Injured ballerina Savina Lombard seeks refuge on her cousin’s ranch outside Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory until her foot heals. A dashing horse breeder/trainer arrives for his annual summer visit. Estefan del Vado comes from a family who raised championship trotters and his goal is to prove to his father the value of his cross-breeds. To accomplish that, he needs to win one of the season’s pacer harness races. On the Rolling M Ranch to train, he’s distracted by the delicate beauty who is determined that trick riding will be her new career. Using her dancing skills atop galloping horses is sure to win her a spot in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West exhibition. For a few glorious weeks, they share an enjoyment of the horses and getting acquainted. But when the time comes to pursue their separate goals, Savina and Estefan are split apart, geographically and emotionally. How will they discover a path they both can walk?
The third book written in Debra Holland’s Montana Sky story world has just released. Dance Toward the Light features the third vaudeville performer, Dorrie Sullivan. She was introduced in the first book as being a friend of the two York sisters when the troupe arrived in Morgan’s Crossing. Well, in books 1 and 2 Cinnia and Nola have found romance and happiness.
The Great Blizzard of 1886 is over, the snows have receded, and Dorrie is unsure of what her future involves. Enter Valerik Andrusha who barely survived the blizzard and traveled from the Canadian wilds to visit brother Nicolai in Morgan’s Crossing. But Nicolai has taken his bride, Cinnia, to San Francisco to meet his parents.
Normally reclusive, Valerik figures he’ll get much needed rest and relaxation while he waits his brother’s return. Almost against his will, he is captivated by the vivacious woman living in the attached shop who draws him into the community. What does a man who prefers the shadows have in common with a woman who loves the light?
Exclusive to Kindle
Thirteen other stories also launched today. The titles and authors are:
Rugged Bloom by Dallis Adams
The Watchmaker and the Widow by Linnea Alexis
Murdoch’s Bride by Caroline Clemmons
The Outlaw’s Promise by Crystal Green
Nolan’s Vow by Linda Hubalek
An Unexpected Gift by Kit Morgan
Rebel Love Song by Louella Nelson
Angel In His Pocket by Nan O’Beery
Where the Heart Is by Judy Pennell
Say You Love Me by Deborah Schneider
Her Gentle Heart by Reina Torres
Magic in Morgan’s Crossing by Janet Wellington
A Family for Christmas by Cynthia Woolf
An Unlikely Marriage is a Montana Sky Kindle Worlds novella that stars characters Torin Quaid and Nola York who played a secondary role in the first story. Laced By Love, is still on sale for 99 cents and is on the best selling western romance list.
BLURB: Helping injured cowboy Torin Quaid drive mustangs north provides a way for vaudevillian Nola York to earn a train ticket east—and get one step closer to her goal of auditioning for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West stage production. The temporary marriage is solely for propriety’s sake. Until disaster strikes, and the two must rely on each other—emotionally and physically—to safely reach Torin’s ranch. Will a marriage of convenience turn into more on a trail drive through Montana Territory?
AMAZON buy link: https://amzn.com/B01J4R636Y
A coil of rope hung from Banan’s saddle, and Torin fumbled with the ties until they came loose. He glanced around for a flattish rock to use to cut the hank. Darn this bum arm. Tensing, he stomped over to a gray rock that would serve. “If you hold the rope taut, then I can cut off a length from one end.”
She complied and, between the two of them, the eight- or nine-inch piece was cut free.
The length in her raised hand hung like a top-heavy shaft of wheat. “Should I just twist apart the wound coil?”
“Only one ply at a time.” If he had two good hands, he’d be almost done by now. “After each removal, check if it fits in the loop.”
Nola shot him a narrowed-eyed look before she stripped off her gloves and picked at the end of the strand, pulling a strip loose.
Maybe his voice wasn’t as calm as he’d thought. He crossed his right arm under his left to support the wrist.
“Don’t you have a story that goes along with a situation like this?” She stretched a ply away from the remaining length. “When we were in Morgan’s Crossing, you always had lots of stories to share.”
Torin clenched his jaw. Her gentle, precise movements reminded him of how his mother unwrapped a present at her birthday or Christmas. Favoring the strip-and-shred method, he’d never understood slow and savoring. He shifted his boots in the thick grass. Somehow, as Nic’s houseguest, he’d felt like he had to earn his keep by being especially congenial. No better way to make light of his stupid mistake in handling the wild stallion that caused his injury than to make fun of himself. “Nope. Never had to repair a wagon before.”
“Huh.” Her nose crinkled as she concentrated on peeling the rope.
Needing to feel like he contributed to this repair, he dug out the chain loop from his pocket and held it up.
Nola aimed the end toward it, but the strand was too wide. “Aren’t all ranchers supposed to know how to do those types of chores?”
The slander of his profession didn’t sit any better than the sting against his pride. He unclenched his jaw before responding. “Not when several men split duties on a ranch. Each has his own specialty.”
For a moment, her hazel eyes widened and she sucked in a breath. Returning her concentration to her task, she went silent.
Being terse toward your new bride on the first full day of your marriage was probably not the wisest act. Torin slipped his good hand into his back pocket and walked a few paces away, tipping up his head to study the wintery sky. Grayish-white clouds bunched together like tufts of cotton formed a puffy bank toward the north. He needed to keep an eye out in case they grew any darker.
AMAZON buy link: https://amzn.com/B01J4R636Y
I’m excited to share that my title, Laced By Love, part of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World series is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents. This is your chance to discover stories with new characters and watch them struggle to find their happy ending while revisiting some of Debra’s beloved characters.
Set in October 1886, a vaudeville troupe arrives in Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory late in the traveling season. When an event threatens the continuation of the troupe, seamstress Cinnia decides to say no to older sister Nola who has made the sisters’ decisions since they were orphaned a decade earlier. Leather worker Nicolai Andrusha is lying low and using an alias until he receives word the patent is approved on his family’s leather tanning formula. But he finds the auburn-haired poetess irresistible. Will Nicolai oppose his family obligation to help the stranded beauty who has caught his eye?
Additional stories on sale:
Patricia Thayer’s book is Slater’s Bride https://amzn.com/B01BL0HKIC
Loretta Drennan learns about her stepfather’s plot to sicken her mother and take over the family business in Chicago. Letty flees to Montana in search of her brother, Johnny, to seek his help. Traveling alone, she meets Paul Slater who claims to own a ranch with Johnny as his partner. He offers to escort her on the two-day journey to their ranch in Morgan’s Crossing.
Reunited with her brother she pleads her case for him to return home. Johnny’s share of stocks aren’t the needed votes to gain control of the family company. Letty can only get her shares when she turns twenty-five or by marrying. Paul offers to wed his friend’s sister.
They plan a wedding, in name-only, but when left alone at the ranch house, they can’t deny their real underlying feelings. The honeymoon is interrupted when a stranger shows up and kidnaps the bride. Can Paul save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?
Cynthia Woolf‘s book is THORPE’S MAIL-ORDER BRIDE https://amzn.com/B01BL0HKL4
Lena DuBois never knew her father until he suddenly reappeared in her life to tell her he’s arranged for her to marry one of his business partners. Lena flees, deciding to become a mail-order bride, where at least she’s the one doing the choosing.
Her future husband, John Thorpe, has requested a woman of good moral character which Lena considers herself to be. The problem is her mother is the most celebrated madam in all New Orleans. What will happen if he discovers her secret?
Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Laced By Love. Winner announced July 9th.
I’m so proud to announce Montana Sky: Laced By Love is listed on the site, New In Books, as a recommended title for readers of historical western romance. My book is included among a grouping of titles by stellar authors in the heartwarming historical romance genre.
See the page here.
Other great news related to the Montana Sky Kindle World: for a limited time, two of the titles are on sale for only $.99 (a savings of between $1 and $3)
Mail-Order Machinations by Kirsten Osbourne
Hope On The Horizon by Cassie Hayes
Find these at the special Amazon page for Montana Sky Kindle World titles
Lena DuBois never knew her father until he suddenly reappeared in her life to tell her he’s arranged for her to marry one of his business partners. Lena flees, deciding to become a mail-order bride, where at least she’s the one doing the choosing. Her future husband, John Thorpe, has requested a woman of good moral character which Lena considers herself to be. The problem is her mother is the most celebrated madam in all New Orleans. What will happen if he discovers her secret?
“Helena, as I said my name is Robert Drummond and what I’m about to tell you will come as a shock. But your mother and I have talked and decided that it’s time that you know.”
He paused and took a deep breath.
“I’m your father.”
Father. All this time she’d longed for a father. Had missed out on things like the father-daughter dances that the other girls at her school had attended. If she’d been standing, Lena might have collapsed. As it was she simply tightened her hand on the padded chair arm and hoped the man couldn’t see her shake within the chair. “That can’t be. My mother would have told me if my father was alive.”
“I can understand your reluctance to believe me, but it is the truth. I should have let Mellisande accompany me. She wanted to, you know, but I wanted to tell you myself, vain person that I am.”
He turned his hat over and over on his lap.
“I thought sure you’d be happy about the news. Look, I’m a well-known business-man and couldn’t have my relationship with your mother known within certain circles. When you were two, we decided I should remarry and when you were six we sent you away to school to shield you from your mother’s business. One of your classmates, Eric Rappaport, is my stepson. Do you remember him?”
Lena’s breath caught in her throat at that news. She sat straighter, glad she was sitting on the chair. “That’s true,” she nodded. “I do remember Eric. He was totally obnoxious and mean to me the whole time we were at school together. Does he know about this, too? That you’re supposed to be my father.”
Robert sat forward on his chair. “I’m afraid he does. He overheard me telling my wife, his mother, of your existence. I wanted to take care of you and did the best I could. Now, though, you’re of an age that you must marry and have children of your own. I’ve found a suitable man back in New York. One of my business partners actually. Your mother’s association to you will never be known.”
Anger gave Lena strength and she stood, back straight. She would not show any softness toward him, no matter how much she wanted to have a father. He could be a complete liar. But he wouldn’t have known those things about me if he wasn’t who he said he is. “You propose to tell me that you’re my father and I must marry someone you have chosen for me, all in few minutes. Are you out of your mind?”
“No. You are an adult now and need to take on adult responsibilities.”
She couldn’t believe his arrogance and she didn’t need a stranger’s help in securing a husband. She would remain calm, just like she did when the children she taught were getting rambunctious.
“I’ll pick my own husband.”
“Listen to me Helena—”
“My name is Lena and I refuse to be dictated to by a stranger. Please leave.” She pulled the cord for Thaddeus.
The library door opened and Thaddeus entered. He was not just a butler, but also her mother’s bodyguard. Lena had no fear when he was near. “You rang, Miss Lena?”
“Yes, Thaddeus. Please show out this gentleman.”
“I’ll leave now, Helena,” Robert donned his hat. “But I’ll be back in two weeks and I expect you to be ready to come with me to New York.
“Please leave, Mr. Drummond, before I have Thaddeus hail a police officer.”
“As you wish.” Drummond was not a happy man, but he stood and left through the door that Thaddeus held open. “I can find my own way out.”
Lena shook all over. Never would she marry some man her mother, or her newly discovered father, had chosen for her. Her mother had tried before to get her to marry. Lena was shamed by Mellisande’s business and might hate herself sometimes because of that shame, but she hadn’t fallen so far that she would allow her mother to choose a husband for her. She hadn’t before when Mellisande wanted her to why would her mother think that she would now? How could they tell her all of this at once and expect her to acquiesce to their demand? First she had a father, and second, she was supposed to marry some strange man, not of her choosing. That had been the problem last time. She hadn’t chosen the man. Her mother had. This was no different and she would not stand for it.
She dropped into one of the large overstuffed chairs in front of the empty fireplace, making sure it was not the one her father had sat in. Grabbing the paper from the coffee table she flipped through the pages looking for a special advertisement. One she’d heard whispered about by her teacher friends at school when they wanted to marry.
Finally she found it and read to remind herself of the details.
Women wanted. Matchmaker & Co in Golden, Colorado is recruiting women with the object of marriage to one of their thoroughly screened bachelors. These men are farmers, ranchers, miners and of other occupations, that are desirous of marriage and family. Contact Mrs. Maggie Black, with your photograph and the type of man you are looking for.
This was perfect. She could choose a husband far away from both New York and New Orleans. Her parents would never find her and she’d finally lead her own life as she saw fit.
Cynthia Woolf is the author of twenty historical western romance books with more books on the way–as Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first book, Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. More information is at her website.
Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I’ve been writing romantic fiction full time since 1994 but only sold my first novel in 1998, a contemporary western titled Be My Guest to Kensington. Since then, I’ve written numerous contemporary and historical western romances. Since 2011, I’ve been a self-published author and love the control (plus I make far more money on my own than I did with a publisher).
What’s the logline that describes your writing?
Heartwarming romance and adventure.
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
First I see characters, which are engaged in some scene in the story—usually the inciting incident. The plot comes from there.
If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.
I write with classical music. I do email with light rock, swing, or jazz—depending on my mood at the time.
What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?
I prefer to do my research first and save it to the book’s folder. That helps me plan the plot. If something else crops up, I research at the time.
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Most. My latest two are set in Montana and Washington state, and I’ve never been either place. I relied on extensive research and advice from people who have been there. Most of my books are set in Texas, which is where I live. I’ve been to all of the settings in those books.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
I have written several contemporary western romances and will have more releasing in 2016. I’ve written a couple of mysteries but probably won’t do more.
What’s your dream vacation destination?
A month in Ireland. After two trips there, my husband and I decided that IF we return, we’ll rent a cottage and spend a month touring at our leisure. We also enjoy England, Scotland, Switzerland, and southern Germany, but our favorite is Ireland.
Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?
I use a storyboard. Years ago my plotting group heard Laura Baker and Robin Perini present their “Story Magic” plotting method. I imagine there was a light bulb flashing on over my head during the workshop. The method made so much sense to me and helped me overcome many of my plotting problems. Yet, a few who heard that presentation didn’t find it helpful. We’re all different, aren’t we?
In what genre do you read?
Telling you what I don’t read is easier. I never read true crime, horror, zombies, or much sci-fi. I especially enjoy western historical and western contemporary, women’s fiction, and WWII mysteries such as those by Leeann Harris and Susan Elia Macneal, and British mysteries and Regency.
What resources do you use for picking character names?
If writing a historical, I use names from my family genealogy. If writing contemporary, I Google names popular twenty-five to thirty years ago. Names are important and require the right sound. For instance, hard consonants make a hero sound stronger. For a historical heroine, I prefer an unusual name or after someone in my family or both—as in Parmelia in Long Way Home. Sometimes a heroine’s name can be a contrast to her personality.
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
My husband and I have one dog and three cats, all rescues. Our little Shih Tzu is almost blind and is hard of hearing now, so he is not adventurous and doesn’t play as he used to do. Our cats are each very different. Sebastian is a huge tuxedo who lets only me pet him and usually sleeps beside me. Max is a Manx and always into mischief. Jasmine is a rag doll that is a shy, sweet, cuddly cat.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I hope they reach the end of the book with a happy sigh for the pleasant experience, a temporary escape from their problems, and entertainment.
One desperate young woman.
A chance meeting.
A life-changing outcome.
Growing up in a brothel, Mara O’Sullivan battled public disdain and contempt, but always remained kind-hearted and gracious. After testifying against vicious bank robbers, her life is threatened and Mara must find sanctuary far from everything she knows.
One train ride changes her life as she fatefully meets a half-sister and a niece she never knew existed. But when circumstances end her sister’s life, Mara makes a promise that she’ll raise her niece as her own and take her sister’s place as Preston Kincaid’s mail-order-bride. As Mara and Preston grow closer, their marriage no longer seems like a ruse, but a relationship of love, passion, and desire.
Mara’s past comes back to haunt her and she finds herself in danger—will her new husband forgive Mara’s deceit and protect her as his own?
They reached the church and Preston jumped down from the wagon and came around to help her alight. With a smile, he lifted Iris high over his head before he set her on the ground. Her giggle brought tears to Amanda’s eyes.
That was the first time she’d ever heard her daughter make the girlish sound. Iris had smiled, spoken, but never laughed until she met Preston Kincaid. For that alone, Amanda would be the best wife she knew how to be.
Inside the church, Mrs. Norton handed Amanda a bouquet of daisies secured with a white ribbon. The interior was plain with wooden benches and an altar raised one step above the rest of the floor. Although there were several windows, none had stained-glass as did the churches she’d seen in Georgia.
The minister was waiting at the front of the church and wore a black frock coat and matching string tie. His brown hair and beard were thickly streaked with gray. He stood at a simple lectern with what looked like a Bible in one hand while he conversed with another man.
Amanda was surprised only one other person besides Reverend and Mrs. Norton were in the sanctuary. She’d supposed Preston had many friends in the area and thought at least his ranch hands would attend. The second man turned and proved to be an older version of her groom who came forward to greet her.
Preston cupped her elbow. “Amanda and Iris, this is my father. Most folks call him Tom, but I call him Papa.”
Amanda smiled at the handsome man who must be around fifty. He was tall, but maybe an inch shorter than his son. Silver sprinkled the same dark hair. “May I call you Papa, too?”
He beamed his pleasure and his blue eyes crinkled at the corners. “I’d be honored. And in the absence of your father, may I walk you down the aisle?”
“Would you? I’d be ever so grateful.” She laid her hand on his arm. Nerves had set in and she needed his support or her knees might give way.
Preston said, “Iris, why don’t you stand with me while my papa walks Mama to meet us?”
Iris shook her head. “Mommy, not my old mama?”
Preston frowned. “Old mama?”
Panic sent bile into her throat that threatened to choke her. Don’t throw up on your wedding dress. “Perhaps you remember my mother recently died.”
Sympathy shone from his blue eyes. “Of course.” He took Iris’ hand in his and strode to the front.
Mrs. Norton began playing the piano. She nodded toward Amanda. Papa Kincaid gently led her up the aisle.
Walking toward her husband, Amanda was conscious of Preston’s stare, as if he could see into her mind and knew her for an impostor. Although he held Iris’ hand, the intensity of his blue gaze unnerved her. She wondered if he was disappointed or if he were as numb as she.
Thankful for the presence of her future father-in-law beside her, she tightened her hold on Mr. Kincaid’s arm.
In response, he patted her hand her where it laid on his sleeve. Without looking at her, he whispered. “Steady as you go. We’re almost there.”
Iris gave a tiny wave and Amanda couldn’t resist smiling at the child. The little girl truly was a blessing. Focusing on Iris gave Amanda a target she could face.
When they reached the front, Mrs. Norton ceased playing. Preston took the bouquet from Amanda’s hands. “Iris, would you hold this for Mommy so she and I can be married?”
Iris looked at him adoringly and reached to receive the flowers. Reverend Norton opened his Bible and began the ceremony. Preston took Amanda’s hands in his. She was conscious of his calluses, but also of the size and strength of his palms dwarfing hers.
When the minister indicated, Preston slipped a ring onto her finger. This new one belongs to me, even if my groom doesn’t know my true name.
After the ceremony, Preston brushed his lips gently against hers.
Iris clapped a hand across her mouth in surprise then said, “Mommy? That man kissed you.”
Preston knelt eye-to-eye with her. “I’m your new Daddy, remember? Mommy and I were just married and now I can kiss her whenever she says it’s okay. Do you think you can call me Daddy?”
Iris nodded. “Are you gonna kiss me too?”
He smiled broadly. “I certainly am.” He leaned forward and gave her a loud smack on the cheek.
The child giggled. Twice in one day this kind man had made Iris happy. Amanda owed Preston all her wifely devotion.
Caroline is gifting an ebook of the winner’s choice.Name to be selected from those who leave a comment.
Snippet from a 5-star review
“When I first started reading this book, I thought that it was going to go a different route than it did. The way that it turned out was fantastic. Loved the characters, and I would like to have more stories about Vern and Ben, they need their own books. Thank you for writing such a great story about Ranching and Farming.”
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. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of Happy Is The Bride.
The launch of the “Montana Sky Kindle World” is here. Historical stories created by a variety of authors are either set in or the characters wander through the towns of Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing created by Debra Holland in her bestselling Montana Sky series.
Fourteen authors are involved in the initial launch, and the stories occur from September and October 1886 through the summer of 1888. Of course, each contains the author’s individual writing style, and some are tie-ins to an ongoing series. Each is a stand-alone story that includes one or a few of the characters Debra has created in her previous Montana Sky or Mail-Order Brides of the West titles.
My title in the exciting venture is Laced By Love. In early October 1886, a vaudeville troupe arrives in Morgan’s Crossing late in the traveling season. When an event occurs that shakes up the troupe, seamstress Cinnia decides to say no to older sister Nola who has made the sisters’ decisions since being orphaned a decade earlier. Leather worker Nicolai Andrusha is lying low and using an alias until the patent is approved on his family’s leather tanning formula. But he finds the auburn-haired poetess irresistible. Will Nicolai risk opposing his family obligation to help the stranded beauty who has caught his eye?
Amazon buy link
For a look at all the stories, here’s the link to the Montana Sky Kindle World page on Amazon