Lilac Bride Sale


I don’t know about you, but I love it when the lilacs bloom. I mean, really LOVE it!

The flowers, from the deep purples, to the creamiest whites, make me so happy. They make me think of spring, and bring to mind memories of picking them for my mom for Mother’s Day, and gathering them from my grandpa’s garden.

Their scent isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I find that fragrance to be glorious.

A few years ago, I wrote a story about a bride-to-be who wanted a spring wedding filled with lilacs in memory of her mother.


Then it seemed like nature and everything else conspired against her getting the wedding of her dreams.

Just when it looks like it will all fall apart, some meddling octogenarians (like fairy godmothers who need cholesterol meds and Aspercreme) come to the rescue.

For a limited time, you can get Lilac Bride for just 99 cents. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll give it a whirl!

When wedding plans go awry, wily matchmakers come to the rescue . . .

Katherine Kelly has been dreaming of her wedding since she was old enough to cut pictures out of magazines and glue them into her bridal binder. When Kaden, the handsome cowboy who holds her heart, proposes on a snowy Christmas Eve, she couldn’t envision anything more perfect or romantic. The spring date is set, all the nuptial details have been meticulously arranged, and she only has six weeks to go before the big day. Then, in a blink, her carefully formed plans begin to rapidly unravel. A freak snowstorm, rampaging rodents, and a lost wedding gown are only the beginning of the troubles they face.

Cowboy entrepreneur Kaden Ford still can’t quite believe Katherine Kelly agreed to marry him. She’s beautiful, elegant, intelligent, and the woman who fills his heart with joy. He doesn’t care if they get married in a cathedral or a cabin in the woods. All he wants is to spend his life loving Kat. But when faced with one overwhelming challenge after another, will love be enough to hold them together?

Find out in this sweet, charming, small-town romance full of laughter, love, and scheming octogenarian matchmakers.

What is your favorite flower fragrance?

A Tissue of Dreams by Jo-Ann Roberts


Growing up in the 60s (that’s the 1960s!), there weren’t nearly as many clothing choices as we have today. So, when my Aunt Mary offered to teach me how to make my clothes, I jumped at the chance!

(Aunt Mary in light pink dress with her mother, sisters and sisters-in-law)

One of the surprises that awaited me was the choice of folded tissue paper patterns that I could choose. Looking back on it now, I’m not sure how I imagined clothing was made. But from those early sewing lessons, I continued making clothes throughout high school, college, and even into my early years of marriage and motherhood.

Fast forward to the present…when author Elaine Manders opened up spots in her Westward Hearts and Homes Matrimonial series, I quickly signed on as I’ve never done a mail-order bride romance.

While creating a profile for my heroine, Olivia Glennon, I came across a post about Irish women who came to America. They’d become maids, servants, laundresses, etc. However, I wanted to make Olivia something a bit more…modern. Giving her an occupation not only as a seamstress but as a pattern maker would add another layer to her profile.

Since the matrimonial agency was headquartered in Boston, I searched the Internet for pattern-making companies in the 1800s…enter Ebenezer Butterick.

Home sewing had just begun to proliferate with the introduction of the sewing machine in the mid-1800s. Around the same time, women’s magazines were gaining in popularity and many of them printed patterns, increasing the average woman’s access to stylish garments. However, these early patterns and illustrations were printed on small magazine pages and were difficult to use. By the 1850s, Godey’s Lady’s Book printed full-sized patterns, but in only one size, with no scale measurements for enlarging giving the reader no choice but to size the patterns to her own figure.

During the Civil War era, tailor Ebenezer Butterick experimented with the idea of graded patterns and discovered that tissue paper was ideal to work with and much easier to package than the heavy cardboard templates he first created.

The first graded sewing patterns were cut and folded by members of the Butterick family and sold from their home. In no time they needed extra space and expanded, first into an adjoining house and then to a larger house outside of Boston. In the next year, they established a second branch in New York City. Butterick first specialized in men’s and boys’ clothing but in 1866 began to manufacture dress patterns. Soon the women’s line included dresses, jackets, and capes in 13 sizes and skirts in five sizes. By 1873 Butterick was selling some six million patterns a year, at 25 cents each.

Corporate headquarters were moved in 1903 to the new 16-story Butterick Building in what is now known as Manhattan’s Soho district. Butterick was now one of the largest manufacturing concerns in the industry, and the building, constructed expressly for the firm, featured interiors designed by Louis Tiffany. Here, new styles were made up in muslins, and inspected for appearance, practicality, and suitability to the customers. After the season’s styles had been chosen, patterns were created, graded into sizes, printed on tissue papers, and cut, folded, and inserted into envelopes, complete with instruction sheets. These patterns sold for ten or 15 cents each.

Soon, other companies developed their line of women’s clothing patterns—which gave the American woman some options for clothing. Harper’s Bazar (later Harper’s Bazaar) offered pattern sheets printed on both sides of the paper. Shapes had to be traced for use. Begun with one-sized patterns in 1867, Harper’s offered individually cut paper patterns in 1870.

Glasgow tailor James McCall emigrated to New York in 1869 to work for Wheeler and Wilson’s Elliptic Sewing Machines and went on to publish a Catalog of the Bazar Paper Patterns. Despite the similarity of the names, McCall had nothing to do with Harper’s. McCall then published a fashion periodical called The Queen of Fashion in 1891 which became McCall’s in 1897.

By the late 19th century, tissue paper patterns became common. Holes and various shapes indicated the placement of darts and pleats while cut notches showed where to join cut fabric pieces.


In 1927, Joseph Shapiro established the Simplicity Pattern Company, which created the reproduced patterns that were affordable for the average household. Most patterns on the market sold from between 25 cents to $1.00, depending on the type of garment. Around the same, Vogue introduced Hollywood Patterns—which sold for 15 cents each—and capitalized on women’s desires to look like Silver Screen stars.

As the railroads increased the speed of transport, it became easier to order patterns from magazines and catalogs. The introduction of money orders made it simple and safe to order products by mail. The pattern business took off in a big way.

Pattern companies began to offer patterns in general magazines like Farm Journal and newspapers hoping to sell to rural and lower-income women, giving these women the chance to dress in current fashion without having to shop at a major department store.

Though home sewing with paper patterns may never gain widespread popularity as it once had, there is a resurgence of at-home sewing encouraging individual style over trends.

Did you or someone you know ever use a paper tissue pattern to make clothing?

Get to Know Cathy McDavid and Giveaway

Earlier this month, I celebrated the release of my latest Harlequin Heartwarming book, HER SURPRISE COWBOY GROOM. To help promote the book, I answered a few questions about myself in some get to know you posts I thought might be fun to share here as well.

To enter the giveaway (a free print copy of HER COWBOY SWEETHEART, Starbucks card and cowboy coffee mug), all you have to do is post a comment below, telling a short fun fact about yourself ?

What is something interesting readers would enjoy learning about you?

I really have lived the cowboy lifestyle for most of my life, getting my first horse when I was a youngster and having them up until a few years ago. Nothing like walking out your back door to the barn and petting a velvety nose. Or some feathers and wiry hair. While my kids were growing up, we had not just horses and the usual cats and dogs, I also kept a flock of around twenty-five hens (including one resident rooster), adopted a couple of rescue goats and had a pet potbellied pig named Queenie. She lived on the back porch in her own house, built by my stepdad, and had her personal wading pool. Queenie was very smart and knew a half-dozen tricks. She enjoyed going on walks with me around the neighborhood with would follow along like a dog. And also like a dog, she loved belly rubs, flopping over onto her back and begging for them. Every night after dinner, she waited outside the kitchen door for leftover, which I delivered. Her only bad habit was knocking over the barrels of horse grain or chicken feed and gorging herself.


Can you tell us about your latest novel?

Her Surprise Cowboy Groom is book four and the last installment in my Wishing Well Springs series.

An instant familyCould change her plans!

Ambitious wedding dress designer Laurel Montgomery can’t afford to be distracted…especially not by easygoing cowboy Max Maxwell. Wrangling his three-year-old twin daughters, a rambunctious puppy and a fledgling business, Max has his hands full, too. But he also knows the value of going for ice cream and fishing with his girls. Can he show Laurel there are more important things than making it big—like love and family?




Why did you choose to write a story set on a ranch?

Cowboy and ranch stories are my favorites to write, mostly because I lived the life and think cowboy heroes are the best.  And since I lived on a small ranch for over twenty years, it’s a story setting I’m very familiar with and love. There’s something very appealing about the great outdoors. It can be adventurous and exciting and charming, too.


What kind of ranching is done in your story?

Wishing Well Springs was once a thriving horse ranch, the largest in the state. When the heroine’s grandparents went into dept and lost the business fifteen years ago, the ranch was sold off acre by acre. It was the heroine’s idea to turn the remaining house, barn, and few acres into a wedding venue. She and her business partner brother keep the cowboy and ranching spirit alive by giving carriage rides to excited brides the happy couples.

Have you been to a rodeo? What are they like and how did you incorporate it into your story?

I’ve been to plenty of rodeos, from the time I was just a kid, and love them. My characters are often rodeo competitors, current or retired. Like so many live sporting events, they are fast-paced and exciting with the crowds going wild. The dangerous events, like bull and bronc riding, are thrilling. The skill events, roping especially, amaze me.  I love that women are no longer restricted to just barrel racing and are competing in breakaway roping and team roping. Go girl power. I find writing rodeo scenes, when my characters are competing, to be incredibly challenging. While I’ve tried barrel racing and roping, I’ve never ridden a bull or wrestled a calf, so I’ve relied on interviewing rodeo competitors for my research.

Your story is about a wedding barn. Can you tell us more about them and how the characters created one?

I was inspired to set my series in a wedding barn ranch after attending a friend’s nuptials at a charming wedding barn and western town. While watching the couple exchange vows, I was mentally creating stories. Since I knew I wanted two to four books in the series, I had to come up with a reason for my characters to turn the family ranch into a rustic wedding venue. Desperation seemed like a good motive, so I gave them financial hardships. But why a wedding barn? That part was easy. I made the heroine of my book a wedding fashion designer and her brother an architect. Together, they formed the perfect team.

Well, that’s probably more than you want to know about me 🙂 Don’t forget to enter the giveaway by posting a comment. Prize will be sent via regular mail service, US only (sorry).

Regina Scott Talks The Legend of the Mercer Belles

Blue Sky Brides

By Regina Scott

“The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle. And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle.”

If you remember when that song was first introduced, you likely remember the late 1960s television show, Here Come the Brides. In it, timber baron Jason Bolt and his two brothers bring one hundred brides from the East Coast to marry lonely loggers in frontier Seattle. It’s based on the true story of Asa Mercer, who traveled East in two trips to bring back Civil War widows and single ladies to “civilize” the frontier. The total of the two trips was far less than one hundred, but all except one ended up married. Go figure!

The legend of the Mercer Belles had intrigued me since I was a child, so I was delighted to pen a series of books for the Love Inspired Historical line with some of the heroines who had come with Mercer to Seattle. And now I’m continuing the series with The Perfect Mail-Order Bride, Her Frontier Sweethearts, and, most recently, Frontier Cinderella.

But I kept wondering. What did Asa Mercer say to convince women he’d never met to journey with him and start new lives in the wilderness? The barriers to acceptance were many.

These ladies were from the Boston area (most from Lowell, Massachusetts), and they’d had some education. Many had been trained as teachers. In contrast, many of the loggers, miners, and farmers in Seattle had little to no education, and they’d been living among men long enough that they sometimes forgot the social niceties.

Then there was the distance. In the 1860s, there were no trains and only a few trails linked the East Coast and the West Coast. The Mercer Belles had to sail for months. The first group went by way of crossing the isthmus in Panama; the second sailed down the coast of North and South America, through the Strait of Magellan, and up the other coasts. Chances were, if these women left for Seattle, they were never going to see family or friends again.

Finally, there was Mr. Mercer. He claimed to have been appointed Commissioner of Immigration  by the governor of Washington Territory and to have been made the first president of the Territorial University (both true), but he was only 25 at the time of his first trip, and a bachelor at that. Could he be trusted? The papers in the area thought not. They labeled him a swindler and predicted any lady who traveled with him would end up in a brothel.

So, what did he say? I found part of one of his speeches, courtesy of Lynn Bragg’s More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Washington Women:

“The climate of Washington Territory is marked by two seasons only, winter and summer. From the first day of April until the middle of November no other spot on this green earth boasts such a mild, equitable and delightful climate as does the valley of Puget Sound.”

It seems the bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle! Here’s to the women brave enough to take him at his word. Many a Northwest family owes them a debt of gratitude!

In honor of the Mercer Belles, I’m giving away two print copies of The Perfect Mail-Order Bride, U.S. only. Answer this question in the comments to be entered in the drawing: Would you have agreed to go with Asa Mercer and settle the frontier?

Series link to The Perfect Mail Order Bride


Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t sell her first novel until she learned a bit more about writing. Since her first book was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has more than sixty-five published works of warm, witty romance, and more than 1 million copies of her books are in reader hands. She currently lives forty-five minutes from the gates of Mount Rainier with her husband of thirty years. Regina Scott has dressed as a Regency dandy, driven four-in-hand, learned to fence, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course. Learn more about her at her website at

Celebrating Cathy McDavid’s Latest Release

Morning Everyone,

I don’t usually do much personal horn tootin’ here at P&P, unless it’s Yee-Haw Day or a seasonal event. But this week my book, HER SURPRISE COWBOY GROOM, released, and I just have to celebrate. I started this book over two years ago but then set it aside when I lost my mom and took a short break from writing. When I was ready to return to work, I had to start on another book per my contract schedule and then wrote yet another book when an opportunity came around that was too good to pass up. Finally, I returned to HER SURPRISE COWBOY GROOM and, at last, the book has hit the shelves.













To celebrate the release, I’m participating in a blog tour. If you’re interested in following along, the landing page is here. You’ll see the different blogs listed by dates if you scroll down. Oh, and there’s a giveaway with two winners receiving a books and author bling package.

Her Surprise Cowboy Groom Blog Tour

The reviews are just starting to come out and so far, so good. I’ve even received a couple five star reviews at two different review sites. Whew! It’s always a nail-biter.

One of the best parts of participating in a blog tour is I get interviewed or am asked to answer some get-to-know-you questions. Those are always fun. You know what might be even more fun? If I posted a few of those questions here.

What made you go all in and start writing?

Like a lot of writers, I was bitten by the bug early. For me, in high school. I wrote several children’s stories, one illustrated book, poetry, and lots and lots of essays. It wasn’t until college that I attempted my first book, which was in fact a novella. One should note, the story was a romance, both sweet and full of angst. I really wanted to be a writer. Then, after college, earning a living took priority, and I set my dream of becoming a writer aside.

When my kids were in preschool, the bug returned and bit me hard. As I loved reading romantic suspense (and still do), I wrote a 110,000 word tome. Took me about a year. The book wasn’t very good, but it did light a fire in me that is still burning bright today after almost 60 published books.

What first piqued your interest with contemporary cowboys and what was your original vision?

As I often tell people, I owned horses and lived the cowboy lifestyle for most of my life. Like they say, write what you know. I Actually started out penning small-town stories, another of my favorite. It wasn’t until my tenth published book or so that I had a cowboy hero, a former rodeo competitor at a crossroads in life. Shortly after the book came out, my editor approached me about writing contemporary westerns for the line. That was it. I became hooked (And in case you’re interested, that book was Cowboy Dad, my first official contemporary western)

What is the funniest thing to happen to you that ended up in a book?

This is a hard question. I tend to write serious books. I don’t have a place to use all the funny things that happen to me. If I had to pick one, it would be when my twins were little, I needed a quick place to sit and used their little training toilet. At that moment, our houseguests walked in and found me. They were much more embarrassed than me. Raising twins thickens your skin. A few years later, I had my hero walk in on my heroine while she was using a training toilet as a seat.

Okay, well I imagine that last one was more about me than you wanted to know 🙂 Thanks so much for letting me share the release of this special book, HER SUPRISE COWBOY GROOM. And if you’re curious how much research I had to do to write a fashion designer heroine, the answer is plenty. Among other things, I binge watched reality fashion design shows 🙂

Arranged Marriages and a Give Away!

In my latest book, my heroine, despite watching some of her friends find love matches, is resigned to the fact that she should marry well and within her class. She’s been raised to do it, and it’s hard for her to go against this. And no wonder. Families back in the day had a lot of say when it came to marriage of one of their own. If you were part of high society, such as my heroine, you came with a generous dowery that was incentive for a prospective groom to propose. When it came to money and marriage, the finances were discussed by both parties and many had to have a prenuptial agreement.

My heroine’s other dilemma was the fact her friends found love matches with those below their social class. This was a hard pill for her to swallow as marriage was encouraged only within one’s class. If you wanted to move up the social ladder, you were called an upstart. Too far up and you were a gold digger. On the other hand, to marry someone in a lower social class was considered marrying beneath oneself. In some cases, you could wind up a laughingstock. Love had to be stronger than one’s bank account to warrant such a move.

In the east arranged marriages were more common, and quite often the couple only met a few times, or not at all, prior to the wedding. Meanwhile out west, where arranged marriages were becoming a thing of the past, the mail-order bride took over. Once again two people were getting married without knowing each other. They got hitched then hoped for the best!

Through history and into modern times, the practice of arranged marriages has been encouraged by a combination of factors. In some countries there’s the practice of child marriage, two people betrothed at birth. When they come of age, they marry. There are also late marriages, tradition, culture, religion, poverty and limited choice. There were also things like disabilities, wealth and inheritance issues and political, social and ethnic conflicts

Arranged marriages began as a way of uniting and maintaining upper class families. Eventually, the system spread to the lower classes where it was used for the same purpose. Remember that rule about marrying in one’s own class?

Back in Victorian society, women had one main role in life. Get married and take part in their husbands’ dealings, interests, and business. Before marriage, they would learn domestic skills such as cooking, washing, and cleaning, unless they were from a wealthy family. Is it any wonder my heroine is fighting between finding true love and marrying the man her parents found for her? He’s wealthy, his family powerful. He’s even not bad to look at. Unfortunately, he also has terrible allergies and the personality of a door stop. What’s a debutante to do?

I’m giving away one free e-copy of my yet to be released, A Match for the Debutante, to one person from the comments below. Most of us don’t know anyone who had an arranged marriage or was a mail-order bride, but it’s fun to ask ourselves the question, could we marry someone we barely knew? To ask ourselves this question living in the 21st century, most of us would say nope! But if you lived in the Victorian era, could you do it?

A Little About Wedding Traditions


HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE! If you’ve found a moment to stop by today (or even a day or two later), I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with friends, family, good cheer, and delicious food. One of things I’m most thankful for this year is to have become a part of Petticoats and Pistols. I feel like I found my second family and am so delighted to have met you, the many wonderful readers.

I had the delight and honor recently of being interviewed by The Categorically Romance Podcast (here’s a link in case anyone is interested in having a listen:    Cathy McDaivd’s Podcast  – I’m episode #78).

So, one of the questions my lovely hosts asked me was about my current and upcoming writing projects. I mentioned that, after the book I’m working on now (an inspirational suspense), I’d be finishing the last book in my Wishing Well series for Harlequin Heartwarming. I then laughingly admitted it was my eight wedding-themed book in a row for Heartwarming and would be my last for a while as I’d grown a little tired of writing about weddings.

That said, I’ve had such fun with the books. I spent a lot of time researching weddings and learned about some lovely, quaint, and, okay, a little crazy, traditions. Everyrone knows about throwing rice, of course – which is now the more feathered friend friendly version of throwing bird seed. It’s a way of wishing the newlyweds good luck, prosperity and fertility. But here’s the scoop on just a few common American wedding traditions you may not have known:

1) Nowadays, brides often carry bouquets of flowers. In ancient Greece and Rome, she carried a bouquet of herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits.


2) Queen Victoria is said to have started the fashion trend of brides wearing white dresses. In ancient cultures, blue was more often considered the color of purity.

3) Also, Roman times is when the practice started of attendants wearing matching dresses, again for good luck. Not only each other, their dresses matched those of the bride in order to confuse evil spirits. Roman brides wore a veil for the same reason – to protect her and hide her from the pesky evil spirits who might steal her away. As you can see, superstitions played a large role in the origins of some modern traditions.

4) The reason for wedding rings being worn on the third finger of the left hand dates back to Egyptians (well, some also say Romans, again) who believed there is a vein that runs from that finger directly to the heart.

5) If you receive a wedding invitation with the wording “the honour of your presence”, the ”u” in the word honour is to let guests know the ceremony will take place in a church or place of worship.

6) Giving away the bride stems back to the times when marriages were arranged and the bride was “transferred” from her father to her husband. Yes, like property. These days, the gesture is more often a sign of affection.

7) Bridal showers started out as a way to raise money for the bride’s dowry.

Tell me, what traditions did you have in your wedding or want to have in your wedding? I wore something old (leave the past behind), something new (embrace the future), something borrowed (good luck) and something blue (purity and warding off that evil spirit again). Maybe you had an unusual tradition or one with a special meaning for your family or culture? I’d love to hear about it. I do have that last wedding book to write!

P.S. – Don’t forget to join us on November 29th for Cowboys and Mistletoes – a super fun story and game for our readers and plenty of chances to win a nifty prize!

Wedding Disasters

My new sweet contemporary romance, Lilac Bride, releases next week. 

It’s the story of a couple who gets engaged on Christmas Eve, plan the perfect wedding, then face one disaster after another when it comes to their upcoming nuptials.

I’ve heard so many horror stories about wedding plans gone awry. In-laws wreaking havoc. Grooms so nervous they drink too much the night before and can barely stand up at the wedding. Brides turning into crazed maniacs in the quest to have a picture-perfect wedding.

Cakes falling to the floor. 

Florists accidentally delivering sympathy flowers instead of the wedding bouquet. 

Torn dresses, lost dresses, dresses that don’t fit. 

If you can imagine it, some poor bride or groom has endured it. 

Writing the story made me think of my own glitch-plagued wedding. 

The first hitch in the plans happened when my mom came down with the flu two weeks before my wedding. There were approximately a gazillion tiny buttons that still needed to be sewn on my dress, along with dozens of details that weren’t quite finished. She and I had planned to make the wedding cake together. Only she was sick, and I was up to my eyeballs with work, wedding plans, and the holidays (not my best idea to get married a week before Christmas but it seemed soooooo romantic at the time). My mother-in-law called me at work and informed me her friend was going to make the cake and that’s all there was to it then hung up. Although her take-charge attitude bothered me at the time, I was so glad her friend made the cake for us. It turned out beautifully, and was tasty, too. 

Captain Cavedweller, and several members of both of our families, caught the same bug that Mom had and began dropping like flies. Helping hands were limited as we neared the big day. The friend I’d asked to play the piano for us backed out two days before the wedding. Fortunately, a lovely girl I worked with at the time offered to step in. 

My maid of honor had sent measurements for her dress, since she lived almost eight hours away at the time. Mom made it, and when my dear friend tried it on, it didn’t fit. At all. So Mom stayed up late frantically ripping seams and making adjustments. 

Somehow, we made it to the wedding rehearsal where my soon-to-be sister-in-law jokingly announced I was pregnant (which I wasn’t). CC was angry. I was livid. My parents were simultaneously shocked and appalled.  I remember standing in the foyer of the church and discussing if eloping was still on the table. For months after the wedding whenever we encountered someone from CC’s side of the attendees who didn’t know me well they would give me a strange look, since I obviously wasn’t pregnant, and inquire about the arrival of the baby.

The day of the wedding, things went along fairly smoothly until the ceremony. My uncle was a county judge and we’d asked him to perform the ceremony. Except he got so nervous, he kept calling me by my sister’s name, and he bungled CC’s last name. When he announced the bride and groom at the end of the ceremony, instead of Shanna Hatfield, it came out Shelley Hathaway. Everyone in the crowd gasped in disbelief, which is evident on the video of our wedding. With all the air that was sucked in at that moment, it was lucky some of the decorations weren’t caught up in the vacuum. 

The wedding was held upstairs in an old church. The reception took place in the basement. On the way down the stairs, the heel broke off my never-before-worn satin wedding heels, leaving me to clomp the rest of the way down the stairs to our waiting guests like a peg-legged pirate. 

By the time we left for our honeymoon hours later, it was evident the flu I’d so carefully avoided catching caught up to me. 

I laugh about all the disasters now. When people ask if there is anything I would do differently about my wedding, I always answer the same: “I’d change everything but the groom!” 


In Lilac Bride, Kaden and Katherine endure any number of trials and tribulations when it comes to their wedding plans.  One of the many issues that popped up included their invitations. 

I thought you might enjoy reading a little snippet:

Thoughts of her kisses left him so distracted, he almost ran the drone into a tree. He guided it back toward the barn, then noticed Colt riding one of the horses he was training down the driveway. His brother rode out to the mailbox, gathered the mail, then started back. He was halfway to the house when he kicked the horse into a run and raced toward the barn, waving something over his head.

“Kade! Get down here! Hurry!” He could hear the alarm in Colt’s voice, even from his perch on the barn’s widow’s walk.

Kaden landed the drone, gathered his things, then rushed down the narrow staircase. He’d just reached the bottom when Colt burst into the barn.

“It’s so bad, Kade. She’s going to freak.” Colt waved an envelope and what appeared to be an invitation in his face.

“Who’s going to freak?” Kaden asked, setting his things on a workbench. He brushed his hands on his jeans before taking the pristine piece of creamy cardstock in his fingers and looking at a wedding invitation. His and Katherine’s wedding invitation. He knew she’d been able to get the reception address changed at the last minute and paid extra to have the invitations shipped to the guests from the print shop.

Watercolor lilacs swept across the upper left and lower right corners of the invitation, accented with sage-colored leaves and delicate gold edging. An elegant font announced the wedding and invited guests to attend the ceremony and reception. He glanced at the date to make sure it was correct, then looked at his brother. “It looks good.”

Colt appeared shocked. He tapped the card in Kaden’s hand, pointing to the first line of type. “Did you read it, you idiot?”

Kaden’s gaze dropped back to the invitation, and he quickly read each word. His eyes widened as his jaw dropped open.

He glanced up at Colt as trepidation seeped into every fiber of his being. “She is so going to freak.”


Lilac Bride releases February 25, but you can pre-order your copy today!


What about you?

Do you have any wedding disaster stories to share?

Post your comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of Lilac Bride!

A Sneak Peak at To Marry A Texas Cowboy!

I’m so excited for the release this month of the fourth book in my Wishing, Texas Series, To Marry A Texas Cowboy. Mark your calendar. September 28th is the day Zane Logan’s story arrives.

Zane is the playboy in this group of heroes. Women fall at his feet, and there’s never been one he couldn’t handle. Do you see trouble coming? Of course you do, and you’d be right. Here’s an excerpt from To Marry A Texas Cowboy. I hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to mark your calendar.



“Are you okay?” Mr. Stop Traffic asked, stepping into the light. She must have showered him with champagne because his shirt lay plastered against his chest, revealing his well-defined abs. Oh, my. His chest looked as wonderful as his face.

“I need to get to the generator,” McKenna said, but she’d no sooner gotten the words out when the lights came on.

“What happened? There’s blood smeared on your face and sleeve, and your nose is swollen.”

McKenna resisted the urge to groan, his comment obliterating all her feminine warm fuzzy feelings. While she was thinking about how dreamy he was, he’d been worried about her bloody, swollen nose. She should’ve known something practical accounted for his interest.

“Something hit my nose when the lights went out.”

“Bet it was the cork from my champagne bottle. It got away from me when the lightning hit.” He glanced around. “Mrs. Severance, you’re a nurse. Come check this out.”

Thanks. Call more attention to the fact that I got hurt and probably resemble a rodeo clown, while you, dripping wet with champagne look…marvelous.

McKenna smiled and waved the older woman off. “No need. I’m fine.”

“If you’re sure,” Mrs. Severance replied.

She nodded as Mr. Stop Traffic moved past her, lifted a glass, and filled it with water from a nearby pitcher. Next, he grabbed a napkin, dunked the square into the water, and returned. Increasingly embarrassed and fighting the urge to run, McKenna reached for the napkin, but he pushed her hand away. “You’ll only smear it more.”

His brows furrowed in concentration as he wiped the blood from her face. His green eyes held tiny flecks of gold, making them almost sparkle. He had the most mesmerizing eyes. Paul Newman, never-forget kind, except in green instead of blue. Her breath caught in her chest. She couldn’t think. Oh dear. No man had ever sent such a warm rush of pleasure pulsing through her before. Not even during sex.

“You need medical attention. Your nose is really swollen.”

His words obliterating her sexual feel-good haze, she leaned forward, kept a smile on her face, and whispered, “Stop saying how swollen my nose is. I’ll deal with it later. Right now, I need to do my job.” Then she straightened and announced, “I’m fine, everyone. If I wasn’t, I’d say so. Now let’s get this party back on track and toast the happy couple.”

She placed her empty bottle in the tub and selected another. This one she opened before handing it to him. “Pour. Everyone’s waiting.”

“Hey, Zane,” came Ty’s voice again from the dance floor, “everyone okay back there? You about got that champagne poured?”

McKenna froze. Zane? While that wasn’t a common name, it wouldn’t be unheard of for two men named Zane to be in attendance tonight.

 Right, and if you believe that then you’ve got less brains than God gave a fruit fly.

“Don’t get your britches in a knot, Ty. We’ll be ready for the toast in a minute,” Zane replied.

No, she couldn’t have done what it appeared she had—assumed her boss’s grandson was temporary hired help, ordered him around, and spilled champagne all over him.

This man couldn’t be Ginny’s grandson, the video game designer from Los Angeles, because nothing about this man said California. He was all Texas, including Wrangler jeans, a crisp black western shirt, a silver oval belt buckle with Texas written in the center, and freshly polished cowboy boots.

Despite the evidence, she had to be certain. “You’re not Ginny’s grandson Zane, are you?”

“The one and only.”


Despite their awkward first encounter, when Zane takes charge of his grandmother’s wedding planning business and becomes McKenna’s temporary boss, she doesn’t let him run roughshod over her. Zane doesn’t know quite what to do with a woman he can’t impress, and there are plenty of fireworks. 

Today’s giveaway is a signed copy of book 3 in the Wishing, Texas series, To Tame A Texas Cowboy, and an insulated cup, Less Monday More Summer. Since Zane steps in to run his grandmother’s wedding planning business, to be entered in the random drawing leave a comment what you enjoy most about weddings, a wedding trend you like, detest or just don’t understand. 

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!