Welcome Guest – Chelley Kitzmiller!


And book giveaway!!!

Do you remember the first romance novel you read? I do. I remember it well because I was absolutely enthralled with it. I had no idea books like that existed because I was not a reader and more than that I hated history and the book was a historical romance — Sweet Savage Love.

No matter what age you are, if you love romance novels, you should read Sweet Savage Love and know that it is historically accurate (as far as I can tell) and that it paved the way for today’s romance novels along with Kathleen Woodiwiss’s novels.

Take a trip with me down romance novel memory lane and see how much you remember.

1.  Once upon a time, romance novels were only written in one point of view—the heroine’s. 1970’s.

2.  Barbara Cartland was the undisputed queen of romance with heroines who were virgins to the end and beyond. 1970’s.

3.  A newly formed organization called Romance Writers of America was advertised in the back of a Janet Dailey book and a first conference in Texas was held. Early 1980’s.

4.  Janet Daily stole the crown from Barbara Cartland with her contemporary romances, one set in every state in the Union. Late 1980’s.

5.  The second RWA conference was held on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, and the aspiring writers met with the editors in the area of the ship known as the Shark Tank. We all thought that was very appropriate. Early 1980’s.

6.  The romance novel industry was all the buzz in all the major newspapers and magazines and the term Bodice Ripper romances was born. Throughout the 1980’s.

7.  Editors announced they would accept books with two points of view; this opened a whole new world for romance writers. Late 1980’s.

8.  April 16, 1986 The Love Train carried 30+ bestselling authors on a whistle stop tour across the U.S. to New York for the Romantic Times Conference. The event was covered by Time, Newsweek, Playgirl, the BBC, UPI, AP and every major paper and TV station in the U.S.

9.  The movie rights for Sweet Savage Love were sold, but the movie was never made doggoneit!

Old-time-photo 10. A book signing in Virginia City Nevada drew a number of authors. The Old Time photo was taken during that book signing event. From left to right: Rita Gallager, me, Barbara Kelly, Rita Clay Estrada, Janet Dailey. We had a wonderful time together. So sad that two of these wonderful writers are gone.

After finding Sweet Savage Love, I went hunting for more and found very little. There were gothics and nurse novels, even a few Westerns but not much more. I devoured everything I could find but it just wasn’t enough. That must have been when I decided to write my own. Little did I know what a struggle that would be. I lacked a lot of things that a writer needs: a good vocabulary, punctuation skills, knowledge of sentence construction and a whole lot more. And, of course, there were no conferences back then and no books devoted to the subject of writing romances. What was an aspiring writer to do?

Back to Sweet Savage Love with a handful of colored highlighter pens, one color for dialogue, one for tag lines, one for description, etc. I circled sections that really “got” me and analyzed why they “got” me. And along the way I discovered something interesting – that the book was full of historical events and characters and that they were interesting, not boring. That realization prompted me to make it my goal to give my readers (if I ever got published) painless history lessons.

Click cover to order

It took me ten years to write my first book El Dorado (formerly Touch The Dawn) and during those ten years I saved every newspaper and magazine article that focused on the romance industry. You can read those articles on my website (www.chelleykitzmiller.com)  under the “History” tab. They are in chronological order.

It was in 2009 that my plans to be a prolific romance writer got side-tracked by a new love—saving cats and dogs. I began Have a Heart Humane Society in Tehachapi, CA and now the rescue has over 30 volunteers. Our focus is on raising money to spay or neuter as many cats and dogs as we can—to make Tehachapi the first no-kill community in Kern County. I am always looking for ways to raise money for the animals (we are a non-profit 501c3).

Click cover to order
Click cover to order

So, what does this have to do with reading and writing? It occurred to me that I could use my writing to help raise money for our rescued pets. That said, I hope you that as soon as you finish reading this, you’ll type in Amazon.com (using Amazon Smiles for Have a Heart Humane Society, of course) and order the following three titles. Sedona Sunrise, a contemporary romance short story about a burnt-out doctor who finds peace and purpose with an innkeeper. A Family Affaire, a time-travel romance short story about a young woman who fulfills a romantic family tradition on her 21st birthday in an old Southern mansion. And Oscar Goes Camping, a non-fiction text/photo book that pokes fun at campers and RV’ers told through my Yorkie’s point of view.

Oscar Goes Camping Cover
Click cover to order

All three are available through Amazon.com on kindle and “Oscar Goes Camping” is also available in trade paperback. The short stories are $.99 each and “Oscar” is $3.99 in an ebook. 100% of the sale goes to help the Have a Heart pets, who you can view on our facebook page or on Pinterest. We are a financially transparent rescue, which you can confirm at Guidestar.com.

Touched by a fury angelComing this April or May is yet another fundraiser book, “Touched By A Furry Angel”, an anthology of approximately 40 pet stories, photos and childrens’ drawings written by some of my volunteers and by a host of Tehachapi pet owners. I wrote three of the stories – my most memorable and touching rescues (nothing to make you cringe, I promise). The book is being published by Deb Smith, a best-selling author who is also a publisher. She is contributing her expertise to make this book happen. It will be both a Ebook and a trade paperback.

And so there you have it. I have two loves: writing and pets. It’s especially nice when I get to combine the two. You can contact me anytime at ckitzmiller@bak.rr.com or haveaheart@bak.rr.com. I would love to hear from you.

Chelley is giving away a print copy of El Dorado to one lucky commenter.

Tell us about the first romance novel you ever read or about your favorite pet.

Every one who leaves a comment will be entered to win!

Man, myth, devil, or angel: who or what was Joaquin Murieta?

chelley kitzmillerPetticoats and Pistols is pleased to welcome Chelly Kitzmiller to Wildflower Junction.

Every book begins with an idea-a spark of imagination that excites the writer and makes him or her anxious to pursue the subject, and then to write about it. For me, Finding Joaquin Murieta was the beginning of a life-long romantic adventure. He has taken me on a journey I will never forget and opened door I would have never thought to open.

ChelleyKitzMiller_ElDorado200My new book, El Dorado, was conceived over the kitchen sink. I guess I was day dreaming. I saw alittle Mexican boy in white clothes sitting next to his aged grandfather. There was a small campfire burning brightly and behind them were some hills. Grandfather was telling the boy the story of Joaquin Murieta, California’s Robin Hood Bandit, and at the end of the story, when Grandfather said that Joaquin was no more, a shout was heard from the hills behind them, “I am Joaquin. You will remember my name.” The boy and the grandfather turned and saw a Zorro-like horseman sitting astride a rearing black stallion. Behind them was a full yellow moon.

ZorroNow, it’s only fair to say that I had been planning a driving vacation with my husband and had gotten the Automobile Club book on the Mother Lode, ie. Gold Rush Country. In it is a brief bio of Joaquin Murieta, so I was not unfamiliar with the name. But I was unfamiliar with his deeds.

I couldn’t get the image out of my mind and it eventually became a book, but it’s what happened during the writing of the book that has changed my mind about the paranormal.

I didn’t recognize it first. I didn’t put two and two together until it practically hit me in the face. There were incidents, which at first I wrote off as coincidences. Only now, after much reflection, do I see them differently.

JoaquinThe very first book that I wrote and never completed, took place in 1870 Arizona, around Tucson. I did a ton of research on Apaches and such. Some of that research involved General Stoneman in San Francisco. Once I had the over-the-sink vision, I became obsessed with writing El Dorado instead of the one I was working on. But I really didn’t want to do a whole bunch of new research. I decided to try to use my vision with some of the research I’d already done. Joaquin is a character that you can pretty much do anything with since there isn’t any proof of his birth or death.

According to the Joaquin legends, he was only 18 years old when he died in 1853, not old enough to be a hero in a romance novel. So, I tacked a few years onto his age, which brought the date up to 1870, the year I’d researched for the Arizona novel. There is speculation that Joaquin didn’t die at the massacre on the Cantua (a spot in the road off California’s I-5 freeway) as reported by Captain Harry Love’s California Rangers, but retreated to Mexico and recuperated from wounds there. Picking up on that idea, that Joaquin didn’t die, but did indeed survive, I brought him to the San Francisco I had researched in 1870 and had him looking to get revenge on the men who killed his wife back in 1852 or 1853. And so the book began.

Only after I was half way through the book did I pick up some new research material that casino online speculated that Joaquin eluded the California Rangers, returned to Mexico and found his way to San Francisco in 1870. I was more than a little surprised by this information.

We were living in Placentia, CA when the book was conceived. My hubby was transferred to KernThelateJackPalanceandhishorseFiesta County, CA. Soon after we made the move, I discovered that Joaquin was said to have come through the town of Tehachapi, near Bakersfield. I also found out that Academy Award winning actor, Jack Palance, was convinced that Joaquin had buried gold on his Stallion Springs property. In fact, he hired someone to hunt for it.

A woman who knew me through someone else called me because she was thinking of moving to Tehachapi and wanted to look at property. She asked me to drive her around. She was semi familiar with Tehachapi’s history and had been to Tehachapi a long time ago. I drove her to the end of Stallion Springs and she told me that somewhere in the vicinity there was a tunnel through which Joaquin Murieta and his horse gang used to escape. When she told me this, she had no idea that I was writing about Joaquin.

Joaquin gallopingAfter finishing the book, my agent sent it out to publishers. I got a rejection that clearly stated that Mexican heroes were not saleable. I was shocked. After I recovered, I rewrote Joaquin to be half Mexican and half white. Then more new research material came my way and the author claimed that Joaquin’s mother was a Mexican maiden and his father a Yankee engineer who came to Mexico, fell in love with a young Mexican girl and produced Joaquin.

After a number of such incidents, I planned a publicity trip for a writer friend through the gold rush country and picked up research material along the way. During the trip we stayed the night at a B & B. A guest informed us that the owner read palms and handwriting. We immediately scheduled sessions and during my session she told me that Joaquin had a large ego and that he was sitting on my shoulder helping me. When I finished the book he must have jumped off my shoulder and run away because I never had another incident until…recently, while writing about another real life character, Cochise! Stay tuned.

HappyTo all you pet lovers—My organization, Have a Heart Humane Society, is going to be holding a fundraising auction with Ebay Giving Works Oct. 22, 2014. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for spay and neuter. Please check out our Facebook page and Pinterest to see some of the items up for bid. Here are a couple of examples: a one night stay continental breakfast at the stars’ hotel, Sunset Towers in Hollywood ($500 value), a Prada dress, a Juicy Couture satchel, a Bulova diamond watch, a critique of your first three chapters by Christian Writer Lauraine Snelling and so much more. Please like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/haveahearthumanesociety


Chelley Kitzmiller Is With Us Today With a Giveaway!

KITZTucson AZ 1869

Half the fun of writing is the research. I love going to the places where the book is set even though the years have usually wiped away the footprints of the buildings and people who once lived there. But there are always the legends…


The Warriors of the Wind series began from an Arizona Highways magazine article that Jill Landis sent me years and years ago. Little did she know what that article would become. Little did I know-ha! The article talked about a cave where the Apache believed that the Wind Spirit lived and this drawing is the artist’s concept of what the spirit must have looked like. I was fascinated and the ideas started coming. Research backed up the Apache belief in the Mountain Spirits, one of which is Wind. And that’s how a story, or in this case, a series, was born.

KITZDevil Wind

In The Healer, Logan, who is half Apache, has the power of the wind, but refuses to let himself accept it because he is a Boston-educated doctor, a man of science. To admit that he believes in the supernatural let alone that he possesses a supernatural power is unthinkable. When Sadie, the woman he hired to tutor his wild little sister, uses a ‘mind trick’ to relieve a patient’s head pain, Logan insists she demonstrate her technique on him. The ‘trick’ goes awry, leaving Logan with an insatiable desire to make love to Sadie and a whole bunch of suspicions.  


I have never written a book with such strong personal conflicts. I admit that I times I  thought I’d backed myself into a corner and then remembered that I too have supernatural power — it’s called the power of the pen!  

I sincerely hope you enjoy the book and that the history comes alive for you as it did for me.             

 KITZChelleyKitzMiller_TheHealer_200px redo

Blurb for The Healer, book 3 in the Warriors of the Wind series:

Doctor Logan Kincade is every Bostonian’s guest of choice—not because of his rugged good looks, his wit or his renown as a surgeon, but because his blood isn’t blue like theirs. It’s red. Apache Red. But the social darling fast becomes a pariah when his modern techniques are rejected by the medical community.

Meanwhile, a plea from his brother summons him home to the Arizona Territory; his sister is coming of age, and he must keep a vow he made long ago to bring the White man’s medicine to his people. But like Boston, home offers no hope for Logan: neither the White man nor the Apache will accept him or his medicine.

After Sadie Davenport’s supernatural healing power is discovered by her greedy aunt and uncle, she faces two options—allow them to exploit her ability for profit, or run away. So, when she sees an ad from a local doctor calling for a sturdy teacher to accompany him to the Arizona Territory, she jumps at the chance. Her one problem? Logan sets her heart on fire upon first sight, but because of her homely disguise he’s unaware of the devastating beauty he just hired.

When their journey becomes embroiled in the clashing world of the Apaches and White man, Logan and Sadie must unite in order to survive. They quickly learn that despite their surface differences, their hearts beat with shared heat and longings—and both conceal intimate secrets. Mysteries that only fuel their increasing desire for one another. As those secrets start to unravel, they realize the truth can either save their lives or destroy their future…

“It will draw you in and not let go.” – Karen Kay, author of WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH: BLACKFOOT WARRIORS

“Well-researched and beautifully rendered, THE HEALER is a timeless adventure and a touching love story.” – Kathleen Eagle, author of SUNRISE SONG


A California native, Chelley Kitzmiller lives and breathes the Wild West. She travels the West doing research, decorates her home with everything from a cowhide ottoman to a window valance made of mismatched spurs and frames her own Western photography. She’s known and loved a host of Western movie stars such as Jack Palance, Harry Carey Jr., Ronda Fleming and others. She says, “I’ve had quite a ride and the saddle ain’t even broke in yet.”

As a teen, she hated history. The teacher was only interested in students memorizing names and dates; nothing about what motivated the people to do the things they did.

Her favorite historical romance is Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. When she read it, she didn’t know that the historical detail was factual and only later discovered the truth and realized that she’d gotten a painless dose of history. SSL was her life-changing experience; it made her want to pen her own historical romance and give to others what Rosemary had given her: history wrapped in an emotional action-packed story.

In her pre-published years, Chelley founded the Orange County RWA Chapter, finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, organized the Amtrak Love Train (Google the film documentary Where The Heart Roams), organized writers’ conferences, wrote book reviews for Publishers Weekly and had her own book review columns in two major newspapers.

KITZMotorhome Decal

After publishing four books with NAL and Harlequin, Chelley took a long break to help in her husband’s business, open two bookstores, work as an editorial assistant on nine books for Fern Michaels and one for Lauraine Snelling, learn photography and start a pet rescue. Through it all she wrote and still writes magazine and newspaper articles and grants for the pet rescue.

These days she splits her time between writing, RVing and rescuing pets. Interact with Chelley on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/chelley.kitzmiller and/or http://www.facebook.com/Haveahearthumanesociety and be sure to sign up for her newsletter at www.chelleykitzmiller.com or just send her an email at ckitzmiller@bak.rr.com.

Heartbreak RanchI’m giving away a copy of Heartbreak Ranch, an anthology by Harlequin. And my agent/publisher, The Knight Agency will add a $15 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment along with your contact information to be entered in my drawing!