Other Pages To See...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raising Cane Over At Cowboy Kisses

Yep, it's that time again. I'm over at Cowboy Kisses today talking about raising cane. Actually, I'm talking about making molasses, but you have to raise a lot of cane to make molasses, don'cha? Now I'm confused. Come on over if you want to know what I'm talking about. I'd be happy to see you there! :)


Saturday, August 4, 2012

The "LOOK" Challenge

I've been challenged to a new game by Kathleen Rice Adams. This one is called "Look" and the object is to find the first instance of the word "look" in your work in progress and post the surrounding paragraphs. Then, tag other people to do the same.

As I told Kathleen over on Facebook, this gives me an excuse to roll out my new cover, which I finished just last night. As most of you already know, a big name western romance author chose to use the same title I've been using for her latest book, which gave me quite a bit of pause. Finally, I decided to keep the title and tweak it just a bit. In doing so, I ended up making a whole new cover. The background is an old photo I took out in extreme West Texas more than 30 years ago. I had to enhance it a bit because the color had started to fade. With a few modifications, the cowboy and his lady are a combination of two stock photos from Hot Damn Designs and Illustrated Romance. Anyway, here are the paragraphs and the new cover for My Wild Texas Rose.

click to enlarge

~~~~Sample Paragraphs~~~~

Leaning down, his restless gaze traveled the length of the street outside.

What or—more likely—who was he looking for? Her brother, no doubt. Did he think she’d gone to the window as a signal to someone out on the street? Could he actually think she was setting him up for an ambush?

“There’s no one waiting outside. And no one is going to come busting through the door. I told you, I’m here alone.” Her conscience pricked her because it wasn’t exactly the truth.

When he straightened and faced her again, she could see the pinpoints of sweat clinging to the ridge of his upper lip. A faint web of squint lines accentuated the outer corners of his eyes.

Having him so close sucked all the air from the room until there was only him, leather, sun-drenched cotton, and something so unique and pleasantly male it made her head swim.

“I didn’t think you were coming.”

“Started not to,” he admitted. “I didn’t know what the hell I’d be walking into. But my curiosity got the best of me and here I am.”

Happy reading!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Resorting to Promotion

I know we authors are supposed to promote our books at every opportunity. We're supposed to put forth the impression that we and our writing are the greatest things since sliced bread. I know this, and yet I just can't seem to do it. Why? I've given this a fair amount of thought and the best excuse I can come up with goes back to the way I was raised. When I was growing up, bragging on oneself about anything was a punishable offense. It was in poor taste and not tolerated. Plain and simple. We were supposed to downplay our own accomplishments and give credit to others for theirs. That lesson took hold, maybe a little too well. And so, here I am, an author who absolutely cringes at the thought of self-promotion. But now it's time I step outside my comfort zone. My book has slipped into oblivion, my numbers the lowest they've ever been. So, with apologies to dad and mom, the following is the opening scene from Angel in the Rain, a blatant promo. To anyone who hasn't read my book, my hope is that you haven't dismissed it without giving it a try. Hey, it's the greatest western historical romance since sliced bread! (how was that? too over the top?) : /

Chapter One

West Texas – Spring, 1880

The moment she stepped from the stagecoach, cold chills skittered over Evangeline’s skin. She saw nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that should have made her uneasy in the least. So, why did she feel as though someone had just stepped on her grave?

The Agave Flats relay station looked much the same as a dozen others she’d seen since leaving the train three days ago—a crude blend of rough-hewn wood and adobe, flanked by knotty-poled corrals, standing in the middle of an empty landscape.

“Thirty minutes, ma’am, if you want to stretch your legs,” the stage driver called.

She forced an answering smile. If she “stretched her legs” much more, she wouldn’t be able to fit them inside the coach. With each interminable stop, she found it harder to tamp down a growing feeling of unease. She needed to be home.

A station attendant led away the horses, amid a swirl of dust. Evangeline looked down and slapped at the grit clinging to her fine, fawn wool traveling suit. Aunt Nelda would have a conniption if she could see her standing there without gloves or even a parasol to protect her ladylike pallor from the harsh southwestern sun. She heaved a breath and turned her back to the warm, grit-laden wind.

That’s when she saw him.

Nerve endings jolted when she spotted the dark figure nearly blending into the shadows of the relay station. The man stood with a shoulder braced against the outside wall, his thumbs hooked on the edge of a low-slung cartridge belt. One booted ankle anchored over the other. His relaxed pose stretched dark trousers taut over a long, muscled thigh. The black hat riding low on his forehead hid all but his chin and sardonically quirked mouth. His very posture exuded arrogance and something more. Something so darkly compelling it bordered sinister.

She knew he was staring at her. Right through her, in fact. Though the hat brim concealed his eyes, his gaze raked her with the impact of a physical touch.

Being stared at by men was nothing new to Evangeline Clayton. A woman traveling alone was a magnet for every rouĂ© along the pike, and she’d received her share of suggestive winks and leers during the train ride west.

Somehow, this man’s veiled inspection affected her more, probed deeper, as if he knew her very thoughts. She sensed a coiled energy behind his indifference, like a cat poised to pounce. And she had an eerie feeling that she was his prey.

“Miss Clayton?”

The driver’s voice tugged at her. With reluctance, she turned her back on the enigmatic stranger.


“Just wanted to tell you, there’s coffee inside, if you want to step in out of the wind while we change the horses.”

“Thank you, Mr. Stewart. I just might do that.”

Evangeline watched the driver walk away and worried the inside of her bottom lip between her teeth. Tiny tingles continued to chase up and down her back.

Abruptly, the sensation vanished. She turned, knowing she would find the man in the shadows gone.


Angel in the Rain is vailable at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. More buy options are available on my web site.

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcome Debut Author Cindy Nord!

Please welcome debut author Cindy Nord, a long-time friend and fabulous writer. She has an absolutely delicious book coming out from Samhain Publishing titled No Greater Glory. It's due to hit the virtual shelves on July 31st. and I couldn't be happier. I've been waiting a long time to read one of Miss Cindy's published books. Congratulations, Cindy!!!!

~ No Greater Glory ~

Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.

Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land.

With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.

Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career.

As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the war with their lives—and their love—intact.

No Greater Glory ~ Excerpt

October 1862

Seven miles west of Falmouth, Virginia

A bitter wind slammed through the tattered countryside, sucking warmth from the morning. Emaline McDaniels rocked back in the saddle when she heard the shout. She glanced over her shoulder and her eyes widened. Across the fields of ragged tobacco, her farrier rode toward her at breakneck speed. Lines of alarm carved their way across the old man’s ebony face.

Emaline spurred her horse around to meet him. “What’s wrong?”

Tacker pointed a gnarled finger eastward. “Yankees, Miz Emaline! Coming up da road from Falmouth!”

“Yankees?” Her heart lurched against her ribs. She’d heard of their thievery, the fires and destruction left in their wake. Teeth-gritting determination to save her home flashed through her. She leaned sideways, gripping his work-worn sleeve. “Are you sure they’re not the home guard?”

“No, ma’am. I seen ’em, dey’s blue riders, for sure. Hundreds of ’em.”

Two workers moved closer to listen to the exchange, and the farrier acknowledged them with a quick nod.

“Everyone back to the cabins,” Emaline snapped, sinking into the saddle. “And use the wagon road along the river. It’ll be safer.”

“Ain’t you comin’ with us?”

“No. Now move along quickly, all of you. And keep out of sight.” She flicked the reins and her horse headed straight across the fields toward the red-brick mansion that hugged the far edge of the horizon.

The spongy ground beneath the animal’s hooves churned into clods of flying mud. Aside from a few skirmishes nearby, the war had politely stayed east along the Old Plank Road around Fredericksburg. Her mare crested the small hillock near the main house, and Emaline jerked back on the leather reins. Off to her far right, a column of cavalrymen numbering into the hundreds approached. The dust cloud stirred up by their horses draped in a heavy haze across the late-morning air. In numbed fascination, she stared at the pulsing line of blue-coated soldiers, a slithering serpent of destruction a quarter of a mile long.

Waves of nausea welled up from her belly.

“Oh my God…” she whispered. She dug her boot heels into the mare’s sides and the nimble sorrel sprang into another strong gallop. Praying she’d go unnoticed, Emaline leaned low, her thoughts racing faster than the horse. What do they want? Why are they here?

Her fingers curled into the coarse mane as seconds flew past. At last, she reached the back entrance of the mansion. Quickly dismounting, she smacked the beast’s sweaty flank to send it toward the stable then spun to meet the grim expression fixed upon the face of the old woman who waited for her at the bottom of the steps. “I need Benjamin’s rifle!”

“Everythin’s right dere, Miz Emaline. Right where you’d want it.” She shifted sideways and pointed to the .54 caliber Hawkins, leather cartridge box and powder flask lying across the riser like sentinels ready for battle. “Tacker told me ’bout the Yankees afore he rode out to find you.”

“Bless you, Euley.” Emaline swept up the expensive, custom-made hunting rifle her late husband treasured. The flask followed and she tumbled black crystals down the rifle’s long muzzle. A moment later, the metal rod clanked down inside the barrel to force a lead ball home.

She’d heard so many stories of the bluecoats’ cruelty. What if they came to kill us? The ramrod fell to the ground. With a display of courage she did not feel, Emaline heaved the weapon into her arms, swept past the old servant, and took the wooden steps two at a time.

There was no time left for what ifs.

“You stay out of sight now, Euley. I mean it.” The door banged shut behind Emaline as she disappeared into the house.

Each determined footfall through the mansion brought her closer and closer to the possibility of yet another change in her life. She eased open the front door and peered out across Shapinsay’s sweeping lawns. Dust clogged the air and sent another shiver skittering up her spine. She moved out onto the wide veranda, and with each step taken, her heart hammered in her chest. Five strides later, Emaline stopped at the main steps and centered herself between two massive Corinthian columns.

She squared her shoulders. She lifted her chin. She’d fought against heartbreak every day for three years since her husband’s death. She’d fought the constant fear of losing her beloved brother in battle. She fought against the effects of this foolhardy war that sent all but two of her field hands fleeing. If she could endure all that plus operate this plantation all alone to keep Benjamin’s dreams alive, then surely, this too, she could fight.

And the loaded weapon? Well, it was for her fortitude only.

She knew she couldn’t shoot them all.

“Please, don’t turn in,” she mumbled, but the supplication withered on her lips when the front of the long column halted near the fieldstone gateposts at the far end of the lane. Three cavalrymen turned toward her then approached in a steadfast, orderly fashion.

Her gaze skimmed over the first soldier holding a wooden staff, a swallow-tailed scrap of flag near its top whipping in the breeze. The diminutive silk bore an embroidered gold star surrounded by a laurel wreath, the words, US Cavalry-6th Ohio, stitched beneath. Emaline disregarded the second cavalryman and centered her attention directly upon the officer.

The man sat his horse as if he’d been born in the saddle, his weight distributed evenly across the leather. A dark slouch hat covered sable hair that fell well beyond the collar of his coat. Epaulets graced both broad shoulders, emphasizing his commanding look. A lifetime spent in the sun and saddle added a rugged cast to his sharp, even features.

An overwhelming ache throbbed behind her eyes. What if she had to shoot him?

Or worse—what if she couldn’t?

The man reined his horse to a stop beside the front steps. His eyes, long-lashed and as brown as a bay stallion’s, caught and held hers. Though he appeared relaxed, Emaline sensed a latent fury roiling just beneath the surface of his calm.

Her hands weakened on the rifle and she leaned forward, a hair’s breadth, unwillingly sucked into his masculinity as night sucked into day. Inhaling deeply, she hoisted the Hawkins to her shoulder, aiming it at his chest. Obviously, in command, he would receive her lone bullet should he not heed her words. “Get off my land!”

If you'd like to get better acquainted with Cindy and find out how she started her writing career, you can visit her web site at http://www.cindynord.com/

No Greater Glory is available now for pre-order at Amazon and Samhain Publishing

Happy reading, all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cowboys Ain't Easy To Love...

Well, on second thought, the one in this picture would probably be pretty easy to love. Ya think! Hmm... wonder if he's available for book covers.

Anyway, I'm over at Cowboy Kisses today talking about those danged, ornery cowboys who threw down their gloves and walked out on the job back in 1883. Yep, they went on strike.

If you're itchin' to know what happened, come on over and join me. I'd love to see you there!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

On The Bright Side...

For the past four days, my cart hath overfloweth, just like the one in the picture. I hope they got that poor mule down without breaking his legs.

It started the morning of July 4th. When I turned on my computer that day, almost immediately I found something that set my little world on its ear. One of the grand dames of western historical romance tweeted that her newest book was available for pre-order. When I saw the title, all I could do was gape in shock at my computer screen. She'd stolen my title!

Of course she hadn't stolen my title. Titles can't be stolen, but she had titled her book the very same as my upcoming book. I immediately went into OMG! OMG! What am I going to do! mode. I wasted no time asking my western romance author pals for advice. Half said change my title, the other half said keep it. The split opinion only added to my own indecision. I slipped into a deep funk and stayed there the rest of the day.

I woke the next morning determined to get over it. Yeah, I've had the title for years, but that's just the luck of the draw. I intend to change mine, but have no idea what it will be. I'm dragging my feet right now but in the very near future, my cover will disappear from this blog and my web site. When it does, you'll know why. I'm going to have to come up with a new title and redo the cover.

On the bright side... I'm very thankful I'm able to do what I love to do nearly every day--write.

Okay. So, Thursday, hubby asked me to go shopping with him, just to get out of the house for a while. He's been talking about replacing the living room furniture for quite a while, so we went browsing the furniture stores. As luck would have it, we ran into a sale so awesome we couldn't pass up some of the deals. We ended up buying a new LazyBoy sofa and his and her recliners. That's the good news. The bad news happened when we went to take the old sofa out of the house. It was a no-go. We'd done some remodeling and changed a doorway since we bought that dinosaur with the high arched back and monstrous curving arms. No matter how we turned, angled, and measured, we couldn't get the sofa through any of the doorways in our house. This really makes me sick but hubby ended up having to rip the upholstery off the back of the sofa and remove the wooden frame for that big arching back. After that, he and our son managed to get it out into the garage. But every time I look out there, I think there's someone out there somewhere who would have loved to have that big sofa. I'll probably end up trying to put it back together before it's over with. Never mind that the cushions are pulled loose at some of the seams and it was very uncomfortable to sit on, it just seems like a waste to me.

But on the bright side... I'm very thankful we'll still be able to give the love seat--which is still in wonderful condition--to someone who needs or wants it. Also thankful that we were able to go out and buy new on a whim. Not so long ago, we would not have been financially able to do that.

Okay. So, moving furniture around showed me just how much I've been neglecting my housework. This set off a two-day cleaning marathon. Fortunately, the only big surprise I found was what looked like the remains of Molly--our rat terrier/chihuahua mix--getting an upset stomach behind the piano. Yes, BEHIND the piano. How, I ask? Did she move the piano and then put it back? Who. Knows. I've added this to a very long list of similar great mysteries. Anyway, I ended up cleaning for two days and since I haven't been used to doing all that lately, I wore myself down to a frazzle.

On the bright side... I'm soooo very thankful that I'm now able to go on a two-day cleaning marathon. For the past few months, I haven't been physically able to do much at all without a great deal of pain for the effort. I'm so thankful I'm finally healing and feeling better. :)

Devon (counting her blessings everyday)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hey, Andy!

I was sad today when I turned on the computer and learned that Andy Griffith had passed away. For some of us, he is embedded in our youth and memories of a kinder, gentler time. I won't attempt to eulogize because that's for others to do who actually knew the facts of his life. But I do want to share a picture I took of Andy, with his wife Cindy and daughter Dixie, circa 1973. He was nice enough to stop and share a little time cutting up with us. I'm happy to say that Andy was just as nice and friendly in person as he was on tv.

click on photo to enlarge

This picture was taken in Topanga Canyon, California during a parade for charity. I seem to recall it was for the local animal rescue because Earl Holliman and Joanne Worley were in the back of a pickup with a bunch of dogs, asking people to adopt them, but any specifics are gone from my memory now. Several celebrities who lived in the neighborhood came out that day with their vintage cars to help raise money. The reason I was there was because my then husband--that's him in the black hat and jacket, with his arm propped on the top of Andy's seat--was part of a western stunt group that regularly put on shows to benefit charities. At the time, my husband and the rest of the stunt guys were all sailors stationed at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station. There were three others in the group, but they'd wandered away by the time I took the picture.

Anyway, I just wanted to share and say one last, "Hey, Andy! You will be missed."


Sunday, June 24, 2012

777 Challenge ~ I've Been Tagged!

Evenin', cowpokes. Just found out I've been tagged by Lyn Horner in the 777 Challenge. Thanks, Lyn! ( I think) ;) The challenge is to go to page 7 of your current work in progress and post at least 7 lines from the page, then tag 7 other authors and challenge them to do the same on their blogs. So, here we go.

My work in progress is a Western Historical Romance titled Wild Texas Rose. I'm afraid the sample is much longer than 7 lines but, oh well. I've included two covers I've been playing around with. Haven't made up my mind yet which one I like best, or if I want to scrap them both and start over. Would love to know what you think so, opinions, please!. This book has been a long time coming and, hopefully, it won't be much longer. Hope you enjoy the out of context sample. :)

From Wild Texas Rose, pg. 7.

 Mattie looked at the skirt and then at Rosalie with a knowing gleam in her eyes. She wedged her hands against her hips. “Where do you think you’re goin’?”

“For a ride. I’ve got some thinking to do.” Rosalie returned her attention to the wardrobe and picked up her boots from among an assortment of slippers and button-up shoes arranged side by side on the wooden shelf.

“Ha!” Mattie retorted. “I know what you’ve got in mind and thinkin’ ain’t it.”

Rosalie ignored the remark and continued to gather the various garments she intended to wear. Mattie knew her too well, was privy to all her secrets and nothing got past her, so trying to allay her suspicions was a waste of time.

But she should have known her silence was as good as an admission of guilt. The woman was as relentless as a starving hound on the scent of a wounded jackrabbit once she picked up a hint of mischief.

“Now, you listen to me, Rose. For your own good. You stay away from that boy. He can’t help you, and you’ll only end up bringin’ trouble down on his head.”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rosalie denied.

“You know exactly what I’m talkin’ about,” Mattie pressed on in strident tones. “Trey Delaney, that’s what. If Walter ever got wind there was something goin’ on between the two of you…” She shook her head, evidently the thought of it even too horrible to articulate. “He can’t go against your father, Rose. Walter would destroy him if he even tried it. Then where would you be?”

Here's my list of authors I tag to do the 777 Challenge:

Teresa Reasor
Amy Durham
Taryn Raye
Michael Embry
Alison Bruce
Cheri Kay Clifton
Tara Manderino

Will they do it? We shall see. I'll post an announcement on Facebook so they'll all know they've been tagged. Then, I'm ducking for cover. ;)

Happy reading and writing!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Western Trivia

One of my favorite time-killers is trolling around on the internet and through my reference books looking for those hidden nuggets of information that I might use to enrich my writing and knowledge of the Old West. Recently, I ran across a couple of interesting pieces of western trivia and thought I'd pass them along.

First up, for many years it was believed that William Bonney (born William Henry McCarty, Jr.) and also known as Billy the Kid, was left-handed because of the tintype image to the left that shows him with his gunbelt hanging on his left side. At some point some history buff must have taken a closer look at the photo and realized there was a problem. You see, most tintype cameras produced a negative image that appeared positive once it was developed, which means you ended up with a mirror image of reality. That's exactly what happened in this famous photo. This was confirmed by the rifle he's holding. The gun is a Winchester Model 1873 lever-action. In the photo, the weapon appears to have the loading gate on the left side, but Winchester only made the 1873 model with the loading gate on the right. The rifle was the proof that Billy the Kid was a righty, not a lefty, as was assumed for many years.

On a different topic, here's something I found really interesting.The California Gold Rush of 1849 wasn’t the first gold rush we had in this country. In fact, it wasn't even the second.

Back in 1799, in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, a young fella named Conrad Reed found a big yellow rock in his father's field one day. Conrad had no idea what the rock was, and when he took it and showed it to his father, John Reed, he didn't know either. But the rock was odd so the family kept it and used it as a doorstop for several years, until a jeweler happened to be passing by one day and saw it. The rock turned out to be a 17-pound gold nugget. (Whew-ee! I just checked the market and the current value of that rock would be $442,312.80) As soon as word of the find got out, the rush was on. Congress ended up building the Charlotte Mint to handle the sheer volume of gold dug up in North Carolina. Later, in 1828, gold was discovered in Georgia, which led to a second gold rush. The third and most famous gold rush started when James Marshall struck the mother lode at Sutter's Mill in California. Thousands of men (and even some women) known as the Forty-Niners all flooded into California looking for their own mother lode, but very few ever left any richer than when they arrived.

Hope you enjoyed these little bits from our past as much as I did.

Happy reading and writing!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guess What Time It Is

Howdy, friends! Yep, it's that time again. I'm over at Cowboy Kisses today. This month I'm talking about how to dress your cowboy. Yee-ha!

While I've got your ear, let me bring you up to date on what's been going on with me. For the past two months I've been dealing with some health issues that nearly put me out of commission. I'm on the mend now so you'll likely be seeing a lot more of me around here.

Now that I'm feeling better, I'm back to writing. Took a while to get my mojo tuned up, but I'm finally there and the next book is coming along nicely.

Hope you'll come visit me over at the group blog, and leave a comment if you're so inclined so I'll know you were there.

Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm at Cowboy Kisses Again!

Hey, y'all! I can't believe a month has flown by already and it's my turn to blog again over at Cowboy Kisses. Today, I'm talking about the little one-room schoolhouse in the hills where I started school. I hope I did the old school justice. Please come join me while I dredge up my past and, if you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask. See you there!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blogging at Cowboy Kisses Today!

Today is my first post over at Cowboy Kisses, the new group blog featuring thirteen of us western romance authors. I'll be talking about gunfighters of the old west, the myth vs the reality. I'd be tickled pink if you'd come over and tell me about your favorite gunfighter hero or just let me know you're listening.

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope your favorite bunny brings you lots of chocolate eggs and you spend the day in the company of loved ones.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Author Debut ~ Taryn Raye

Today, I'm pleased as punch to present Taryn Raye, a fellow Kentucky writer--and a sweetheart of a gal--who's just published her first historical romance novel titled Castaway Hearts. I hope you'll help me give her a warm welcome to the romance publishing world. She'd sure love to hear from you, so come on in and say howdy!

Castaway Hearts blurb:

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?


“Would you like to get down and walk a bit?” His voice whispered deep and thick from his throat. Catherine wasn’t sure of the changes, but the alteration in his tone of voice and his manner made her heart pitter-patter in anticipation of what may come.

Another kiss, perhaps?

Dread and hope battled in her stomach.

Do I really want that?

Catherine nodded her assent, her heart disappointed at her own wishful thoughts as they both slid down from the horse’s back. Dawson led Gypsy by the reins with one hand and took Catherine’s hand in the other. Pitch-black sky hovered over the beach and a few twinkling stars danced above, white gemstones, decorating the heavens. As the moon waned, it left the world in deep shadowy stillness.

Catherine didn’t jerk away when Dawson’s fingers entwined with hers. Instead, she enjoyed the companionable silence between them, the water lapping at the beach. Their boots crunched across the sand, and she felt a chill as a stiff breeze gusted by.

“Watch out for pieces of driftwood. I wouldn’t want you to trip.” Dawson whispered, his words gentle, his thumb drawing a lazy circle across the top of hers. A different kind of shiver rippled through her, but she steered her thoughts back to enjoying this time with her friend.

It was an unexpected comfort and a welcome reprieve from the arguments they shared with familiarity since they first met. Catherine broke the silence as they turned around and headed back up the beach toward the house.

“Are we becoming friends now?” Her heart paused, as she waited, hoping for assurance of the change.

Dawson squeezed her fingers and jostled her hand tenderly, “I believe so.”

When they returned to the house, Dawson let go of her hand, the simple act leaving her chilled again. He tied Gypsy at the hitching post and walked Catherine to the bottom of the balcony stairs on the other side of the house.

She took three steps up before she turned around and smiled down at Dawson.

“Goodnight, and thank you,” Catherine words were hushed as she rested her hand on the wooden banister.

“Thank you,” Dawson covered her hand with the weight of his, warming her all over. His lips tilted into a thoughtful smile. “Goodnight, my Catherine, I hope you have pleasant dreams.”

Catherine nodded at the idea and then paused.

“You won’t tell, promise—”

His thumb grazed the top of her hand again as he leaned closer. Catherine’s breath caught in her throat.

Was he going to kiss her?

“I promise,” Dawson’s lips were so close to her ear she heard him lick them and could feel his breath, warm against the nape of her neck. “It’s ours.”


“This is just for you and me.”

Without another word, Dawson disappeared in the shadows and Catherine entered the house, slipping under her bedcovers with a contented sigh. An atrocious day had transformed into a fine night and she found a new hope had taken up residence in her heart. There would be new and better tomorrows ahead.
Castaway Hearts: available now at Amazon, Turquoise Morning Press, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Western Romance Authors ~ A Baker's Dozen!!

The new group site, Cowboy Kisses, is all set to launch at the beginning of April. But before we saddle up, I want to give you the lineup of authors who will be contributing regularly to the blog. Also, our number has increased to thirteen authors and here we are... (drum roll, please)

Alison Bruce           Caroline Clemmons      Ciara Gold
Devon Matthews     Ellen O'Connell            Ginger Simpson
Jacquie Rogers        Lauri Robinson             Lyn Horner
Meg Mims               Paty Jager                    Peggy L. Henderson
Sharla Rae

I hope all of you will come join the site. It promises to be a rip-snortin' ride!

While I'm here, I'd also like to invite you to the new readers and authors group Jacquie Rogers started for all of us on Facebook. The Western Historical Romance Book Club is a place where readers and authors mix and mingle to discuss favorite western historical romances. You're sure to see a few keepers that have slipped through your lariet. If you're more into things visual, you can browse through all the gorgeous cover art. You'll also find plenty of pics and videos of your favorite cowboy hunks. In only a few days, our members number more than sixty so you're sure to find some of your friends already there. So, come on over, pull up a chair and cool your heels a while!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dark Shadows

Have you seen this? The other day it was The Lone Ranger and now this! I can't believe Johnny Depp is spoofing another iconic tv show from my youth, two in the same year. During the '60's, I rushed home every day from school to watch Dark Shadows. Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins made even middle-agish vampires sexy, and who could ever forget the gorgeous Angelique. Take a look. This is a Tim Burton production and is due to release May 11.

Devon (still shaking head)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cowboy Kisses - New Western Romance Author Blog

Happy Friday, all! Today, I have a nice announcement to make. An even dozen of us western romance authors put our heads together and we're launching a group blog dedicated solely to western romance. In the coming months, the site will feature most everything that goes into the writing of a western romance novel--the research, the obscure facts from our country's wild western era, the inspirations that keep us writing, and the highlights of some great titles that are available and even those that are still to come.  It should be great fun and I'm very happy to be part of this talented group of ladies.

Rather than put together an entirely new site from scratch, Ginger Simpson generously offered up her existing western themed blog called Cowboy Kisses. Tabs for individual author pages can be found beneath the banner on the home page. I hope you'll hop over there and take a look around, join the site, bookmark us, and help us spread the word!

Thank you and happy reading!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Hi-Ho Silver!

Hey-ho, kiddos. I'm crawling out of my cave because I just learned that Disney is doing a big screen remake of The Lone Ranger. Yep. And it definitely looks like a spoof. The Ranger, guy in the white hat in the above picture, is played by Armie Hammer. And do you recognize that fella wearing the paint on his face and the dead crow (or is it a blackbird?) on his head? It's Johnny Depp as Tonto. Good grief, kimosabe.

Well, I have to say, this looks nothing like the Lone Ranger dudes I used to watch in glorious black and white on tv. But, hey, I'm all up for anything that will get the young folks interested in westerns and the old code of the west. Wonder how bad they skew that up.

If you're interested, you can find the pic and the article on Access Hollywood, which is where I found it.

Happy trails, muchachos!