Posts Tagged ‘Thimbles and Thistles’


Just for fun, I thought I’d share an interview with Thane and Jemma Jordan from Crumpets and Cowpies today.

Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Jordan. Tell us a little about how you met.

Thane: Jemma’s sister, Jane, was married to my brother, Henry. Upon Henry’s death, I traveled to England to settle his estate and discovered I had a niece and nephew. They lived with Jemma. She’d taken care of them both, even before Jane passed away giving birth to Lily.

Jemma: Little did I know when this cowboy showed up on my doorstep that he’d turn my world all topsy-turvy. In order to travel back to his ranch together, we wed a few weeks after his arrival.

So you married a complete stranger?

Jemma: Not willingly. (Grins at Thane) He inherited the children and I couldn’t bear to be separated from them. The only way for me to stay with them and not create a scandal was to wed this scoundrel.

Thane: (Kisses Jemma’s cheek) She was the most annoying, irritating, stubborn, opinionated female I’d ever met. She also happened to be the most beautiful.

Jemma: (Blushes and squeezes Thane’s hand) Despite his ability to infuriate me beyond reason, he really does say the nicest things.

Tell us what it’s like living on the ranch.

Thane: It’s a little slice of heaven. We’re about an hour from Baker City, to the south. We have rolling hills full of fat cattle and a good crew that keeps everything running smoothly. I also raise and train horses.

Jemma: He forgot to mention we live in a tiny little cabin barely big enough for our dog much less two adults and two lively children. There isn’t a drop of running water. The worst thing is the abominable shack we must use that serves our personal needs. (Jemma shudders) It’s positively detestable.

Thane: (Smirks) What my lady refers to as an abomination is our outhouse. It’s just a part of life where we live.

What’s the most exciting thing happening right now?

Jemma: (Glances at Thane and smiles) Thane is building our new home with running water and honest-to-goodness bathrooms. I can hardly wait until it’s finished.

Thane: I caught her crying over the bathtub we installed the other day. She was sobbing about how pretty it was and how much she loved it. I’m pretty sure she holds a greater affection for the bathtub than me.

Jemma: I did no such thing and you know it. (Swats Thane’s arm) Why, that’s utter nonsense. I merely stated how wonderful it would be to soak in a real tub with water that didn’t have to be heated and hauled. My gracious, Thane Jordan!

Thane: (Leans toward interviewer and speaks in a whisper) See why it’s so much fun to ruffle her bloomers? (Sits back up and winks at Jemma) The other exciting tidbit is that our lumber supplier has gone daffy for one of our good friends, but Maggie’s running away faster than he can catch her.

Jemma: Maggie isn’t nearly as opposed to Ian as she tries to convince everyone. I think secretly she likes him.

Thank you for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Thane: Thank you for hosting us today. If you enjoy sweet romances set in the past, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in Crumpets and Cowpies and Thistles and Thimbles.


Discover more about the Jordan Ranch and life in 1890 Baker City in Crumpets and Cowpies, the first book in the Baker City Brides series.

Crumpets CoverIn the story, rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate. He quickly discovers he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined, including a niece and nephew he didn’t know existed. The children’s aunt, Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she travels across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.



Thimbles and Thistles Cover

Thimbles and Thistles takes readers back to Baker City as spring arrives and love is in the air.

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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My awesome friend and fellow writer, Linda Broday, is hosting me on her blog today.

If you skedaddle on over there, you could leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Crumpets and Cowpies!

Also, just for fun today, I thought I’d share an interview with the men of Baker City. Enjoy!

Welcome Thane Jordan, Tully Barrett, and Ian MacGregor.  Tell us a little about you.

Thane: I’m a recently married rancher, mine owner, and horse trainer. I inherited my brother’s two children last fall and married their aunt. She’d pretty much raised them and couldn’t bear the thought of being away from them. I didn’t plan on falling in love with her, that’s for sure.

Tully: You should see them together. Half the time it’s like oil and vinegar, or maybe I should say crumpets and cowpies. The rest of the time, ol’ Thane is so besotted with his bride, it would be purely sickening if they weren’t so much in love.

Thane: (Glares at Tully) I think you’re supposed to talk about yourself, not provide opinions about me.

Tully: (Grins broadly) I’ve served as sheriff in Baker City for a while and I like the job. I came to the area a dozen years ago with Thane and our friend Maggie and her husband Daniel. He died in an accident in the mine we bought together.  Thane and I watch over Maggie, or at least try.

Ian: That beautiful, bonny lass is a handful. The woman is full of her own ideas and opinions.

Tully: And she’s not afraid to share them.

Ian: (Chuckles and shakes his head) I own the lumber mill and have been in this fair city for just two years. My father hails from Scotland, although my mother’s family has been in America since the first pilgrims set foot off the Mayflower.

What do you like best about Baker City?

Thane: Although the thought never crossed my mind before I became a husband and father of two, Baker City is a great place to raise a family. There are good schools and churches, and things women seem to enjoy like restaurants and the nice hotel, and Maggie’s dress shop. I also like the fact that our ranch is close by yet isolated.

Tully: I like the people. We’ve got a nice community here. Even with the lawbreakers and riffraff I run out of town, it’s still a wonderful place to live.

Ian: I agree. The people are what make the town special, make it seem like home.

Thane: (Smirks) I think he means just one person… Miss Maggie.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about the town?

Ian: Many people would be surprised to know Baker City is often referred to as the “Denver of Oregon” because of the gold, and because of all it has to offer. From the grand hotel downtown to the theater performances and dances, there are many activities here people might not expect to find in a western town.

Tully: At our community harvest dance last fall, one of the men spiked the punch. Several of the women thought it quite tasty, although they didn’t know about the booze. You’ve never seen such carefree, happy females as there were that evening. Two of them even proposed to me.

Thane: (Snorts) I’m sorry I wasn’t around to see that. Maybe you should have had some of that punch and I wouldn’t be the only one enjoying matrimonial bliss now. (Tully glowers at Thane) I think people would be surprised by the gold, silver and quartz mines, and how much money mining produces in our county. I don’t see the mining industry dying off around here anytime soon.

Thank you gentlemen for joining us today. Any parting words?

Tully: If you’ve already read about Thane and Ian’s adventures with love, be sure you watch for my story, Corsets and Cuffs, coming out whenever the author gets around to it.


Happy Wednesday, everyone!

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Today, I thought I’d share some of the visuals I used while writing Thimbles and Thistles.

alana_de_la_garza_2You’ve already met Maggie Dalton (the lovely Alana de la Garza). She’s independent, stubborn, spunky,  beautiful and lonely. Her husband died in a tragic mine accident a decade ago but Maggie struggles to move on. Resigned to remaining alone Ian stirs up feelings she’s determined to keep buried.


Hatfields & McCoysHandsome, hunky, fun-loving lumber mill owner Ian MacGregor (Matt Barr) has set all the girls in Baker City into a frenzy since his arrival two years ago. Rugged with just enough polish to be irresistible, the only woman who interests him is the one who pretends he doesn’t exist. Never one to give up on something he wants, Ian is resolved to winning Maggie’s heart.

landscape-thomas-kinkade-painting-cottage-river-ducks-bridge-trees-sunsetThis Thomas Kinkade painting is how I envision Ian’s “cottage” set back in the trees near the river beyond the edge of his lumber mill. I’d like to crawl right into that painting and spend some time in such a pretty place.


lumber wagonHere is Ian’s big ol’ lumber wagon.

targe - nzmuseums.co.nzThis is a targe and one I used for inspiration when writing about Ian’s ancestral weapons.

tartanThe MacGregor tartans.



Since Maggie is a dressmaker, I always pictured her wearing beautiful clothes. (Even her riding outfits are snazzy).


thimbleAn antique thimble.

geiserThe hotel’s stained glass ceiling (this is the actual ceiling in the Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City).

You can find more images on Pinterest here.

There’s also a few extra details on the character sheets for Ian and Maggie

And this is the song I listened to while writing their story:

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Oh, my gracious!

Today is full of excitement!

Thimbles and Thistles CoverTo start with, Thimbles and Thistles releases today!


(And I can hear Ian saying “Och, lass, dinna fash yerself!”)

I’m so, so happy to be able to share Ian and Maggie’s story with you. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The other, little-bitty bit of fun happening today is the Petticoat Ball on Facebook!

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific Time) today there will be games, giveaways, tomfoolery and amusements. Did I mention the guest authors? Eight amazing women will join me. I know you’ll want to meet them all!

Even if you can’t make it for the party, please stop by and enter some of the cool prize drawings. Most of them will stay open until Friday morning when the winners are announced.

LacyI’ll also reveal the cover of Lacy at the celebration! You won’t want to miss it!

I’m not the only one excited for the ball…

Petticoat Ball girlsThese ladies have let me know it’s time to get things rolling!

See you at the Petticoat Ball!



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Thimbles and Thistles Cover

Tomorrow is the big day! Hooray! I can hardly stand the wait until Thimbles and Thistles moves off pre-order status to sale status!

I thought I’d share some fun teasers with you all today… and say thank you – for your kindness, encouragement and support. You are so appreciated and make my heart all warm and fuzzy!

Although I shared their photos a few days ago, as you read through the snippets, here’s how I envision Maggie and Ian.

Alana de la Garza

Alana de la Garza

Matt Barr

Matt Barr

Okay – without further ado:


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

Broad shoulders looked like they could carry the weight of the world while 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.


When he lifted his gaze to Maggie’s, her face hovered just inches away from his. Time ground to an abrupt halt as he studied the dark, almost black ring around the iris of her eye while the inner circle lightened to a beguiling shade of topaz.

Slowly inhaling a deep breath, the scent of sage mingled with her sweet perfume, further ensnaring his already entangled senses.

Of their own volition, his eyes trailed over her face, taking in her determined chin and stubborn jaw as well as her creamy cheeks and rosy lips, just begging for a kiss. Bereft of the ability to stop himself, he started to lean toward her, causing her to gasp and jerk away from him.


Maggie could have sworn Ian had stood at the door listening to them talk by the knowing look on his face. “I’m sure nothing we discussed would interest you – just topics of importance to women. Girl stuff.”

“Girl stuff, huh? Why do you think that wouldn’t interest me?” Ian waggled his eyebrows at her. “I’m interested in girls in general, you in particular, and would love to discover more about your stuff.”

Too amused to be offended, Maggie laughed. “Mr. MacGregor, you do say the most outlandish things. What am I going to do with you?”

Ian gave her a rakish wink. “I’ve got a few ideas. Care to hear them?”

“No, sir. I don’t believe I do.”



She assumed he was teasing, but his comments made her cheeks flush with embarrassment. “Is your father as full of idle flattery and hot air as you?”

Ian chuckled. “Where do you think I got my good looks and appeal?”

“Who said you possess either?”

Maggie’s saucy grin made his heart pound wildly in his chest. He ached to kiss her, to hold her, love her.

“Many a lady has assured me it’s true. Are you telling me they lied?”

“Not exactly.” Maggie wondered how he so often managed to back her into a conversational corner. She had a hard time keeping her wits about her when she was alone with him.

“Tell me the truth then, Maggie. Am I a homely mutt with all the charisma of a chunk of wood?”

Her laughter made him smile. “No, you incorrigible man. Why must you constantly need reassurance that you are, in fact, capable of charming the bees out of their honey and handsome enough to turn the head of most any girl? If it wasn’t for that tousled mess you call hair and that scruff you allow to grow on your face like mold on a wedge of overripe cheese, who knows what might happen.”

Ian appeared affronted as he ran a hand over one jaw then the other. “Och, lass, you’re breaking my heart. How dare you compare this fine growth on my face to moldy cheese? That is an insult of the worst kind.” Mischief danced in his eyes as he stepped closer to her. “I dare you to touch it and tell me that it isn’t as soft as one of your finest pieces of fabric.”

Maggie had never been able to pass up a dare, even when she knew better. Boldly reaching up, she ran her hand along Ian’s jaw, surprised how soft his beard felt beneath her fingers. The contact of her hand to his face caused flames to leap up her arm and sear her chest, but she lifted her other hand and bracketed Ian’s cheeks with both of her palms.

The sassy smirk on her face drew one from Ian as she turned her snapping brown eyes to his liquid blue ones. “I suppose it’s more like the bristles on a boar’s behind, but you might someday find a girl who enjoys that sort of thing.”


“It’s a lovely night, isn’t it?” Maggie asked, leaning against Ian as he stood with an arm around her. She hadn’t felt so cherished and secure for years.

“Lovely? Yes, Maggie, my love, it is the most lovely night I’ve ever seen.” Ian’s gaze rested not on the twinkling stars overhead, but on the woman beside him. “In fact, it’s about to get even better.”

Maggie looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “Is that so? How could it get better? I’ve never seen such a beautiful June night. You can smell the sagebrush blended with the flowers from the reception. It’s not too warm or cool. The stars are glowing up above. It’s perfect.”

“All that is pleasant, I agree.” Ian swept her into his arms and started toward the house. “It is a beautiful night, lass. But sagebrush and posies hardly hold a candle to your alluring fragrance. The stars are mere specks compared to the twinkle in your eyes. And you’ve had me overheated for the past several hours, anticipating the moment when I can peel that verra pretty dress off you and make you my own, Maggie. I do believe the perfection of this night is yet to be discovered, but I can hardly wait to get started.”


Wishing you all a verra bonny day!

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Thimbles and Thistles Cover The countdown is on… less than a week until Thimbles and Thistles releases. Is anyone besides me excited? Anyone? Just for fun (and because ya’ll have been so patiently waiting for the book), I thought I’d give you a little peek at the characters today. Meet Ian MacGregor –

Matt Barr

The hunky and handsome Matt Barr

A little on the roguish side, Ian comes from a Scottish background and can roll his Rs with the best of them. Owner of the town’s lumberyard, he’s handsome and strong, fun-loving and hardworking, and knows exactly what he wants…

Mrs. Maggie Dalton –

The lovely Alana de la Garza

The lovely Alana de la Garza

Widowed more than ten years, Maggie builds a successful life for herself as a dressmaker. She can ride any horse she can saddle, has a kind heart, and sometimes a sharp tongue. Generally, she gets along well with everyone, but for some reason Ian rubs her the wrong direction.

Here’s a little snippet from the story:


Maggie could have sworn Ian had stood at the door listening to them talk by the knowing look on his face.

“I’m sure nothing we discussed would interest you – just topics of importance to women.Girl stuff.”

“Girl stuff, huh? Why do you think that wouldn’t interest me?” Ian waggled his eyebrows at her. “I’m interested in girls in general, you in particular, and would love to discover more about your stuff.”

Too amused to be offended, Maggie laughed. “Mr. MacGregor, you do say the most outlandish things. What am I going to do with you?”

Ian gave her a rakish wink. “I’ve got a few ideas. Care to hear them?”

“No, sir. I don’t believe I do.”


Have a marvelous weekend everyone!

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Thimbles and Thistles CoverSince we’re getting so close to the release date of Thimbles and Thistles, I thought it would be fun to share a little teaser today…


While Maggie might think she played a game, the truth of the matter was she played with fire. If she continued to light Ian’s, he didn’t think he should be held responsible for his actions. Not when she batted those long, feathery eyelashes at him, winked flirtatiously, flooded his senses with her alluring fragrance, and filled his mind with forbidden thoughts.

Furious as he stomped inside his house, Ian yanked off his coat, ran cool water over his hot hands, and splashed it on his fevered cheeks.

He might be many things, but Ian MacGregor would never be anyone’s fool.


Are you as excited as I am for the book to release?

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