Be My Guest: Caroline Clemmons


Please welcome my guest, Caroline Clemmons, a wonderful writer I’m happy to have on my liCaroline Clemmons - Dreamin in Dallas - 4-1-11ttle corner of the net. Welcome, Caroline.

Hi, Lyn Thanks for having me as your guest today.

I’m excited to announce my latest historical western title, SNARE HIS HEART, is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073ZN4CCG for only $1.99. This is number 5 in my Loving A Rancher Series for Debra Holland’s Montana Skies Series for Kindle World. Whew! That sounds a lot more complicated than it is.

Montana Sky Series

Caroline, before we talk more about your beautiful new book, please tell us a little about your family and growing up.

My parents lived in North Central Texas when I was born but moved to Oildale, California when I was a baby. (Imagine my surprise when I learned one of my recent signed-paperback winners also lived in Oildale near the same time and had attended the same elementary school.) Just before I was eight, we moved back to Texas, but to West Texas and I grew up in Lubbock. That’s where I met my Hero. Now we live in North Central Texas with our menagerie of rescued pets. Our two lovely daughters are grown but, fortunately for us, live nearby.

When did you start writing?

I’m not certain, but I remember writing and illustrating stories as a child. My father taught me to read and write early. I joke that he taught me to read because he tired of reading the comic page to me each evening (I was crazy about Bugs Bunny) but actually Daddy placed a high value on education. I took journalism in school and for many years, I wrote newspaper stories. My mother-in-law loved reading romances and told me I should write one judging from the long letters I wrote. I did and in 1998 Kensington published my first romance book.

Are you traditionally or self-published?

I am very happily self-published. Not only do I make more money than I ever did with a traditional publisher, I get to write what I wish, when I wish. This freedom is wonderful and being self-employed at home is—as the ad says—priceless. I have only a few steps’ commute to work each day and there’s no dress code. I do write each day, some days more than others.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Even though the story lines are fiction, they show characters overcoming obstacles. I hope readers go away from my books having been uplifted and entertained and having forgotten for a while any problems or stressors they may have.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” By M. Ghandi

What are your plans for the future?

To keep writing, of course. Next month I will publish the conclusion to my Bride Brigade series, PRUDENCE. After that, I have a long schedule of books planned. If I live to be two hundred, I might get them all written. ☺

I admire your talent and prolific writing! Now tell us about your new release.

Glad too! SNARE HIS HEART is set in 1887 in and near Sweetwater Springs, Montana Territory. Those of you who read Debra Holland’s books will recognize many of her characters in this story. My book’s main characters are Forrest Clanahan and Addie Ryan, with Forrest’s stepbrother Ethan Campbell playing a large role.

Here’s the summary:

How can Adeline “Addie” Ryan deal with pity and sly remarks after her fiancé leaves her at the altar and elopes with her bridesmaid? Usually optimistic, Addie suspects this event will taint her socially as long as she remains in Atlanta. At her sister’s suggestion, she visits a matrimonial consultant. One man’s letter touches her heart, but can she travel to Montana Territory and marry a stranger?

Forrest Clanahan carries scars on half of his upper body that he received when he tried but failed to rescue his late wife from their burning home. Her death left a hole in his heart that won’t allow him to love again—but his children need a woman’s guidance and he needs a wife. He offers kindness and consideration—but not love. Never love.

Addie and Forrest unite against threats but can they develop a loving relationship?

Snare His Heart large

Yes, this is another mail-order bride story. I love reading and writing about women who believe becoming a mail-order bride is the best or only opportunity left for them. Would I want to have been one? No! But, who knows what we’d do if faced with difficult choices?

The Civil War decimated the male population. Later, when many eligible men moved west, a surplus of marriage-age women were left behind. At that time in history, there were few options left for a gently-bred woman who didn’t marry. She could become a companion for an elderly relative, become a governess if she was educated enough, or teach school (which required she remain single). Doing anything else lowered her social standing—if she had any.

I’ve read true stories of women who ventured across the country to marry a stranger they knew only by mail. Brides in some of these situations had tragic tales while others were happy—or at least contented. If you’re interested, Chris Enss published HEARTS WEST about several of these real-life mail-order brides.

I hope you’ll read and enjoy SNARE HIS HEART and that you’ll love Addie and Forrest as much as I do. If you do, please leave a review!

Excerpt:

“Shall we go?” Then, maneuvering so he kept his good side to her, he guided her down the aisle.

The children and men followed.

Before they left the sanctuary, Mrs. Norton indicated a large basket on the back pew. “I always prepare our brides a basket of food. A woman shouldn’t have to cook on her wedding day.”

Her groom accepted the container, which appeared heavy. “Appreciate your kindness.”

Addie gave the minister’s wife a brief hug. “Thank you for everything, Mrs. Norton.”

The kindly woman smiled.

Reverend Norton stood beside his wife. “We hope to see you folks again soon.”

Addie hurried to keep pace with her new husband. She still hadn’t seen the scarred side of his face. Surely she would now and she braced herself so she wouldn’t cringe or display shock. Better to get that over with than prolong her tension.

He set the basket in the wagon bed. When he turned back to help her, she touched his unblemished jaw and turned his head so she could see his full face. He flinched and his hands fisted at his side.

He resembled a harlequin with half of his face perfect and handsome and the other half scarred, red, and horribly puckered. The combination created a ghoulish sight that would frighten anyone not prepared. Forcing herself not to outwardly react to his frightening appearance, she looked into his dark blue eyes.

“You said you wanted a wife who could look you in the face but you haven’t given me an opportunity.”

In the sanctuary, his voice had been soft and hushed. Now he spoke with a pleasant baritone, “Thank you for not screaming. I want neither pity nor rejection but only to be treated as I deserve.”

Not flinching had taken every ounce of her self-control. She ached for the pain he must have endured. Was there even a doctor in this area? How had he survived?

Montana Sky Series

In addition to SNARE HIS HEART, eight other Montana Skies Series books are now released.

TANGLED BLOOM is by Dallis Adams

SAVING THE OUTLAW is by Linnea Alexis

HEARTS RHYTHM is by Linda Carroll-Bradd

THE SCOUNDREL’S INCONVENIENT BRIDE is by Crystal Green

GIFTS OF LOVE is by Kit Morgan

REDEMPTION ROSE is by Louella Nelson

WHEN THE HEART HEALS is by Judy Pennell

LEGACY is by Lynn Winchester

You can see the covers and purchase each book on Debra Holland’s website at http://www.debraholland.com/kindle-worlds.html

texas-divider

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a Free novella of Happy Is Bride.

Now, please go to Caroline’s blog at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com to read about Lyn Horner as her guest.

Advertisements

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.

RideForBride_CVR 72

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

19260550_10211944317616572_5827919241570483808_n

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

Need a video trailer? Meet Opal Campbel


Opal is an experienced video designer. I met her (online) through Frank Kelso, author and organizer of THE POSSE western romance anthology. I told Opal I wanted to post the short trailer she created for my story in the anthology and asked her to tell me a little about herself. Here’s her answer:

“I have a facebook Page www.facebook.com/videosbyo as well as a blog that I use more as a website. www.videosbyo.blogspot.com
I have been creating videos for about 5 years now. To date I have made over 400 videos and over 200 book cover GIF’s 🙂

There really isn’t much to say about me LOL My MAIN goal is to make sure that ANY author or publisher that wants a video can get one and budget is not a factor. I keep my prices very low and for anyone interested in a full book trailer I actually let the client pick the price 🙂 This is to make sure that no matter the client’s budget they can pay what they feel the video is worth to them or what they can afford without breaking the bank :)”

After viewing examples of Opal’s work on her blog site, I could find lots more to say about her, but I will let a few of the videos she did for THE POSSE speak for themselves:

Lyn Horner https://youtu.be/Rtp0IgFk4S0

Charlene Raddon https://youtu.be/-GOaqc4GiQ4

Chimp Robertson  https://youtu.be/f1D0AsqEdck

I’m Soooo Excited! It’s Launch Day!


At long last, SILVER BELLES AND STETSON, the Christmas anthology I’m part of is live on Amazon! This set of novellas will take you back in time to when men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them, courageous and daring.

Silver Belles and Stetsons 1575x2475

 

Poinsietta divider

After months of writing, organizing and getting out the word, I can’t tell you how gratifying it is for all ten authors to see our baby make its debut. Now we wait and hope readers will love the tender, sweet, sometimes sexy stories as much as we loved writing them. If you want to pick up a Kindle copy, you can do so for the phenomenal price of just 99 cents! Each novella by itself would cost that much or more, and this is a limited time offer. So I encourage you to get it while the gettin’s good!

The Perfect Gift, A Texas Devlins Christmas , my novella, brings a family together. It’s Christmas 1885 and everyone comes to celebrate at the River T ranch in Bosque County, Texas. The day promises a feast and fellowship for all, but surprises lie ahead. Scroll down for an excerpt.

 

Now here’s a glimpse of all ten stories:

The Greatest Gift: A Montana Cowboy Christmas by Kathleen Ball. Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Looking for the man who ran out on her, Ginger finds a cowboy worthy of love but he doesn’t want or need love.

Catherine’s Cowboy by Cait Braxton, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author.  During a supernatural dust storm, Fate steps in when rugged army tracker, Elam, helps Catherine deliver her child.

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can Celia restore the town’s Christmas spirit? “A beautifully written story about love and hope and all the emotions Christmas brings out in people.” Karren Lucas

Angel and the Texan from County Cork by Carra Copelin.  Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Does Angel trust marriage to the man she suspects of killing her husband or the stranger who promises to pay off her debt and set her free if she decides their marriage of convenience won’t work?

The Drifter’s Proposal by Kristin Holt, Amazon Bestselling Author. The baker’s man is home for Christmas… “Compelling. Heartwarming. Tender.” ~Diane Darcy, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Perfect Gift by Lyn Horner. Friendship has blossomed into young love, but it seems destined to die on the vine…until an unexpected Christmas gift promises happiness.

Marshal Mistletoe by Susan Horsnell. She married the wrong man. Will fate intervene?

Christmas Redemption by Paty Jager, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives? “A story of forgiveness that has a wonderful hero who has worked hard to redeem himself.”

A Hard Candy Christmas by Hebby Roman, Amazon Bestselling Author. Two damaged souls. Can their budding love and the healing power of Christmas bring them together?

Cowboy Christmas by Margaret Tanner. Will a miracle Christmas baby unite two tortured souls, or will it forever keep them apart?

Get all of them here: SILVER BELLES AND STETSON

Poinsietta divider

The Perfect Gift

Char's cover 2015

Blurb:

Nora Taylor adores Vittorio Medina. He’s been her best friend all of her young life, but now she wants more than friendship from him. She’s too young, he insists while fighting his own growing feelings for her. Besides, she is the boss’s daughter. He’s just a poor cowboy of Mexican blood. They can never be together.

Although Nora refuses to accept what Vittorio says, she’s afraid he will go off and marry someone else before she is old enough to fight for his love. This Christmas threatens to bring her more pain than joy. Or will an unexpected gift offer hope for the future?

Excerpt:

Nora stood on the front porch watching for riders. Goshdarn! What was taking Mr. and Mrs. Crawford so long? Uncle Tye and Auntie Lil had come early to help Mama and Daddy get ready. Lil’s parents were to come later with their men, but surely they ought to be here by now. What if something had happened to prevent them from coming?

No! Don’t even think that! They have to come, they just have to!

Smoothing the front of her Mother Hubbard, a short, baggy little girl’s dress she hated, she wished for a grown-up gown, but Mama had decreed she couldn’t start dressing like a woman until she turned fourteen. At least this Hubbard was made of pretty pink calico printed with sprigs of white flowers, and she liked the ruffled shoulders and neck. The color set off her black hair, which Mama had helped her put up, and her black stockings and high tops. She hoped Vito would approve.

She stuffed her hands into deep side pocket and glanced at her brothers and cousins. She’d shooed the four boys outside so Grandda Seamus could nap in his favorite chair in the parlor. Together with Maria’s younger children, they were playing ring taw, a game she’d once loved but now considered babyish. Crouched around a circle drawn in the dirt, they took turns shooting marbles, trying to knock each other’s marbles out of a small inner circle. Her brother Reece, less than two years younger than her, was winning judging by the pile of marbles he’d collected. Not surprised, Nora scowled, remembering how many marbles the little fiend had won from her and their baby brother Seamus in the past.

A faint thudding sound caught her ear. Shading her eyes, she spotted a cloud of dust in the distance. Then she made out a buckboard and horsemen. Finally! The expected company was almost here. Heart thumping wildly, she whirled and ran inside to alert her parents.

“Mama! Daddy! The Crawfords are coming,” she yelled, forgetting about her napping grandfather. At his grumble of complaint, she said, “Sorry, Grandda.”

Aunt Lil stepped out of the kitchen holding a large bowl and spoon just as Mama walked in the back door.

“Are they here?” both women asked.

“Not yet but almost. Should I tell Maria?”

Her mother nodded. “Aye, and your father and uncle. Lil, let’s greet your folks outside.”

“Right, you go ahead. I’ll set the cornbread on the stove and be right out.”

Nora was already dashing for the courtyard. “The Crawfords are almost here,” she announced to her father and uncle as she raced toward the cookhouse.

“What’s your hurry?” her father called.

“I have to tell Maria that Vittorio’s coming.”

Hearing the two men chuckle, she tore into the steamy little building. “Maria, Vittorio’s nearly here!”

“Sí, I heard you, niña,” the cook said with a broad smile. Tall and rather plump, with gray-streaked black hair, Maria was one of Nora’s favorite people. She was kind and good-natured and always ready with a tasty snack for all the children. And she was Vittorio’s madrecita, making her special.

Setting aside the huge kettle of gravy she’d been stirring, Maria mopped her sweaty face with her red-checked gingham apron – only worn on Christmas – and motioned for Nora to lead the way. “Let us go and welcome my son.”

Poinsietta divider

Have questions? You can find me on these sites:

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook Fan Page

Pioneer Hearts (a Facebook group for western romance readers & authors)

New Release from Bestselling Author Caroline Clemmons


Yay! Caroline Clemmons, one of my favorite western romance authors, has a new release: McClintock’s Reluctant Bride (The McClintocks, Book 3).

Background with revolver,stamp and gipsy

BOOK BLURB:

Nettie Clayton’s well-planned life is stolen in a few moments. All she wants is a better life for her family in McClintock Falls, Texas where her father can recover from years spent coal mining. Her teacher’s salary is slated toward saving for her younger brother to attend medical school. Her dreams are dashed when Josh McClintock mistakes her window for that of her neighbor. She wants to resist her parents’ decree, but there’s no way to win.

Josh McClintock’s free-wheeling life comes to an abrupt end after his birthday celebration. He works hard by day on the family ranch; he plays just as hard on weekends. He loves being single to play the field of willing females and has no plan to marry for five or six years. One drunken mistake alters his life and Nettie’s forever.

While Nettie and Josh struggle to deal with an unwanted marriage, a crazed villain planning his revenge against the McClintock family targets Josh and Nettie. What happens when the villain attacks?

EXCERPT:

Dawn’s light pouring through her open window indicated the time must be near six o’clock. Papa and Mama would be awake any minute. The kitchen where Mama would prepare breakfast was right under this room.

Pushing on Josh, Nettie pried her legs out from under his body. She tugged her nightgown free, thankfully without tearing it. Propping her knee against the mattress, she pulled his legs. When his feet hit the floor, she thought surely he’d awaken. But he didn’t. Ha, and people thought she slept soundly.

How could one man be so heavy?

Grabbing his shoulders, she tugged him toward the edge of the bed. “Come on, wake up and go back out the window before anyone sees you.”

He flung out his arms at her without opening his eyes. “Baby, where’s muh present?”

Evading his groping hands, she slapped at his arms. “Not here, I guarantee you.”

When that got no response, she pounded on his back. “Wake up, you crazy drunk.”

A rap sounded at her door. “Nettie? What’s Josh’s horse doing in front of our house?”

Good Heavens, who else had seen his familiar horse? Papa seeing the animal was enough. “You’d have to ask him.”

Giving up on getting Josh to awaken and climb out the window, she tugged him to the floor. He hit with a loud thump. Except for the noise, she thought it served him right.

“Nettie? Why haven’t you opened the door?”

“Just a minute.” Bracing her back against the wall for leverage, she pushed Josh under her bed. Hurriedly, she climbed back between the sheets. To hide Josh from anyone standing in the doorway, she draped her quilt to the floor on that side of the bed.

The knob turned and Papa came inside, followed by Mama.

“Good morning.” She brushed her hands across her face and shoved away hair that had escaped her braid.

Papa strode over to the window. Oh, no, she hadn’t noticed the shirt Josh had left hanging half in and half out on the sill.

Her father snatched the garment and narrowed his eyes. “Explain Josh’s shirt being here.”

She shrugged. “I guess he tossed it.”

“And did he also toss his legs that are sticking out from the foot of your bed, young woman?” He walked over and kicked something, Josh’s boots she supposed.

“Hey!” The mattress lifted as Josh tried to sit up. “Ow. Ow.”

McCLINTOCK’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is available on these site:

Amazon http://amzn.com/B011LGDP8U

Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B011LGDP8U

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011LGDP8U

Amazon in Deutschland http://www.amazon.de/dp/B011LGDP8U

Amazon Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B011LGDP8U

Nook http://tinyurl.com/pep3kkm

Kobo http://tinyurl.com/nafv3b4

Google Play Books http://tinyurl.com/qehlxyz

Apple https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1019315302

Horshoe-cactus-stetson-horse-divider.png

Caroline Clemmons 2015

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. Her latest release is McCLINTOCK’S RELUCTANT BRIDE, McClintock series book three. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Romance Writers chapters of Yellow Rose, From The Heart, and Hearts Through History. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain Texas series, which includes audio versions of BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE. Her Kincaid series continues to resonate with readers. The latest in that series is GABE KINCAID with new releases scheduled in 2016.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun time—an antique dealer. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Monday Author Meetup: Sylvia McDaniel


My guest this week is Sylvia McDaniel, best-selling, award-winning author of western historical romance and contemporary romance novels.

clip_image001

Sylvia McDaniel is a best-selling, award-winning author of western historical romance and contemporary romance novels. Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances, Sylvia is the author of The Burnett Brides a historical western series, The Cuvier Widows, a Louisiana historical series, Lipstick and Lead, a western historical series and several short contemporary romances.

Welcome Sylvia! Please tell us how you began writing

When I was in grade school I liked to write, but never even considered I would ever grow up to be a writer. But I always read. I’ve been reading books since the second grade when my mother took me the library and I was like, wow! In high school I read gothic romance and then I foundThe Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodwiess and I never looked back. Loved her books for many years and will still occasionally read one. In my twenties, I picked up a historical romance, I don’t remember the author’s name, but the thought entered my head that I could do better. So I sat down and started writing. I still have that first manuscript…it was HORRIBLE. I quickly learned it was much harder than it appeared. There was a class that Laree Bryant taught at a local school, it was a one day class and from there I learned about Romance Writers of America. I joined, starting attending the local chapter and it has grown from there. Now almost 25 years later, I wish I had more books written.

Describe your favorite place to write.

When I’m in the middle of a completing a novel, I spend eight to ten hours a day behind the computer, mostly in my office. But I do enjoy taking my laptop and writing out in my backyard, where the dogs can play. We have a new puppy and while he’s really cute, he doesn’t do well stuck in an office all day.

Over the years I’ve learned to write just about anywhere. I’ve written on planes, in the car with a kid hanging over my shoulder asking me what I’m doing, or sitting outside on the balcony watching the waves roll in. I don’t need absolute quiet, but I can’t write with music playing or I start singing along to the music and I need all my brain cells focused on the words on the page.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

I tried being a pantser and it takes me twice as long and more rewrites, so I use a storyboard. For me, it’s my map. My highway has hills and valleys and major curves along the way and occasionally a detour. Does that mean I know everything that’s going to happen while I’m writing? No and in fact, that’s where the detours come in. But if I know the external, then I’m free to focus more on the internal plot, which is always way more difficult for me.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? Or are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

Years ago I was published by a major New York house. I wrote nine books for them and after 9/11 never sold another story. For awhile I gave up writing until my husband told me I was happier when I was spending time creating stories. So when the eBook revolution came along, I already had twelve stories to put out and now I’ve written another eight, with six more planned this year.

Are your books professionally edited?

Since I’m now writing what I love without an editor, I hire cover artists, formatters, editors and I have beta readers. All of my work is professionally edited by an English professor since I focus more on the story and not so much on the grammar. I’ve never thought of myself as a great writer, but a very good storyteller. As a storyteller, I need professionals to make me look like a professional writer. So before I sell the first book, I’ve already committed a thousand dollars to the story.

What project(s) are you working on now?

Over the years I’ve learned that I really don’t write erotica well, so this year I made the decision to write kickass heroines who take charge. Yes, they’re in the old west, but there were women who took charge of their lives and made things happen. This is the kind of women I want to write. Currently in my Lipstick and Lead series, my girls are bounty hunters. In Annabelle’s book, Dangerous, she is the sister who stayed home to take care of the farm and she longs for adventure. While in town she sees a wanted man and goes after him by herself. She not only gets adventure, but she falls in love with her outlaw.

Now here’s an exciting look at Sylvia’s newest release:

Dangerous

Dangerous final

Book Blurb:

Annabelle McKenzie stays at home and takes care of the farm and the bookkeeping for their family bounty hunting business while her two sisters take all the risks. Except that she’s grown bored and longs for adventure. The chance to show her sisters that she’s just as capable of bringing a man to justice and collecting a bounty as they are. When opportunity bumps into her at the bank, she recklessly follows her prey out of town. Only she soon realizes she’s chosen the wrong man to hunt.

Beau Samuels has a dark secret that goes beyond the price on his head. And now there’s a wanted poster with his face plastered in every small Texas sheriff’s office.  As if things couldn’t get worse, now he has a novice in a skirt brandishing a gun and determined to collect his reward. Could he get away from the blonde spitfire with his heart intact?

When Annabelle unlocks the secrets to his heart and reveals the true man behind the wanted poster, can she lay aside her scruples and allow herself to love an outlaw?

Book Excerpt:

Slap her silly, but she was done! Annabelle McKenzie strode down the wooden sidewalk on her way to the bank. Done with raising chickens, feeding cows and goats, and shoveling manure. She wanted to go with her sisters to hunt for bad men. She wanted to be a bounty hunter.

Deep in thought about how she would explain to her sisters how she craved adventure and longed for excitement, she rounded the corner to enter the bank and slammed into the hard chest muscles of a large dark-haired man. The scent of soap and campfire spiraled straight to her center.

This was a manly man, and Lord knew, they were scarce in Zenith, Texas. Where had this specimen come from?

His hat was pulled low over his face, and he grabbed her by the arms, halting her progress. Her head fit just below his chin. She looked up at his strong, rugged jaw and serious face.

Long black lashes blinked over emerald eyes as he gripped her arms. “Slow down,” he said in a deep husky drawl. He kept his head down, barely looking at her. “There’s still plenty of cash left in the bank.”

What a condescending, egotistical, handsome renegade. Not an “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me”, but rather a crass remark about the money in the bank. “Maybe you should watch where you’re going.”

She tilted her head and stared into his handsome rugged features. There was something about him that seemed familiar, yet she couldn’t place him. Somewhere she’d seen his face. She gazed at him. “You’re tall enough you should be able to see a woman coming.”

He nodded, and she gawked at the way his shirt fit his strong shoulders and muscled arms. His lips were full and tempting, made for kissing.

“You’re right, ma’am. I should see a small package like you, barreling around a blind corner. Maybe I need to replace my spectacles with a pair that can see through walls,” he said, releasing her arms.

“Maybe you do.” The oversized giant was smarting off to her; he wasn’t wearing spectacles.

Where had she seen him before? “What’s your name?”

A sly smile turned up the corners of his full, luscious lips. “Why? You plan on having me arrested for running into you?”

The man had an ornery mouth, and she was just the woman to give it right back.

“Maybe,” she said. “I know the sheriff well. It would serve you right for being belligerent and disrespectful.”

He smiled a wickedly sly grin that sent tingles through her. “You have a really nice day.”

His voice was dripping with sweet sarcasm that made her feel like she’d eaten too many cookies. Tipping his black hat at her, he sauntered out the door.

Like a kick from a bull, it hit her.

His face was on one of the wanted posters she had out in her saddlebags.

Amazon   iBooks   B&N   Kobo   Google

Lipstick and Lead Series:

 Desperate & Deadly combo Desperate                               Deadly

Daring – April 2015

Determined – June 2015

Deceived—September 2015

Western Historicals

A Hero’s Heart

The Burnett Brides Series

The Rancher Takes a Bride

The Outlaw Takes a Bride

The Marshal Takes A Bride

The Christmas Bride

Boxed Set The Burnett Brides

Southern Historical Romance

A Scarlet Bride

The Cuvier Women

Wronged

Betrayed

Bequiled

Boxed Set The Cuvier Women

Sign up for Sylvia’s newsletter at www.SylviaMcDaniel.com

Visit Sylvia’s website at www.SylviaMcDaniel.com

Follow Sylvia on twitter at www.twitter.com/SylviaJMcDaniel

Join Sylvia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SylviaMcDanielAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150774.Sylvia_McDaniel

Look for her the first Tuesday of every month at the Plotting Princesses blogspot http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com/

Monday Author Meetup: Ruby Merritt


Please help me welcome horsewoman and western romance author Ruby Merritt.

Ruby Merritt

About the author: Ruby Merritt writes historical western romance. Her passion for imagining life and love on the High Plains has its roots in reading and rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child. Although Ruby doesn’t call the High Plains her home, she resides in an equally beautiful and rustic locale, The Gateway to the Texas Hill Country.
When Ruby’s not reading or writing, she can be found riding her horse or homeschooling her children who are avid horsewomen and readers as well.

Today the spotlight is on Ruby’s western historical romance with a touch of Native American:

Ella’s Choice

Ella's Choice

Book Blurb:

When Ella Hastings is captured by the Blackfeet Indians at age nine, then adopted by the Lakota Indians, she is thrust into a new way of life and transformed into Little Brave, adopted daughter of their revered and peaceful chief, Grey Owl. Ten years later the white man returns. Their soldiers storm her tribe’s village and bring reminders of a world she’d almost forgotten. Suddenly, she is confronted by the question: To which world does she now belong? Her only hope in discovering who she really is lies with the enigmatic army scout, Beech Richoux.

Son of a French trapper and Lakota mother, Beech Richoux was raised in a white man’s world after his mother’s death. Acting as an army scout to raise money for his horse ranch, he’s unaware of the Army’s true intent to annihilate his mother’s people until it’s too late. And the white woman he finds living among the Lakota only adds to his desperation to save his people. Now the narrow path he has created to balance himself between these two worlds is tipped by the mysterious white woman known to the Lakota as Little Brave.

Can two people robbed of their own childhood learn to live together in such differing worlds? Can Little Brave and Beech forge a new path into a life where they both are finally set free?

Excerpt:

Only moments after the man they called Richoux reclined against the tree, Little Brave detected his even breathing. Her hands stilled and she watched him uninhibited. Her people had experienced much sorrow and anguish at the hands of the white man’s soldiers and this scout today. And yet, the scout slept here before her tepee, within the heat and light cast by her fire. How did he do this?

The scout stirred, his legs stretching out in front of him. He looked like her people. He had the power and stealth of their mighty warriors. She set aside her work and approached the slumbering man. He spoke the white man’s tongue fluently, knew their ways as well as those of the Plains People. Yet, he was not under the spell of the blustering military man. How did he live in two worlds?

She crouched beside him and watched the steady rise and fall of his muscled chest. More than once today, he’d stood between her people and the soldiers. He’d kept her from rushing into gunfire when Moon Howler had been killed. Yet, he’d carried out Gleaming Chest’s orders to move them from their village. In which world did his heart beat?

For long moments, she scrutinized the strong angles of his face sharpened by the cast of the firelight and found no answers. She shifted, intending to return to her work when suddenly, a hand clamped around her wrist. She gasped and would have tumbled backward if he hadn’t steadied her with his other arm about her waist.

He muttered something she did not understand. She shook her head and he switched to the language that was more familiar to her now. His voice gentled. “I’m sorry, I grabbed you. A reaction from too many nights being on guard.”

Staring into eyes as blue as her own was disconcerting. There was kindness there, but it was accompanied by something more primitive. Similar to that she saw in the braves’ eyes when they looked at her. Unlike the braves, the primitive gleam in Richoux’s eyes did not annoy or unnerve her. It gave her an airy feeling that stole her breath.

He released her wrist and shifted his arm lower on her waist.

Her stomach fluttered strangely when his hand moved to her hair. He stroked the errant strands framing her cheek. She was no stranger to what went on between men and women, their tender looks and loving caresses, their passionate kisses, but the intense heat left in the wake of this man’s caress surprised . . . and excited her.

A shiver ran up her spine and she licked her lips, wanting to feel more of these heady sensations. His fingers traced the line of her jaw. Her gaze flickered to his full lips. As if he sensed her desire, he cocked his head and her breath caught in anticipation, but he did not lean in to kiss her. His fingers stilled beneath her chin and she waited, her heart beating faster than hummingbird’s wings. And when his fingers curled ever so slightly beneath her chin, inviting her forward, she touched her lips to his.

His lips were full and firm beneath hers, slightly moist. They shifted against hers and took over, gentle but sure, tasting and teasing hers. A sizzling feeling moved through her, intensifying like the fires that often swept the prairies after a storm.

Soon, she responded in kind. Her hands moved to the hair brushing his shoulders, her fingers twining into the silky strands—their softness another sensation to revel in. One of his large hands cupped her cheek, while the other caressed her from waist to hip. Every stroke tightened a coil of need deep within. Suddenly, that womanly place between her legs moistened and throbbed for something more. Every kiss, every touch and every breath she shared with him edged her toward that something more, a fulfillment of a yearning within them both.

A twig snapped. His lips froze against hers, his hand stilled its caressing. Another snap . . . closer. Whoever was coming was not concerned about being heard. He released her, and Little Brave scrambled to her feet. Richoux did likewise, but she noticed he did it more slowly than she had.

The soldier Sun Hair appeared.

At the sight of those gleaming buttons and the stale smell of the dark clothing that all the soldiers wore, Little Brave regained her senses.

Words issued from the soldier’s mouth, and just as easily, the white man’s words fell from the scout’s mouth in response.

The telltale huskiness of his voice suddenly filled her with shame at what she’d been doing. This man had led the soldiers to their camp and was helping to rip her people from their home. They’d been forced to relinquish their weapons. Stone Skipper had been wounded. Moon Howler had been killed. She did not know what would be forced upon them next, but she knew she could not involve herself with such a man. Her people would not accept him. She would become an outcast.

And she would lose another father.

Sun Hair left, making his way back through the trees.

The scout turned. “I am on watch now but—”

She glanced his way, fear and shame evident on her face.

“What is wrong?”

“It is dishonorable of me to betray my people like this.”

The scout regarded her for a few moments without blinking then he exhaled slowly. “My intention was not to cause you dishonor.”

Little Brave, resenting her flare of admiration for his careful manner, retorted, “What was your intent?”

The scout shifted, settling deeper into his stance. “Since you approached me, perhaps you tell me yours first.”

She was angry that he gave an answer as wily as one Running Bear would have given her. “Do not come back here,” she said in a low, hoarse voice. She wiped the back of her hand across her mouth and spat out the taste of him on the ground at his feet then turned and marched back to her tepee.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NVZFM7M

IBooks: http://bit.ly/15izVU8

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Eg2RI7

Social Links:

Website: http://www.rubymerrittauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RubyMerrittAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RubyMerrittAuth

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rubymerrittauth/

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/RubyMerritt