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DOHH Meme Long

I’m excited to announce Dream of Her Heart (Hearts of the War Book 3) will release Sept. 27 on Amazon!

You can pre-order your copy now, or wait until then and get it through Kindle Unlimited.

The book is about Lieutenant Zane West and Nurse Billie Brighton. If you read Garden of Her Heart, Zane was mentioned as Rock Laroux’s best friend. And of course, Nurse Billie was at the hospital with Rock and then mentioned in Home of Her Heart as Klayne Campbell’s nurse, too.

Dream of Her HeartIs there room for love in a time of war?

Days before he must ship out to prepare for a dangerous mission in the Pacific, Lieutenant Zane West crosses Oregon to see a good friend who has been wounded in action. He arrives at the veteran’s hospital, only to discover the army captain has disappeared without a trace. As Zane searches for answers, he finds himself captivated by a beautiful and spunky nurse who offers her help. Is she the key to his future, or an unwelcome distraction from his important wartime mission?

Nurse Billie Brighton puts her heart and boundless energy into caring for wounded soldiers, but she vowed long ago never to let one of the dashing rogues turn her head. That is, until a handsome lieutenant arrives seeking his missing friend. Thoroughly enchanted, she can’t help but break her own rules. Has she finally found the love she secretly longs for, or is she headed for heartbreak?

Step back in time to 1942 with a sweet, charming World War II romance full of history, heart, and a happily ever after.

TEASER:

Regardless of the location, it seemed hospitals all smelled the same. He’d spent a few weeks in one when he’d injured his leg and couldn’t wait to get out. Considering the months Rock had been a patient, he couldn’t even begin to think about how much his friend must want to leave.

He walked up to the nurse’s station and waited. The nurse had her back to him, jotting down notes on a chart. The woman was short in stature, but plenty of curves were evident beneath her uniform. Hair the color of summer wheat coiled into curls at the back of her head and around the edges of her nurse’s cap.

A slight whiff of perfume, one he recognized as a popular choice among the females he’d been around the last few years, tickled his nose. On this woman, though, it held a deeper, richer fragrance of spices flirting with citrus-infused bouquets. If he had plans to be in town more than a few days, he might even ask the woman on a date. As it was, he tried to keep from being distracted by females. Married to his career and dedicated to serving in the war, he didn’t have time left over for courting.

Impatient to see Rock, Zane cleared his throat. The woman spun around, stealing his breath as his gaze collided with hers. Big green eyes the color of moss glimmered behind thick lashes. A pert little nose and pink lips added to the flawlessness of her face. She might not be any bigger than a minute, but the nurse was stunning. If she hadn’t been wearing a crisp, white uniform, he might have taken her for a pin-up girl.

When she smiled at him, he felt his mouth stretch into a broad grin. “Howdy, miss.”

“Howdy yourself,” she said, cocking an eyebrow. “May I help you?”

A dozen various lines guaranteed to earn him a smack across the face floated through his mind, but he merely snatched the hat off his head and nodded. “I sure hope you can.

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Summer Bride

releases today!

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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.

Amazon

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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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Today LAURA Award-Winning Author Carmen Peone joins us with her latest release, Girl Warrior.

Imagine Native American men on horseback charging down a nearly vertical, boulder-strewn crevasse in the face of a bluff. From there the riders race across a dry channel of the Sanpoil River and charge into the rodeo arena.

In the old days, Natives in the Keller, WA, area on the Colville Reservation gathered at the junction of the Sanpoil and Columbia river in late May during the salmon runs to harvest and dry a winter’s supply of fish. Games and horse racing were always present.

Excitement rolled in with the salmon and soon betting began.

Piles of loot swelled so quickly it was a wonder how accounts could be kept. Blankets, furs, saddles, knives, traps, tobacco, beads, whips, flour, and a hundred other items were staked. It was said that arranged marriages on occasion came from this traditional mountain race.

The race was eventually moved to the Omak Stampede in 1935, an idea inspired by local businessman Claire Pentz in an effort to promote rodeo and was named––The World Famous Suicide Race.

It’s a male dominated race, a rite of passage that few woman enter. All jockeys have to do is pass the hill, swim, and vet test. Albeit women have to stride one step further––endure not-so-charming rants many male racers sling their way.

It takes grit and determination for a woman to speed down 225 feet of a 62-degree slope, plunge into and swim cross the Okanogan River, and charge 500 feet before crossing the finish line inside the Omak Stampede arena.

Charnaye Toulou did just that in Girl Warrior.

Don’t miss out on this wild ride. Get your copy today!

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Does one teenager fresh out of high school have a chance at winning the race?

The instant the idea of entering the race stops swirling in her mind and settles in her heart, life changes for Charnaye Toulou. She has her sights pinned on winning the World Famous Suicide horse race during the Omak Stampede. The purse will help ease a financial burden of her paraplegic father, worn out mother, and ill grandfather. But more than that, she wants the respect earned from becoming “King of the Hill.” This race has been a long time rite of passage for male Natives. Charnaye is up for the challenge to prove females too can be awarded a warrior status as times are changing.

But when bully Hagan Hurst chokes her and causes her self-esteem to plummet, she hooks up with her Okanogan relatives and a horse that can take her the distance. Anonymous threatening letters find her and they all point to Hagan. Her father and mother become overly protective, but she meets a woman who has ran the race, jumpstarting her confidence. The day after Charnaye graduates from high school, she jumps in with cousin and trainer Craig Stuart and heads for her relative’s Omak ranch. And so do the letters.

Charnaye begins the rigorous training it takes to become “King of the Hill”, or in her case, “Queen”, and tries to figure out who is behind the threating letters. She combats fear and anxiety, fighting to fulfill this rite of passage.

Where to find Girl Warrior:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

He buckles the cinch to the new latigo strip and perches himself on a hay bale. He pats the space beside him. I know he’s about to tell me what’s good for me. It may not be what I want to hear, but it’s always the truth. “Your Stimteema rode him down the Keller hill when she was your age.” He points to his tall, bony quarter horse gelding. A blue roan with a ratty tail. Most of his teeth are mere stubs and we have to feed him beet pulp just to keep him alive.

I walk over to Old Blue and watch him eat. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“She didn’t want us to. It was before we were married, one month prior anyhow,” he said with a hitch in his voice. He wrings his hands.

“Why? What’s the big deal?”

“Because she knew you had that same streak of spitfire in you that lived in her.” He pops a stem of hay in his mouth. “She saw it in you as a baby.”

I try and imagine her plunging down the old Keller hill. “Was she sober?”

~*~

carmen peone head shot

Carmen Peone is a LAURA Award-Winning author who lives on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation with her tribal-member husband, Joe. She had worked with the late tribal elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes-Sinyekst- Language and various cultural traditions and legends. She enjoys her horses and competing in Mountain Trail Competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college.

 

Carmen loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

CarmenPeone / FaceBook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram / Pinterest / BookBub

 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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It’s release day for Lightning and Lawmen

(Baker City Brides, Book 5)

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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

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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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Quinn long

Today, I thought it would be fun to share my visual inspiration for Quinn (Pendleton Petticoats Book 9) and talk a little about the characters.

Vintage typewriter

We first met Walker Williams in Lacy (Book 5 in the series). At that time, he was Lacy’s younger, cheeky teenage brother. He and Lacy were close and she was determined to make it possible for him to chase his dream of becoming an architect.

Lacy married the town’s most eligible bachelor banker, Grant Hill. Grant, being a kind and generous man, sent Walker off to Portland to college.

We knew from Lacy’s book that Walker was handsome, but now he’s all grown up.

Walker 3

I chose Booboo Stewart as my inspiration for Walker.  He looks exactly how I picture Walker and is the same age as Walker is in Quinn, too.

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When I was thinking about the way I wanted Walker to look I had some specific things in mind:

Dark hair (although Walker’s is cropped)

Intriguing dark eyes

Handsome

Strong

Kindness apparent in his face

Booboo hit all those points.

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The inspiration for Walker also needed to be fun and playful – which Booboo certainly seems to be.

I can just so easily picture him as Walker.

Vintage typewriter

Choosing Quinn was a little different.

Charming bride with bouquet of flowers

I did a search in a website I use for royalty-free graphics, looking for a girl with bright red (orange!) hair. When I found this one, I knew I’d found my Quinn. This is actually the image of her I used on the cover.

Not only is this girl beautiful, (with that bright hair I needed for Quinn), she also has that fun, sassy, curious look that is perfect for Quinn’s character.

Beautiful bride in ceremonial dress

Don’t you just wonder what she’s thinking in this photo? Maybe she’s contemplating the next time she’ll see Walker.

If you hop over to Pinterest, you can check out all the visuals that helped shape and inspire the story, from fashions of the day to Oreo cookie ads!

And while you’re checking out the pins, listen to this song by Morgan Evans. “I Do” is what I listened to while I wrote Quinn.

 

Quinn — Full of opinions and plans to help women, Quinn Fairfield has no time for such nonsense as falling in love.

Available now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BYD45W2

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