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Archive for the ‘Book cover reveal’ Category

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Those of you who have waited (and waited, and waited) for the next book in the Baker City Brides series to release – take heart!

Bobbins and Boots (book 4) will release March 23!

You can pre-order your copy today for only 99 cents! (The price will increase after release day to $3.99.)

Yeehaw!

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How does an act of kindness result in… marriage?

 One carefree cowboy is about to find out in this sweet historical romance!

 Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined not to marry him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and marries her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.

Available March 23!

Here is a little excerpt:

“Tully suggested the best way to keep Joe from marrying Miss Tillman was for her to already be married, so I did.”

Thane rocked back so hard, he had to scramble to keep from tipping off the chunk of wood. “You did what?”

“I married Miss Tillman. It all happened so fast, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d done until I was partway home. I went to the bank, took money from my account, and left it at the jail for Tully to give Joe. I figured him punching me in the stomach and threatening to shoot me was worth five dollars. Then I got Pastor Eagan and we went to the boardinghouse. He married us. I remember signing a marriage certificate and Hattie and Edwin witnessing the ceremony, but everything else is kind of a blur.”

Thane jumped up and looked around. “Where’s your wife, Ben? What did you do with her?”

As though he finally regained his full mental faculties, Ben stood while a look of panic settled on his face. “I left her at the boardinghouse. I didn’t even think about bringing her home with me.” Ben groaned and sank back down on the stump. “I stepped in it good this time, Thane. What am I gonna do with a wife? I’m too young to be married. I don’t even have a house. I’m no better than Joe Lambery.”

Thane jerked him to his feet and shook a finger in his face. “I don’t want to ever hear you say anything like that again, Benjamin Ross Amick. You’re a good man and you’ll make a fine husband, once you get your head set back on straight. It’s too late to go back to town tonight, but first thing in the morning, you’re going to Baker City and bringing home your bride.”

“But, Thane, what am I gonna do with her? She can’t sleep in the bunkhouse, for gosh sakes.” Ben slapped his hat against his leg. “What was I thinking?”

“That there was someone who needed your help. I’ve never known you to walk away from trouble, Ben, and I’m sure this seemed like the best way to handle the situation at the time.” Thane pointed to the cabin across the ranch yard. “You and Allie can live in the cabin. It probably needs a good cleaning but you’d be welcome to use it.”

“Allie?” Ben gave Thane a confused look. Was that the name of the woman he’d married? The details remained rather unclear.

Thane offered him a pointed look. “Your wife’s name is Allie. You certainly can’t go around calling her Miss Tillman now that she’s Mrs. Amick.”

Ben looked as though he might be sick. Thane chuckled and thumped him on the back. “Come on. Eat supper with us. I don’t think you’re up to the teasing all the men will offer when they find out you’ve wed and forgot to bring home your bride.”

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A few weeks ago I said I had some exciting news coming up to share with you. Well, here it is!

I’ll be in Atlanta, GA, for the RT Booklover’s Convention in May, participating in  what we hope will be a super fun event:

Magnolias & Moonshine — a Southern, Shabby-Chic Affair!
Friday Night, May 5, from 9:30 – 11:30pm

You can find out more about the event on our special Magnolias and Moonshine website.

  “Bling” up your best cowboy boots and join twenty sweet and spicy romance authors for a taste of the old south as they host the Magnolias & Moonshine County Fair. Play some fun games (like smash the tin can and fishing), win prizes and enjoy live music starring 2014 Georgia Country Male Artist of the Year, Thomas Fountain.

Be sure to visit an old-fashioned “Kissing Booth” where cover models will be giving out a bevy of Hershey’s Kisses! You can also enter the “Best Bling Boots” contest for a chance to win a blue ribbon for the best decorated pair! Or just sit back and enjoy the fun-filled evening that has something for everyone!
Early arrivals will be greeted with Apple Pie Moonshine (or lemonade) in a collectible, mini mason jar while they last, and the first 400 guests will receive a special commemorative tote bag ready to be filled with amazing swag that each author will be giving away. And everyone who attends will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win many door prizes that will be raffled off throughout the evening.
To keep up with news about the event, join the Facebook Page!

And if you’d like to attend the event, you can register with RT.

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The Magnolias and Moonshine series was created specifically for the RT Booklover’s Convention and has ten sweet and ten sizzle contemporary novellas, all set in Atlanta. The stories include cowboys, weddings, county fairs, reunited love stories, and much more. Step into the world of the South and hear the cicadas, taste the mint juleps, see the stars, and smell the magnolias.
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My contribution to the series is Taste of Tara.
For a while, I’ve been toying with the idea of a heroine who grew up in the Northwest but wants, more than almost anything, to spend time in the South.  When I was asked to participate in this series, it seemed the perfect time to bring the story to life.
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What’s a wannabe Southern Belle to do?

Pastry Chef Tara Tarleton doesn’t want much out of life except to have a successful career and someday visit the South. When the opportunity arises to spend a month on a plantation near Atlanta helping bring a living history event to life, she jumps at the chance. Filled with grand visions of channeling a southern belle, disappointment settles over her when reality comes to call. Plagued with allergies, humidity, and a creaky old house, she’s ready hand over her mint julep and return home. Then she meets a man who rescues her from thugs, bugs, and herself.

Life has taught Brett Cutler to enjoy one day at a time. That’s exactly what he’s doing when a beautiful girl runs into his arms as she tries to escape men intent on harming her. From that moment on, he’s ready to plan the next fifty years of his future. The only problem is the woman who’s captured his heart has no intention of staying in town.

Taste of Tara is a lively, fun read that captures the sweet romance of following your dreams, no matter where they may lead.

You can pre-order Taste of Tara for only 99 cents! It releases April 29!
You’ll find it at these online retailers:
Participating authors (in order of release days – the first is April 10):

Ciara Knight (Sweet)

Hildie McQueen (Sizzle)

Beth Williamson (Sizzle)

Susan Hatler (Sweet)

Lindi Peterson (Sweet)

Kymber Morgan (Sizzle)

Amanda McIntyre (Sizzle)

Lucy McConnell (Sweet)

Sharon Hamilton (Sizzle)

Lisa Kessler (Sizzle)

Kirsten Osbourne (Sweet)

Susan Carlisle (Sizzle)

Tina DeSalvo (Sizzle)

Raine English (Sweet)

Amelia C. Adams (Sweet)

E. Burke (Sizzle)

Melinda Curtis (Sweet)

Merry Farmer (Sizzle)

Shanna Hatfield (Sweet)

Jennifer Peel (Sweet)

 

 

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Oh, my gracious!

Today is going to be a super fun day!

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The Christmas Quandary, book five in the Hardman Holidays series officially releases today and you can read it now!

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Today is also the 3rd annual Cowboys and Christmas Party!

To kick off my campaign and celebrate the upcoming holiday season, the party will run today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PT) with 12 special guests, oodles of prizes, and loads of fun!

http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasFB3

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And… I’m offering The Christmas Crusade FREE today for Kindle downloads!

Hope to see you at the party!

 

 

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The fifth book in the Hardman Holidays series will release November 10! (Woohoo.)

The story is about Tom Grove (whom we met in The Christmas Calamity as one of the students in Alex Guthry’s class), and Lila Granger, a cousin to the Granger family who has come to Hardman for a visit.

 Holiday surprises await two lonely hearts in Hardman…

Tom Grove just needs to survive a month at home while he recovers from a work injury. How bad can it be to return to Hardman for the holiday season?  He arrives to discover his middle-aged parents acting like newlyweds, the school in need of a teacher, and the girl of his dreams already engaged.

After the loss of her parents and her fiancé abandoning her to spend a year abroad, Lila Granger needs a change of scenery. She leaves her home in New York to spend a few months with relatives in Hardman, Oregon. The idea of stepping off the train into a place that gives her a true sense of coming home never entered her mind. Neither did the notion of falling in love with a man who clearly can’t wait to get away from the small town.

The Christmas Quandary is a sweet Victorian romance, full of laughter and heartwarming moments, perfect for a holiday read.

And you can pre-order it now on Amazon!

If you’d like a little teaser, here’s an excerpt from the story:

As they stepped inside, Tom looked around the sea of young faces. His gaze rested on the beautiful dark-haired woman at the front of the room, gray eyes sparking with mischief and fun as she smiled at them.

Pain blazed across his chest with an unexpected force. He took a staggering step back, attempting to catch his breath.

Oblivious to his current inability to think straight, Arlan and Luke greeted the class.

“Good morning, students,” Luke said, his voice carrying friendly authority. “We’d like you to meet your temporary teacher. Mr. Grove will take over classes starting tomorrow until Miss Alex is well enough to return.” Luke waved his hand toward the front of the room.

Tom tried not to gape at the glorious creature standing near the blackboard smiling at them.

Luke grinned. “Tom Grove, this is my cousin, Miss Lila Granger. If you think my sister and wife can cause trouble, they don’t hold a candle to the tomfoolery this one makes without even trying.”

Tom watched as the young woman marched toward them, the train of an expensive gown the same color as her eyes swishing in the wake of her steps.

“Hello, Mr. Grove. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She stuck her hand out to him.

Awed and thoroughly addled, Tom yanked the glove off his left hand with his teeth and let it fall to the floor as he took her hand in his. Although she meant it to be a handshake, the connection of their palms felt more like a caress as he held her delicate hand in his.

Fearful of what words might spill out of his mouth if he opened it, he was surprised when he spoke in a clear voice. “The pleasure is mine, Miss Granger.”

Whoever named this womanly sprite had chosen her name well. Lila put him in mind of springtime and an array of brilliant flowers. The scent of lilacs wafted around him as she pulled back her hand and smiled at Luke. “How wonderful you’ve coerced someone else into teaching these little hooligans.”

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Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.

After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.

A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Pre-Order Link:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cVw4ED

Take advantage of the 99 cent pre-order price!

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Excerpt:

“I thought I heard you calling for me,” Miko said, climbing down a ladder on the far end of the building with an arm full of berry crates.

Rock rushed to help her. By the time he threaded his way through the packed contents of the building, she was already on the floor.

“That’s quite a car,” he said, taking half the berry crates from her and motioning to the convertible.

“Thanks. I bought it when I was still gainfully employed,” she said, walking over to the car. “I fell in love with the color the first time I saw it and started saving my money to buy one. When the weather’s nice, it’s fun to drive with the top down.”

Rock gaped at her. “It’s your car?”

Miko grinned. “Is that a hint of disbelief I hear, Captain? Not only is it my car, but I know how to change the tires, check the oil, and siphon gas out of my dad’s car when my brother, Tommy, borrows it and brings it back empty.”

He laughed, setting down the crates and wiping his hands along his trousers before touching the car. “It is a beaut. What’s this color?”

“Laguna maroon. Papa calls it the luna moon mobile, but I still think it’s one of the prettiest colors out there.” Miko opened the driver’s side door and motioned for Rock to climb in.

He sank into the leather seat and inhaled the aroma as if it was the most expensive perfume.

“Like it?” Miko asked, bending down to better see his reaction to the car.

“You bet!” He settled his hands on the steering wheel, forcing his injured fingers to curl around the wheel.

“If you like the outside of the car, you’ll probably be more impressed by the eight cylinders under the hood.” Miko released the hood latch and Rock slid out to study the engine.

He whistled and smirked at Miko. “What’s a girl like you doing with a car like this?”

“Anything I want,” she said with a sassy grin. “At least it used to be that way.”

Rock sobered and closed the hood, using the hem of his T-shirt to wipe away the smudges made by his fingerprints.

“I didn’t realize you had cars here. I was trying to figure out how to catch a ride on the bus into Portland.”

“By all means, drive one of the cars wherever you need to go.” She pointed to her grandparents’ sedan. “Papa and Mother must have sold their car or it would be here, too. Granddad wouldn’t care if you take his.” She cast a taunting look his way. “Or, if you think you can handle it, you’re welcome to drive mine.”

His raised an eyebrow at her dare as he lifted the berry baskets and followed her out the door. “Is that an invitation or a challenge?”

“Maybe both.” She turned and sauntered away, casting a flirty smile at him over her shoulder.

***

 

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You all are warmly invited to join me and my Sweet Romance Reads friends as we celebrate the Pre-Order kick off of Sweet Christmas Kisses 3!

The party is today on Facebook and runs from Noon – 10 p.m. Eastern Time. I’ll be hosting at 1:30 (12:30 CT, 11:30 a.m. MT, 10:30 a.m. PT). I hope to see you there!

https://www.facebook.com/events/597330543759981/

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Millie Cover

For those of you who like the “behind the scenes” stories, here’s how Millie’s cover came to be…

Long before I wrote a single word of the story, I started thinking about the cover of Millie’s book. I wanted the cover to portray the prohibition theme of the story.

There were absolutely no stock photos with an Edwardian woman swinging an axe (imagine that) and I try not to use stock photos anyway… so I decided to take the photo myself.

The challenges: find a whiskey barrel, an era-appropriate outfit, and someone willing to pose for the photo.

I thought the barrel would be simple enough to locate. The genius plan was to buy a half-barrel planter and turn it on its side for the photo. Apparently, though, the planters are not popular in our area because I had to check at half a dozen stores before I finally found one. And it wasn’t even a whiskey barrel – it was a wine barrel. I wrangled it into the back of my vehicle on a hot spring day and left it there overnight.

Oh. My. Gracious. The next morning, my car smelled like rancid vinegar (is that even a thing? If so, I know exactly what it smells like!) Ugh… so I left all the doors and the back open for an hour to air it out. It took days for the smell to completely dissipate.

Next on the list was an outfit a “hello girl” might have worn. She wouldn’t have been dressed in any of the fancy styles of the Edwardian period for work (although Millie had a few “nice” outfits for when she wasn’t working.)

I studied some photos taken in 1908 of women out and about by Edward Linley Sambourn. The “pigeon breast” style was all the rage then with the shirts being rather loose and full in the front while waists remained corseted and tiny.

This photo gave me the idea of using a wide piece of lace down the front of Millie’s shirtwaist.

And this little graphic I found on Deviant Art provided great insight into the layers of clothing Millie would wear.

Without any willing prospects to pose for me, I ordered a corset and petticoat then dug into my closet for something I could make work for her outfit.

I am here to tell you, putting on a corset, corset cover, and petticoat was not the most fun I’ve ever had. In fact, I don’t think I breathed more than a few shallow breaths the whole time I had them on. And hot! The skirt I wore was wool (which didn’t help things any).

So Miss Millie’s outfit is a pair of “granny boots” I’ve had longer than I’ve known Captain Cavedweller. They’ve worked well for any number of costumes (they are also on the cover of Aundy and Marnie) and come in handier than you might think. The skirt is a navy wool skirt I’ve owned forever. It’s a “riding” skirt although the only thing it’s ever ridden is a desk chair. I happened to have a nice wide belt that could barely squeak by as passable for the era. The pink “shirtwaist” is a regular long-sleeved blouse I rummaged from the back of my closet. And the lace down the front is a handmade piece of lace I inherited from CC’s grandmother. The lace was actually a really long piece (about eight feet long!).  I tacked it to the petticoat so it wouldn’t drag on the floor.

<True story: Back in the 1950s, CC’s grandparents lived next to a family that moved quite suddenly and asked them to keep their belongings. Fast forward forty-some years to when I married CC. We were out at his grandparents’ farm and he took me into this old falling-down shed stuffed to the gills with “stuff.” It was all the belongings they’d cleared out from the neighbor’s place. They moved it into the shed and left it there in case one of the neighbors ever came back for it. Only they didn’t. So Grandma told me I could take whatever I wanted… which happened to be boxes full of old lace, a wooden suitcase full of postcards from WWI, a box with gloves and silk stockings, a few vintage dishes, and a several items I have yet to identify that just looked “cool”.  And that’s how I came to have that piece of lace.>

Back to Millie’s outfit… The brooch was a gift from CC, the gloves were from the cache of goodies I got from his grandma, and the hat was one I made to wear to a Victorian bridal shower. CC supplied the axe.

 

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I liked this photo and thought it would work well for the background of Gideon’s saloon. In an effort to keep with the shiny wooden floor in the background, CC and I set up the photo in our kitchen. He snapped a few dozen photos while I tried not to pass out from holding my breath. Once the dizziness from lack of oxygen passed, I started playing with the photos.

 

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We’d hung a white sheet in the background (which makes it easy for me to crop out everything but the image I want). After selecting this pose, I ended up cropping out the floor, too. Then I flipped the image horizontally and placed it over the background.

I added the word “whiskey” to the barrel in what I hoped looked like a stencil font.

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The final touch was creating the title piece of art. I just loved this dainty little wallpaper print.

 

Millie TitleI added an oval and a flourish, typed in her name and – Voilà!

That’s how Millie’s cover came to be!

 

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