Posted in 4 paws, Adventure, Giveaway, Historical, Review, romance, Western on June 28, 2017

BADLANDS

Sawbones, Book 3

by

MELISSA LENHARDT

!!NEW RELEASE!!

 

  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance

Publisher: Redhook

Date of Publication: June 27, 2017

Number of Pages: 416

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in the conclusion to Melissa Lenhardt’s fast-paced historical series.

Laura’s worst fears have been realized: Kindle has been taken into custody and she is once again on the run. The noose awaits her in New York, but Laura is realizing that there are some things worse than death. Finally running out of places to hide, it may be time for Dr. Catherine Bennett to face her past.

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The end of a trilogy that comes full circle for Catherine/Laura/Helen (the woman with many names).

When I first started reading this series, the grittiness and violence took me by surprise. While we know that the late 1800’s in the west was not a tame period or place to be, I was a bit surprised by how detailed the books were in describing the raids on and by the indians, the whore houses and just people in general. I have heard that some compare this to Outlander. I’ve never read that book but would imagine is it the raw and rough scenes that cause the comparison.

This book/series holds nothing back and really entranced me as the reader, imagining what it would be like to live in those times and under those conditions. The type of medical care that wasn’t really available and the charlatans that sold “snake oil” as cures for whatever ailed you.

Catherine/Laura/Helen is definitely a strong female character, but almost too strong in my opinion. I know that she never expected to fall in love and get married, and I know that this time period women were not seen as equals but almost as servants to their husband. Other women were fiercely strong too including Rosemond who is trying to make an honest living out her life and erase her own past. Laura and Rosemond may think they are different from each other, but really are alike in many ways and figure this out in the 2nd and 3rd books. I had to admire the gumption of many of the women in this book for taking their future into their own hands and not being dictated by society.

There are so many facets to this story that I thought the author did a wonderful job of exploring and leaving us with a mixed bag of emotions throughout the series.

We give this book (and the series) 4 paws up!

about the author

melissa-lenhardtMelissa Lenhardt writes mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Heater Mystery Magazine, The Western Online, and Christmas Nookies, a holiday romance anthology. Her debut novel, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest. She is a member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and vice president of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter. Melissa lives in Texas, with her husband and two sons.

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6/27 Notable Quotable Momma on The Rocks
6/27 Notable Quotable Forgotten Winds
6/28 Review: Blood Oath CGB Blog Tours
6/28 Review: Badlands StoreyBook Reviews
6/29 Review: Blood Oath Reading by Moonlight
6/29 Review: Badlands Margie’s Must Reads
6/30 Review: Blood Oath The Librarian Talks
6/30 Review: Badlands The Page Unbound
7/1 Review: Blood Oath My Book Fix Blog
7/1 Review: Badlands Books and Broomsticks
7/2 Badlands Excerpt Books in the Garden
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7/5 Badlands Excerpt Texas Book Lover
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Posted in Historical, romance, Spotlight, Western on May 25, 2017

BLOOD OATH

A Laura Elliston Novel, Book 2

by

MELISSA LENHARDT

NEW RELEASE 

 

  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance

Publisher: Redhook

Date of Publication: May 23, 2017

Number of Pages: 384

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this action-packed follow up to Sawbones.

Laura Elliston and William Kindle are on the run — from the Army and from every miscreant in the West eager to claim the $500 bounty for Laura’s capture as their own. But the danger isn’t just from those pursuing them. Laura and Kindle have demons of their own and a past that won’t stay dead. Exhausted, scared, scarred and surrounded by enemies, neither realize the greatest danger is yet to come.

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about the author

melissa-lenhardtMelissa Lenhardt writes mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Heater Mystery Magazine, The Western Online, and Christmas Nookies, a holiday romance anthology. Her debut novel, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest. She is a member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and vice president of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter. Melissa lives in Texas, with her husband and two sons.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on April 12, 2017

Title: Texas Homecoming

Series: Night Riders, #1

Author: Leigh Greenwood

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 9781492648796

Synopsis

She’s his last chance to find peace…

Cade, Captain of the Night Riders, is determined to lead his men home to Texas to recover from a long and brutal war. But when a fellow Rider betrays the team, Cade sets aside his hopes for peace and swears he will hunt down the traitor no matter what it takes…

He has a foolproof plan to use the feisty Pilar diViere to lure her traitorous brother out of hiding. And yet when he takes the dark-eyed beauty into his arms, Cade can’t help but remember the passionate past they shared. He would do anything for a chance to rekindle that flame…even spare her brother’s life.

The war has changed them all, and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Chapters * Indiebound

Excerpt

“Let’s go for a walk instead.”

“I don’t want to walk,” she said, angry he’d forced her to leave the fiesta. “I can do that any time.”

“We can walk along the river. The moonlight on the water makes it look like a river of silver.”

A walk sounded awfully dull compared to dancing, but she’d never seen a river in the moonlight. Young ladies of aristocratic lineage weren’t supposed to be interested in such things. Cade made it sound very pretty. “Okay, but if I don’t like it, I want to go back to the fiesta.”

The fruit drinks had undoubtedly contained more tequila than she suspected. She had never felt so uninhibited, so unfettered by tradition, so unrestrained by her grandmother’s strictures. It felt absolutely marvelous.

“Have you walked along rivers in the moonlight with a lot of girls?” she asked.

Cade chuckled softly. “You should ask Owen that question.”

“I’m not interested in Owen. I’m interested in you.” She didn’t mean it quite the way it sounded, but it was too much trouble to explain.

“No one seemed particularly interested,” Cade said.

Pilar couldn’t understand that. To her, Cade seemed like exactly the kind of man a woman would want to walk with in the moonlight. He was strong, handsome, and dependable, everything a young woman would look for in a man.

“I can’t believe the young women you knew were so silly.”

“Young ladies want excitement, clever words, flattery,” he said.

“They’d want something very different if they’d been driven out of their home and forced to cook for a living.” She hadn’t meant to mention that, but what he said seemed so frivolous, she couldn’t help herself.

“Some lost more than you. They just wanted to forget.”

She would never forget. “Let’s not talk about the war. Pretend I’m one of those silly women who pant after Owen. Tell me I’m pretty and you get lost in my eyes.”

Pilar felt herself flush with embarrassment. She didn’t know where those words had come from. She’d never even thought anything so foolish in her entire life.

“You’re not pretty,” Cade said.

That’s what she got for putting words into a man’s mouth.

“You’re beautiful. Any man would give his right arm to be able to drown himself in your eyes.”

Pilar didn’t know what more those Virginia beauties could want. Manuel had never said anything half so poetic.

“Your fiancé should be cut into small pieces and fed to the coyotes for leaving you unprotected. If I had been your fiancé, not even loyalty to my country could have been enough to make me leave you.”

Pilar was wise enough to know that no man ever valued his wife above his loyalty to his country; his money or his children perhaps, but never his wife. But the effect on her was the same as if it had been the truth. She’d never felt so important in her life, and she liked it.

“Would you really have stayed in Texas if I’d been your fiancée?”

“Maybe not, but I’d have made sure you were safe before I left.”

“Why?”

“A man protects what he values. Nothing is more valuable than the woman a man loves.”

Pilar had never expected to be loved by her husband, but when she was alone and faced with the future, she couldn’t help dreaming about it. Respect and all that stuff about lineage and money didn’t seem enough in a world that could turn cold and cruel at any moment.

“How would you show a woman you loved her?” Pilar asked.

“Like this.” Cade took her in his arms and kissed her.

Pilar knew that some part of her must have been wanting this, hoping for it, but a part of her was shocked to find herself in Cade’s embrace. That same part was even more shocked to discover how much she wanted it, welcomed it, moved forward to meet him. Nor did she back away from the kiss when it turned from a genteel brushing of lips to an unbridled expression of pent-up emotions.

She didn’t know what was responsible for the feeling that her life had suddenly turned in a new direction, had taken on a different meaning. She didn’t know how to account for the emptiness inside her, or the conviction that Cade was the only one who could fill it.

She only knew she’d been swept up in Cade’s powerful embrace, and it was the most wonderful feeling of her whole life.

She’d never imagined that anything could feel as wonderful as this kiss. His lips were full, his mouth soft. His tongue darted between her teeth before she knew what was happening. But even as her conscious mind started to reject the idea, her body’s response was the opposite—and enthusiastic. Her own tongue rose to duel with Cade’s, entwining sinuously around his, plunging deep into his mouth.

Gradually Pilar became aware that other parts of her body were reacting to Cade’s embrace. Her breasts—pressed hard against his chest—had become extremely sensitive, her nipples swollen. A feeling unlike anything she’d ever experienced uncoiled deep in her belly, then began to spread through her limbs, causing her muscles to go limp. Instinctively she clung still more tightly to Cade.

Without warning, Cade broke the kiss, took her by the shoulders, and thrust her away from him.

The shock was total.

“We have to go back to the hotel before I forget you’re a lady I’ve promised to protect,” Cade said.

Pilar’s brain refused to function. She couldn’t understand what Cole was saying. She could only understand that all comfort had suddenly been torn from her. “What would you do if I weren’t a lady, if we didn’t have to go back to the hotel?”

About the Author

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write.

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Posted in 4 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Western, Young Adult on January 20, 2017

Synopsis

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at MisfortuneAnnie.com for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!  You can also check out the Facebook page.

Praise

“At a time when women weren’t typically adventurers, especially at Annie’s age, it’s great fun to see a story about a girl who loves an adventure, is capable, and well-respected.  Annie is a great model for young girls.”

“Annie is whip smart and a dead shot. If you are looking for western action, train robbers, and a sharp shooter – look no further.”

“A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene.”

Review

This book was entertaining and a little different from what I normally read, but enjoyable all the same.

Annie is a gunslinger, and while I don’t know her age, I assume she is rather young (teenager or early 20’s at the oldest). Despite that, she is apparently known for having misfortunes on a regular basis, hence the nickname. She is persistent and when shooting at people tries not to kill them, but rather shoot guns out of their hands or just wound them. Sometimes that is to her detriment as they seem to continue coming after her. She is also a whiz with a rope and does some impressive roping throughout the book. Despite her scrapes and adventures, she is a character that is very likable.

Despite the era, she is educated and likes to read. That is a plus near the end of the book…but I can’t tell you why because it will spoil some of the anticipation while reading the book.

The book does leave you with a little of a cliffhanger that I assume will be addressed in a future book.

This book would be great for kids to read because of the action adventure, humor and historical setting.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Authors

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

Website | ChiseledInRock.com |  Janet “The Kid” Fogg on Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

 ”Gusto” Dave Jackson on Facebook |  Goodreads


 

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on December 29, 2016

Title: Blazing Hot Cowboy

Author: Kim Redford

Series: Smokin’ Hot Cowboys, #2

ISBN: 9781492621508

Pubdate: January 3, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Western

Synopsis

He’s all the heat she’ll ever need.

Lauren Sheridan’s return to Wildcat Bluff after the death of her husband is bittersweet. Thirteen years have passed since she set foot in the place that’s always held her heart…and the sizzling memories of her high school sweetheart.

Kent Duval has it all. A proud rancher and volunteer firefighter in the small town of Wildcat Bluff, he’s missing only one thing from his life: passion. Kent last saw Lauren Sheridan when she was sweet sixteen and they were head-over-heels in love. Now she’s back, spunky daughter in tow, and he no longer knows which way is up. As the heat between them builds, Kent can’t help but wonder if past flames can be rekindled and second chances really do exist.

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From the Author

Kim Redford: I’m excited to share one of my favorite cowboy characters!

Stagecoach (1939) is a culturally significant film directed by John Ford and based on Ernest Haycox’s short story, “The Stage to Lordsburg” (1937). A group of strangers join forces as they survive a stagecoach ride through dangerous Apache territory. The Ringo Kid (John Wayne) breaks out of prison to seek justice for his murdered father and brother, but his horse goes lame and he ends up on the stage as a prisoner of Marshal Curly Wilcox (George Bancroft). The Ringo Kid takes a fancy to Dallas (Claire Trevor), who was run out of town by the “Law and Order League”. As the trip progresses, the Ringo Kid’s skills are vital in saving lives, and he asks Dallas to marry him. The Ringo Kid represents the West’s indomitable spirit of overcoming great odds and a checkered past to begin a new life on a sprawling ranch.

He’s one hero who inspired my Smokin’ Hot Cowboys series of contemporary cowboy firefighter novels.

Excerpt

In Wildcat Bluff County, Texas . . .

Kent Duval joined other firefighters in front of a burning barn. He wasn’t wearing much firefighter gear, so he’d pump water and roll hose from the booster while another volunteer used the nozzle to wet a perimeter around the structure.

Streams of water hit the building and steam rose along with smoke as Kent and the other first responders fought to bring the blaze under control. Even so, the fire quickly expanded in size as it ate up oxygen. Soon the wooden barn was fully engaged and pumping smoke. Flames surged higher into the sky. They kept up the water barrage, beating back the blaze despite the orange-and-yellow flames spitting and licking and clawing to take back what was lost. Every fire had its own personality. This one reminded Kent of a dangerous wild bull.

And just when he thought they had the blaze contained, a piece of shake-shingle roof was ripped off by the wind and whipped across firefighter heads to land in the adjacent pasture. Flames immediately set the dry grass ablaze, and a line of fire headed straight for the nearby house at Twin Oaks.

“Watch my pump!” When Kent got a nod of understanding from another firefighter, he took off running, hoping he could stomp out the fire with his cowboy boots before it took hold and swept away from them.

He got ahead of the blaze, but the flames were quickly consuming the grass. He stomped hard, making a little headway, but he quickly realized he wasn’t able to do enough fast enough. And the other firefighters couldn’t leave the barn. He’d have to call for backup, but he feared the engine couldn’t get there in time.

Just as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, he heard Lauren calling to him. He glanced up. She’d crossed the road, dragging a heavy fire extinguisher in each hand, up to the barbwire fence. He could’ve cheered because she might just have saved the day.

He pocketed his cell, ran over to her, grabbed the canisters, and set them down on his side of the fence.

“Hold up the barbwire and I’ll crawl under,” she said as she went down on her knees.

“Lauren, I don’t want you in danger.”

“I’m not letting that fire get anywhere near my daughter at Twin Oaks.” She lay down and started to crawl on her stomach under the fence.

He quickly raised the bottom strand of wire so she wouldn’t tear her clothes or scratch her back.

Once she was on the other side, she grabbed a can and dragged it toward the leading edge of the blaze.

He used the black strap to hang the other fire extinguisher over his shoulder and caught up. He tried to take the canister from her, but she gave him a no nonsense look.

“Two of us are faster than one,” she said. “I remember how to use these cans, so let’s get to it.”

He grinned, loving her sassiness even as he wanted to keep her safe. He knew better. This was his Lauren, and she didn’t back down for nothing or nobody. “Let’s do it.”

Together, they got out in front of the fire and started spraying the potent chemical on the blaze, leaving a trail of yellow. They continued to relentlessly douse the flames till nothing was left except charred grass. When their fire extinguishers were empty, they tossed them aside, and then stomped on the crisp grass to make sure there were no hot embers left that might reignite.

Finally, Kent picked up one empty canister and hung it from his shoulder by the strap before he put the other strap over his free shoulder. He couldn’t resist leaning down and giving Lauren a quick kiss.

“Don’t you know I’m too hot to handle?” she teased, chuckling with a sound caught somewhere between delight and relief.

“Guess I’m looking to get burned.”

“I think we’re both a little on the scorched side.” She pointed toward the barn. “But that building took the brunt of it.”

He looked in that direction. He felt a vast sense of comfort when he saw the old barn was nothing more than a pile of black rubble with a red-orange glow of banked embers here and there. He glanced back at the blackened patch of pasture. He’d been cocky tonight—maybe because being with Lauren had made him feel like Superman. He knew better. You could never count on a fire doing what it was supposed to do, and particularly not when it was a raging bull of a blaze.

He clasped Lauren’s hand and threaded their fingers together. “Guess you’re a Wildcat Bluff volunteer firefighter all over again.”

She squeezed his hand. “I feel like I’ve never been gone.”

“Let’s get you home.”

“Twin Oaks will look mighty good.”

But Kent hadn’t been thinking about that place. He’d been thinking about his own farmhouse on Cougar Ranch.

 

About the Author

Kim Redford is an acclaimed author of Western romance

novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at kimredford.com.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on November 3, 2016

rachel

 

Rachel by Caroline Clemmons

Synopsis

A shameful past…
Rachel Ross’ secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. She accepts a job as his bookkeeper. Her past has made her cautious and she vows never to let down her guard. The attraction is there, and she allows him to court her.
Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and in the war and build a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. He’d never believed in love at first sight until he meets Rachel. Now he’s determined to discover and remove the reason her beautiful brown eyes look haunted.
One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?

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Praise

“I have read all of the five Bride Brigade books and can’t pick a favorite. Each story is complete, detailed, and enjoyable. Rachel’s story did not disappoint. I love how Ms. Clemmons intertwines all the bride’s stories, yet each can be read alone. I look forward to the next book in the series.” Marianne Spitzer

“. ..I enjoyed this book so very much I hated to see it end.” Dorothy Henderson

”Intriguing story of a woman framed for someone else’s crime. Trust doesn’t come easy when even her own family turns against her.” Beverly G.

“Oh boy, did I ever enjoy this book. Good work!!” Marcia Montoya

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Excerpt

Mama glanced from Hannah to Rachel. “I’ve fixed you a place in my sewing room. Your clothes and things are already there.”
Not even allowed to return to her former room? Scooping up her valise, she turned and fled to the sewing room. “Fine. At least I’ll have privacy.”
Patrick followed and caught up with her before she closed the door. “Dahlia and I’ve been scouring our brains since I learned of our parents’ plan. I may have a solution.” He handed her a folded newspaper page with one advertisement circled. “What do you think?”
Rachel read the item:
“Young women of good character desiring to go west for the purpose of marriage may apply for an interview between ten and four o’clock in the afternoon from April 5th to 10th at the Grand Hotel, Richmond, care of Mrs. Lydia Harrison.”
“Good character? This Mrs. Lydia Harrison might not agree I qualify.” She reread the item as she mulled over the implications. “Regardless, I’ll go see Mrs. Harrison at ten tomorrow.” She hugged Patrick. “I knew I could count on you, dear brother.”
“You’ll have to thank Dahlia for that advertisement. It wasn’t in the parts of the paper I read.”
All her plans for the future had changed. Instead of welcome from her family, she was ostracized by all but her brother. In her head, she saw the wisdom of her father’s edict. In her heart, she was far too crushed for reason. She wouldn’t stay a second longer than necessary to find a solution.
Patrick leaned a shoulder against the door jamb. “I’ll take off work again to go with you and be certain this woman isn’t a con artist soliciting young women for objectionable purposes.”
Rachel was able to force a smile though her heart had frozen solid. “No, Patrick, thank you for coming for me and for being the same fine man I remember, but I should do this alone. The ad says ‘for the purpose of marriage’ and I’ll be sure of the details before I commit—if she even chooses me.”
“At least let me give you a few dollars to pay cab fare there and back and enough to buy lunch if you’re out then.” He opened his wallet and removed several bills, which he pressed into her hand.
She gazed at the amount. “Ten dollars? Patrick, this is too much.”
He backed away as he held his hands palm facing her. “You don’t know what expenses you’ll have. I’ll worry enough without thinking you have no resources.”
She dropped the cash into her purse. “Thank you. You’re the dearest brother who ever lived.”
His cheeky grin cheered her. “Honesty compels me to modestly agree with you.”

 

carolineAbout the Author

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

 

amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/25/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight, Western on October 5, 2016

to-love-a-texas-ranger-coverTitle: To Love a Texas Ranger

Author: Linda Broday

Series: Men of Legend

ISBN: 9781492630173

Pubdate: October 4, 2016

Genre: Western Historical Romance

Synopsis

Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?

Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.

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Excerpt

“Stop, Weston! Stop, damn you!” Sam raised his gun and fired. A large tree trunk shielded the outlaw as he rode by, the bullet splitting the bark. Weston never looked back.

Only one thing remained—see if the outlaw had left them a horse, or untied and run them all off.

The overlapping branches had kept back much of the deluge. Though water dripped from the leaves, the ground was firmer here. He moved forward, afraid to hope. It wasn’t for him but for Sierra. She wouldn’t last long afoot.

He finally glimpsed movement through the leafy forest and made out the shapes of horses.

Sam gave a sigh of relief. At least they had a way to travel.

That Weston had again shown a smattering of compassion came as a shock. He’d done wrong but had turned around and tempered it with good. Just like the time he’d shot Sam in the leg then sent help.

Damn, if he could only figure the outlaw out!

A sound from behind alerted Sam Legend. Was it Luke doubling back and sneaking up behind him? He whirled, his finger tightening on the trigger, and shoved his Colt into the person’s face.

A jolt raced through him as he stared at Sierra.

She gasped, her eyes wide in fear.

“Thought I told you to stay in the shack.” He hated the angry words, but he reeled from the shock of how close he’d come to ending her life.

His jagged nerves had trouble settling for several beats of his heart. He could still feel his finger pulling back on the trigger that would’ve sent a bullet into her. Sam’s hand shook as he returned the Colt to his holster.

“I couldn’t wait. Something’s going on. What’s wrong, Sam?” A quiver in the words spoke of Sierra’s fear. “Where’s Andrew?”

“Andrew Evan is the outlaw Luke Weston, and I’ve been chasing him nigh onto a year.” At her soft cry, he put his arm around her and held her next to him. “I recognized him this morning when I finally saw him without his hat. Those eyes are burned into my memory.”

“I liked him. He seemed real nice. You suspected, didn’t you? That was the reason for the tension I kept feeling.”

“I knew he was familiar, but it’s been hard trusting my instincts lately.” He smoothed back her tendrils of dark hair. “Forgive me? I almost shot you. Lady, you scared me out of ten lives.”

“Of course. I should’ve done as you told me, only I heard shots. It’s my fault.”

Sam tried to drag his stare from her tousled hair and soft curves that the trousers did little to hide. She was a sight for sure. He swallowed hard, trying not to think about running his hands over her satiny skin and kissing her until neither had an ounce of breath left.

He felt more like his old self, and he realized it was because of her. She’d fixed him by pushing back the darkness and allowing light into his life. By giving him something—someone—to be a hero for. A swell of deep gratitude rose as he struggled to contain his emotions.

“No, no. I beg to differ, pretty lady. I see no fault at all with you.” He looked deep into her blue eyes that saw only goodness. “Since you’re here, can you help me bring the mounts to the shack?” Somehow, someway, he’d return the horses that didn’t belong to the Ford gang to their rightful owners.

“Sure, Sam.” Pride, and maybe a little sadness too, rippled in her pretty eyes. They reminded him of a pale blue sky. In fact, he wasn’t sure if they were blue or gray. Maybe a combination of both. Whichever, he loved looking at them.

Her softly parted lips beckoned like a light that guided sailors on a dark, storm-tossed sea.

Kissing her was the only thing on his mind. Not Luke Weston. Not the trials they faced ahead. Not the time he’d have to spend twiddling his thumbs on the Lone Star Ranch. He knew he had to taste her mouth or die wanting.

Placing his large hands below her jawline, Sam lowered his head and gently pressed his lips to hers. Heat pooled low in his gut as he tasted the tangy sweetness that did faintly resemble wild honey. Just as he’d imagined.

He tried to hold back, to make the kiss light and meaningless, but his need for her made it impossible. In seconds, the gentle kiss turned urgent, demanding a response.

And Sierra did answer his invitation. With a smoth­ered cry, she leaned into him, clutching a handful of his shirt, holding him to her. The passion and desire that filled Sam seemed to have swept her along.

That she didn’t pull away sent joy through him.

A low moan rumbled in his throat as he slid his hand into her dark hair. The satiny strands wrapped around his fingers, tethering her to him. Closing his eyes, he savored the feel of her soft curves molding against the hard planes of his body.

In that second he knew heaven wasn’t only golden streets and angels playing harps.

Heaven was Sierra Hunt in his arms.

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About the Author

At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado.

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Posted in Book Release, Historical, romance, Western on October 2, 2016

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Title: Lies, Love & Redemption
Author: Kelli A. Wilkins
Genre: historical western romance
Publisher: Medallion Press
Publication Date: September 19, 2016
Print Length: 325 pages
Heat Level: 2

Synopsis

Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.
Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.
As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head.
They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?
 
Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.
Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth? Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

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About the Author

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information. Her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, was published in September 2016.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight, Western on August 14, 2016

reckless in texas cover

 

Title: Reckless in Texas

Series: Texas Rodeo, #1

Author: Kari Lynn Dell

Pubdate: August 2nd 2016

ISBN: 9781492631941

Synopsis

Violet Jacobs is fearless. At least, that’s what the cowboys she snatches from under the hooves of bucking horses think. Outside the ring, she’s got plenty of worries rattling her bones: her young son, her mess of a love life, and lately, her family’s struggling rodeo. When she takes business into her own hands and hires on a hotshot bullfighter, she expects to start a ruckus. She never expected Joe Cassidy. Rough and tumble, cocky and charming, Joe’s everything a superstar should be—and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s way out of Violet’s league.

Joe came to Texas to escape a life spiraling out of control. He never planned on sticking around, and he certainly never expected to call this dry and dusty backwater home. But Violet is everything he never knew he was missing, and the deeper he’s pulled into her beautiful mess of a family, the more he realizes this fierce rodeo girl may be offering him the one thing he never could find on his own.

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Letter from the Author

Dear Reader,

There’s something about a rodeo. The scent of early morning dew and the quiet crunch of gravel under metal shoes. The first drowsy simmer of excitement wakened by the dull thud of hooves on rubber as horses hop into the trailer. One last check to be sure all the rope bags and bridles and the one certain saddle blanket are packed into the tack compartment. The life-giving aroma of coffee in travel mugs, and a half-hearted debate about whose turn it is to climb behind the wheel, and who drove last time, and yeah, honey, I know you hate those idiot Portland drivers. I’ve got that shift.

There’s something about a rodeo that takes you to places you would otherwise never venture. Tiny towns on dead end highways, with names like Weippe and Rosebud. Into the chaos of city traffic in Minneapolis and Seattle. Through endless miles of high desert to Winnemucca, and crawling up the side of Hell’s Canyon to Asotin.

There’s something about a rodeo. Bucking bulls and horses drowsing in the midday sun, tails twitching at the occasional fly. Voices and laughter echoing through a maze of pickups and trailers in the contestant parking area.How’d you do at Homedale yesterday? Great ride at Fort Pierre last weekend. Did you draw a good one today? Yeah, I got on Thunderfoot at High River. Better have your hammer cocked, he’ll throw some moves at you. 

The whistle of ropes as cowboys pull out their gear and warm up their arms. The jingle of tack and the slap of leather, punctuated by an occasional whinny. Damp earth and diesel smoke as the tractor rumbles around the arena, preparing the ground, and the first, tempting wafts of grilled beef from the concession stand. And underneath it all, a slow-building tension.

Almost time…

There’s something about a rodeo. Old men in battered, sweat-stained cowboy hats and pearl snap shirts, clustered together in the stands to relive the good times, shaking their heads at how fast these boys are nowadays. Babies in strollers, and their older siblings scampering around in boots and spurs, swinging kid-sized ropes and dreaming dreams as big as the world.

Bucking horses peering out through chute gates, bareback riders standing over them with hats pressed to hearts as the Star-Spangled Banner streams behind a galloping horse and the notes of the national anthem soar into a blue summer sky. Heads bowed as the announcer’s solemn baritone recites the Cowboy’s Prayer.

We ask, Lord, that you be with us in the arena of life…

There’s something about a rodeo. The simmer turning to a buzz as your moment creeps closer. Muscles tighten, lungs constrict. Relax. Breathe. The concerted effort to clear the clutter from your brain and be here, now, in thismoment. This few seconds that are the culmination of all the hours of training and practice and travel. Hands that want to tremble from anticipation when you tighten cinches and test your loop. The creak of leather and the musky scent of horse sweat as you swing aboard. Reins that twitch in your hands, bottling up the equine nitro that churns beneath your saddle, eager for the instant of explosion.

Almost time…

Minutes drag, and then race, and then drag again. Relax. Breathe. Riding the wave of adrenaline to the razor-thin edge between ultimate effort and tipping over into a debilitating tangle of nerves. Focus. Clear. You’ve done this a thousand times. Shut down your mind, trust your body.

There’s something about a rodeo. That moment when it’s your name booming over the loudspeakers. You backing into the roping box, climbing down into the chute. A ton of muscle and adrenaline quivering beneath you, primed to launch. Ready, ready…

And then you nod your head.

There’s something about a rodeo. And I hope you’ll grab a copy of Reckless in Texas and come along for the pulse-pounding, heart-stopping ride.

Excerpt

Joe slid off his horse, face contorted with pain. He pressed his back against the nearest post and eased down, knees bent, hands clasped tight between his thighs, grinding out curses between clenched teeth. Violet dropped to a crouch between his feet, stomach churning at what she might find. Just a month earlier, she’d seen a team roper lose a thumb by catching it in his rope, and last year one of the tie-down ropers had crushed his wrist in a stray coil.

“Let me see.” She took hold of his forearms, trying to pull his hand out to where she could examine it.

“No.”

“Yes.” She slid her hands down to his wrists, not feeling any gross deformities or blood, but he still had his gloves on. “Is it your thumb?”

“Go. Away.”

“Stop being a baby.”

His right hand snapped up, whip-quick, and clamped on the back of her head, bringing them nose to nose, eye to eye. “It’s not my hand, Violet. It’s what’s underneath.”

“What’s—oh!”

Joe’s hand was cradling his crotch. That pop she’d heard? It was the knotted end of the rope whacking him where it counted. And her hand was right on top of his.

He bared his teeth. “Still wanna kiss it better?”

Mortification rolled over her, hot as molten lava. She tried to jerk away, but the force of Joe’s grip on her nape

tipped her off balance. She grabbed his shoulders and her not-inconsiderable weight knocked him sideways. They tumbled to the ground in a tangle of limbs. She scrambled to get her knees under her. One of them made contact with something solid. Joe yelped, twisting hard and fast, flipping Violet onto her back. She arched, bracing to fight him off.

“Stop!”

Violet froze.

Joe was sprawled on top of her, his body rigid. Air hissed in and out between his teeth and sweat beaded on his forehead. “Just…don’t…move,” he panted. “Honest to God, you knee me in the thigh again, I’m gonna puke right down the front of your shirt.”

Violet held her breath. If possible, she would’ve willed her heart to stop beating, in case the thud, thud, thud disturbed his stomach. Motherhood had done nothing to disable her very active gag reflex. As her head cleared, she sorted out what was where. Joe was draped over her, chest to chest, her kneecap flush against the inside of the thigh Dirt Eater had nailed. She carefully rotated her leg, removing the pressure.

“Thank you,” Joe breathed. “Just give me a minute to catch my air and I’ll get off of you.”

Her hands were still clamped on his shoulders, but she couldn’t find anyplace else to put them. The longer she stayed put, the more aware she became of all the hard, lovely muscle under his T-shirt. If it were Beni, she could rub his back to make him feel better. She imagined sliding her palm down the sleek curve of Joe’s spine. Imagined his reaction. Yeah. He would definitely misinterpret the gesture. Much like her body was beginning to misinterpret their current position, the lean length of him hot against her, his cheek pressed to her collarbone, his face buried in the curve of her neck. Each short puff of air was a hot stroke on her skin.

“You sound like you’re in labor,” she said.

He huffed a laugh that tickled her ear. “If having a kid hurts as bad as gettin’ whacked on the pecker with a nylon rope, I need to buy my mother flowers.”

“More like a new car,” Violet said drily. “And I thought it was your thigh.”

“It’s both now, thanks to you.”

“I was trying to help.”

“Uh-huh. I’m guessing this is why you’re a pickup man and not a paramedic.”

Degree by degree, the tension eased from his body, even as Violet wound up like a spring. Need coiled hot and low, and the urge to wiggle against him was almost intolerable.

“Up until then you were doing pretty good,” she said, by way of casual conversation. “I’ll have to tell Beni you can handle stock okay.”

“Gee, thanks.” She could hear the eye roll in his voice. He blew out a long, slow breath—then nuzzled his face into her hair and inhaled deeply. “You even smell good when you’ve been rolling in the dirt.”

She jerked her head away. “Do you always go around sniffing women like a damn stud horse?”

“Nah. If I were a stud horse, I’d do this.” He gave her a quick, light nip at the curve of her neck that electrified every nerve ending and shot a blue-white current straight to where his thigh was pressed between her legs.

She shoved at his shoulder. “Stop that!”

“Just wanted to see if you tasted good, too.” He pushed up onto his elbows, groaned, and eased sideways, an excruciating slide of body against body before he rolled clear and flopped onto his back, legs splayed. He lifted one hand in warning. “Stay back. I’ll be fine as long as you don’t help me anymore.”

No problem. Violet couldn’t move, paralyzed for a few breaths by the sudden, aching absence of his weight. Then she scrambled to her feet, slapping the dust from her butt and legs. “Take all the time you want, tough guy.”

His head snapped up. “You tackled me when I was already down.”

“I thought you were actually hurt.” She flipped a casual hand at him. “No, don’t get up. Katie and I can handle it.”

He made a noise like a pissed-off rattlesnake. She shook the dirt out of her hair, tugged her cap down low, and went to deal with the bulls before she lost her head and tackled him again.

About the Author

Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents’ bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.

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Posted in excerpt, romance, Spotlight, Western on August 13, 2016

Brody Cover

Synopsis

Historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.

A letter from a grandfather he’s never met has Brody Yates escorted across the country to work on a ranch rather than entering prison. But his arrival in Oregon proves prison may have been the lesser of two evils. A revenge driven criminal, the high desert, and his grandfather’s beautiful ward may prove more dangerous than anything he’s faced on the New York docks.

Lilah Wells is committed to helping others: the judge who’d taken her in years ago, the neighboring children, and the ranch residents, which now includes the judge’s handsome wayward grandson. And it all gets more complicated when her heart starts ruling her actions.

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Excerpt

What the judge called the ranch buildings looked like a small town to Brody. He stood in the wagon counting the buildings. A two-story ranch house, a long low building Lilah pointed out as the bunkhouse, a cabin she said Buster Malone, the foreman, lived in with his wife and their two children, and two large barns. That didn’t even count the smaller buildings scattered around between the other larger buildings. This looked like a town compared to the sparse little buildings that had dotted the one street in Venator.

The wagon stopped in front of the large barn. A tall man with broad shoulders, large arms, and a leather apron walked out of a small addition to the barn.

“Didn’t expect you back until dark, Judge.” The man took hold of the horse on the left side.

“I didn’t expect to come back to thievery.” The judge climbed off the wagon. “Brody, help Lilah down,” he barked.

He leaped out of the back of the wagon and held his arms up to the young woman. He didn’t usually jump when given an order, but when the order allowed him to put his hands on a pretty girl, he didn’t balk.

She blinked a few times, then slowly leaned down into his upraised hands. He caught her at the waist and lifted her down. She wasn’t a wispy girl. He could feel her body was hard from working. He’d held several girls who worked hard every day of their life. They had muscles as hard and strong as men.

He set her feet on the ground and continued to study her. He liked the smattering of freckles, it gave her a youthful appearance. She licked and opened her full rosy lips.

“You can let go of me. My feet are on the ground.”

He released her and stepped back. Glancing around, expecting a lecture from the judge for holding onto Lilah too long, he found the old man in a deep discussion with the man who still held the horse.

About the Author

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of murder mystery, western historical romance, and action adventure. She has a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for her Action Adventure and received the EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance.  This is what reviewers says about her Letters of Fate Series: “What a refreshing and well written love story of fate and hope! Very well written but sometimes sizzling love scenes!”

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

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