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Archive for 'Western'



Caroline Clemmons: An Agent for Magdala (Contest, FREE Read, & Excerpt)
Monday, August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me as your guest.

Hello Readers, I’m Caroline Clemmons and I write western romance. That sounds a bit like I’m at an anti-addiction meeting, doesn’t it? Well, writing is an addiction—but I’m not trying to recover. I love being a writer. Of course, I’m a reader, too.

My husband and I live in North Central Texas where we are staff to three cats and a dog. Other than being with my husband and children, my happy place is in my little office that I call my pink cave. Surrounded by books and memorabilia, I create stories I love on my desktop computer. I hope readers love them, too. My intention is that readers are uplifted and entertained by my stories.

Usually, I write historical romances, but I also author contemporaries, time travels, and mysteries set in the west. So far, I’ve written fifty-two titles and I’ve plans for many more. No matter how many times I write the same time period, each book requires specific research. For my latest release, AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA, Pinkerton Matchmaker Series book 37, I searched for the land route from Denver to San Antonio, Texas in 1871. I was astonished to learn that not only were there no rail lines where I needed them to be, there were very few roads a passenger stagecoach would travel—rough terrain, little water, lots of Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache made travel difficult.

My two Pinkerton agents are assigned a case in San Antonio, Texas and must travel there from Denver. At that time San Antonio had a little over eight thousand people. This community had been a trade center beginning in the eighteenth century with the Spanish. They established five missions there: the Alamo, Concepción, San Jose, San Juan, and Estrada. Even people who are not from Texas have probably heard of the Alamo. I was surprised to learn that at the time of the famous battle in 1836, the Alamo had a flat roof and not the arched one added during restoration.

A large portion of AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA takes place in The Menger Hotel. The Menger has been an important San Antonio destination since 1859. When the hotel opened, Mary and William Menger were so successful that they immediately added more rooms. Through its life the hotel has been remodeled as new conveniences became available and has remained popular with travelers. There is a rumor that ghosts reside in the Menger but when our youngest daughter stayed there she did not encounter one. Frankly, she was a little disappointed even though she enjoyed the hotel’s accommodations.

AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA

She craves adventure, but this may be too much…
His job means the world to him…
Capturing jewel thieves will test them…

Magdala leaps at the opportunity to become a Pinkerton agent. Learning the position requires a paper marriage shocks but doesn’t deter her. She plans to get an annulment before her unusual family learns of the situation. She’s determined to prove she has the grit to be an excellent investigator. But, why does she have to be partnered with the one man who has been rude to her?
Douglas “Cloud” Ryan loves being a Pinkerton agent. Otherwise, he’d never go along with his boss’ crazy plan to marry him to a female agent. He’s certain women have no business dealing with criminals. After enduring the stagecoach trip from Denver to San Antonio, Maggie needs to stay in the background and let him solve the case. He has reasons to distrust women, especially women like Maggie.
Can Maggie and Cloud catch the jewel thieves plaguing an historic San Antonio hotel without becoming victims? Will they take a chance on the love growing between them?

Here’s an excerpt from their first full day in the Menger Hotel where they’re pretending to be Princess Magdala of Bayergrovenia and her husband, the Duke of Montpelier:

He’d learned that Maggie was cheerful when she first woke. He envied her because he needed an hour or two before he could appreciate people. There he went again. Concentrate on the case instead of thinking about her habits and moods.

Instead of the voluminous coat she’d had with her on the trip, today she wore a fur jacket. He had to admit that in a green dress that looked very expensive and wearing a fur, no one would doubt she was a princess. Her jewelry was less spectacular than she’d worn last night, but still eye-catching.

After breakfast, Cloud pulled out his pocket watch. “Perfect timing. Shall we meet the McMillans?”

He held her chair while she stood then she put her hand on his arm. Man, she was good at looking regal. If he didn’t know differently, he’d believe she really was a princess.

But, apparently people thought he was a duke. Even though the admission cost his pride, he had to confess he and Maggie made a good pair. They looked and acted—at least in public—their parts of a happily married royal couple who had plenty of money and time to spend it.

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Agent-Magdala-Pinkerton-Matchmaker-Book-ebook/dp/B07V3G4QHY/

Contest

To thank you for reading this far, I’m giving a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment on this post telling me their favorite fictional hero or heroine.

I love to stay in touch with readers:
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE novella
Follow me on my Amazon Author Page where all my books are shown: https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/
Follow me on Bookbub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caroline-clemmons
Join my Facebook Readers Group – Caroline’s Cuties https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/
My website is http://www.carolineclemmons.com

Once more, Delilah, thank you for sharing your blog with me.

Flashback: Cain’s Law (Contest)
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!
*~*~*

For a chance to win your choice of one of these Cowboys
on the Edge stories, answer me this!

Do you love cowboys who are also firefighters and lawmen?

Wet Down Controlled Burn Cain's Law Flashpoint

(Click on a cover if you’d like to learn more!)

Don’t know what you’re missing in this cowboy series? Read a sexy excerpt…

Cain’s Law

Cain's Law

When love is on the line, a cowboy will risk everything…

Texas Lawman, Cain Whitfield, has been burned before by a beautiful brunette with dark doe eyes. He won’t be fooled again. But fate has a rotten sense of humor when he discovers the latest stranger to arrive in his small Texas town is a former mob enforcer’s girlfriend–something he learns when the cabin she rented goes up in flames and her boyfriend tries to run them both off the road. Now, he’s got to keep her alive and under wraps long enough to arrest the bastard. Resisting his attraction to the drop-dead gorgeous brunette proves impossible when they’re forced to share a safe house while the sheriff and the other deputies double patrols to keep her safe.

Even though she knows they’re all wrong for each other, Carina Black can’t help her attraction for the proud lawman. She’s done with the glitz and glamour of her former life, but can she convince Cain to look beyond her past to trust she’s ready for life in a small town? As her former boyfriend closes in, she worries too that her poor judgment could bring harm to a decent man.

The longer they’re together, the hotter their passion burns…

Get your copy here!

She tugged her hand away then straightened her shoulders. “I’ll go. I know it’s the smart thing to do, and you’ve already done so much. But, I have to know…”

Cain felt his belly tighten in rejection, because if she asked, he’d tell her. And God help them both.

Her gaze dropped to her hands, which were curved into fists on her thighs. “Do you… could you ever…see yourself with someone like me?”

“Dammit, Carina,” he said, his voice rasping. “You’re so damn young.”

Her chin shot up, and her eyes flashed. “Too young for you?”

“Fuck, you deserve better than me.” His jaw clenched.

“If you’re looking for excuses for me to go, that’s not the best one to use. I’ve had money. I wore clothes that I would bet cost more than you make in a month. But, I wasn’t happy. And I didn’t like me.” She dipped her chin. “I feel safe with you.”

“I can’t be your bodyguard. Not forever.”

“I’m not talking about that. I feel safe—I know you won’t hurt me. That you won’t hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” She lifted her gaze, locking it with his. “I can’t imagine letting anyone else touch me.” She stopped short and turned away her head.

Cain sat beside her, not breathing. She’d imagined him touching her. She’d flirted. Outrageously, but he hadn’t taken her behavior seriously.

She’d imagined being with him.

Cain straightened. What he should do was tell her she’d find another man. Someone good. Someone who could give her things. But his nobility could only stretch so far. He reached for her hand, but she pulled it back again, so he gripped her by the waist and pulled her over his lap.

Her body shivered against him. Her palms pushed against his chest.

He kept his arms around her, loosely. She could escape if she wanted, but with every second that passed, he watched her grow calmer. Watched rose creep across her cheeks, her tight lips relax.

When she leaned toward him, letting her ripe nipples scrape across his chest, only then did he move. He laid his palm against her cheek and rubbed his thumb across her plump bottom lip. “Stay with me.”

 

Carina made a noise, something between a sob and laugh, and pressed closer, wrapping her arms around his shoulders, and pushing her breasts against him, because she needed to feel his hardness. She craved so much more. Had since she’d lain alone that first night with the sounds of him walking circles around the house, knowing he would keep her safe. Alone with the smell of his lovely, manly musk on the sheets, she’d let that feeling grow over the past days, wondering whether this was how being in love felt. His care for her was as close as she’d ever experienced to being cherished. But since he hadn’t acted on any of the many invitations she’d offered with her eyes and “accidental” peeks at her ass, she’d begun to wonder if he considered her damaged goods—because of whom she’d lived with and what he’d done.

But there wasn’t any mistaking the look he gave her now with those clear blue eyes. No misunderstanding his raw tone. Stay with me. Before she’d let him reconsider, she reached for the hem of the tee she’d ruined with paint and pulled it over her head.

His gaze fell to her full breasts. “Jesus.”

“They ache, Cain. I ache. For you.” She felt breathless. Her heart skittered wildly.

Slowly, he raised his hands to palm her flesh, and she closed her eyes, loving the heat, loving his gentle caresses.

He bent his head and trailed his mouth across her shoulder, then lower, pushing her back so he could kiss the tops of her breasts. The moment he latched onto a tingling nipple, she cried out, so joyous was the feeling flooding her body with warmth.

Suddenly, he drew back. His hands gripped her bottom, and he rose.

She wound her legs around his waist as he walked to the bed. “I’ll get paint on your sheets,” she whispered.

“We’ll both get dirty, sweetheart. I’m not worried.” He set her down beside the bed then knelt to open her jeans and slide them down her legs.

Nude, she held her breath as he glanced at her sex.

His gaze dropped to her feet, and he held down her pant legs as she stepped out, leaning on his shoulders for balance. Then he stood, and she went to work on the chambray shirt he wore, unsnapping the buttons down the front, and then parting the sides to get her first look at his broad chest. He had far less hair than Joey, and it was brown and silky. She raked her fingertips through it, plucking. When he gave a little groan, her mouth curved. So, she nuzzled his nipple, loving the way he gently cupped the back of her head and rubbed her scalp. Lord have mercy, she loved the taste of his skin, the soft texture of his flat brown nipple. With her teeth, she teased it into a point then fluttered her tongue against the tiny bead.

“Witch,” he muttered.

She glanced upward, her gaze snagging on his hooded eyes. “I want you, Cain. All of you.” She backed away, sitting on the edge of the bed before lying full-length and stretching, her gaze going to his still-clothed body.

He didn’t need another hint. His clothing flew off. And then he was climbing over her, his large, long body inches from her skin, but still warming her, breast to toes.

He held still, braced on his arms as she raked his body with her searching gaze. Everywhere her gaze touched was tanned and hard. His stomach was firm, muscled, his arms and thighs bulged. Sweet heaven, his cock was lovely—reddened and engorged, straight with a plump, round head.

Her pussy clenched. Fluid rushed to wet her channel. She squeezed together her legs to hold it inside.

“I don’t want to scare you, baby.”

“I’m not a baby, Cain. And Joey humiliated me, but he didn’t leave me damaged. I swear, I want this. I want you.” Slowly, caught in his intense gaze, she inched apart her legs and raised her knees. Then she reached downward and wrapped her fingers around his cock. “Come inside me, Cain Whitfield,” she whispered. “Fill me.”

Debra Parmley: Desperate, Dangerous, and Deadly
Thursday, April 25th, 2019

I am celebrating! This year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first book, A Desperate Journey. Samhain Publishing originally published the western historical romance after being in the American Title contest.

My western historical romances have been described as “gritty.” The west could be a rough place for a woman, or a man, and I started out writing my first novel as a western. It started with a challenge. I was attending the Ozark Creative Writers weekend, and Dusty Richards, a well-known western author, issued a challenge. “Write your first novel, make it a western, and if it wins my contest, my agent will read the full manuscript.” I’d been writing short stories and poetry up to that point, never a full novel and that challenge was too good to pass up.

I sometimes will take a challenge or a bet, and when I do, it can be life changing. For instance, I asked my husband out on a date on a five-dollar bet, back in high school, but that is a story for another day.

Well, I wrote that western, set it along the old Chisholm Trail in 1867, and along the way, as I wrote, the story turned into a romance. So, it is a true blend of romance and western. If you pulled the romance out, there would still be a lot of story. It’s interesting to me that so many men have enjoyed reading the story and I think that is one reason.

Now you might wonder what happened with that challenge. Well, I finished the book in a year and entered it in the contest. By then, Dusty no longer had an agent, but he sat with me and went over the first chapters, giving me advice. I will always be thankful. I revised it and entered it the next year in a contest Bobbi Smith held at the RT convention in St. Louis where it won third place. Bobbi also sat with me afterward and said, “Debra, start your story in chapter three.” (I was giving too much back story and not getting to the action soon enough.) I rewrote the story and the next year entered it in the American Title contest, where it was a finalist, and during the contest, I signed with an agent, and a year later, he sold my first book to Samhain.

After Samhain published A Desperate Journey, my editor invited me to write a novella. Another western historical romance for a new anthology, and I wrote Dangerous Ties. This one starts out with the heroine strung up over a mineshaft and the rope is breaking. I’d paid attention to my mentors and was going to start my next story right with some action. Jumping right in. I thought this would be the first of many westerns with them. But then my new editor turned it down and wanted me to write erotic romance instead. A third book, a contemporary romance I’d written, was turned down after that. In the seven years I was with Samhain, I had five editors, but subsequent editors were not as enthusiastic as my first two, who I’d enjoyed working with on A Desperate Journey. Dangerous Ties went on to be published by a different publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing.

But now, writing a third was going to be impossible. Because different publishing houses held the rights to the two books. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to have rights back, to have republished both books through Belo Dia Publishing, and to now be able to publish a third book and pull them all together. My readers deserve that, and it’s exciting to be able to do it in celebration of ten years of publishing.

This month, I am celebrating the tenth anniversary with the release of a box set of three westerns. A new book, Deadly Adversaries, brings together the daughter from A Desperate Journey and a son of the couple from Dangerous Ties. The box set, Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly: A Western Collection releases on April 30th in e-book and the pre-order is available now on Amazon. Get your copy here!

Dangerous Ties is also on sale for 99 cents for the e-book up through June. That’s the breaking rope over the mineshaft one, if you just want a nibble of one of my westerns to see if you like them. It’s a quick novella. It is also available in audiobook and in print.

Do we want a long bio? No, I’ve said enough about me. I’d rather focus on the books. If you want to follow me, I have all kinds of social media links for you below, and if you check out my YouTube channel, you will find my First Chapter Reads playlist where I read from the first chapters of my books, as well as the live giveaways I do after I attend author/reader events. Have fun discovering all the fun linky things!

About my books: I write in many subgenres of romance, so do look around my sites. Books are kind of like ice cream cones. Rocky road or westerns might not be your flavor, but strawberry or my 1920s series about flappers might be, or chocolate or my military romantic suspense stories might be. I am the sort of ice cream lover who would try all the flavors and would like a dip of each, please.

(Are you hungry for ice cream now? I am. Might have to pick up a pint to celebrate!)

Thank you Delilah Devlin for giving me a guest spot to share my anniversary celebration!

Debra’s social media links:
My website is www.debraparmley.com
I’m everywhere on social media.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7
Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley
FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/DebraParmley
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/
Twitter https://twitter.com/DebraParmley
Cover Model Corner interview blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/
Writing Blog: https://threadingtheweb.wordpress.com/
Newsletter sign up link: http://eepurl.com/ZUyC1
Debra Parmley’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/DebraParmleyRomance/featured?view_as=subscriber
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-parmley
Book sales pages:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1509300092&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debra+parmley
Audible audiobooks: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_pd_Romanc_c2_1_auth?searchAuthor=Debra+Parmley
Itunes for ebooks and audio:
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/author/debra-parmley/id411082477?mt=11
ebooks on Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=debra%20parmley
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debra+parmley

Holly Bargo: Finding My Niche
Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Some authors just know what they want to write and their work falls neatly into a predefined category. When I started writing, my work (awful as it was) splattered across several categories. I flirted with science fiction. I wallowed in fantasy. I careened into romance. In short, I often wrote the kind of stuff I liked to read—or wished I could find to read.

I basically still do the same.

Genres have expanded greatly since the digital revolution in book publishing, especially with self-publishing. Where once librarians catalogued books as either historical, romance, or fantasy, many search engines find books that span all three genres. Or, rather, the genres now have sub-genres to accommodate authors whose work doesn’t fit neatly into the overarching genre or category.

That said, I’m exploring other genres or, rather, sub-genres than what I’ve written and published earlier. In February, I finished a collaborative project with bestselling author Russ Towne who writes in two different genres: children’s literature and westerns. He manages to keep them quite separate; a feat I can’t seem to accomplish.

We released a compilation of 12 short stories (a couple edging into novella territory) taking place in the “old west,” the era between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century when men were men, women were women, and the sheep were scared. Since I make my living as an editor and ghostwriter, we decided that I had the most flexibility. Therefore, I jumped over into his genre. Because I also have just enough graphic design training to be dangerous, we also agreed that I’d design the cover—with his input. We ended up with Six Shots Each Gun.

I had a lot of fun. If Russ ever asks me to collaborate again, I’ll jump at the chance. But I’m not sure that westerns are my preferred genre.

So, in my (voracious) reading, I came across yet one more alien abduction romance. Once again, the alien hero is a kinky alpha type who gets his jollies from controlling, dominating, and spanking his submissive heroine. (Why, for heaven’s sake, is the heroine always submissive?) Once again, the story followed the typical trajectory: the heroine gives up her entire life for eternal bliss as a doormat.

Ugh.

There followed the all too familiar spark of “I can do better than that.” (That spark is responsible for some of my other books, too.) Despite the improbability of science which states that humans are more biologically compatible with cabbages than with any alien life form, I hopped into the sub-genre of alien romance. I have to admit, it was slow going. However, in the last few of weeks of drafting the story, it caught fire. Finally.

I knew that book wasn’t going to be terribly long—and it’s not. At just a smidgen over 55,000 words, it barely edges in to novel length fiction. Because it’s supposed to sell, I stuck to some of the tropes of the sub-genre before going off the rails. If one hero’s good, then three must be better. So, we’ve got a reverse harem romance now. The heroes don’t abduct our heroine, her own government does. The heroes are, of course, tall, strong, alpha types: who wants wimpy heroes? But our heroine is no doormat, either, even when she has neither bargaining power nor authority.

The key twist in the trope hinges upon compromise. Everyone’s got to give up something for a relationship to work. Granted, the heroine gives up the most, but heroes who want to make their heroine happy must also do more than simply give her multiple orgasms.

The experiment in jumping into the alien romance sub-genre has been interesting, if only because I’ve got my SEO keywords ready: alien abduction reverse harem romance. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Because my stories dwell on the conflict between characters rather than outside events affecting the characters, the jump perhaps didn’t seem so jarring. After all, people are people, regardless of historical period or planet. See how well (or not) I managed that hop with Triple Burn, due for release in mid-April.

Will I return to alien romances? I doubt it. Strangely enough, my bestselling books are mafia romances that cross over into “New Adult” romance. I left the series open for a spin-off, but probably won’t return to that either. The exercise of writing in other genres (or sub-genres) stretches my mind and writing. I discover things about myself by pushing ever so slightly beyond my comfort zone. I fancy those discoveries hone what I already do well and improve what needs to be improved.

In exploring different genres and sub-genres, I have found my home in paranormal and fantasy romances. That’s where my imagination takes me and where my heart takes flight. That’s my niche, improved through exploration within other genres.

About Holly Bargo

Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist as a temperamental Appaloosa mare fondly remembered for her outsized personality. Holly’s life still involves horses. She and her husband live on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with the aforementioned horses, a clowder of cats, and one yellow-bellied coward of a Great Dane. And an elderly llama. We mustn’t forget the llama. Holly and her husband have two adult children, one graduating from university in May 2019, and the other enlisted in the military.

Her latest book is Six Shots Each Gun, co-authored with bestselling author Russ Towne. Click on the links for the e-book and paperback versions.

Holly is the author of over 20 titles, the latest of which include Bear of the Midnight Sun and Daughter of the Dark Moon.

Social Media Links:
• Website – https://www.henhousepublishing.com/
• Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Bargo/e/B00JRK6VGQ
• Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HenHousePublishing1/
• Twitter – https://twitter.com/HollyBargoBooks
• Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/henhousep/

Caroline Clemmons: The Widows of Wildcat Ridge (Contest–Two Winners!)
Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Thank you to Delilah for hosting me today.

Do you prefer mountains or the beach? I enjoy both, but I love mountains most. I find them inspiring. I remember one trip, for instance, to Estes Park, Colorado several years ago. This magical trip occurred on the first weekend in October.

While we were there for a conference in which my husband participated, we stayed in a lovely hotel. Our room had a huge plate glass window view of the mountain. I had taken my laptop with the intention of writing while my husband was busy. This beautiful, slow snow came with giant snowflakes that stuck to the pine trees.

How can anyone be expected to work in those conditions? I confess that for the most part, I watched the snow fall. Where we live in the Fort Worth area of North Central Texas, we don’t get much snow—some years none. You can understand how fascinated I was with this lovely sight.

The conference featured a tour for spouses on Saturday afternoon. One of the sites we toured was the Stanley House Hotel, which Steven King supposedly used in THE SHINING. It’s a lovely hotel and not at all frightening. While we were walking through, a Regency reenactment group was holding a dance that looked entertaining.

Our tour guide said she lived in a haunted house that had had a poltergeist when she and her husband first moved there. She reported the poltergeist swept dishes off shelves and was a destructive nuisance . I’ll bet even Stephen King would find that frightening. I certainly would.

One evening, my husband and I strolled to the center of town. The elk that came up to feed and drink are protected and have right of way. I couldn’t help laughing at them as they wandered on and off the street and caused drivers to stop. This was the first time I’d seen an elk that wasn’t in a zoo.

I’ve been to Colorado several times, but this was the most memorable visit. I’ve written numerous books that take place in a mountain setting at different seasons. When I’ve done so, I recall the wonder of that trip. Perhaps to people who are used to a lot of snow, such scenes are annoying instead of awesome. To me, if was wonderful and unforgettable.

I relied on these memories for my latest release, GARNET, book 9 in the sweet western historical series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Though GARNET is set in Utah, I picture the Wildcat Ridge Mountains resembling those on the Colorado trip I so enjoyed. In GARNET, a terrible mining tragedy has left many widows in town.

Here’s the book’s description:

Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her café, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer them a stable home.

Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.

Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?

The buy link is http://getbook.at/garnetWOWR . GARNET is available in e-book and will soon be available in print. Of course, it’s free in KU.

Here’s an excerpt…

A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and couldn’t see who had knocked.

Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”

She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt .45 was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.

The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.

“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I like to work for a meal.”

Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.

“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”

While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”

He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”

Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”

“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”

“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”

Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.

When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”

“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday morning. What day is this?”

“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.

Contest

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of GARNET to two people who comment today. Tell me your most memorable vacation in a comment to enter.

Farewell to 2018
Monday, December 31st, 2018

Cheers! Here’s a toast to 2018!

I’m kind of glad to see this year end. Yes, I’m a year older (I hit the big 6-0!). Don’t care. We’ll never mention it again.

I lost my grandmother to a painfully slow process, which I witnessed firsthand since I was one of her caregivers.

My father, who is diabetic and on dialysis, fell and broke his hip. Again, I’m pitching in with care. He’s mending, but with so many health issues, we just hold our breath day to day.

On the good news side, my dear SIL began work with the local PD—so, you know I’m waiting for that ride-along! Kids are healthy. I’m doing fine. Could use a little more rest and ME time, what with the babysitting and caregiving, but that’s life and you do what you have to do when it’s family.

On an even happier note, there are the 2018 books I delivered. Yes, some were previously subbed stories I had to revise and reissue, but there were some new stories, including five new Montana Bounty Hunters! I love writing that series, and I’m really happy readers are enjoying them so much, too!

But in case you missed what was new in 2018, here’s the list!

New in 2018

  1. 01/02/18 – BOUND & DETERMINED, Texas Cowboys series
  2. 01/23/18 – SLOW RIDER, Texas Cowboys series
  3. 02/13/18 – NIGHT WATCH, Texas Cowboys series
  4. 02/27/18 – PIRATESA Boys Behaving Badly Anthology
  5. 03/06/18 – LAYING DOWN THE LAW, The Triplehorn Brand series
  6. 03/08/18 – DAGGERMontana Bounty Hunters series
  7. 03/20/18 – IN TOO DEEP, The Triplehorn Brand series
  8. 04/03/18 – A LONG, HOT SUMMER, The Triplehorn Brand series
  9. 04/05/18 – REAPER’S RIDE, Montana Bounty Hunters series
  10. 04/27/18 – THE BOUNTY-2, The Bounty series, short story
  11. 05/11/18 – TRUE HEART
  12. 05/22/18 – LONE HEART
  13. 06/26/18 – COCHISEMontana Bounty Hunters series
  14. 07/17/18 – GARGOYLE’S EMBRACE
  15. 08/21/18 – LION IN THE SHADOWS
  16. 09/11/18 – SEX ON THE BEACH, SEALS in Paradise/Montana Bounty Hunters series
  17. 10/02/18 – SIN’S GIFT, Veiled Alliance series
  18. 10/16/18 – HOOK, The Montana Bounty Hunters series
  19. 11/07/18 – LOCKDOWN, Veiled Alliance series
  20. 12/07/18 – WOLF, The Montana Bounty Hunters series 
  21. 12/18/18 –STEPBROTHERS STEPPING OUT: WITH HIS CLIENT, short story

My personal favorites from among these stories…?
Here’s my list, in my order of preference.

 Wolf (Montana Bounty Hunter) Night Watch
Hook Reaper's Ride The Bounty 2
Dagger 

As for what’s coming in 2019…?

Well, you know I have more Montana Bounty Hunters coming. Not just the guys in Bear Lodge, but the Kalispell crew, too. And there’s a spinoff coming. I’ve introduced some of the people from R.I.P., so I hope you’re ready to meet my spec ops guys headquartered in Montana!

And remember, if there’s something you’d love to see me write, drop me a line. I love hearing from you, and I’m open to suggestions as I slog along in my writer’s cave. 🙂

Peggy McKenzie: Being Thankful
Thursday, November 8th, 2018

©Peggy McKenzie 2018

It’s November and getting close to the holidays again. It’s my favorite time of the year. I decorate every corner, sofa, window and deck with Christmas stuff. I love Christmas!

But wait, let me stop you right there. Although Christmas season is awesome (and it is—no doubt about it) what about—wait for it—waaaaait for it—what about Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving, you ask? You mean the time of the year we celebrate our forefathers and cram our face with all of our favorite foods (and some not so favorite—like an elderly’s aunt’s green bean casserole where she actually uses broccoli instead of green beans?) Yeah, that time of the year. It’s an awesome time when family and friends get together and have fun and food. But what if we put a new spin on Thanksgiving? What if we actually took the time to be thankful?

It sounds corny, but let’s think about it for a minute. What if we focused just for a few minutes with some quiet reflection on what we all have to be thankful for. Pick a spot off the beaten path that you enjoy—a chair that looks off your deck, a rock on the side of a mountain, beside a lake somewhere. Maybe choose a time when the kids are in school and the spouse is at work. A time when you can hear yourself think—really think. Turn off your phone. Your television. Your computer. Free your mind.

Personally, I like to sit by the fire with a giant cup of spiked coffee on a chilly day. The fire is popping in the fireplace. Maybe some snow falling softly in the pines. Best of all, there’s a huge stack of firewood just waiting for me to stuff it onto the grate. There’s nothing worse for killing the warm fuzzies than to have to put on your boots, hat, coat and tromp out into the snow to carry in armfuls of wet firewood.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr. I digress—

Back to being thankful—as far as I know, there isn’t any playbook or magic wand on how to approach gratitude. It just takes some thought and an open heart to discover what truly makes us happy. We may be surprised that it isn’t the things we thought. Look, we all have blessings in our life just as we all have hardships in our life. There’s always gonna be someone worse off than we are and there’s always gonna be someone better off than we are. The key is to be grateful for the things we experience in our lives every day. Even the bad stuff, because without the bad stuff, we can’t really appreciate the good stuff.

Okay, off my soap box. Now that we have a mindful appreciation of the blessings in our lives, let’s move on to Christmas, shall we?

SARAH—ANGEL CREEK CHRISTMAS BRIDES is a series about women left in Charleston, South Carolina after the end of the Civil War.

Money was hard to come by. Men were even harder to find.

Confederate widow, Sarah Caldwell, has lost everything. Her husband. Her home. Her fortune. And now, she will lose her young daughter if she doesn’t leave Charleston before her contemptible in-laws convince a court to grant them custody. When Sarah’s four best friends decide to answer an advertisement for brides somewhere in Montana Territory, she decides to join them praying the law won’t follow.

An injured expatriate of the Union Army, Quinn Cassidy, is now the sheriff of Angel Creek. He likes the tranquility of this little mountain town and vows to protect it. But, when five beauties from Charleston step off the stage coach, he wonders if he can. The dark-haired woman, with the little girl in tow, walked into his life and into his heart. Now, he needs a Christmas miracle to keep his new bride out of his jail.

Get your copy here!

*~*~*

GRACE-BRIDES OF THE RIO GRANDE is a series about four orphans who bond with a gregarious woman who owns a saloon and refuses to allow these women to become prostitutes. When one of the young women is forced to kill a man to in self-defense, these four women flee to find justice and love with the men of Creede, Colorado.

The only family Grace Sinclair has known includes three other orphans and the bawdy saloon owner who took them in eight years earlier. Grace has appointed herself big sister, friend and protector to the three younger girls, seeing to their welfare as best she can with no money, no family and no hope for much of a future. When one of her sisters kills an over-ardent saloon patron in self-defense, Grace knows her only chance of keeping her little family together is to hightail it out of town so the law will think she’s the murderess.

John Malone didn’t send for a mail-order bride, but somehow he finds himself wed to a feisty city woman hellbent on forcing him to confront the misery and loss he’s been hiding from since the devastating loss of his wife and infant son. His plan to convince the young woman he’s not a fit husband and the unsettled Colorado wilderness is not a fit place for a lady quickly goes awry, plunging him deeper into trouble when he finds himself falling for his sweet bride.

Get your copy here!

*~*~*

FAITH-BRIDES OF THE RIO GRANDE Despite the improbable odds of a half-breed orphan getting a fair trial after being accused of murdering the son of the mayor of Kansas City, frontier justice has given Faith No-Name a second chance at life. For the past two years, Faith’s trust—indeed, her very future—has been in the hands of a talented young attorney. She’s fallen in love with the handsome Irishman but she’s not naïve enough to dream that a respectable white man would consider marriage to a woman of mixed blood who’d grown up with three other orphans under the eye of a bawdy saloon keeper.

Defending the dark-haired, doe-eyed young woman accused of murder has tested Liam O’Brien’s sense of justice in ways he never imagined. Every time he looks at her, he is reminded of the horrible Indian raid that left his parents dead and his sister kidnapped. He escaped, but only because he hid from the marauders like a coward. His heart is a dark tempest of rage, loathing and guilt that makes it impossible for him to view Faith as anything other than a savage heathen…except the more he learns about her, the more his prejudices are challenged.

Get your copy here!

I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season filled with friends, family and fabulous gratitude.

Peggy McKenzie
Writing Happy Endings and Second Chances One Story At A Time
Where love becomes legendary.
www.peggymckenzie.com

Brides of the Rio Grande Series
Langley’s Legacy
Angel Creek’s Christmas Brides
Wild Deadwood Tales Anthology: Proceeds benefit THE WESTERN SPORTS FOUNDATION

About the Author

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Peggy McKenzie was a barrel racer in her younger days. When she grew tired of banging her knees on the cans, she decided to learn to team rope with her husband. Then, she took it a step further with the horse power and bought herself a Harley.

In 2014, she retired from her career as a fraud examiner for the State of Oklahoma. She and her family moved to beautiful southern Colorado where she continues to write her novels about the romance of the old west. Peggy is currently finishing up the last two books in her Brides of the Rio Grande series and is looking forward to her next writing project, a collaborative effort with five other Best Selling Authors called Angel Creek Christmas Brides. She loves to take walks in the mountains and she’s always up for a hook in the water.

Peggy has been in love with reading romance since the ripe old age of fourteen when she picked up her first “forbidden book”. She continues to enjoy reading all types of romance genres. Some of her favorite authors are Callie Hutton, Hildie McQueen, Merry Farmer, Lily Graison, Sylvia McDaniel, Carolyn Brown, Christie Craig and Alice Clayton.

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