Monday Author Meetup: Zina Abbott


My guest today is romance author Zina Abbott. I’m shining the spotlight on her book, FAMILY SECRETS. Zina will award a FREE digital copy of her book to one reader who leaves a comment.

Zina Abbott

About the author: ZINA ABBOTT is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her adult Golden Oaks series which includes Family Secrets, the first book in the series.

Except for the first year of her life, Robyn Echols has lived in California. She started her young life in San Diego and has had gradually moved northward. She has been writing since she was in junior high school.

After working several jobs, including that of being a rural carrier and union steward for the California Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Robyn has spent years learning and teaching family history topics.

Robyn resides with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” When she is not piecing together novel plots and characters, she enjoys piecing together quilt blocks.

FAMILY SECRETS

Family Secrets

Book blurb:

Jennie Graves Howell has a secret, including being thought of as a loyal wife to her husband serving in Afghanistan, a husband who has demanded a divorce.

Jennie’s family do not want her to delve into the past. Grandpa Mike refuses to talk about his experiences in the Vietnam War and the aftermath. He wants the biggest mistake he ever made to remain hidden in the past, including family members Jennie never heard about until hints of their existence begin to seep through the cracks of secrecy.

Her new friends at the Golden Oaks Family Ties club are willing to teach Jennie the skills she needs to unlock her family’s secrets, but is she willing and emotionally strong enough to learn what her family has kept hidden?

Excerpt:

“So you’re not afraid of opening Pandora’s Box?” Kaylee asked.

“I don’t see it as Pandora’s Box. I see it as—well, not like a treasure chest—more like a strong box with important information inside that can be of great value if only I can unlock it.”

“And your grandpa is the key, no?” said Lupe.

“No…” Jennie hesitated. “He’s the lock. He’s the one who keeps everyone from talking about it so it stays hidden away.”

“So, what’s the key?” asked Kaylee.

“I think it’s more of a case of who is the key?” said Donna.

The room grew silent as everyone looked at Jennie.

“I guess I’m hoping I’m the key,” Jennie said. “That’s one of the reasons I decided to come tonight. I need all the help I can get to learn how to help Grandpa Mike open up so he will tell us what happened.”

Helen clutched her chest and leaned to her far right, her face assuming an expression of mock shock. “And here I thought you came because Donna assured you that we at GOFT are the most wonderful, fascinating, irresistible women you would ever want to meet.”

“No, Mom, this is serious!”

“I know,” said a more subdued Helen. “And I do hope you find what you are looking for, Jennie.  I just hope you know that when Donna brought you to the GOFT meeting, you came to the best bunch of supporters in the world.”

Jennie laughed. “Yes, she did tell me you are great. Although, her husband calls you the ‘goofy ladies’.”

“We can be that, too,” said Arlene with a laugh. “We have a lot of fun.”

“We have enjoyed having you join us tonight,” said Opal.

“Thanks, and I appreciate all your help. I’m going to study these hand-outs and look up all the online sites so I can be as prepared as possible. Wish me luck on Thanksgiving Day, will you? That is the one holiday my mom’s side of the family always spends together. Even though he sometimes gets quiet and grumpy after dinner, it seems to be Grandpa Mike’s favorite holiday.”

“Really!” said Kaylee. “I think Christmas is most people’s favorite holiday. I know it’s mine, hands down.”

“Grandpa Mike says we can visit other sides of the family any other holiday, but Thanksgiving belongs to him. It’s really important to him to spend it with as many of the family as possible. I just hope that since it’s his favorite holiday, he will be in a good mood and agree to talk to me.”

“We will be pulling for you one hundred percent, Jennie,” assured Sandy. “We can hardly wait until next month when you tell us how things worked out.”

“Yeah, and find out why he likes Thanksgiving so much while you’re at it,” said Kaylee.

Jennie opened her mouth, but no sound came out as her breath caught in her throat. She had attended the meeting so she could learn how to conduct oral history interviews. In her mind, this was a one-time event. She did not plan to come to a second GOFT meeting.


PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon: clip_image001http://amzn.to/1AcEfzN

Nook: http://bit.ly/1xaRcsL

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487453

 

ZINA ABBOTT social links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zinaabbottbooks?ref_type=bookmark

Pinterest board for Family Secrets : https://www.pinterest.com/ZinaAbbott/family-secrets/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118176776769103279872/posts

Blog: http://zinaabbottbooks.blogspot.com

Website: http://www.zinaabbott.homestead.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OWRJ3R8

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Book Launch Day & Giveaway


Happy Day-after-Christmas, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed yesterday with family, friends or by yourself. If you need something to drive away the post-holiday blues why not pick up a digital copy of RESCUING LARA? Today is official launch day for this first book in my new Romancing the Guardians series. It’s a departure from my western historical romance, but I think you will find it just as action-packed, suspenseful and steamy as the westerns.

To celebrate,  I’m offering a FREE pdf copy of WHITE WITCH and DARLIN’ IRISH to anyone who purchases RESCUING LARA today and reviews it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble within the next week. Just send me a copy of your published review along with your email address to collect your prizes.

Now here’s a peak at RESCUING LARA:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

 

Book Blurb:

Lara Spenser is running for her life. She guards a treasured relic from ages past that her ruthless enemies want to get their hands on. Although she has escaped to Ireland and is hiding from them, her special sixth sense tells her the “Hellhounds” are growing near. Injured in a car wreck that killed her beloved uncle, she is desperate for someone to act as her bodyguard.

Enter Connor O’Shea, ex-Special Forces soldier. Now the foreman for a crew of oil and gas well firefighters, Conn is on an extended vacation in County Kerry after a devastating explosion on his last job. His strong protective instinct convinces him to take on the job of guarding Lara until she can find a permanent bodyguard. Romance soon blooms between the two, but Lara suffers from deep physical and emotional wounds. While Conn may keep her safe, can he rescue her from the pain that holds her prisoner? Will she fulfill her destiny as High Guardian of apocalyptic secrets? Find the answers in Rescuing Lara, book one in this tantalizing new series, Romancing the Guardians.

Book Excerpt:

Burdened by grief and guilt, she hadn’t been able to even think about translating the scroll until finding a small measure of peace in this out-of-the-way Irish cottage. During the past few weeks she’d finally felt secure enough to begin the translation, but now she sensed the Hellhounds closing in. She feared she would not be safe here much longer.

Bent over the document, she reviewed the portion she’d already translated, reading the same fear expressed by the long dead oracle whose message had been handed from one High Guardian to the next through the long centuries.

****

The Milesians draw near. They have destroyed my people, the Tuatha Dé Danann. Only I, Aodhfin, bearer of the white fire, and my council of mages remain above ground with a small force of protectors. Soon, we will join our brethren in the netherworld. Before I go, I must record one final prophesy.

Our laws forbid the Word of Danu to be written down. Yet, I was appointed to commit this sacrilege in order to preserve the Truth. She who taught me the Word entrusted me with this duty upon her deathbed, for she knew our race would not long endure above ground. At her direction, I have recorded our six greatest prophesies.

****

That was all Lara had so far deciphered. Anxious to know the final, ruling prophesy, she called upon Malcolm’s spirit to guide her as she focused on the next group of symbols.

. . . .

A knock on the study door broke her concentration. Frowning, she glanced over her shoulder. “What is it, Una?”

“Mum, the man who telephoned yesterday has arrived.”

“Oh! Um, one moment please.” Engrossed in the task at hand, Lara had forgotten her appointment with the man who’d answered her ad in the The Kerryman, the local newspaper. Scolding herself for letting such a crucial matter slip her mind, she quickly rolled up the scroll, slipped it back into its tube and dropped the container in her knitting basket under the table. She nudged it beneath skeins of yarn with her good foot, making sure it was well hidden, then wheeled to the door and unlocked it.

“Come in,” she called, opening the door and backing away.

Una stepped into the room with a rolling pin gripped in one hand and flour dusting her apron. She partially closed the door behind her.

“Mum, he looks a bad un,” she whispered, worry lines creasing her brow. “Ye oughtn’t to be alone with him.”

Lara hesitated briefly then put the warning down to melodramatics. “I’m sure I’ll be fine. Please show him in, Una.”

“But mum, he’s –”

“Show him in,” Lara gently insisted, raising her hand to stave off further argument.

The Irishwoman issued a mournful sigh and nodded. “Aye, mum, as ye wish.”

While she went to fetch the man, Lara smoothed her long skirt and fingered the jagged scar running from her right cheekbone down almost to her jaw. She considered standing to create a stronger first impression but dismissed the idea. Her injured leg wasn’t strong enough to bear weight yet, if it ever would, and standing on one foot she’d risk losing her balance.

A man’s heavy tread accompanied Una’s footsteps up the hall. The door opened again and the plump Irishwoman warily ushered in a tall stranger. He halted just over the threshold to stare at Lara, obviously unprepared for her appearance. She stiffened self-consciously and gulped at the sight of him. Six-foot-two or three, he had shaggy coffee-brown hair, and several days’ growth of beard shaded his square jaw. A slight bump marred the bridge of his Roman nose, revealing it had once been broken. Clothed in faded jeans, a dark blue shirt, black leather jacket and boots, with studded leather gloves protruding from the jacket pockets, he looked like he belonged in a motorcycle gang.

Monday Author Meetup: Paisley Kirkpatrick


This week’s guest is western romance author Paisley Kirkpatrick. She and I are fellow Sweethearts of the West and she’s one talented lady.

Paisley Kirkpatrick

About the author: Discovering that riding off into the sunset was a lot easier on a computer screen than in real life, not to mention those saddle burns, Paisley Kirkpatrick began her career as an author. Hiding in the Sierra Mountain Range of California with her husband of 46 years, Paisley Kirkpatrick spends her time roping in the cowpoke of her dreams, or can be found wandering the streets of California’s gold rush towns to find inspiration for her books. She might not have found gold in them there hills, but she did find a love for the old west and the prickling of the stories that make up her Paradise Pines series.

Drawing on family history and a healthy imagination, Paisley kicks off her wild ride on a dusty trail with One-Eyed Charly. It’s one of many adventures in a time when men were men, and women knew how to put them in their place. If you love your cowboys rugged with a sensitive side, and your heroines with enough fire to light up the western sky, you’ve got a home waiting in Paradise Pines. Just be sure to bring a six-shooter because the Lady Paisley aims for the heart, and when she fires, she never misses.

Today I’m spotlighting Paisley’s brand new release, One-Eyed Charly and guess what? She is offering a free digital copy to one lucky visitor who leaves a comment. Please leave your email address so Paisley can send you the book if you win.

One-Eyed Charly

OneEyedCharlyCoverArtsmall

Book 5 in the “Paradise Pines” series is out – Stripped of her identity, her job, and her pride, Charly Sinclair has no other choice but to change her lifestyle to survive an uncertain future.

Excitement goes wild in the mountain community…

Charly Sinclair came to Paradise Pines with hopes of a new life — a life free to fulfill her dream. The town’s livery owner would not let women drive his stagecoaches, so she changed. She portrayed herself as a man.

Robbed of the Wells Fargo money box by a gang of thieves, her secret threatens to take everything important away from her. To bring the outlaws to justice, Charly teams up with the one man who makes her wish she hadn’t hid the fact she’s really a woman. Braden MacGregor might be bullheaded and rough around all the wrong edges, but he just so happens to be the man who sets her blood to boiling. When the truth is revealed, can she bring herself to forgive him for firing her for being a woman?

To make all her dreams come true, Charly must make Braden respect the woman she is, as much as the man he thought her to be.

Book excerpt:

Matt studied her a moment. “No, but don’t you even think about going after them. I am well aware of your reputation with a gun but–”

She jumped up, which knocked the chair backwards. “Don’t even think about stopping me.”

He stood, towering several inches over her. “Don’t push me. If I have to, I’ll lock you up for your own good.”

His heavy-handed tone cut through her outrage, sparking a surge of indignation. “I can shoot the eye off a gnat at a hundred paces, even wearing a patch on my left eye.”

“Don’t argue with me, Charly. The answer is still no. Go grab a beer. Your wounded pride will heal. You’ll think clearer in the morning.” Matt snatched her hat off his desk and stuck his finger through the hole in the crown. “You might be thanking your maker the guy’s aim ain’t as good as yours.”

She shuddered at the near miss. Another inch and she wouldn’t have known how this day ended.

“Lucky shot.” She grabbed the hat from his hand and plopped it on her head. “I am not done jawing about this with you yet, but that wet one is tempting.” She picked up the poster and folded it. When she stopped at the tollhouses tomorrow, she would show it to their employees. Maybe one of them could give her information as to where the Westons might be hiding out. She tipped her hat and left the sheriff’s office.

In the early evening hours, Trick’s Saloon became a haven for ruffians and misfits. She headed across Main Street with her thoughts on a cool one. She pushed the door open and stepped inside. Today was no different from any other day. Her slight stature left her wide open to crude remarks. Over time, Charly had grown immune to the reaction her appearance in the saloon caused. All the rude comments quieted back down until she ordered the beer.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00RA5UHKQ

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1zTDr2q

Desert Breeze Publishing: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/paradise-pines-one-eyed-charly/

Paisley’s social links:

http://www.paisleykirkpatrick.com/

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1272262167

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6537986.Paisley_Kirkpatrick

Monday Author Meetup: Spotlight on Mia Blackwood


Please help me welcome contemporary/Regency time travel author Mia Blackwood.

Mia Blackwood

About the author: Mia Blackwood was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1969. With the exception of eight years in Tucson, Arizona, she has lived in southeast Wisconsin her entire life. She currently lives there with her husband of 21 years, her son, three cats and a dog. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a split emphasis between cultural anthropology and archaeology.

Today the spotlight is on Mia’s time travel romance Anne’s Dream.

Anne’s Dream

Annes Dream

Book Blurb:

Anne has always been a dreamer. When she stumbles upon a magic coin near a fountain in the woods one evening, she makes a heartfelt wish to find her true love.

Frustrated with the pressure from his family to marry, Thomas dreams of finding a real love before a marriage to a stranger can be arranged for him. He discovers a fountain and makes a wish for true love. Suddenly he finds himself nearly two hundred years in the future. Will he be able to adjust to his new life and find his true love before it’s too late?

Book Excerpt:

Once they sat down, they both started to speak at the same time, then both stopped and laughed softly. Thomas motioned for Anne to speak first.

“I know this will sound strange, but…did you make a wish on a fountain in the woods?” she asked, hopeful that he had and was truly her one and only. Her mother had hinted at this possibility, but she thought the duchess had only been teasing her.

Thomas nodded. “I found an old coin in the water. The water was cold, yet the coin was warm.”

“Yes,” Anne agreed readily, growing more certain by the moment that the fountain was magic, and Thomas was the man meant for her and her alone. “There was an inscription, in Latin and Gaelic…I read it and the coin grew hot, so I threw it into the fountain.”

“Precisely what happened to me,” Thomas agreed, reaching forward unconsciously to place his hand over hers.

The moment their hands touched, a soft golden glow rippled over them. They felt a warm tingling sensation, which began at their hands, traveled up their arms, and enveloped them.

Anne turned her hand under his, so they could hold hands properly. “I’m so sorry I ran away from the light that night,” she apologized softly as their fingers entwined. She knew now that she was the cause of all the unhappiness she’d endured. If only she’d been brave and stayed in the woods instead of running away, they’d have met weeks ago.

Thomas shook his head softly. “No, there is no need.” He gave her hand a soft squeeze of reassurance. “I was alarmed as well. A strange sensation washed over me, then I felt as though I were falling from a great height. When I…landed…I saw you fleeing, but could not catch my breath to call out to you.”

They were quiet for a few minutes before Anne gathered the courage to ask the question that had been burning in her mind throughout dinner. “Where…or rather, when are you from?” She kept her voice low, not wanting to be overheard by her family.

“I…” Thomas wasn’t certain if she was asking if he’d traveled through time or not. There were times he still felt it was impossible, even though he’d experienced it himself. He didn’t want her to think he was addled.

She knew how hard it must be for him to admit the truth to her. It was hard enough to ask the question. She tried a more direct approach. “Are you the same Lord Thomas Harrington from the portrait hanging in the gallery? The one who disappeared, never to be seen again?”

Thomas studied her face, looking for any hint of fear or mockery, but found none. Not that he’d truly expected to have seen either. Somehow, deep inside, he knew she’d never be anything but kind and truthful toward him. After a few moments, he answered her question, his voice thick with emotion. “Yes…yes, I am.”

Purchase exclusively here:

http://www.amazon.com/Annes-Dream-Fountain-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00OQGIXZI

Mia’s Social links:

https://www.facebook.com/MiaBlackwood.author

http://www.miablackwood.com/

Monday Author Meetup: Lynda J. Cox


Today I’m interviewing western historical author Lynda J Cox.

Lynda Cox

About the author: Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.) She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page.

Welcome, Lynda. Lazarus must have nine lives like my cats. And lucky you having collies to show! With such a fascinating “hobby” how did you begin writing?

I started writing in my first marriage and it was truly my lifeline to sanity. I could escape an abusive situation by escaping into the page. I didn’t get serious about it, though until after I married my best friend and one night while reading in bed, I threw yet another book across the room and announced, “I could write this well.” Hubby said, half asleep, “So go write.” And, I did.

Ha! I’ve tossed a few books across the room too. What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hours a day do you write?

I’m a night owl. I don’t hit a creative groove until long after everyone else is asleep. The fact that I also have severe insomnia (the type that even prescription meds doesn’t touch) can be seen as a blessing in a writing career.

Insomnia is my friend as well. Describe your favorite place to write.

My favorite place to write is my office. I can’t write in public places. I’ve tried. Just doesn’t work. My office has everything I need—a window that overlooks my dog kennels, internet, electricity, heat and air conditioning. It’s my own little space and because it’s actually separated from the house (was a guest house at first), I have to walk from the house to my office to work. That separation allows me to vanish into whatever I’m writing.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?

I’m published by a small press called The Wild Rose Press. I cold queried them and to my surprise, was offered a contract. I love being a Rose. They’re a great place for an author to be.

How do you develop your plots and your characters?

I’m a panster. The one and only time I wrote a detailed outline for a book, I put so much into that outline I destroyed any joy in writing the book. My characters, on the other hand, are incredibly well developed before I start writing. When I get a character in my head, I start asking that character questions. I actually have a character interview form I use with about fifty or more questions. And, most of the time, the answers to the questions bring about even more questions. I will also write extensive back story for the main characters.

Do you see yourself in some of your characters?

I think every author brings a little bit of themselves to every character they write. The trick is to separate from that. However, I’m tenacious and I’ve noticed most of my characters have that quality.

How and where do you research for your books?

So far, all of my books are set in the Wyoming Territory, during the period of westward expansion. I’ve travelled extensively in Wyoming. I’m a bookaholic. I bring more books home every single time we visit Wyoming because while we’re there, we visit museums and local tourist attractions. The tidbits of Wyoming history I learn in these places are incorporated into my books and add that “authentic flavor.” I also spend way too much time on the Internet, but because I was three credit hours short of a history major to go with my English major as an undergrad, I absolutely have to have my history correct.

Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I have a wonderful street team and three of those members are also my beta readers. They find the plot holes for me, toss ideas back and forth with me about plot points, and are just great people.

Who designs your book covers?

My shout out here goes to Deb Taylor at Dca Graphics. She works with The Wild Rose Press and did such a fantastic job on my first cover, I requested her as the cover artist for my second book. I LOVE what she does with a book cover.

How do you unwind and relax when not writing?

I make dog show leads. No joke—I braid leads and put sparkly beads on them. Braided bling leads are the hottest fashion trend in the dog show scene and selling those leads helps to support my dog show addiction. Showing dogs isn’t a hobby with me. It really is an addiction.

Now here are two thrilling western historicals from Lynda.

two book combo

 

Book Blurb for Smolder on a Slow Burn:

When your life has been stolen from you and the man responsible wants you dead, where do you run? Who do you trust?

Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

When everything you fought for was stripped away, even your honor, what is left to fight for other than revenge?

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy.

Excerpt for Smolder on a Slow Burn:

For the first time since she had met him he wasn’t wearing that battered cavalry hat and she noticed that the silvering at his temples wasn’t even. The silver among the black at his right temple traced nearly to the back of his head about two inches above his ear and followed a direct line with the thin scar along the slope of his cheek bone.

“May I ask what caused that scar? A deflected saber blow?”

He shook his head and plopped his hat on, tugging it into place. “Nothing so romantic. It was a rifle butt to the side of my head. As I recall, I said something the other man didn’t appreciate.”

Allison felt her stomach turn. “Why?”

“Why? Why was what I said unappreciated—?”

“Why were you struck in the head with a rifle butt?”

“Because even though I could say something that man didn’t appreciate, he still had the authority and the power to knock me senseless.” He lifted a shoulder in a negligent shrug. “Train’s slowing, which means the porter will be here shortly to let us know which town we’re coming to. Let’s not damage your reputation beyond repair, shall we?”

Allison wiped the tears from her face, aiming for some semblance of normalcy when the porter arrived. “Even if I’m mistaken, I want to thank you for not doubting me, Mr…A.J.”

He quirked a brow even as he stretched his legs out, crossing one ankle over the other. “I learned a long time ago that a woman’s intuition is often the best source of information available. A lot of men are complete fools for not giving it more credence.”

Allison glanced at the revolver tied down low on his thigh, visible where his greatcoat had slipped open. She lifted her face to his. “I don’t think many people would dare accuse you of being a fool.”

“You’d be surprised how often I have been accused of that.” He leaned back, another smile tracing new lines across his features. “And I do believe, Allison Webster, you’re flirting with me.”

Heat seared her cheeks, but she managed to keep her gaze steady on his face. “I suppose I am.”

Buy Links:

Smolder on a Slow Burn: http://amzn.to/1pstPH4

The Devil’s Own Desperado: http://amzn.to/1p9lytX

Linda’s Social Links:

https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox

http://lyndajcox.blogspot.com

@lyndacox (Twitter handle)

www.lyndajcox.com (web site)

http://bitly.com/YXa7ZC (Amazon author page)

Monday Author Meetup: Spotlight on Kirsten Lynn


Today I’m happy to welcome western romance author and historian Kirsten Lynn.

KirstenLynn

About the author:  Kirsten Lynn writes stories based on the people and history of the West, more specifically those who live and love in Wyoming and Montana. Using her MA in Naval History, Kirsten, weaves her love of the West and the military together in many of her stories, merging these two halves of her heart. When she’s not roping, riding and rabble-rousing with the cowboys and cowgirls who reside in her endless imagination, Kirsten works as a professional historian.

Now here’s a taste of Kirsten’s Christmas romance.

Christmas Stroll

Christmas_Stroll

Book Blurb:

After his wife’s betrayal and years on the Western Front in Europe, Will Connor has lost his faith in humanity and has no use for love. He’s content in his bitterness. That is, until the holiday season brings him face to face with little Meggie Barrow. Meghan isn’t so little anymore, but she still looks at him like he lassoed the moon and set it in place. But what can a broken man who has lost his soul offer a beautiful young woman with more heart than anyone he’s ever met?

Meghan Barrow has loved William Connor since she was ten years old. She’s endured years of watching him marry a woman who didn’t love him, and more years of worrying about him when he leaves Wyoming to fight another country’s war. Now that the handsome cowboy is back, Meghan is determined to fill Will’s life with joy, and prove he’s all the man she needs.

With the help of friends and a Christmas stroll, these hearts might learn to walk through life together.

Excerpt:

Pa, Pa!

Will raced toward his son’s cries, the pounding of his horse’s hooves rumbled like boulders bringing down part of the mountains. His blood roared through his brain until his eyes burned and narrowed in on a lake in the distance. A black shadow burst through the frozen surface holding a smaller shadow. The distant forms bobbed then disappeared as though sucked below by an underground twister.

Without even a “whoa”, Will jumped from his mount, his feet clawing for purchase on the frozen earth even as he forced them forward.

“Benjamin! Pa! Benjamin!”

Neither his father nor son appeared above the ice. Will released his wool coat from his arms, tossing it aside and dived in…

Will jack-knifed up in bed, his body frozen with terror and his heart ripped open with an old pain. He’d give anything to have a flashback of the battlefields of the Western Front compared to this ever-occurring nightmare. Always just a minute away…and a minute too late.

The hinge of his bedroom door squeaked, turning his gaze to an unknown intruder. The warm orange glow transformed into a woman bringing her to life in the flickering flame.

“What the—” The icy nightmare cleared, and with it, his mind. “Bluebell, get the hell out!” He fisted the bed sheet around his lower half, never more aware of how many clothes she was wearing and that he happened to be bare-assed as a newborn.

“I heard you scream.”

“And you’re gonna hear me bellow the house down. Get the hell out!”

Instead of heeding his warning, she took a step farther into the room. “Can I help you with anything? Do you need your cane?”

“Dammit, woman! I don’t need anything, but you out of my bedroom. For the sweet love of God! Get. The. Hell. Out!”

“I’m sorry. I’ll be downstairs.” The vision stepped one small booted foot back, and then the other, until Bluebell and the light drifted away, leaving him alone in the cold dark.

Will dug his fingers through his hair and swung his legs over the bed. What was the girl thinking coming into his room before dawn even broke the sky? He’d been so lost in his nightmare he hadn’t even heard her come into the house. Leaning on the bedpost for support Will pushed off, then folded back down in stunned silence. Meghan Barrow was in his house.

Buy Links:

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