Tag Archives: historical romance

Release Day for A Vow for Christmas

Award-winning author Linda Carroll-Bradd creates a heartwarming holiday story in A VOW FOR CHRISTMAS, part of the Spinster Mail-Order Bride multi-author series.

Suddenly left on her own, spinster Vika Carmichael answers an ad for a mail-order bride then travels to Colorado Territory to marry a rancher. She needs security but hopes for love. But Chad Rutherford appears to still love his late wife. Their differences drive them apart until a threat arrives on the doorstep.

FREE IN Kindle Unlimited

or BUY HERE

EXCERPT

Mister Rutherford straightened. “We’d best collect your luggage. Come along, children.” He urged them forward.

She was left staring at the back of the three people who looked like a self-contained unit. Did room exist for her in any of their hearts? Shoulders drooping, she trudged behind them, wishing for a strong arm to lean on. On the platform near the freight car rested the trunk holding all her clothes, accessories, and valuables. Next to it were two wooden crates packed with kitchen items, linens, blankets, and her mother’s porcelain tea set. On top of the crates sat the wicker basket holding her beloved pet.

The baggage clerk lifted a hand. “Ah, Miss Vika. She’s been whimpering the last few miles.” He lowered the basket to the platform and worked to loosen the rope knot.

“Thank you, Mister Frederick, for all your good attention.” She reached into her reticule and pulled out a dime for his tip. Maybe extravagant but the clerk took good care of her Biscuit. Then she leaned down to drop her carpetbag before lifting the lid with one hand and slipping the other into the slim opening to grab Biscuit’s collar. “Calm down. I’m here.” Once she was sure the dog wouldn’t escape, she slid in her other hand to grab the leather leash and clipped it on. With a shove, she flicked back the lid.

Biscuit jumped out then shook herself before running her nose along the platform boards.

“What in blue blazes is that thing?” Frowning, Mister Rutherford pointed.

“She’s my dog, Biscuit.” Vika hurried to the platform edge and let her pet run down the four steps to the dirt to take care of her needs.

“You wrote nothing about bringing a pet.” He scoffed and waved a hand in the air. “And a scrawny dog, at that.”

After a moment, Biscuit hopped back to the platform then trotted toward the children, tail wagging like a flag in a stiff wind.

Her stomach rolled.

Both children looked at the dog then glanced at their father’s frown.

Would the presence of this surprise pet invalidate their agreement? Tiredness swamped her. “You never wrote that I couldna.” Needing the comfort of a warm being who loved her, she scooped up the dog, hugged Biscuit to her bosom, and kissed her furry head between her pointed ears. “Actually, you never wrote much of anything.”

Guest Promotion–For the Love of Hawthorne by Diana Rubino

Meet Diana

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

About FOR THE LOVE OF HAWTHORNE

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s courtship of Sophia Peabody lasted over three years because he insisted on keeping it secret. He had his reasons, none of which Sophia agreed with. But she knew they were destined for each other and he was worth the wait. When they married in 1842 “we became Adam and Eve alone in our Garden of Even” she wrote in her journal. But not all was paradise in their Eden—Nathaniel bore a burden that plagued his family since 1692. His ancestor Judge Hathorne condemned 19 innocent victims to death during the Salem witch trials. His heinous deeds brought shame and guilt upon the family through the centuries. In her last moments on earth, Sarah Good cursed the judge and his descendants from the hanging tree. Nathaniel’s belief in this curse haunted and tormented him until Sophia made it her quest to save him. A story of love, compassion and forgiveness, FOR THE LOVE OF HAWTHORNE portrays the lives of two kindred souls whose legacy endures through the ages.

BUY LINK

EXCERPT

(Sophia and Nathaniel’s visit to his cousin Susan Ingersoll at The House of the Seven Gables)

 I went over to a curio cabinet and swept my eyes over the items on the shelves—a china doll wearing a calico dress, a stack of gold cups and saucers, a red and blue glass checkerboard propped up to display its surface…and a wooden hammer on the top shelf. Upon closer inspection, I saw it was a gavel that judges use in trials. Out of curiosity I picked it up and a shock ran through me as if electrified. Dear God, was it that gavel?

I dropped it to the rug. It landed with a thump. I bent to retrieve it. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t shock me this time—that was only an initial warning. “Something about it made me want to touch it, to pick it up and hold it.”

Nathaniel approached me. He stared at the gavel in my hand, horror darkening his eyes. His lips parted but no words emerged. I knew what he was thinking—the curse. He turned to his cousin, pointing at the gavel, his arm trembling.

Susan hurried over to us, took it from me and placed it back on the shelf. “Yes, it’s Judge Hathorne’s. What happened, Sophie? Are you all right?”

I looked down at my open hands, palms up. They burned as if I’d touched a hot poker. “That gavel—it carries something evil. Has anything happened to you with this, Susie?”

Nathaniel backed away and before Susan could answer me, he grasped her arm. “I begged you to get rid of that accursed thing! You know it shouldn’t be here!”

She looked from him to me, heaving a deep sigh. “I’m not inclined to dispose of it, Natty. It’s a family heirloom, notwithstanding its past.”

He gripped the chair, his face drained of color. “It’s downright evil. You know what he used that thing for.”

She held her hands up in surrender. “Very well, I’ll conceal it.” She took it off the shelf and slid it behind the checkerboard.

“That should not be in this house!” He stood his ground, his eyes fixed on the checkerboard as if it would melt in such close proximity to that horrid object.

“It’s fine there, Natty. It’s concealed from sight now.” She looked at me and gestured for me to sit again. I sat and gulped my sherry.

“Nathaniel’s always overcome with distress at the witch trials.” Susan explained what I already knew.

“And so should you be,” he cut in.

“If I must speak for Judge Hathorne, I heard stories of him from my grandfather.” Susan looked from Nathaniel to me. “The whole hysteria that caught up the judge was started by unscrupulous men to further their own riches. But spectral evidence was still admissible. No sane person could believe that blithery.”

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Release Day for Freedom’s Path

Today Freedom’s Path, book 3 in the “Deebourne Inn” series from The Wild Rose Press, releases. The novella is set in 1855 Vermont and involves themes of being true to oneself and standing up for what you believe in.

Sidonie Demers is descended from slaves and works to help escaping slaves moved along The Underground Railroad while working as a maid at the Deerbourne Inn. Her method of providing covert information about the safest direction is to hang quilts on the inn’s clothesline whose patterns have specific meanings to those people fleeing north to the safety of Canada. I read a wonderful book titled Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad that provided the essential background and the basis for the rhyme that laid out the path the escaping slaves followed.

To learn about the political climate of the time, I read The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, a Comprehensive History (first published in 1898). Included in the non-fiction work are first-hand accounts of people who were part of the movement. Everything had to be accomplished in secrecy because the second Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made aiding escaping slaves a federal crime.

Enter Colin Crawford, an Army corporal who has been sent undercover to the town of Willow Springs to ferret out abolitionist activities. I loved writing this character because he starts out the story already conflicted about the American involvement in moving Indians off their lands. Even though he was raised in a state that disallowed slavery in its state constitution, he is forced to uphold the statutes of the federal act.

I hope readers enjoy this historical romance between individuals with firmly held but opposing beliefs.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

KOBO Books

Google Play

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

EXCERPT

As he waited for Kevyn’s footsteps to fade, Colin finished his tart. His mind whirled with a topic that he worried might be too forward. After a swallow of coffee, he angled his head and met her gaze. “I saw how you broke that man’s hold. Smart move.”

Eyes wide, she gasped, rested a hand on the table edge, and crouched next to the end. “Oh, please don’t tell Missus Deerbourne that I stomped on a guest’s foot.” Her dark brows drew together. “I’m not sure she’d view my action in the same way you do.”

Her response rankled. Wasn’t the innkeeper concerned for the safety of her workers? He wished he could offer comfort by covering her hand with his. “Can you not carry a small knife in a pocket to protect yourself?”

A laugh escaped as she shook her head then gripped the band of her hat and pulled it lower on her forehead. “Not an appropriate accessory for someone in my position.”

Colin disliked the idea of her being vulnerable to a man’s mauling. “The foot stomp can take a man by surprise, but often not for long enough to effect an escape. Might I demonstrate another move that guarantees a longer distraction?” He sorted through the various moves involved in his ranger tactical training for the one most effective to someone her size. Leverage was what was needed to counter a larger foe.

“I am eager to learn.” She set the tray on the table. “What do I have to do?”

Bracing both hands on the table, he pushed himself to a stand and took a couple steps away from the bench. “Walk toward me like you’re about to grab my arms.”

A blush rose in her cheeks, and she averted her gaze. “Oh, I couldn’t, Mister Crawford.”

Her modesty produced a chuckle. “Miss Demers, don’t worry. You won’t hurt me. Remember, you’re learning a new skill.”

After a nod, she stepped forward with her arms outstretched and fingers spread wide. “Like this?”

“Keep walking.” He balanced his weight on the balls of his feet. When she came within reach, he grabbed the thumb of her left hand and bent it backward.

“Ow.” She contorted her body, back arching in the opposite direction.

He knew her movements were instinctual, with her body acting on reflex to reduce the pressure. “See how you moved to get away from the pain.” He released his hold with reluctance, because he’d enjoyed the slide of her soft palm in his.

Review Copies Available

To anyone interested in reading and reviewing this historical, heartwarming story, please leave your first name and an email address in the comments. State ebook format requested. The first five people who comment will receive a free copy.

December Christmas Wishes ebook Giveaway

I’m participating in a multi-author giveaway along with thirteen other authors that could land a free book in your ereader in time for Christmas enjoyment. Lots of genres are represented, from historical to contemporary to mystery and from sweet to sassy.

So be sure to click either on the Rafflecopeter below or on the link that takes you to the facilitator Connie Bretes’ website.

https://www.constancebretes.com/news–things.html
Christmas Wishes Romance Ebook Giveaway

My giveaway title is a Christmas-themed novella titled Silent Signals.

Tagline:  Will the valley’s feud between cattlemen and shepherds keep Konrad and Anora apart?

BLURB: After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?

 

Upcoming release–Dulcina

Dulcina cover_final

On November 15, Dulcina , my first contribution to the Widows of Wildcat Ridge multi-author series,  will release. On pre-order now.

The series is set in 1884 Utah Territory and involves the widows left behind after a gold mine disaster. Each story follows one of the widows as she rebuilds her life in the fictional town of Wildcat Ridge in the northeastern part of the territory.

BLURB

Left widowed following a Utah mining disaster, Dulcina Crass faces running a saloon on her own when her previous contribution was solely as the singer. She struggles to learn the necessary tasks but her heart isn’t in being a saloon keeper. All she ever wanted was to be a famous singer. Will asking Gabriel Magnus, a neighbor from her New Mexico hometown, bring the help she needs or a new kind of trouble?

Gabriel Magnus isn’t fulfilled by his role as ranch hand on the family’s New Mexico sheep ranch. What he wants is the chance to prove his boot making skills are good enough to start his own business. When he receives a letter from recent widow Dulcina offering a partnership in the Last Chance Saloon, he recognizes the chance to come to the rescue of the vivacious girl he wanted to court a decade earlier. Upon his arrival, he presents her with a demand–her answer could decide both of their fates.

AMAZON link

EXCERPT

“Ceremony?” Her eyes shot wide. “You intend us to be married today?”

“I do, and I’ll not marry a woman wearing mourning black.” The drab color did nothing to highlight her natural beauty. “You look fit to join the circle of viudas in the Questa marketplace.”

Lips pinched, she glanced around the immediate area. “But, Gabriel, I have been in mourning for Stuart since the mine disaster.”

He bristled at the mention of that man’s name but kept his expression calm. “A status that ends now. Stuart is gone, never to return in this lifetime.” When he spotted her lower lip quiver, he braced himself. The way their life would be structured moving forward had to be laid out. “Today will be the first day of our marriage, yours and mine, and he will not come between us. I will proclaim my vows next to a woman who looks to the future, not one who still clutches the past.” He stepped back to gather his luggage then carried it to where she stood. “Please show me to the saloon, where I assume you also live.”

“Oh.” She dropped her gaze and pulled at the strings on her reticule. “I thought you’d book a room in the hotel while we get reacquainted.”

If she thought she was the one making decisions, she’d been on her own too long. Maybe her late husband allowed that behavior. She might as well learn that he would not. He narrowed his eyes. “We will get reacquainted while living under the same roof.” The words “and in the same bed” remained unspoken. He didn’t think she was ready to hear his opinion of how the arrangement would play out.

“But Wildcat Ridge has no minister. Poor Reverend Bainum was lost in—”

“I know.” His voice snapped sharper than he intended. He held up a hand. “The mine collapse. The town can only be saved if you stop looking at what you lost and focus on what can be gained.” Realizing other people paid too close attention to their conversation, he clasped her hand and guided her to a nearby bench. “I am sorry, Dulcina. I do understand you have been through a loss. But that tragedy is not my experience. I see new opportunities, and I aim to grab them.” He smiled. “The best one is you.”

Her eyes shot wide. “I’d planned for us to take a day trip to Curdy’s Crossing on Saturday after the horse-related business is concluded. The church there is run by Minister Stone, and other widows have had him perform their wedding ceremonies. I thought we could marry after services on Sunday.” She ducked her head. “The marriage that is supposed to be only a formality.”

New Release–Chasing Adventure

 

 

chasing.newtitle.web

I’m thrilled to announce my next story in the “Entertainers of the West” series is now available. Set in the Montana Sky world established by Debra Holland’s award-winning books, Chasing Adventure takes place in the fall of 1887 in Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing.

BLURB

Dime novelist, Thora Alviss, seeks out an ex-US Marshal, Harte Renwyck, for an interview, but he wants no more publicity about his past life. Determined to make her stories better, city-bred Thora rushes into exploring the frontier life. Thora’s thirst for a good story is stronger than her ability to get herself out of danger and Harte comes to the rescue time and again. Will she give up and return east, or will she learn the survival skills she’s been writing about?

Ex-US Marshal, Harte Renwyck, has left his past behind and looks for no more acclaim, but a pesky author wants to interview him about his former profession. While Harte can’t deny a growing respect for her efforts to make her stories stronger, he’s been wronged by the press in the past and fights to keep his distance. Can he look past his prior grudge and see the adventurous woman close at hand?

Free in KU and for purchase at AMAZON

EXCERPT

“No hotel?” Wide-eyed, she stumbled and grabbed for the rail. “How will I ever find him?”

At her words, Harte narrowed his gaze. She sought a man but hadn’t made arrangements for said man to meet her? Strange. The woman’s face paled, and Harte edged close, fearing she might faint. If ever a woman was out of her element, that person was Miss Alviss.

“I’ll help the lady, Jack.” Before thinking through the situation and realizing what he obliged himself to, he’d opened his mouth and made the offer. Why not? He had to walk in the same direction to return to the office and could carry a bag or two. A stroll through town with a pretty lady on his arm could prove a pleasant diversion. He thought back to the last time he’d walked out with a woman. A casual activity he hadn’t enjoyed in too many months to count. Or could even be years.

Miss Alviss flashed a smile, creasing a dimple at the left corner of her mouth. “What a truly chivalrous and gentlemanly offer, deputy. I do admit to being a bit travel weary and the assistance is much appreciated. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Giving a nod in his direction, she continued up the steps.

Lofty praise for lending a neighborly hand. When was the last time he’d had such pretty words aimed in his direction? Moving with the speed of Mercury, Harte vaulted the steps to the platform and rounded the corner of the depot office. A small mountain of luggage comprised of a portmanteau, two valises, two carpetbags, and a satchel squatted beside a wooden bench. His boots skidded to a stop. Looked like he’d be the one making multiple trips.

“Oh, dear.” She let out a sigh. “In New York City, the porter used a push cart, and the quantity of my bags didn’t pose such a problem.” She dashed forward and grabbed the satchel, lifting the long strap over her head so it rested on her opposite hip. Then she leaned over and reached for a carpetbag.

Knew she was from a really big city. Not wanting her to strain anything, Harte moved to her side. “I offered, although I didn’t know you had so many pieces. But I’ll manage. Somehow.” For a man accustomed to traveling light, he couldn’t imagine what she packed inside all these cases.

Cheeks blushing, she straightened and turned her head, her neck stiff. “Deputy, I am a healthy woman perfectly capable of assisting with the transport of my own belongings.”

“Duly noted, miss.” His words came out more clipped than he intended. Years of dealing with criminals had stolen his ability for idle talk. Setting his jaw, Harte hoisted the portmanteau to balance on his left shoulder then stooped to grab the handles of the matching carpetbags. “If you lift the valise, I can stretch my fingers around the handle.” Barely, but for his pride’s sake, he needed to make the offer.

Bending over, she lifted both valises. “I’ve got them. Now, if you’ll indicate the direction, we’ll be on our way.”

The corner of the leather case dug into his shoulder, and his right hand already ached from the weight. “Head toward the brick building down a ways on the opposite side of the street. The boardinghouse is past the mercantile.” He trudged down the steps, each move jolting his shoulder muscles. The lady’s rigid posture and swishing bustle informed him she still resented his thoughtless remark. Not exactly how he envisioned his morning walk through Sweetwater Springs. Chivalry, my backside.

Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon

Today’s my featured spotlight on N.N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Fall into These Great Reads Bookathon. Highlighted is Laced By Love, Book 1 in the Entertainers of the West series. Click over to here and enter for a chance at winning a $150 Amazon gift card. Rafflecopter drawing ends September 30 with the winner being announced on October 1st.

MSP_lacedbylove.web

March Historical Romance Giveaway

March 2018 giveaway covers

I’m participating with eleven other authors in a contest sponsored by Readers Realm where one lucky winner will win the choice of 12 ebooks of historical or western romance fiction (a value worth $29) or a $20 Amazon gift card.

To enter the contest which ends March 17th, click here.

Titles in the Giveaway include:

Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voight

Melly Unyielding by Abagail Eldan (Lockets & Lace series)

Oregon Dreams by Patricia Pacjac Carroll (Lockets & Lace series)

Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship by Kristin Holt

Lawfully Charmed by Kate Cambridge

Lawfully Loved by Jenna Brandt

Lawfully Matched by Lorana Hoopes

Kizzie’s Kisses by Zina Abbott (Grandma’s Wedding Quilts)

Lakota Honor by Kit Flannery

Not Really Married by Susan Leigh Carlton

A Rogue for a Lady by Rose Pearson

A Year of Romance by Linda Carroll-Bradd

My Titles related to Halloween

My stories featuring bits and pieces of Halloween are varied. From most recently published to a bit more seasoned, they are:

web.wandering2_200

Wandering Home, Book 1 of “Dorado, Texas” series (a 19,000 word historical novella)

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. On hiatus from his Texas Ranger duties, Kell Hawksen hires on as a farrier at the ranch while keeping an eye out for clues to a stagecoach robber in hopes of collecting the bounty. On Samhain, fire erupts and Vevina and Kell battle both the danger and the depth of their feelings.

http://amzn.com/B0190RNROY

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Unlocked Treasure, a 15,000 word contemporary novella

Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion–sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?

http://amzn.com/B00O0EQ754

HauntingsInTheGarden_300

Unlocked Treasure also appears verbatim in Hauntings In The Garden, Vol 2, a 4-author anthology of mixed genre Halloween-related stories.

http://amzn.com/B015AOHAD0

SpooktacularSeductions Cover_blog

Bewitching Gypsy (a 7,700 word historical story) in Spooktacular Seductions, an 8-author anthology

Fiona Mikolas is an outcast—branded by her fiery red hair and a purple birth mark—forced to live a solitary life, traveling a circuit of southern states in America and selling healing potions. Until the night of All Hallow’s Eve, when her lonely life is changed by the arrival of two strangers in her camp.

Beaten and robbed, rancher Hagan Fletcher tracks his stolen stallion and stumbles toward a campfire in south Texas. He awakens, suffering from amnesia and is intrigued by the mysterious beauty to look beneath the surface to who she really is.

http://amzn.com/B00OWJJ09C

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.

sparked.fire.web

BLURB

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:

AYearOfRomance.web

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