?”
     She squirmed in his arms but didn’t answer.
     “I don’t think I can have any wife of mine using language like that.” He felt her stiffen and struggled against a grin. “It wouldn’t be proper.” He glanced down and felt himself drowning in twin pools of azure. God, she had the most beautiful eyes. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
     “Wife?” Her voice quavered on the single word.
     “If you’ll have me, honey.” Jake loosened his hold and dropped to one knee in front of her. “I know I’m no prize, and you’ll probably spend the rest of your days wishing me to Hades, but I don’t think my heart will go on beating if you aren’t part of my life.” He kissed the fingers of her right hand. “Will you marry me, Rachel Hudson?”
     When she tugged on his hand, he rose to his feet and waited for her answer. When a smile curved her lips, he thought his heart would stop.
     “I’d be proud to be your wife, Jake McCain.”
     A whoop from behind her brought them both around. Nathan raced down the stairs to throw his arms around Rachel. Calvin followed close behind. She returned her brother’s hug with tears in her eyes.
     “Well,” Jake muttered, shaking his head at Nathan. “I intended to ask your permission, son, but it looks like we already have your blessing.”
 

This week we’ve shared Marriage of Convenience, Forced Marriages, Wedding Surprises, Funny Stuff & True Love. Tell me, readers, what’s your favorite kind of nuptial situation?

In honor of brides and weddings and happy-ever-afters, I’ll give away a copy of both TOUCH OF TEXAS and TOUCHED BY LOVE, my second release, to one reader who joins the discussion. 

Please come see me on FaceBook – TracyGarrett.author – or follow me on Twitter – @TGarrett_Author.

Tracy


Thanks for visiting Petticoats & Pistols this week for HERE COME THE BRIDES! We hope you had as much fun reading about all the wedding surprises, hugs, tears and laughter as we had sharing them with you.

 Here’s wishing you all the happy-ever-after you could ever hope for!

The Fillies

Here Come The Brides: Forced into Marriage!

Whether it’s by shotgun or another equally pressing reason, sometimes proposals and weddings don’t come at the right time  – even if they’re the right thing. Here are Donna Alward and Mary Connealy with glimpses into a few forced unions from their books!

From THE REBEL RANCHER (June 2012)

“I thought about it all night, Clara. Thought about you and the baby and Diamondback and I know what we have to do.”

She wasn’t sure she liked the sound of this. He seemed very sure of himself and considering she’d already explained her proposal this meant he wasn’t likely to go along with it. She tangled her fingers tighter together and replied, as evenly as she could, “I already told you what I’d like to do. This doesn’t have to change anything, not really. I can keep my life and you can keep yours, and we can work it out so that our baby has both a mother and a father. Right?”

Somehow in the twisting of her fingers, she managed to cross hers, hoping he would see reason.

Another step closer, and this time he was shaking his head. “That doesn’t work for me, Clara. I can’t be a father hundreds of  kilometers away.” He reached out and pried one of her hands loose, clasping it in his strong, warm fingers. “What makes the most sense is…”

He paused, then got down on one knee while her mouth fell open. No, no, no! This couldn’t be happening. He couldn’t possibly be proposing. It would ruin everything! She didn’t want to get married. Didn’t want to lose herself in another relationship where she wasn’t loved in return. Why couldn’t he just be reasonable?

She tried to slide her fingers out of his but his grip was too firm. Oh God, he was looking up at her with those heart-on-his-sleeve eyes and she couldn’t look away.

“I want you to marry me,” he said softly. “Come home to Diamondback, and we can raise our child together.”

Panic threaded its way through her body. “We don’t have to get married to be parents,” she answered, adding a nervous laugh to the end that fell completely flat. Ty’s brow furrowed and a wrinkle appeared just above his nose.

He got to his feet and Clara realized once more how very tall he was. Ty had such presence that he tended to fill a room with it without even trying. It was hard to go toe to toe with that. But the truth was Ty had mentioned absolutely nothing about love. He had asked her but for all the wrong reasons. And it would be a disaster to marry without it. They would end up resenting each other and then what sort of parents would they be?

She had to make him understand that somehow. “Ty,” she tried, praying for calm, “getting married would be a mistake. We’d end up regretting it, I’m sure of it. And then there’d be a child stuck in the middle. If we’re calm and practical now, it’ll be so much better, can’t you see? We’ll make rational decisions rather than running on emotion.”

“Of course there are emotions involved. We’re not talking about buying a car or taking a job. We’re talking about a baby here. My baby.”

“And mine,” she reminded him.

A muscle in his jaw ticked. This wasn’t going the way she wanted at all! It had never crossed her mind that he’d propose. He didn’t love her. She wasn’t a naïve little girl after all. She knew that one night of passion and grief did not a love affair make.

“You’re asking me to make an impossible choice, do you realize that?” He ran his hand through his hair. “I either have to try to be a father on special occasions and holidays, or…”

He dropped his hand. “Damn,” he muttered.

“Or what?” she asked, wondering what choice she’d possibly forced.

“Or leave Diamondback.”

Her lips dropped open. “You’d do that?”

The chocolatey eyes she’d drowned in earlier now hardened. “What choice would I have? You should know me better, especially after everything I told you.” His voice turned accusing. “You know my history. You know how I feel about what my parents did. Thank God Virgil and Molly were there, but what if they hadn’t been? Don’t you think I know how it might have ended up for me? Maybe this was unplanned, but I could never turn my back on my own child. I could never put them second in my life and I thought you understood that.”

And now she saw his eyes glisten with the barest sheen of moisture before he blinked and turned away from her.

“But you love Diamondback,” she said weakly.

“Yes, I do.” His voice was hoarse with emotion. And he didn’t need to say anything more. If she insisted on staying in  Saskatchewan, he would leave the ranch behind. His birthright. His family.

For a chance to win a copy of THE REBEL RANCHER, leave a comment!!!!!!!!!

 And now here’s Mary, with an excerpt from CALICO CANYON:

“I can’t be out here alone with you wearing a nightgown.” Grace clutched the blankets. “It’s not proper.”

Daniel’s fair skin turned an alarming shade of pink as he stared at her. “I’ll bet it wasn’t proper of us to sleep together either.”

“It most certainly was not.” The deep voice from behind hit them at the same instant the cold did.

They all turned to face Parson Roscoe.

The boys wheeled fully around. Daniel sat up. Grace clutched the blankets to her chest and looked into the startled eyes of the  kindly parson and, just behind him, his gentle-hearted wife, Isabelle.

“Parson, it’s not what it looks like,” Grace said.

“Oh, thank heavens,” Mrs. Roscoe said. “Because it looks like you and Daniel spent the night together in this cave.”

“Then it is exactly what it looks like,” John said into a silence more frozen than Grace had been last night.

“Well, yes,” Daniel said. “We did spend the night together, but…”

“Daniel,” Grace gasped in horror.

Daniel looked away from the parson, his skin now fully flaming red. “Well, we did. Do you want me to add lying to the parson in on top of having you in bed…I mean, sleeping together…I mean…” Daniel lapsed into silence.

“Pa brung her home to be our ma, but he tried her out for the night and he decided to return her,” Mark said.

Parson Roscoe stepped fully into the cave. “Both of you get up immediately.”

“In front of the children, Grace? I’m shocked.” Mrs. Roscoe came in and shut the door behind her. The plump woman clutched her hands together in front of her chest as if desperate to get away and spend an hour in prayer just to wash the shock out of her mind.

Grace climbed to her feet. She fumbled with the blankets, there were too many of them to hold. She tried to drop a few of them and managed to drop them all. She caught at them and almost fell forward trying to keep herself covered.

In a voice that seemed to promise eternal flames, Parson Roscoe said to Daniel, “We’ll get on with this and no one will have to know what exactly went on here last night.”

The parson gripped his big black Bible in both hands as if he needed to physically hang on to his faith in the face of this indignity. “Do you Daniel take this woman…”

Daniel was staring at her, his eyes so wide Grace would swear the man had seen a ghost, shook his head.

“I don’t even know how I got here.” Grace flung her arms wide, narrowly missing backhanding Daniel in the face.

“I do.” Daniel grabbed her hand to protect himself.

“About time.” The parson turned his fire and brimstone eyes on Grace.

“No, I didn’t mean…” Daniel dropped her hand like it had sprouted cactus bristles.

“Silence, Daniel.”

“Do you Grace take Daniel—?”

“We told you we aren’t keepin’ her for our ma.” Mark turned on Grace. “You want out of here as bad as we want you out of here, don’t you?”

Grace nodded frantically. “I do.”

“Hallelujah!” The parson raised his hands to heaven.

“I now pronounce you—”

Mrs. Roscoe threw herself, weeping into Grace’s arms, whispering ‘congratulations’.

The parson, whom Grace had always liked, and his wife who seemed like such a sweet-natured woman in the normal course of things, swept out of the cabin. The door slammed shut.

“But I need a ride back to town,” Grace called after them.

“You’re not getting a ride back to town, woman. You’re married!”

Daniel might as well have been a cougar trapped in this cave with her, she’d have felt no safer.

“I’m what?” Deafening silence followed her question.

“To who?” Mark shoved himself to the front of the pack of boys.

Grace looked at Daniel, and it hit her. She was the mother of five—including two ten-year-olds. And she was only seventeen. Grace sank onto the floor and pulled all six blankets over her head.

 Mary’s giving away signed copy of her SOPHIE’S DAUGHTERS trilogy! Just leave a comment to be entered for the draw!

Winnie’s Book Giveaway Winner


Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful comments today.  I threw all the names into a hat (Well, into my random number generator anyway) and

THE WINNER IS

VALRI !!!

Congratualtions Valri.  Contact me via my website so I can get your mailing info and I’ll get copy of A Baby Between Them right out to you!

And remember, any of you who would like to pre-order a copy can do so HERE