Friday, May 31, 2013

Promote Your Book/Promote Mine Blog Hop

The purpose of this blog hop is to promote Charlene Raddon’s latest release, The Scent of Roses, as well as the work of each of the participating bloggers. Be sure to read to the end of this page so you don’t miss out on the grand prize. Also be certain you visit each blog and comment to qualify for the individual giveaways, and the big prize.

Charlene Raddon has been writing historical romance novels for over thirty years. Her work has won several awards and much well-deserved praise. Here is what she has to say about her newest release.

Any day when a new book is released is exciting for the author. I’m thrilled to announce that my eBook, The Scent of Roses, is now available.

The Scent of Roses is a sequel to my last eBook, To Have And To Hold, but stands alone and does not need to be read in order to be enjoyed. Whip Kincaid, from The Scent of Roses, is the half-brother of Buck Maddux from To Have and To Hold. Whip also has a twin, Cale, who readers met in Buck’s story, which gives me an excuse to write a third book for this series.

The added touch of paranormal elements made The Scent of Roses a fun story to write. Who doesn’t enjoy haunted houses with hidden passageways? When I first moved to Utah, I lived in this house. No, there weren’t any secret passageways, but in every other way, my description of the old house is accurate. The third element new in this book is the subject of polygamy.

Rosalyn Delaney came to Whisky Ridge, Arizona expecting to receive aid from her estranged husband, Josiah Bullock, in escaping the crazed leader of a polygamist cult determined to have her. She’s broke and has nowhere else to go. But Josiah is dead, murdered the very evening of her arrival. The town is in uproar, searching for the suspected killer, Josiah’s business partner, Whip Kincaid. Rosalyn also learns that Josiah has taken a second wife.

Whip is innocent but to prove that, he needs to stay out of jail. He hides in secret passageways in the old house he and Josiah shared. Smythely, the elderly butler who came with the house, is the only other person aware of the passageways. Lurking between spiderwebbed walls and using the abundance of peepholes provided allows Whip to keep up with what’s going on. Sneaking out at night allows him to investigate. He’s particularly interested in Rosalyn Delaney, and for more than one reason. Besides being attracted to her, he’s sure she knows something about the murder.

But does she? Is she safe at Rose House? Will she be safe from Whip Kincade?

I hope you enjoyed this peek into The Scent of Roses. Find it at Amazon.

Be sure to leave a comment with contact information.  At the end of the hop, a name will be drawn from those who visited and commented at every blog.  Prize is a $45 gift card for Amazon or B&N, Winner's choice.

Other bloggers are also offering giveaways so make sure you hit them all.

List of Participating Blogs
May 31, giveaway
May 31
June 1 - Official blog tour for Kat Flannery (not part of PUB/PM blog hop)
June 2, giveaway
June 3 giveaway
June 4 giveaway
June 5 giveaway
June 7, giveaway
June 8, / giveaway
June 9, giveaway
June 10
June 11, giveaway
June 12, giveaway
June 14 giveaway
June 15 giveaway
June 16, giveaway
June 17 giveaway
June 18 giveaway
June 19, giveaway
June 21 giveaway
June 22, giveaway
June 23, giveaway

Thursday, May 30, 2013

{Excerpt} MUCH ADO ABUT MAVERICKS, Hearts of Owyhee #3 by Jacquie Rogers

Much Ado About
Hearts of Owyhee #3

Of all the heroines in my books, I got the biggest kick out of Jake O'Keefe.  Eh, Jake?  A woman? 

That's what hero Ben Lawrence thought, too.  Here's an excerpt of Much Ado About Mavericks where the two of them introduce themselves.

Much Ado About Mavericks
Copyright © 2013 Jacquie Rogers

Ben Lawrence could hardly wait to see his mother and sister, even if his stomach soured every time he thought about his childhood home.  But he had to take care of the family and ranch now that his father had died.  Worse, he had to contend with Jake O’Keefe because Pa thought his own son too incompetent to hire good people, even after four years at Harvard and nine years of practicing law.

The soda was refreshing and he took his time while she waited, not patiently, shifting her weight from left to right, then tossing a few pebbles.

“I think we should reintroduce ourselves.”  He placed the mug on the boardwalk and offered his hand.  “How do you do?  I’m Benjamin Lawrence, visiting from Boston.”

“Janelle Kathryn.”  She grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously.  “I’m surely pleased to meet you.”

He tested his shoulder to see if it still functioned after her hearty handshake.  Then, just to knock her off guard, he took her hand and kissed the back of it with grandiose gallantry.  “My pleasure, Miss Janelle.”
♥  ♥  ♥
Jumpin’ juniper berries!  Jake snatched her scorching hand away from Skeeter’s lips.  His well-placed little smacker burned hotter than a branding iron in August.  Only better, but she sure as shootin’ wouldn’t admit it to a soul.  Ever.  Of course, she had no intention of washing her hand for a month either.  That hot kiss sent goosebumps clean down to her toes.

She sucked in a deep breath and cleared her throat.  “Let’s go.”  She hopped onto the wagon and picked up the reins.

Ben leapt onto the seat and took the reins from her.  “I’ll drive.”

His thigh rubbed hers.  She didn’t know how he could think right if he tingled anything like she did.  But, he probably didn’t.  She inched away from him as the buckboard moved out of town.  She focused on the sagebrush—at least it didn’t knock her plumb senseless.  He was too damned good-looking in a dandified sort of way.  Taller than she was, too, by a few inches.  Few men were.  She stood even with Whip, who, although bent with years of hard work, was taller than the rest of the men.

It ate at her that Skeeter muddled her mind so, and she had no idea what got into her to tell him her real name.  She’d better set him straight.

“Just so’s you know, I ain’t no simpering female.  Folks around here call me Jake.  Jake O’Keefe.  I expect you ought to call me that, too.”

She nearly laughed at his horrified expression.

“Jake O’Keefe?  My foreman?”

Just what she needed—a greenhorn who didn’t think she could do a man’s work.  Well hell, she’d already proven herself better than any hand in the territory, and she wasn’t about to do it again—especially to a feller they called Skeeter.  “Yup.  And just so’s you know, Harley Blacker hired me on with the Flying B, so as soon as I show you the ropes, I’ll be leaving the Bar EL.”

He set his lips firm like he was cogitating.  She didn’t know what there was to think about—she’d laid out the deal square enough.

Finally, he said, “All right then, Jake, just so you know, my name is Ben.  Benjamin Lawrence.  I expect to be called that.”  His jaw tensed and his cheek twitched just a might.  “And I’d appreciate it if you’d stay on the Bar EL, at least until I get the family affairs settled.  I’ll be going back to Boston as soon as I can.”

“Got a woman?”  Jake could’ve slapped her own fool face.  Why the hell would she care?  But that tickly feeling deep inside seemed to make her lose all her brains.

“I have a law practice there.  And friends.”  He pulled on the right reins and flicked the left side, turning the team onto the Lawrence road.  “A lady friend, too.”

Probably some frilly-assed, sappy female who batted her eyelashes at him and giggled at any harebrained thing he said.  Men seemed to like such silly critters, although, for the life of her, she couldn’t see why.  “Well, I ain’t staying, so you’d better be on the lookout for a new foreman.  Fred’s probably your man—he’s been sourer than five-day-old pissed-in milk since the old man chose me over him.”

“Don’t want him.  I need you.”


“How much is Blacker paying you?”

“Eighty dollars and found.”

“I’ll give you a hundred.”

She shook her head.  “One-twenty and found.”


“And found—ain’t interested in eating my own cooking.”  She’d starve to death if she did.  Whip had taught her how to rope, shoot, and just about everything else, but he never could teach her how to cook.  Every concoction she had tried ended up looking and smelling like fresh-branded cowhide.  Not that she’d wanted to learn in the first damned place.

He nodded.  “And found.”

“I’ll take it.  Six months I’ll give you.  But come spring, I’m working my own ranch, so you better get used to the idea.”

“One-twenty and found for any months you work after six.”

“I ain’t budging.”

“All right, for now I’ll take six months at a hundred and ten dollars and found.  Shake?”

She wasn’t so sure she wanted to feel his hand on hers again—more dangerous than a rattlesnake with a toothache.  Grabbing his hand, she gave it one shake and let go immediately, wiping her hand on her pants.  “Deal.”

But it would be a helluva long six months if she buzzed like her guts were filled with bumblebees every time Ben Lawrence took a gander at her.

Win a a Kindle copy of
Much Ado About Mavericks
Each commenter will be entered in the drawing.  Winner will be chosen June 1 at 9pm Pacific Time.  Be sure to include your email address or another winner will be drawn.  
Good luck!

Hearts of Owyhee
Where the Old West really happened!
Much Ado About Marshals
Much Ado About Madams
Much Ado About Mavericks

Saturday, May 4, 2013

WEAR BLACK by Eilis Flynn and Heather Hiestand

Wear Black

Eilis Flynn and Heather Hiestand have released their first collaboration, Wear Black, a Victorian England-set paranormal historical with a romance subplot.

Death did not end his service to the British Empire

Beneath Windsor Castle, a shadow network of immortals keeps the British Empire safe. Army captain Lucas Fitzrobbins becomes one of them when the cure for his mortal wound turns out to be a vampirism potion. He is abruptly inducted into the secret St. George Protector Society…and it’s not long before the Society’s newest recruit discovers it has dark mysteries as well…

Marked as a target

Hampering Lucas’s efforts to adjust to his after-life is An Tighearn operative Nellie Clifton, a beautiful and enigmatic assassin, who has marked Lucas as her latest quarry. But then…

Secrets are threatened to be revealed

A brutal killer stalks the seamy underside of London. Protectors and assassins alike must leave the shadows to find the fiend before their existence is revealed to the world. Tasked with the job of tracking down the murderer, Lucas discovers that the crazed butcher may have connections that go to the heart of the British Empire. One thing is certain:

The Queen must never know


“We meet again, Mr. Dudley,” the black-haired stunner called out, her faint Irish accent more pronounced now. “Sorry about your companion, but business is business. My name is Nellie Clifton, in case you hadn’t been told. Pleased to meet you.”

Her tone was downright languid, the Irish clear in her words, even as she nearly twirled her sword. “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to die. It would be more sportin’ if I let you learn how to use your sword first, but I see no point in delayin’ the inevitable, don’t you think?” She grabbed the tabbed cord at the edge of her helmet and yanked it off, shaking her head to loosen her curls. She slipped the goggles down her face until they rested around her throat.

“You indicated last time that you preferred to fight one-on-one, and yet here you are with your allies,” Lucas shot back, keeping an eye on the flying archer and the other woman. “Afraid of me, Miss Clifton?”

“I have me orders. I’m not a cruel person, you understand,” the woman explained, tossing the helmet to the side. “But I have other errands to run, so I decided, let’s dispatch this matter as soon as possible. I do apologize!”

See Book Lovers Buffet for this and other specially priced books. Sale runs from May 1 to May 5, 2013.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Judith Laik: Sentimental Journey Under a Blue Moon

Thanks to Judith Laik (pronounced "Like") for visiting today. Judith has been published by Kensington and small press, writes Regency historical romance, young adult novels, and children's stories. She also co-authored a book of quotes, Around the Circle Gently, with Lynn Moen. Judith lives in the Seattle area on a cozy little farm with a bunch of dogs, sundry other animals, her husband (not an animal, usually), and her daughter.

Blue Moon
by Judith Laik
Copyright © 2012 Judith Laik

A blue moon, according one interpretation, is the occurrence of a second full moon in any month. A second definition is the third of four full moons in a season (winter, spring, etc.). Normally each season has three full moons. When it has four, the third one is called a blue moon.

Because the lunar cycle is shorter than most months, the dates of the various phases change throughout a year. There can only be a second full moon when the first one falls on the 1st, 2nd, or, for 31-day months, 3rd. Thus, a blue moon happens only – once in a blue moon!

Perhaps because of their relative rarity, legends grew up about the specialness of a blue moon. One of these legends is that there is special power in wishing on a blue moon.

Judith Laik, author

When my friend Jacquie Rogers told me she was asked to contribute a story to an anthology built around this bit of folklore, I thought that was a pretty cool idea. I didn’t give it another thought. I don’t write short stories. At least I didn’t think so.

But the concept kept working on me under my conscious thought level. I frequently have a “sound track” playing in my head. It’s entirely random. Could be a song I’ve heard on the radio, even sometimes a stupid jingle from a commercial. But sometimes out of that amorphous mass of buried memories, a song will suddenly pop up that I haven’t heard for years.

In this case, though, I’m sure it arose from Jacquie’s anthology story. The lovely song “Blue Moon” started playing in my head. Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1935, it’s been sung over the years by many of the greats. When the line “And then there suddenly appeared before me the only one my arms will ever hold,” I got a clear image of the sudden appearance of a man in front of a woman, and I knew I had the germ of a story. From there, it practically wrote itself.

And now, my story, Sentimental Journey, is on Amazon.

Oh, yes. On blue moons. Be prepared to make a wish and have it come true!

More info on blue moons:
Sky and Telescope
Moon Connection
RedBubble (Discusses various folkloric stories about the power of the blue moon.)
RedBubble (song lyrics)

Contact Judith: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Guest author Jacquie Rogers: Women Wranglers

Western Women Wranglers
by Jacquie Rogers Copyright © 2011-2012 Jacquie Rogers
So many people and events shape our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to put my finger on why some things interest me and some things just don’t. The Old West doesn’t just interest me, though—it fascinates me. I’m a bit obsessed, actually.
To harken back (ahem, mumble-mumble) years to my childhood…
Owyhee County, Idaho, was (still is) a wonderful place for a kid to grow up. My parents owned a farm—we milked around 150 head of Holsteins besides growing wheat, barley, sugar beets, silage corn, and alfalfa. I had a magic magnifying mind right from the get-go. Why couldn’t we live on a ranch? Why couldn’t we have spring round-ups?
Ah, I wanted a horse in the worst way. Finally, the Christmas when I was six, my dad bought me a Shetland pony. Before that, I thought he loved me, but giving me a horse possessed of the very devil, well, I had my doubts. The pony’s name was Smokey. He was what they call a proud gelding, where the castration gets rid of all the baby-makin’s but not the hormone factory.
You make the best of things, though, and Smokey grudgingly trudged all over every inch of Graveyard Point, a hill about a 1.5 miles from our place. My riding partner was my step-aunt (only two years older than me), and what a sight we made when she rode her thoroughbred named I-Pass with Smokey trotting along behind, me pulling leather. You see, Smokey was so fat that the saddle, no matter how tightly cinched, rolled from side to side about 30ยบ each way. It was all I could do to stay upright.
Smokey and I did have a few adventures—here’s one. The dairy herd’s pasture was a half-mile long, and of course those danged cows had to wander clear to the other end right about milking time. It was my job to fetch them. I was probably about eight years old, when one day, I got this Bright Idea to drive them in on my trusty steed. Yes, my own personal cattle drive. It would be just like riding on the range like my cousins. So I saddled up Smokey and away we went.
Two things: 1) the pasture was fenced with barbed wire (pronounced “bob war”) and it was electric; and 2) the pasture was being irrigated that day.
Those Holsteins simply weren’t impressed with Smokey and me. I yipped and hollered. I waved my rope. I rode Smokey right up to the cattle, head to head. Not really, because those cows stood about a foot taller than my pony. Speaking of heads, not a one of those danged cows even raised her head. They just kept chomping along, ignoring us.
Back at the barn, Dad, helpful man that he was, saw that my horse and I were having some difficulty, so he cupped his hands around his mouth and bellowed, “s’boss!” Then those evil cows did finally stop grazing. Dinner time! And they took off for the barn. This was good, except...
By then, I’d given up and was riding back to the barn. When you see 150 critters bigger than you and the horse, it strikes fear in an eight-year-old’s heart, so I kicked old Smokey into a trot (easier said than done). For some reason, those stupid cows started chasing my stupid horse. He picked up to a gallop (probably the first time ever) tossing me from side to side on his roly-poly hide. He took off for the fence, running along it as fast as his stubby legs would go.
Remember that barbed wire? Just as he got there, splashing water six feet in the air and soaking us both, the saddle slipped toward the fence side. I knew I was gonna die. He galloped along the fence about 1/16” away and I was about to be cut to ribbons and electrocuted to boot, so I had to fling my left leg over to the right and ride sidesaddle. Then the saddle slipped some more, racing by the sharp barbs about an inch from my nose.
I finally made it to the barn, the pony’s sides heaving, me in dire need of a stiff shot of Jack Daniels. Dad laughed so hard, his eyes were teary. Smokey and I failed Cowpunching 101.
So I didn't exactly cut it as a top cowhand. Some women truly did, though.
Everyone loves a sexy cowboy, but there’s not much of a love story if he doesn’t have an interesting woman who can tame the untamable. Who’s up to the ever-so-pleasant but sometimes rocky task? How about a woman who really was a top-notch cowhand?
Let's talk about the women who thrived in the West. Western women weren’t merely transplanted eastern women. For the most part, Western women had more rights and were far more “modern” in their thinking. Wyoming granted women’s suffrage in 1869. Most of the western states and territories were far ahead of the eastern states when it came to suffrage, property rights, and marital law.  Many entreprenuerial women owned land and businesses in their own right.
With that in mind, let’s look at two women who shaped the character of Janelle Kathryn (aka J.K., shortened to Jake) O’Keefe, the shapely red-headed heroine (think Maureen O'Hara) in Much Ado About Mavericks ( Hearts of Owyhee #3).
Joe Monaghan
A lot of you know the story—Joe Monaghan was a woman who lived as a man in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, for forty years.  They even made a (very fictionalized) movie about her.  But that’s not what interested me. What I found intriguing was what she did. As a member of the “weaker sex,” here’s a list of accomplishments:
    Little Joe Monaghan
    Worked a high-altitude mine, and worked harder than most men.
  • Worked odd jobs—carpentry, digging ditches, anything to make a coin
  • Bought a small acreage and raised chickens and garden vegetables—enough to sell and provide her with a decent living.
  • Hired out as a sheepherder
  • Hired out as a cowhand
  • Homesteaded
  • Earned money as a wrangler and bronc buster
  • Performed as Cowboy Joe in Whaylen's Wild West Show: the Greatest Show on Land or Sea (Whaylen offered to pay $25 to any man who brought a horse that Joe couldn't ride, and never once did he have to part with his money)
  • Built her own ranch and raised cattle
Now does that sound like the “weaker sex” to you? This is not an easy country to ranch in, either. Take a look: (be prepared to listen to a motorcycle.)
You can read more about Little Joe Monaghan at Unusual Historicals.
Kitty Wilkins
Kitty Wilkins
Now, we’ll go to a girlie-girl, a very feminine woman who you’d think would be the epitome of Victorian propriety. She also lived in Owyhee County. I’m referring to Kitty Wilkins, who, to this day, holds the record for the largest horsetrading deal in North American history.
Did she act like a man? No. Did she look like a man? No. The Sioux City Journal of Sioux City, Iowa, described Miss Wilkins as "a tall stately blond, with fluffy, golden hair, large blue eyes that have quite a knack of looking clear through one, regular features and pearly teeth which glisten and sparkle when she smiles, and she has a habit of smiling very frequently. Her lips are red and full, and her mouth and chin denote a certain firmness of manner, no doubt acquired in her peculiar calling."
Yet this woman could wheel and deal with the best of them. She knew horseflesh better than most men, and she understood the business. Find out more about Kitty Wilkins: Horsetrading in Petticoats here at Romancing The West.
So how did Little Joe Monaghan and Kitty Wilkins become Jake O’Keefe? I guess it just happens when visions mix up in the ether. Out came a beautiful woman who looks like Maureen O’Hara but is living in a man’s world where she has to make do with what she’s got. And what she has are the skills to make her the best foreman in the territory. She’s confident, competent, and bold. She wears clothing appropriate to her job; hence, britches instead of skirts. Only the strongest of men could match her without damaging his ego. (Maybe a little bump or two here and there.)
Now who would make the most improbable mate for a woman of this background? A Boston attorney. Yep. So that’s just what I gave her, and it was rather fun watching her work all this out. Sometimes an author needs to stay out of the way and let the characters tell the story, and believe me, no one gets in Jake’s way. Well, except for Ben. Whoo-baby!
FIVE STARS! Jacquie Rogers writes some of the best Historical Romances on today's market. Not content to simply write a plot and toss in a lot of bed scenes and/or filler, this author adds in subplots, humor, action, suspense, and some endearing strays. ~Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

 ♥When you read a Jacquie Rogers book, you know you're in for a fast, fun ride! ~BookwormForever  

Overview A sexy ranch foreman who just happens to be a beautiful woman A Boston lawyer who wants to settle his father's estate and go back East. Rustlers who have another agenda in mind Mayhem endangers them all--but can the foreman and the lawyer ever see eye to eye?
Blurb Benjamin Lawrence is a highly respected attorney in Boston, but in Idaho Territory, they still think of him as that gangly awkward boy named Skeeter. When he goes back home to settle his estate, he's confronted with a ridiculous will that would be easy to overturn--but can he win the regard of his family and neighbors--and the foreman? The Bar EL's foreman, Janelle Kathryn aka J.K. aka Jake O'Keefe, is recognized as the best foreman in the territory. But being the best at her job still isn't enough--now she has to teach the new owner how to rope, brand, and work cattle before she receives clear title to her own ranch, the Circle J. The last thing she expects is rustlers. Can she save her ranch without losing her heart?
Much Ado About Mavericks ( Hearts of Owyhee #3)

Other books by Award-winning Author Jacquie Rogers:
 Check out all Jacquie's books at her website.