Posts Tagged ‘western’

SBR long meme

I thought it might be nice to share the character inspiration from Sleigh Bells Ring.

These two characters are a little different because they aren’t a typical romance story couple. They are in their 70s.

If you’ve read the book, you know I mention Jess Milne looks like Harrison Ford. That’s because I really did use Harrison Ford for the inspiration.


I mean… it’s Harrison Ford!


How could Doris help but be charmed by the handsome rancher?

We first met Doris in Blown Into Romance. From the description there, we knew she had white hair and was a little feisty.


That’s why I chose Honor Blackman (former Bond girl) as inspiration for Doris. She’s just perfect!


And how could Jess be anything but smitten with her!

If you haven’t yet read the book, I hope you’ll give it a try, and the rest of the Christmas in Romance stories, too! You can read them all free with Kindle Unlimited!

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And find out more about the visual inspirations behind the story on Pinterest!


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Hannah’s Journey

My awesome friend Carmen Peone was a new Young Adult historical book out!

Hannah’s Journey – 


In the mountains of northeast Washington, sixteen-year-old Hannah Gardner fights for her childhood dream––to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena. Her mother fears Hannah will get hurt. Frustrated with her daughter’s rebellious spirit, she threatens to send her away to Montana to live with an aunt Hannah’s never met.

To escape this perceived punishment, Hannah runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River to train with Spupaleena. After Hannah’s first race, an Indian boy pulls her off her horse and spews threats. When Running Elk comes to her rescue, Hannah plans their life together and possible marriage. Will this be the pathway to her freedom?


“Hannah Gardner!” Mama’s footsteps kept the same pace as Uncle Pekam’s hand drum during ceremonies. “What are you doing?”

“Think about what I have said.” Wind Chaser shoved my wrist, turned, and trotted away.

I dismounted and wiped the sweat off my brow with the sleeve of my shirtwaist.

“What are you wearing? Britches under your new calico skirt? This is absurd! No lady dresses nor acts in this manner. No daughter of mine, that is. Who is that boy and didn’t your pa and I tell you no more racing?” Mama set her hands on her hips. Her slight frame was no comparison for the growl in her voice.

My gaze dropped to the ground. “Yes, ma’am, you did tell me no more racing.” I pushed dirt around with the toe of my boot. “But I know I can ride as well as Aunt Spupaleena––”

“Hannah! Listen to me.” Mama placed a hand on my shoulder. “You know we are not like the Sinyekst. They come from the Arrow Lakes way up north in Canada. They are strong and––”

“And I’m just as––”

“That’s not what I mean.” Mama sighed. “We love them like family even though we are not blood. But we have different customs and practices. They have their ways and we have ours. No better, simply different. And yes, you are an accomplished rider. Darling, there is no future for a young lady like you to race horses. Your future is with a husband and raising children. That’s the way things are. Please––”

“No! Those are your plans, not mine. You know I’d rather be in a saddle than bent over an iron stove, stirring a pot of beans.” I rubbed my wrist. “Yes, someday I want to have a husband and children, but for now, I wanna race. I know how to garden, quilt, sew, tend to the sick. You’ve taught me those skills. Let me do this before I choose to settle down.”

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

Reviews for Hannah’s Journey:

“Hannah’s Journey is a coming-of-age story about a defiant young girl who seeks to follow her heart’s desires. The story takes the reader on Hannah’s struggle for equality and dignity as she fights for the right to race horses with the boys. Details of tribal culture, food and daily life bring to life what it was like to be a young Native American in southwestern Washington in 1870, forced to share the land with white settlers. The story is more powerful because while these young people attend to the serious business of survival, they retain a playfulness and humor that is contagious and entertaining. This story flows like a western two-step; the pacing is as memorizing as the story. Clearly Carmen Peone lives within the culture she writes about, because the story is shaded with authenticity. Subtle back-story devises create a desire to read the entire series, but the story feels complete on its own. Subtle mention of sex and reproduction is expressed through the point of view of the young protagonist. Appropriate for middle grade and older readers, and adult readers who seek a deeper understanding of Indian culture. “–

Anne Schroeder, Award-winning author

“Carmen Peone’s expert horsemanship and knowledge of northeast Washington territory shines through in the second of her Gardner Sibling Trilogy, Hannah’s Journey. At sixteen, Hannah is the oldest child of a mid-1800’s pioneering ranch family. Hannah’s burning desire to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena is a constant worry to her parents. They fear not only that she ll be injured, but that their daughter is not preparing herself for the expected future role of wife, homemaker, and mother. Hannah’s parents aren’t the only ones against her racing. The Indian boys resent her barging into their sport. Not only is she a girl, but a white girl. The only encouragement she gets is from Aunt Spupaleena and Spupaleena’s brother Pekam. Heedless of others opinion, Hannah participants in a difficult, dangerous race. Not only is there danger in the race itself riding horseback fast on uneven terrain but also enduring vengeful rough treatment from other racers. It’s a bold, bloody event. Hannah’s parents, frustrated and worried about their daughter’s rebellious behavior, threaten to send her to live with an aunt in Montana, a fate totally unacceptable to Hannah. She runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River, the village of her Aunt Spupaleena. Hannah’s Journey delves into many of life’s challenges, especially of a young girl with non-traditional dreams. Along the way she must learn to exercise patience, to have faith, to slow down and pray for guidance. She learns that life comes with compromise, and sacrifice. Life isn’t easy and for someone with extraordinary desires, it’s even more difficult. I found Hannah’s Journey an absorbing, well-written book, a story intriguing to a wide audience. The author speaks with authority about Indian history, and the Sinyekst people. Peone is knowledgeable about the northeast Washington area, the Columbia River and the diverse area surrounding it. Many of this novel’s characters have appeared in the author’s previous books (The Heart Trilogy), but the transition into this second book of the Gardner Sibling Trilogy is smooth and stands alone.” —

Mary Trimble, Award-winning author


carmen peone head shotCarmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation, since 1988 gleaning cultural knowledge from family and friends.  She had worked with tribal elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes-Sinyekst- Language and various cultural traditions and legends. She has owned and trains and competes in Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail Competitions.  She lives with her husband/tribal member Joe.  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. She came to love the people and their heritage and wanted to create a legacy for her family.

Links to Social Media:

Website and blog: http://carmenpeone.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36309178-hannah-s-journey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarmenEPeone/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carmenpeone

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Peone/e/B00A92O4R4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1451363711&sr=8-1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAc0cLgBl2D1zC4yDzz9aHb0cyvqDneZFA0&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carmenpeone/



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Bertie Cover

Today, I thought it might be fun to share the process of creating Bertie’s cover.

Last spring, I was at my niece’s place and snapped a bunch of photos of her sweet hubby, their dogs, cows, and horses.

Then I landed upon the idea for Amanda to pose for a few potential covers for me.

So we walked out to a pasture and I started taking photos.

When I decided to write Bertie’s story, I knew this one would work perfectly.


It just needed a little tweaking. So I removed part of the fence, added more grass, and of course the bright orange irrigation dam had to disappear. I also brightened the color, just a tad.

I also gave Amanda blond hair.

I liked the color and pattern of Amanda’s shirt, so I used it as the basis for Bertie’s dress.

Bertie Cover photo

I found an online photo of a period-appropriate dress I liked and worked it into the cover, then added a wide sash to tie the shirt and skirt together. You’ll notice a mule I added in this photo, but decided it looked more like a donkey.

daisy bouquet

And I ended up using this bouquet of daisies. The others looked a little too straggly.


RileyThis is Riley.

muleAnd Steve the mule. (You’ll really like meeting him!)

title box

I added a pretty title box with Bertie’s name… and there we have it!

Bertie CoverI can’t wait to share Bertie with you April 7!

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I have something exciting to share with you today!

Are you ready?

Without further ado…

Cowboy Leaning in Doorway of Barn


The Cowboy’s Last Goodbye (Grass Valley Cowboys Book 6) is now available for pre-order!

And you get to be the first to see the cover!

Originally, I planned for Ben Morgan’s story to release this week, but with all that has transpired this fall, it just wasn’t ready in time.

I could have rushed and got it out mid-January. However, I want this long-awaited story to be the best it can possibly be, so mark Feb. 4 on your calendars because that is the date it will officially release!

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser…


Harper Hayes had no idea what possessed her to offer a stranger a ride.

Pure stupidity.

That had to be the reason she’d stopped to give the good-looking man a lift. He could be a con artist, a thief, or some kind of sick pervert.

For all she knew, he could be flashing that six-pack of abs and chiseled chin to make her the next victim in a string of yet undiscovered murders by a psycho serial killer.

Then again, Harper seriously doubted a serial killer would go hunting for unsuspecting women on dusty dirt roads that very few people traveled and even fewer women inhabited.

Before she fully regained the ability to own a rational thought, she observed the man, starting with his thick, short dark hair. Eyes the color of magnolia leaves in the autumn — brown with a slightly inviting sheen — made her want to take a step closer to him.

In all her twenty-eight years of living, she’d never seen a guy with such a full bottom lip, one just made for enticing kisses out of entranced women.

For a moment, she indulged in thoroughly ogling his broad shoulders, sculpted chest, and muscled arms. Eventually, she forced her gaze back to his face.

And it was such an incredibly attractive face, too.

Mortified by the wayward thoughts swirling around in her head, heat stung her cheeks as she took a step away from him. Away from temptation.

“What’s your name? I haven’t seen you around here before.” His deep voice flowed over her like a welcome breeze on a sultry summer afternoon.


She was in trouble where that six-foot of hunky biker was concerned. The last thing she needed in her complicated life was another man, especially one who appeared so virile and strong.

Nervous and ill at ease, she took another step back.

As though he sensed her concern, he offered her a reassuring look.

“I’m Ben Morgan. My family owns the Running M Ranch in Grass Valley.” He took a step forward and held out his hand while offering her a charming grin.


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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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Crumpets and Cowpies

Baker City Brides, Book 1

Crumpets CoverDetestable! Arrogant! Insufferable!

He’d been called worse…

Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined.

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 finds herself traveling across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.

Today is the official release day of Crumpets and Cowpies!

Woohoo! Yeehaw!

(I’m a little excited, can you tell?)

I think you’re gonna like this story. The characters are a little different from what I’ve done before – but they are so fun!

Don’t forgot to join me for a little celebration on my Facebook page today from 10-noon (Pacific Time). There will be eight prize giveaways, an opportunity to talk about the book characters, and a cover reveal for the next book in the series! I hope to see you then! Invite your friends and family to come along for the fun, too!

As always, thank you for your encouragement, support, and kindness. You are so appreciated!



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Meet Thane and Jemma


Read the first two chapters here:

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