Tag Archives: Dorado Texas series

Backlist Promotion–Sparked by Fire

I have my very own Fourth of July story that contains more than one type of sparks. Sparked by Fire is the fourth (see a pattern?) story in my “Dorado, Texas” series of sweet historical romance stories.

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Ivey Treadwell, cook at her family’s boarding house, wants to accomplish something big. For now, she satisfies herself with improving on the traditional recipes for the boarders by adding gathered herbs and spices. An incident with a broken pot causes her to see Berg Spengler, the town’s blacksmith, in a new light.

Stigmatized for his huge size and blamed for his brother’s injury, Berg has discovered being alone is safer for his heart. But when he sees interest spark in Ivey’s eyes, he decides to take a chance and approach her. The pair discovers an attraction that heats up each time they are alone together. Will Ivey convince Berg his wandering days are over and his home is here with her in Dorado?

BUY LINKS

Inside Romance

KOBO Books

Amazon

For those who love to read a series from the start:

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The collection titled A Year of Romance includes the first four holiday-related stories of the “Dorado, Texas” series: Wandering Home, Storybook Hero, My Heart Knew, & Sparked by Fire. (also available in print from Amazon)

BUY LINKS

Inside Romance

KOBO Books

Amazon

 

Release Promotion–Ione’s Dilemma

Now here’s my entry in the “Grandma’s Wedding Quilts” series. I set this story in my “Dorado, Texas” world so many of the secondary characters are known to my readers. But that won’t stop your enjoyment–the story stands on its own merit.

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When Ione Forrester calls off her wedding, she becomes the social pariah of Des Moines. Much to her society parents’ chagrin. To escape the gossip, Ione accepts a teaching job in Dorado, Texas, vowing to avoid scandal at all costs. Relocating from a doctor’s household with cook and maids to a room in a boarding house is quite an adjustment. Then she has to face her biggest challenge—a schoolhouse full of students.

Carpenter Morgan Shipley’s business is doing well and now he’s looking for companionship. An ad for a mail-order bride brings a deluge of letters, which prove more than he can handle. To his surprise, an intriguing woman from a big city arrives in his small Texas town. Correspondence is nothing like interacting with a flesh-and-blood woman every day. But gossip-leery Ione wants nothing to do with Morgan’s attempts at courting, which makes him try even harder.

Amazon buy link  SPECIAL 99cents today (price will rise to regular $2.99 after release day)

EXCERPT

Morgan tracked the woman’s progress around the backs of the occupied chairs to the empty one to Penn’s right. He noticed everyone else watched her movements, as well. Strangers in this small town were always objects of speculation—like he’d engaged in hours earlier. Lowering to his seat, he again forced himself to look away to avoid appearing rude.

“Ivey, will you announce tonight’s menu?” Missus Treadwell unfolded her napkin then started serving big spoonfuls onto plates and passing them.

As she pointed to the meat platter, Ivey grinned. “The main course is a ragout of pork with mushrooms, wild onions, and turnips.” She gestured toward other bowls. “Mashed potatoes with chopped garlic and parsley, pickled beets and artichoke hearts, buttered corn, and rolls.” She removed the cover from the closest bowl and scooped a spoonful of potatoes onto the plate before handing it to her left. “As is probably obvious, I’m the cook here at the boardinghouse.”

“Berg Spengler, town blacksmith.” The bear of a man ducked his head as he passed the plate.

“I’m Maisie Treadwell, and I’m the maid.” The woman with honey-blonde hair served a portion of beets and handed the plate top the next person, quickly repeating the gesture with the next one.

“I hope the potatoes don’t have too much garlic.” A dark-haired boarder giggled. “I have to work tonight.” She added a serving of cut corn and passed the plate. “Oh, I’m Olivia Domingo, and I am a barmaid at the Golden Door.”

Morgan glanced across the table in time to see the new woman’s eyes shoot wide and her backbone straighten before she passed the plate to Penn.

Then she pulled her expression back to neutral. “My turn, I suppose.” The stranger leaned forward and gave a little wave.

Ah, she speaks. Morgan savored the sweet sound of her voice.

“My name is Ione Forrester, and I have been hired to be Dorado’s new schoolteacher.”

“Welcome to Dorado, Miss Forrester. We’re glad you’ve joined us.” The rapid words spewed from his mouth before Morgan gave them any thought. Which made him look like an awkward schoolboy.

GIVEAWAY

Anyone leaving a comment here or on my post on the Sweet American Sweethearts blog today will have a chance at winning an e-copy of Wandering Home, the first novella in the Dorado, Texas series.

Release Day–My Heart Knew

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I am proud to announce the release of the third story in my western historical “Dorado, Texas” series, My Heart Knew. The story of Maisie and Dylan first appeared in an anthology but this novella has been expanded and revised.

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Tomboy Maisie Treadwell is restless, feeling confined in her small Texas frontier town. From the moment she meets cowboy Dylan MacInnes, the sparks and words fly. Of course, if she didn’t cause his ankle sprain, their relationship might have gone more smoothly. To appease her mother’s worries over the boarding house’s reputation, Maisie is at the mercy of meeting Dylan’s demands. A shared interest in adventure stories draws them closer. Soon, Maisie can’t wait to spend time reading aloud to the recuperating virile man. Until the afternoon she overhears him explaining that his demands were meant to teach her a lesson. Can Dylan find a way to again win her trust?

BUY LINK for $.99 (KU is free)

Amazon

EXCERPT

The sound of a throat clearing made her whirl and swipe the back of her hand at the hot tears tracking down her cheeks. “Oh.”

Mister MacInnes filled the doorway, balancing on his right foot with a rough-cut tree branch under his left arm as a crutch. “Ready for me?”

Those three words struck her like a match to kindling. Many times Maisie had been inside a boarder’s room with that male present. But never had her palms itched like they did now. Could that be guilt? Or some other feeling? Quickly, she set down the volumes and ran a hand over the quilt, wondering if he’d be bothered by daisies and summer ferns. “A straight-back chair usually sits by the window, and I’ll have to locate it. Or I can carry in a cushioned one from the parlor. And bring in a footstool.” Hoping to move the attention away from her babbling, she swept a hand in that direction. “I’ve placed an extra pillow for resting your foot on the bed.” What was she saying? The fully-grown man knew why the pillow had been put there.

Mister MacInnes stared at the bed with a narrowed gaze and then shook his head. “Let’s try the bed.”

“What?” She jerked and stepped back, knocking a boot heel against the wall. Heat flamed in her cheeks, but she restrained herself from covering them with her hands. The heightened color drew enough attention to her embarrassed state.

He flicked his gaze to the pillow and back to her before speaking. “I meant, could you help position the pillow under my foot? Maybe even fold it double.”

“Of course, sir.” Maisie slid the pillow tight against the carved wooden footboard and waited as he limped across the rag rug and eased onto the quilt-covered mattress. This man was so tall he might not fit in her bed.

The ropes supporting the straw mattress creaked under his weight, and he scooted until he’d centered his large body in the bed. Clasping both hands under his knee, he lifted and then jerked his head. “Okay, slide it under.”

Maisie jumped forward to comply to center the pillow. “There, how does that feel?”

“As good as can be expected for having a sprained ankle.”

The mention of his injury shot contrition through her. “I want to tell you how truly sorry I am about running into you and causing this.” She swung a hand toward his bandaged foot and accidentally bumped it.

“Damnation, girl.” He sucked in a lungful of air through clenched teeth.

“Oh, I’m so clumsy. Again, I apologize, Mister MacInnes.” To keep from causing another accident, she clamped both arms around her middle. Not until she spotted his granite-stiff expression relax did she breath out a sigh of relief. She pitched her voice low. “And I’ll be thanking you for not revealing to my mother the composition of what I was wearing when first we met.”

Mister MacInnes cocked an eyebrow and looked toward the doorway. “She doesn’t know her daughter dresses like a man and rides alone on the prairie.”

New Release–Wandering Home

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I’m so pleased to announce the release of the first book in my Dorado, Texas series of western historical novellas. Wandering Home is an expanded version ( by 4,000 words) of a story previously available in a Halloween anthology.

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Widow Vevina Bernhard sees mysterious lights at night and believes her Texas ranch Shady Oaks is haunted. She needs protection for herself and her 4-year old son but the town’s sheriff offers no help. Ex-Texas Ranger Kell Hawksen hires on as a farrier while hoping to collect the bounty by staying in the area and tracking a stagecoach robber. On Samhain, fire erupts and Vevina and Kell battle both the danger and the depth of their feelings.

AMAZON 

EXCERPT:

Spotting the stone structure that must be the jail, Kell drew close enough to read the “Dorado Jail” sign. So, that’s the town I’m in. After weeks on the trail, he accepted the fact all the towns blurred into one. His usual contacts were only the sheriff and the proprietor of whatever saloon or boarding house had the cheapest room rate. Once his questions were answered about the quarry he sought this time, he’d be riding toward the next town.

After he reined in Pepper and dismounted, he fought back a groan at the dull ache in his legs. On the fourth day of his trek from Victoria, covering thirty miles a day, he was ready for a night spent on a straw-filled mattress, instead of the hard-packed caliche. First, he needed to check in with the sheriff to let the man know he was on the lookout for the stage robber Bert Benton.

Old habits died hard. Then, he’d seek out a quiet room, a cleansing bath, and a hot meal—in that order. Tied to the hitching rail was a bay horse and partway into the alley next to the jail stood a single horse buggy.

With swiping motions, he cleared the dirt from the day’s long ride from his shoulders and the front of his clothes, then shrugged off his long duster and tossed it across the saddle. Removing his wide-brimmed hat, he ran a hand through his too-long wavy hair, hoping for an appearance that looked a bit less wild. As he settled his hat on his head, he climbed the wooden steps, hearing the thud of his boot heels on the wood planks, aware of the rattle of his spurs.

At that same moment, he registered the sound of a pair of raised voices and a child’s cry coming from inside the office. Training kicked in, and he moved on instinct. Leaning flat against the rough-wood wall, he scanned the almost-deserted street for anyone watching the jail. Seeing nothing suspicious, he steeled himself for what he might find then threw open the door, letting it crash against the wall. He stepped inside, knees bent and hand hovering over the Colt slung at his hip, and took note of the room’s occupants.

A short woman jostling a tow-headed boy on her hip stood in front of the battered desk. A plain brown bonnet covered her head. Whimpering, the youngster rubbed at his eyes with fisted hands.

Lounging in a wooden chair resting on its back legs sat a dark-haired man smoking a thin cheroot. His shiny boots were propped on the desk, and a tin star adorned the breast pocket of a chambray shirt pulled tight over a bulging stomach.

All three people turned toward the door and stared.

No dangerous situation here. At the sight of the attractive woman, Kell straightened to his full height and dragged his hat off his head. “Beg pardon. I heard the young’un’s cry and thought to be of assistance.” Might be I need more than a single night’s rest.

Here’s a peek at the covers for the stories yet to come in the series: Storybook Hero and My Heart Knew

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