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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I have two fun tidbits of news to share with you today.

Celebrate background with balloons.

This week marks my fifth anniversary of saying adios to my day job and beginning the adventure of writing full-time.

I’m sure glad I took that leap of faith and I’m so, so grateful to all my readers for their ongoing readership, encouragement and support. Thank you!

To celebrate this milestone, I’m giving away five $10 Amazon Gift Cards. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Aug. 14.

To enter to win, just follow this link and fill out the info!

Bobbins and Boots 2

Today, Bobbins and Boots is on sale for just 99 cents!

If you haven’t yet read the book, it is book 4 in the Baker City Brides series.

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 weds 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.

~*~

And here’s a fun little excerpt:

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 a fifteen-dollar discount. 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.”

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Today, I thought you might like to see my inspiration for the characters in Summer Bride.

First, we have Justin James. I knew I wanted to have dark hair, a little messy and longer, and kind eyes.

When I saw this photo of David Giuntoli it was like there was a neon sign hanging over it saying “This is the one! This is Justin!”

david

This is exactly how I picture our hunky, handsome, ever-helpful hero.

dave giuntoli 1

Seriously, isn’t he a cutie? Can’t you just picture him in the crazy T-shirt Matilda gives him?

Sage Presley we met briefly in Valentine Bride (book 1 in the Holiday Brides series). But we didn’t know much about her.

I envisioned her as blond, with a sweetness about her that belied her inner strength. I pictured her as very feminine and lovely although she’s tough and capable of handling whatever challenges life throws her way.

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I thought Skyler Samuels made the best Sage. She’s lovely and has that delicate look to her.

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But a fun, playful side, too! I just loved the inspiration she provided for Sage.

Then I needed a little inspiration for Sage’s brother, Shane.

Colby Canterbury

Colby Canterbury was my choice for Shane Presley. From the hair and green eyes, to that soulful look on his face, he was just perfect for Shane.

The song I listed to while I wrote this book kept me smiling as I pictured Justin asking his friends this question:

Such a fun song from Joe Nichols.

Oh, and I have to share the ringtone Sage uses for Justin on her cell.

If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy of Summer Bride today!

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Summer Bride

releases today!

Summer Bride meme 1

Two scheming matchmakers are at it again…

Sage Presley loves her job as the receptionist at Golden Skies Retirement Village in Holiday, Oregon. She enjoys the residents and their wisdom, even if some of them are more than a little quirky. Determined to ignore the matchmaking efforts of two women at the retirement home, Sage’s sole focus is on raising her brother, Shane. In spite of her best efforts, she can’t help but notice the hunky electrician who continually comes to her rescue.

Grateful for the opportunity to open his own electrical business, Justin James moves to Holiday full of plans and dreams. He’s quickly drawn in by the close-knit community, but finds the lack of suitable single women disturbing. Despite himself, his attention is captured by the receptionist at the retirement home where he’s working on a big job. Yet, he can’t begin to understand why two matchmaking octogenarians are intent on forcing him together with the woman he’s convinced is married.

A sweet romance sprinkled with humor, hope, and the meaning of real love, Summer Bride will warm the hearts of readers while bringing them a smile.

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Summer Bride meme 5

Justin’s grin faded and he gave her a curious look before he glanced down the table at Shane. His gaze shifted back to her. “Isn’t Shane your son?”

Sage choked on the sip of lemonade she’d just swallowed. Matilda whacked her on the back as she coughed into a napkin. When she ceased coughing and could speak again, she shook her head. “Shane is my brother.”

Eyes wide in shock, Justin gaped at her. “Your brother? So you aren’t… you don’t have… Are you married?”

Had Sage taken another drink, she was sure she would have spewed it all over Justin. It was a good thing she’d merely sat glaring at him in disbelief. What on earth had given him the idea she was married and Shane was her son? How old did he think she was, anyway?

“She isn’t married,” Matilda said when Sage remained silent. “She doesn’t even have a boyfriend right now, do you, darling?” The old woman appeared to size up Justin before she leaned toward him. “Are you interested?”

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L&L teaser 1.jpg

Today, I thought it might be fun to share my visual inspiration for the two main characters in Lightning and Lawmen.

Deputy Dugan Durfey we met briefly in Corsets and Cuffs. We didn’t know a lot about him, other than he likes to joke and tease and he’s a valuable member of the sheriff’s office.

I did the cover for this book long before I wrote it, so I was looking for inspiration that matched the featured characters.

chris evans

Chris Evans offered the perfect inspiration for Dugan’s character. Can’t you just picture him with a cowboy hat and a brass star pinned to his jacket?

Dugan 4

I could just picture Dugan giving a bad guy this look… or Seth when he’d been squiring Delilah around town.

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And I could totally see Dugan with a smile like this when he was teasing Delilah or amused by something the sheriff said.

Delilah had to be a great balance to Dugan. From the cover, I knew she needed to have dark brown hair, but that was about it.

Delilah 2

Then I happened across an image of Odette Annable. She is very beautiful and spot-on for Delilah’s character.

Delilah 3

I could easily picture her giving Dugan (or Ollie) this smile.

Delilah 1

She truly is just lovely and I couldn’t envision any better inspiration for Delilah’s character.

Raccoon  On Grassy Bank

And I can’t forget the real star of the show – Oliver the raccoon.

While I wrote this story, I listened to the song If It Ain’t With You by Farewell Angelina. Captain Cavedweller and I had gone on a date night to our local theater. The opportunities to attend a musical performance are few and far between, so I bought tickets although I’d never heard of the group performing. It just so happened to be Farewell Angelina. The all-female country group is named after a Bob Dylan song, featuring four amazing vocalists who also play instruments and write songs.

If you haven’t yet read Lightning and Lawmen, I hope you’ll check it out.

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Thimbles Sale 1

Stubborn, mule-headed, independent woman!

She’d take that as a compliment…

Maggie Dalton has no need for a man in her life. Widowed more than ten years, she’s built a successful business and managed quite well on her own in the bustling town of Baker City, Oregon. Aggravated by her inability to block thoughts of the handsome lumber mill owner from her mind, she renews her determination to resist his attempts at friendship.

Full of Scottish charm and mischief, Ian MacGregor could claim any available woman in Baker City as his own, except the enchanting dress shop owner who continues to ignore him. Not one to give up on what he wants, Ian vows to win Maggie’s heart or leave the town he’s come to love.

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Excerpt:

In the bright spring morning light, Maggie took note of the sunlight glinting off his hatless blond head. He wore his hair longer than she deemed proper and more often than not, it appeared tousled and wild, rather like the man himself.

Broad shoulders looked like they could carry the weight of the world. Forearms corded with muscles drew her attention as he stopped the wagon beside her.

Brilliant blue eyes twinkled with humor as he leaned forward and rested an arm on his upraised knee. “Weel, lass, what on earth are ye doing traipsin’ around on foot out here in the middle of nowhere on such a bonny day?”

The man’s Scottish brogue unsettled her, in particular when the letter “R” rolled off his tongue with a delightful burr. The hair on the back of her neck stood at attention, as if eagerly awaiting the sound of his voice, while her knees wobbled. His effect on her only infuriated her further.

“Not that it is any of your concern, Mr. MacGregor, but I’m on my way to the Jordan Ranch.” Determined to ignore the way the corners of his sculpted mouth lifted into a smile, she narrowed her gaze and offered him a cool glare.

She wondered what his face would look like without the abominable growth of scruff he sported. The fuzz on his face was just long enough to give him a rakish appearance and set all the twitterpated girls in town into a frenzy of whispers whenever he passed by.

Fortunately, Maggie was long past the age of having her head turned by the considerable charms of a man like Ian McGregor.

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It’s release day for Lightning and Lawmen

(Baker City Brides, Book 5)

L&L teaser long

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

Lightning and Lawmen cover Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

 Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

Amazon

L&L teaser 1

Just as he strolled around the corner by the sagging front fence, he heard a woman’s scream rip through the peaceful afternoon.

Dugan drew his pistol and ran the last few yards to the house. He crossed the front walk in seconds, bounded up the steps, and rushed inside. No one was in the hallway or the front parlor. He glanced into the dining room then continued down the hall to the kitchen. It was empty so he backtracked to the hall and continued to where two bedroom doors opened across from a bathroom.

The sight of pink stocking-clad calves, shapely ones at that, sticking out from beneath a froth of petticoats greeted him as he glanced into the first bedroom. An overturned chair and a surprisingly sensible black boot that looked impossibly small for a woman to wear were the only things on the floor in the room.

As he holstered his pistol, he lifted his gaze and stared at the woman clinging half in the attic space. Her stomach rested against the edge of the opening to the attic while her legs dangled in the air. Decorative ceiling tiles that were at least two feet square covered the ceiling. He could see how it would have been easy to disguise an entrance into the attic that way. It appeared the woman had shoved the tile aside and climbed up to investigate what was in the attic.

“Miss Robbins?” Dugan asked, tamping down his amusement and the urge to run his hands up those exposed stockings. “It’s Deputy Durfey. Just hanging around today, are you?” he teased.

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L&L teaser long

Lightning and Lawmen (Baker City Brides, Book 5) is coming soon!

It releases June 28, but you can preorder it now on Amazon!

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

 Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

 Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

~*~

Lightning and Lawmen coverJust for fun, here’s a little excerpt from the book…

Afternoon sunshine illuminating the clear blue sky made her tip back her head to soak up the glorious rays spilling through a missing section of the porch roof. The tang of approaching spring mingled with the yeasty aroma of baking bread and the mouth-watering smell of roasting meat in the air. A slight breeze, redolent with the mixture of scents, caressed the tendrils of her hair that had escaped the confines of the once-tidy chignon she’d hastily fashioned early that morning.

At least the pleasant weather was one thing working in Baker City’s favor. In spite of the house’s disorderly status, she would greatly enjoy spring days in the area if today was any indication of what the future held. She pushed the cape from her shoulders, closed her eyes, and relaxed against the chair, enjoying the peaceful moments before her father returned.

“Maybe this place won’t be all bad,” she whispered, allowing her grip on her father’s bag to loosen.

“Baker City tends to grow on most folks, if you give it a chance,” a deep voice said, startling her from her musings.

Her eyes snapped open in surprise. Pride straightened her spine as her glance settled on a man standing a few yards away on the winter-browned grass on the other side of the porch railing.

Sunlight glinted off a shiny silver badge pinned to the front of a long duster. She studied the black western-style hat on his head, similar to those she’d seen cowboys sporting on the train. The lawman wore a tan flannel shirt topped with a dark vest and a neckerchief the color of crocuses. Dark blue denims encased muscled legs while dust covered the toes of his worn boots.

Slowly, her gaze glided from his boots back up to his face. A square jaw covered in a rakish growth of stubble, firm lips, and a straight nose proved to be a handsome combination. But it was the man’s eyes that captured her attention.

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