Be My Guest: Charlene Raddon


The Birth of a Story

You learn the darnedest facts while researching a book. Sometimes, what you find can throw your story completely off-kilter and send you searching for a new storyline. Other times, it can change a story from good to fantastic.

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This is what happened to me with my newest book, Ride for a Bride in Wyoming, from the series Rocky Mountain Romances.

I already had the story—New York society spinster whose passion is protecting animals from cruelty meets a Wyoming rancher who raises bulls for the budding rodeo business and rides a buffalo in horse races.

And I had the characters—Annora Lee Bostwick, a member of the new American  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who moves to Sheridan, Wyoming to open a new branch; and Birch Struthers, also known as Buffalo Birch Struthers, a rancher involved in the beginnings of the rodeo. Burke has recently taken over the family ranch after his father’s death, but if he wants to hang onto the property, he must marry and soon, or lose it to a man he hates.

My problem was how to get them together. Neither wants to marry, and they seem like total opposites. That’s when I read about the Ride for a Bride race that took place in Sheridan, Wyoming as part of their first official rodeo in 1909. Harry Lewis, the groom, won the hand of Hazel Foster, and they were married that very day.

light bulb moment

What a grand solution to my dilemma!

Of course, Annora and Birch don’t fall in love at first sight. Far from it. Annora accuses Birch of mistreating his buffalo and the bulls he uses in the ranch competition. Birch sees her as a spoiled, stuck-up New York Society spinster unfit for life on a Wyoming ranch.

Birch agrees to be the groom for the Ride for a Bride race to follow the competition because of his father’s will demanding that he marry within a year. Annora, however, is blackmailed into participating.

And, so the fun began.

I loved writing this novella, and hope readers like it as well as I do.

EXCERPT

Her hair was a light red. Not strawberry blond, nor the usual carrot red. Birch never would’ve thought of a color like red being mellow or calm, but that’s how he saw it.

She had freckles to go with the hair, and intense, green eyes with a hint of stubbornness as if she wouldn’t give an inch even if you set her skirts on fire. That glimpse of obstinacy matched the tilt of her chin and the stiff way she held herself. An uppity New York spinster no doubt hoping to snag what she’d failed to catch back home—a husband.

“She’s my cousin,” Lissette told the mayor, an arm around Miss Bostwick’s waist.

“And my bride-to-be,” Jenks asserted.

“That is impossible,” Miss Bostwick stated with emphasis.

Great thunder! Even her voice sounded pretty, like a meadowlark at dusk.

“I’m afraid this is my fault,” Lissette said. “You see, Annora’s mother wrote, asking me to help Annora find a husband. She gave me to understand that is why Annora decided to relocate here. When I saw the notice about the race, it seemed the perfect answer.”

“Why didn’t you ask me if I considered it perfect?” Miss Bostwick pulled the cat from her shoulder. “I’ve no need for a husband. I like being a spinster.”

Birch swallowed a laugh at that.

“Oh, but, Annora, I… I only want to see you happy.” Looking stricken, Lissette glanced around at their audience. “Please, can we discuss this later?”

“Good idea,” Mayor Sythes said. “I think we’ve strayed from the topic, folks.”

“Yes. Remove my name as the Ride for a Bride bride,” Miss Bostwick told him.

Lissette’s face paled. “Annora, you can’t.”

“I’d like to know why not.”

“Ladies. Ladies.” Sythes tried to get the situation under control.

Birch felt he ought to be rooting for one of the women, but didn’t know which. Miss Bostwick had a right to be angry at her cousin for putting her in such an awkward situation.

“But, Mayor,” Jenks whined, “I have a right to take my bride over to the church and get hitched. I won the race.”

Lissette’s skirts rustled as she whirled to face him. “No one expected that to happen. Birch and Hezzie always win.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that I won this time,” he retorted.

“Which means nothing to me,” Miss Bostwick said.

Birch raised his hands. “Hold on. Can I get a word in here?”

“Go ahead,” Mayor Sythes gestured him forward. “Speak up, Birch.”

“First, I had no knowledge about Miss Westbrook coming here—”

“Bostwick,” the redhead corrected, preventing the calico kitten from climbing to her shoulder again.

“—or being the designated bride for the race. In fact, I didn’t think any bride had volunteered yet.”

“I can verify when the race is to take place.” Mayor Sythes pulled a paper out of his vest pocket. “I have the competition rules and schedule with me.” Putting on his spectacles, he read, “The Ride for a Bride Race shall commence on the day following the conclusion of the ranch competition. That means the race is to be held July 30.”

“Let me see that.” Jenks snatched the paper away.

Lissette clapped her hands in delight. “This means you still have a chance to win Annora’s hand, Birch. Isn’t that marvelous?”

He wanted to puke.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Ride for a Bride in Wyoming is currently available for pre-order, and will be released July 22. Find it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XDTV9G

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The Rocky Mountain Romances series is made up of seven books by seven great authors to be released one each week, beginning with Utah Sunrise by Amelia C Adams, released this week and available NOW.

Check out all the books at https://www.facebook.com/RockyMountainRomances/.

Charlene Raddon Headshot-2

Charlene is multi-published, award-winning author of American historical romance noels. Originally published by Kensington Books, she is now self-published. She loves traveling, writing, reading, spoiling her grandchildren, and hearing from readers. She is also a graphics artist and has her own business creating book covers for authors at http://silversagebookcovers.com

 

 

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

https://twitter.com/craddon

http://www.facebook.com/CharleneRaddon

http://charleneraddon.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1232154.Charlene_Raddon

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Reviews & Special Guest


Charlene's banner

It’s my pleasure to tell you western romance author and book cover designer, Charlene Raddon will join me here in Lyn Horner’s Corner this coming Monday, July 17th. I hope you will mark it on your calendar and stop by to greet this lovely lady.

Now, I’m thrilled to share with you the first reviews for Beguiling Delilah. First, here is Charlene’s wonderful recommendation on Facebook:

“If you’re looking for a new book, here is one I highly recommend. Leon is Navajo and is sent to France to protect and bring back Delilah Moreau. Delilah guards an ancient and precious document. Leon must get her back to his own land where other guardians like Delilah wait for them. But their path is fraught with danger.

I loved this story. The characters are real, the story exciting. I especially liked that the hero and heroine were older than usual.”

And the first 3 reviews on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently good storytelling

By Craig A. Hart on July 14, 2017

“Lyn Horner is one of those writers you can count on to deliver consistently good storytelling. Often I pick up a book and it’s a bit of a gamble–not so here, because this author always hits the mark. Great read!”

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Totally Engrossing

By Amazon Customer on July 14, 2017  Kay Hamilton 7-14-2017

“This book kept me completely engrossed from beginning to end with intrigue, romance, and history. Great Read as are all the books in this series ” THE GUARDIANS”. Keep up the good work, Lyn. Cant wait for the next book in this series.”

5.0 out of 5 stars They just keep getting better!

By Patti Buchanan on July 14, 2017

“One of my favorites of the series so far! Kept me totally engrossed first in Paris then back in the USA. I just couldn’t put it down, so I read it in one sitting. Highly enjoyable and I can’t wait for the next one to be released.”

St. Patrick’s Day Headlines


Read all about it!

First, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I have lowered the price of DARLIN’ IRISH (Texas Devlins, Book Two) to just 99c. This sale will last only a few days, so if you haven’t read this sizzling historical western romance, now is the time to get it. By the way, book one WHITE WITCH, an introductory novella, is FREE.

Headline Two

THE POSSE anthology successfully launched on Wednesday (March 15th.) It climbed all the way to #4 in westerns>short stories on Amazon, and #38 in anthologies as of last night. I’m thrilled!

This collection offers 8 gritty, high voltage short stories of the old west. The authors include a real-life cowboy, a soldier turned logger, a book cover designer and more. All are acclaimed western writers.

In my story, “The Schoolmarm’s Hero” spinster schoolmarm Mattie Schoenbrun is abducted by a pair of drunken cowboys. Her new beau, Marshal Trace Balfour leads a posse in pursuit. Will his heroic quest end in love or tragedy?

Guest Author Charlene Raddon


Today, I am happy to have Char-portrait-2009smer3_thumb.jpg Charlene Raddon as my guest. Char is a good friend and – drum roll please – fellow author of THE POSSE Western romance Anthology, now available for pre-order on Amazon.  US  UK  CA  AU

About the author:

Charlene Raddon is an award-winning author of historical romance novels set in the American West. Originally published by Kensington, she is now an Indie author. Her first book, Tender Touch, was a Golden Heart Finalist, and another of her works, Forever Mine, received a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Nomination. Recently she received a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Book Club for her years in the business. Charlene is also a graphics book cover artist and created the cover for The Posse.

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Lyn, thank you for hosting me today. Like you, I’m thrilled to have a story in The Posse, with so many great western authors. Unlike the other stories, mine is more of a coming of age story than a romance. It features Gavin McAllistaire, about to turn thirteen and torn between the world of the Shoshone where he was raised and the world of the whites where he now lives.

The Reckoning by Charlene Raddon:

Here is an excerpt:

Gavin snorted at that. “You had no right to hold her down like that and try to get under her skirts.”

“Hell, half-breed, she’s only a tart. Lots’a fellas been under her skirts.” Jason laughed as he danced around on the bank like a prize fighter.

“She told you no. I heard her.” Gavin slowly made his way out of the water onto the bank. His wet canvas trousers clung to his legs and weighted him down, but he didn’t care. If Jason wanted to go another round with him, fine with him. “A man doesn’t keep after a girl after she’s told him no, no matter who she is.”

The boy laughed. Not only was he three years older than Gavin, he also weighed more. A lot more. He threw a mock punch. Gavin didn’t blink.

“Oooh, gonna play the stoic Injun, eh?” Jason danced around him. “Fine by me. I’m looking forward to beating the crap outta you. Grab ‘em, boys.”

Before Gavin could prepare himself to fight, the other four kids jumped him. Snarling and grunting, he fought hard, kicking and trying to strike out. They had hold of his arms. Then Jason kicked his feet out from under him, and he went down, taking the other boys with him.

The next thing he knew, Jason was pounding stakes into the ground and tying his wrists and ankles to them so that he lay facedown and spread eagle on the ground. He clenched his fists, bucked and tried to kick. But couldn’t move enough to help.

“Now comes the fun part, Injun. We’re gonna see how tough you are.” Jason cut down a sapling and whipped through the air several times. Gavin flinched inside with each snap, though the lash never touched him. Otherwise, he lay still as death. They wanted him to cry, beg and wail. He would not give into them.

The first strike forced a whoosh out of him and set his skin on fire. He made no sound.

BUY LINK for THE POSSE  http://amzn.to/2m3qnHD 

Charlene Raddon is an award-winning author of historical romance novels set in the American West. Originally published by Kensington, she is now an Indie author. Her first book, Tender Touch, was a Golden Heart Finalist, and another of her works, Forever Mine, received a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Nomination. Recently she received a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Book Club for her years in the business. Charlene is also a graphics book cover artist and created the cover for The Posse.

Purchase Charlene’s books here:  Amazon author page

Website  Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter  BookCoverWebsite

Fresh New Book Covers


Hi everyone. My apologies for being absent for so long. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone (computer) writing the next installment in my Romancing the Guardians series. It will be released in early June. I’m thrilled with the cover!

Meanwhile, I’d like to share the brand new covers for my Texas Devlins western historical series. Designed by Charlene Raddon of Cover Ops (http://coverops.blogspot.com) they capture the spirit of the books beautifully. I hope you like them as much as I do!

NOTE: The White Witch cover has been out for a while, but it’s part of the set — a prequel novella you might like. It sets the stage for the series.

Revised Cover for Amazon

WHITE WITCH, Texas Devlins, Book One

2015 Cover

DARLIN’ IRISH, Texas Devlins, Book Two

2015 Cover from Charlene Raddon

DASHING IRISH, Texas Devlins, Book Three

2015 Cover by Charlene Raddon

DEAREST IRISH, Texas Devlins, Book Four

 

Monday Author Meetup: Charlene Raddon’s “Marrying Jenna”


 

Partners, I’m glad to report that Rawhide ‘N Roses, the western romance anthology I introduced to you last week, is coming together nicely. My guest today is Charlene Raddon,who is not only contributing a great short story to the collection, she’s also designing a fabulous cover for us.

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Charlene brings talent and knowledge of the publishing industry to this project. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five out of print books published in paperback by Kensington Books, and more recently published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing.

 

Here’s Charlene:

 

Short stories are not my forte. I’ve only written one or two before my talented western writing buddies and I began putting together Rawhide ‘N Roses, A Western Romance Anthology. But I was thrilled to be included and agonized for days over how on earth I was going to write a short story, let alone what the tale would be about. I put off actually writing until yesterday. It took that long to come up with an idea. Since I had more fun writing my latest release, Taming Jenna, than any other book I’ve written, I decided to do a little sequel.

Taming Jenna

In the book, Jenna is a no-holds-barred, I-can-take-care-of-myself Pinkerton Operative after a train robber. Branch is a tough-as-nails bounty hunter pursuing the same man. Jenna finds the thief first and takes him right out from under Branch’s nose where he’s been chatting with the fellow in a Salt Lake City bathhouse. Being naked at the time, there wasn’t much Branch could do to stop Jenna, but he did eventually catch up with her. The two spend the rest of the book trying to hang onto this charismatic Spanish gambler who claims to be innocent. In her spare time, Jenna searches for her missing father. Branch spends most of his time searching for Jenna, and trying to tame her wild spirit. My short story, Marrying Jenna, continues where Taming Jenna left off.


Excerpt:

MARRYING JENNA

Park City, Utah 1878

“Jenna’s gone, Uncle Branch.”

Branch McCauley stared at his young niece. “What do you mean, she’s gone? This is our wedding day.” He brushed a hand down over the new black serge suit he’d bought for the occasion, as if to prove his point.

“She’s going to save Miguel. Dove says he’s about to get hung.” Anna pointed at the window. “Look outside and see for yourself.”

Branch’s brow furrowed at the news about their friend, Miguel. He went to the window and pushed the curtain aside. Two women stood on the boardwalk below. The one with mahogany colored hair he knew instantly to be his beautiful, and stubborn, bride-to-be. She wore an ivory satin dress with lace on the sleeves, the fancy bustle and the hem of a skirt that dragged three feet behind her.

Her wedding dress.

But her resemblance to an ordinary bride ended there.

“What in thunderation,” he muttered, as Jenna took her Stetson from the woman standing next to her. Dove. The wife of Miguel Mendoza, the man responsible for bringing Jenna and Branch together.

Jenna had been sent to Utah by as a Pinkerton Operative to catch Miguel for several train robberies. Branch had been hunting him as well, but not as a thief. He believed Miguel had gunned down his brother. Later they learned he was innocent of both crimes, but not until after Jenna mistook Branch for her quarry. The only way she could identify Miguel for certain was by a scar on his bottom. So, when Branch denied he was the outlaw, she held a Colt .45 on him and forced him to drop his trousers. Seeing no scar, she made a hasty retreat, but he caught up with her. He’d been trying to tame the woman ever since.

Down below, Jenna was struggling to get her hat on over the elaborately woven coil of hair on top of her head. He could almost hear her cursing. She shoved the hat back at Dove and ripped the pins from her hair, letting them fall where they may. After getting the hat set the way she wanted it on her head, she went to her horse at the hitching rail. She checked to make sure her rifle was secure in the scabbard on her saddle, took a gunbelt from her saddlebag and buckled it around her tiny waist. If Branch hadn’t been so furious, he might have laughed. Only Jenna would wear a six-gun and a man’s hat with a wedding gown and go off on horseback an hour before her wedding.

Apparently he hadn’t succeeded in taming her yet.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Did that whet your appetite for more? It did mine. I can’t wait for the book to come out so I can read all the stories!

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Charlene Raddon

Historical Romance Author

http://www.charleneraddon.com

Book Release Party! Come Celebrate with Charlene Raddon!


My special guest today is western romance author Charlene Raddon. She is throwing a party to celebrate the release of her new book, Taming Jenna. Come join the fun! http://www.charleneraddon.blogspot.com 

Gifts galore, including a $30 gift card for one lucky commenter!

Char portrait 2009smer(3)

About the author:

Charlene Raddon began her fiction career in the third grade when she announced in Show & Tell that a baby sister she never had was killed by a black widow spider. She often penned stories featuring mistreated young girls whose mother accused of crimes her sister had actually committed. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when she woke up from a vivid dream that compelled her to drag out a portable typewriter and begin writing. She’s been at it ever since. An early love for romance novels and the Wild West led her to choose the historical romance genre but she also writes contemporary romance. At present, she has five books published in paperback by Kensington Books (one under the pseudonym Rachel Summers), and four eBooks published by Tirgearr Publishing.

Charlene’s awards include: RWA Golden Heart Finalist, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Nomination, Affair de Coeur Magazine Reader/Writer Poll for Best Historical of the Year. Her books have won or place in several contests.

Currently, Charlene is working on her next release.

Taming Jenna

Book blurb:

THE WRONG MAN

Deserted by her father at the tender age of seven, Jenna Leigh-Whittington had taught herself to ride, shoot, brawl…and steer clear of the opposite sex. But now, in a lonely Utah canyon, the Pinkerton agent has drawn her gun on a rugged stranger—only to discover that, far from the dangerous outlaw she’d been tracking, he is Branch McCauley, hired gun…and the most irresistible rascal ever to tempt and torment a woman!

THE RIGHT WOMAN

If there’s one thing McCauley trusts less than a female, it’s a female who packs a six-gun. But what a woman! Vowing to bring the sensuous hellcat to heel, McCauley has no inkling that their passionate battle of wills has just begun. Taming Jenna will be the most seductive—and satisfying—job he’s ever taken on.

Video: http://youtu.be/ejkEtuTUp8c

TAMING JENNA excerpt:

Jenna scowled as she studied the man by the flickering glare of his campfire. He had the right build and appeared close to thirty, Mendoza’s age. But something didn’t fit.

The Denver police chief had described her quarry as a spoiled aristocrat, too busy wooing Lady Luck and every other female to be much of a train robber, let alone a killer. But the rogue in front of Jenna looked too lean and hard to be spoiled, too wary and aloof to be a ladies’ man.

To Jenna he seemed the perfect gunslinger: cold, tough, and ready to spring. Like a big yellow cougar perched on a ledge. Or a rattler, tightly coiled. Either way, his bite would be deadly.

In spite of the cool night breeze, sweat oozed from her pores. She couldn’t forget that lightning draw. Why had she come here? How had she expected to take an outlaw Pinkerton’s other agents had failed to bring in? No, she refused to think that way. She was every bit as capable as any man to capture Mendoza. She had to believe that, the same way she had to do what she’d set out to do. Only one question remained: Was this Mendoza or not?

“Who are you, mister?”

“Who am I? Hell, who are you? ”

Blast! Did no male exist in this empty wilderness who wasn’t so taken with himself that he couldn’t cooperate for a change?

She took a calming breath. A body could catch more flies with honey than vinegar, old Charley Long Bow used to say. Jenna figured flies might fancy the hairy creature facing her, so she decided to try being friendly. “Listen, I smelled your coffee and hoped you might spare a cup, is all. You can understand me being a mite leery of walking into a stranger’s camp without knowing who I’m hooking up with.”

Firelight glinted on the man’s straight white teeth as his whiskers parted in a cold smile. “Don’t recall inviting company, but I’ll play your game. Name’s Branch McCauley. Now it’s your turn.”

His smile unnerved her. It held no humor, only a lethal sort of grimness that cannoned her stomach into her throat and made her wish she’d wired William Pinkerton for instructions instead of going off half-cocked this way. “I’m Jim…Jim White,” she lied.

“All right, Jim, how about some honesty? You come here looking for me?”

“I’m not looking for anyone named Branch McCauley. If that’s who you are, you’ve nothing to worry about.”

The wide, innocent eyes McCauley studied held honesty. He relaxed. “In that case…be glad to pour you some coffee.” He reached for the battered graniteware pot. His visitor’s next words froze him in a half-stoop: “I’d feel more welcome if you’d set aside your gun first.”

Cool as Montana sleet, McCauley straightened, hand poised above his holster. “Reckon you would. Wouldn’t do much for my sense of well-being, though.”

So much for trying to be friendly, Jenna thought. What now? She clenched her knees together to still their shaking and swallowed the fear knotted in her throat.

“Look.” McCauley shifted his weight to one leg. “Why don’t you put your gun away and have a sit? Could be I might know something about the hombre you’re hunting.

Hombre. Sounded Spanish. Like Mendoza. It must be him. She had to get his gun away from him. Surprise seemed the best means. She squeezed the trigger of the .44 Starr. The bullet kicked dirt onto the man’s scuffed boots. He jumped and let out a yelp as though she’d set his feet afire.

“Dammit, kid, going up against me won’t get you anything but a six-foot hole in the ground.”

“Shut up and toss over your gun or I’ll turn them boots into sieves. ‘Course, my sights might be a bit off.” She raised the muzzle toward his groin.

“You made your point,” he growled as he unbuckled his gun belt and tossed it over.

Instead of the fancy weapon she had expected a gunslinger to own, an ordinary, six-gun lay at her feet. No ivory handle or engraved barrel. Only an ordinary .44 Peacemaker, crafted and worn for one reason—to kill. The thought did funny things to her innards.

“All right,” she said, getting back to business. “You aren’t going to like this, mister, but I don’t know any other way to be sure who you are. Drop them trousers to your ankles.”

“Do what?”

Charlene will be giving a $30 gift card to the person who visits and comments on the most blog stops. The other participating blogs are listed below. Don’t forget to comment here on mine! I will gift a Kindle copy of my short story, Christmas Cookies for Tristan to one commenter. A favorite family cookie recipe is included. Please leave your email address.

Now hop on over to the next party stop!

http://heartoffiction.blogspot.com/

http://vintagevonnie.blogspot.com/

http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com/

http://daniellerosewest.blogspot.co.uk/.

http://peggylhenderson.blogspot.com/