Aug 15

Dukes vs Cowboys: Who Steals More Hearts?

Yes, Folks, the rumor is true. A bunch of us crazy Historical Romance authors are waging a war — er, I mean, a bet.

We want to see who has more PASSION for the genre:  the readers of American Historical Romance (including Westerns) or the readers of British Historical Romance.

Best of all, there are 2 ways to win lots of books!!

 

 


Option 1:

Click to Take

the 4-Question

Survey

No matter how you vote, you’ll receive a Sneak Peek from my upcoming novel, Devil Plays with Fire, (Book 3, Lady Law & The Gunslinger Series.)

You’ll also be entered in my drawing for a FREE copy of Book 1, Devil in Texas, which MidWest Book Review called “Western Romance at its best.”

(5 eBook Copies will be Given Away by Yours Truly)


Warning!

My Westerns have made converts of Regency Readers and Reviewers. (Just Sayin’!)


Option 2:

Enter the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Click to Win up to 13+ American/British eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!

(13+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Aug 03

Laugh with the Characters from HIS WICKED DREAM

Victorian Romance, Western Romance, Paranormal Romance

Readers comment that my Romances are funny,which I consider a huge compliment. I’m not sure how I achieve humor so consistently in book after book, except to say that I have a knack for inventing smart-alecks, who excel at one-liners.

In His Wicked Dream (on sale for 99 cents,) I created an ensemble cast of wise-cracking secondary characters to keep my award-winning hero and his heroine on their toes. You meet Collie, the orphaned thief; Sera, the hero’s match-making sister; and Aunt Claudia, the 75-year-old spinster, who smokes a pipe and carries a shotgun. Throw these characters together and…  Well, hilarity erupts.

To brighten your day, I’ve assembled some humorous, mini excerpts from His Wicked Dream. I hope these snippets make you smile!

Victorian Romance, Western Romance, Paranormal RomanceMichael (hero) and Eden (heroine):

“This isn’t a church social,” Michael growled. “Do you have any idea what your father’s going to do when he finds out you’ve been holed up in a stable with a man? A bad man?”

“You’re not so bad.” She cast him a sideways look. “Apart from your manners.”

Aunt Claudia and Eden:

“I’m gonna march down the street and see what’s so jo-fired important that Michael’s been holed up in his office like a bear.”

“But Auntie, do you really think a shotgun’s necessary?”

“Obviously, you ain’t never hunted bear.”

Eden and Collie, the Orphaned Thief:

“M-my cat.” Eden managed weakly, noticing how the boy’s blade pointed expertly in her direction. “What are you going to do?”

“Eat it.”

“But she’s my pet!”

“Looks like it’s time to get a dog.”

Eden and 10-year-old Jamie:

“Jamie, honey,” Eden coaxed in a tone that would have made castor oil bearable. “I thought we were friends. Don’t you want me to heal your bunnies? The way I healed your toad?”

“Heck, no. That dried up old plant you gave Georgie turned him into a girl!”

“A… girl?” Eden sounded bemused.

“That’s right! He laid eggs!”

Eden and Michael:

She glared at him. “After removing my picnic basket from the auction and fueling a virtual prairie fire of gossip at my expense, I think I’d be well within my rights to leave you standing in the dust.”

“Hmm.” Michael smirked. “I suggest we drive, then.”

Eden and Michael’s matchmaking sister, Sera:

“A Kentucky gentleman—like my dear brother Michael—would know how to kiss a lady. But I don’t have to tell you that, do I, Eden?”

Eden cast her friend an exasperated look. “Don’t you have anything better to do besides torment me?”

Sera beamed. “I can’t think of a thing.”

Eden and Michael:

Michael tried to look stern as he crossed to Eden’s bed. “You’re supposed to ingest your medicine on an empty stomach, Eden.”

“Have I told you you’re a tyrant?”

“Frequently.”

“Has it sunk in yet?”

Aunt Claudia (with her shotgun) at the Kissing Booth:

“Hey! Hey!” the 75-year-old spinster bellowed in a voice three times her size. “I saw them moths fly outta yer wallet. Git yer scrawny arse over here, Abner Buckbee. Kissin’ me’ll cost you a buck. Fer three bucks, you can go home without my buckshot in yer britches!”


Book Description

His Wicked Dream

By Adrienne deWolfe

Victorian Romance, Western Romance, American RomanceHaunted by scandal, Eden Mallory is determined to start over in a new town. But she won’t soon forget the sexy, rugged doctor who rescued her from an outlaw, then rode off into the storm.

After losing his kid-brother to consumption, Dr. Michael Jones is obsessed with saving lives. He has no room for love or a wife. But the nights are lonely, and Eden haunts his dreams.

But when Eden becomes his backdoor neighbor, she turns his world upside-down with her unconventional healing skills and sweet temptation.

Then outlaws return, and Michael is forced to confront his past to save the most precious life of all.

Jun 15

Stolen Children

During the 1800s dozens of children on the Texas frontier were captured by Southern Plains Indians. Raiding parties would take their captives into Indian Territory or the Texas Panhandle where there were few permanent settlements. Kidnapped children were spoils of war and could be traded to another tribe or sold to the government for ransom. But more importantly, in many cases, the children were adopted into the tribes as members of the Indian family to replace children who had died. In the mid-1800s the southern Plains Indians suffered terrible losses from smallpox, cholera and warfare. It is estimated that between 1849 and 1866 the Comanches lost as many of three-quarters of their people.

One can only imagine what it was like for a child to be taken from a white world of farming, discipline and hard work and thrust into the roaming, often brutal, yet carefree life of the Indian. They came from hardscrabble lives in cramped log cabins that were hot in summer and cold in winter. Often, they had no shoes. And always they had tedious and repetitive chores to do. Suddenly, they were living with people who imposed few rules and did not value work for its own sake. They had freedom, mobility and leisure. Some of them even became willing participants in horse raids and the gruesome deaths of Texan settlers and homesteaders.

While each captive’s experience was unique, the prevailing common thread was their inability to adapt to their former lives after their rescue. Long after they returned to their white families they held fast to their Indian ways, earning them the name “white Indians”. Some chose to return to the Indians. Some, when brought back to their white families, simply withered away. They were often reserved and didn’t talk much, least of all about their experiences. As adults they could not settle in one place. They could not hold regular jobs and were never financially successful. Many of them went on to have failed marriages.

Unlike the movie The Searchers with John Wayne, where the Natalie Wood character has been captured by ruthless Comanches, and which ends happily with her rescue and return, the true stories do not have happy endings.

For many of those stolen children it became a lifelong struggle to reconcile their blood ties and the nomadic life that some of them came to love. They simply did not know how to deal with their experiences and it left them forever conflicted. Although they got to experience life through the eyes of another people, they paid a heavy price. Not many of their accounts have survived. Most of the stolen children went on to live their lives in obscurity. But the accounts that do survive paint a picture of conflicting cultures. It is a story as sad for the stolen children as it is for the Indians.

My four-part western series, The Kincaids, begins in 1821 with Dallas Kincaid. It is the story of one such stolen child, how war with Mexico and conflicting cultures shaped him into the man he became, and how love helped ease his long road home.

Dallas Kincaid was five years old when the Kiowa swept down from the Llano Estacado in the Texas Panhandle and carried him off. For 13 years he lived among them before leaving to join Sam Houston’s volunteer army in its fight for Texas independence against Santa Anna, and later riding with the Texas Rangers against the powerful Comanche Nation that threatened settlements in the newly formed Republic of Texas. Now, with the fighting behind him, the battle-scarred loner torn between two cultures has returned to the homestead he last saw as a child, to the mother and older brother he left behind, to the younger brothers he didn’t know he had, and to the love he never expected to find.

Orphaned after her white father and Apache mother were killed in a Comanche raid, Abby McKenna lives a lonely life on the cattle ranch owned by her cantankerous grandfather and suffers his cold hostility for bearing the stigma of being a half-breed.

In Abby, Dallas finds a kindred spirit, but her grandfather’s prejudice will not permit the attentions of a man raised by Indians, no matter how hard he fought for Texas independence, giving Dallas one more battle to fight before he can lay the past to rest.

I’m in the process of writing the story now, but here’s a sneak peek at the cover and an excerpt from the Prologue. I’ll let everyone know when the book is released. And for the record, this is one story about a stolen child that will have a happy ending, because isn’t that what romance is all about?

Prologue

Somewhere along the Navidad River, June, 1821

“Indians!”

A fear unlike anything Kate had ever known welled up inside of her. Her thoughts splintered into blackness, and her lungs froze. Paralyzed, all she could do was stand there, the wind whipping the tattered hem of her homespun dress around her ankles as the dust cloud coalesced into something alive.

“Gie yerself an’ th’ wee jimmies inside!” Fergus yelled.

She felt his hands pushing her toward the soddy, his fingers harsh, demanding that she act.

The boys! Kate’s voice tore from her throat, high-pitched and desperate. “Denver! Get your brother!”

“We’re coming ma!” she heard eight-year-old Denver shout.

Inside, Fergus pulled his rifle from its pegs on the wall, while Kate ran about frantically pulling the wooden shutters closed. They could hear the oxen bellowing in the tilled field and the hens squawking in the roost as the thunder of horses’ hooves exploded on all sides of the soddy.

“Gie doon!” Fergus shouted.

Obeying her husband’s panicked order to get down, Kate crouched against the wall of mud bricks as he aimed his rifle through a slit in the wooden shutter and fired.

The shot exploded in Kate’s ears. She felt herself shaking. At any moment the door would burst open and they would all be killed

But the moment she feared did not come.

The air outside filled with wild whoops and cries as the invaders swept past like a cold, dark wind. Had Fergus’s shot scared them off? Did they keep on going because they saw that there were no horses to steal?

Kate shrank back and looked at Fergus in horror. He met her eyes, and then moved his gaze about the room. His face turned white, and confusion seemed to overtake him.

From where she crouched against the wall, Kate felt trapped in the crushing grip of her husband’s expression. Tearing her stricken gaze away, she looked around. Denver was hiding beneath the clapboard table, and Dallas—

Where was Dallas? She glanced wildly about the room. “Denver, where’s your brother?”

“I was scared, ma. I didn’t—”

She didn’t wait to hear more. She ran to the door and burst outside. An audible groan of relief spilled from her lips when she saw Dallas by the creek, the sunlight reflecting off the tufts of light brown hair that stuck out from beneath his straw hat. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and she caught herself thinking that he was such a handsome little fellow. She opened her mouth to call out to him, when suddenly, from the corners of her eyes she saw something big streak past her in a cloud of dust and dirt. Blinking the haze from her vision, she watched in horror as an Indian astride a black horse bore down on the boy.

“No!”

Crying out, Kate plunged forward, calling upon every ounce of strength in her thin body to catch up to the boy. With panic rising in her throat, she thrust out her hand and managed to snag the wet sleeve of his hickory striped shirt. The straw hat flew from his head as she pulled him toward herself, but it was too late. The mounted Indian leaned to one side and yanked her son out of her grasp, sweeping him up onto the horse without breaking stride.

“Kate! Come back!”

Her husband’s shout was drowned out by the sound her own heart-wrenching scream.

She ran after the retreating horse, stumbled, got up, and kept on running.

“Mama! Mama!” Her son’s frantic cries were cut short by a fit of violent coughing. It was something he did whenever he was afraid. She’d always been able to comfort him and calm his fears, but not this time.

Far out onto the prairie she ran, until the horse and rider disappeared over the horizon and all that remained of her son was the sound of his coughs echoing in her brain and a tattered straw hat skipping along the ground on a gust of wind.

 

May 18

Let An Old Favorite Give You Something New

Series are everywhere!

A coworker heard me talking about the second season of “Outlander.” She said it sounded kind of familiar, so she started watching season one, which quickly led to her recollection that she’d read the books, and they’d been old favorites of hers. In short order, she not only watched through season two, but also began reading the series again.

Lo and behold, way back when, she’d only read through book five. This probably indicates she’d discovered the series sometime around 2001 and never knew Diana Gabaldon kept writing. And writing. And writing.

Here we are in 2017 and my coworker has not only been enjoying the books she’d already read, she’s been launched into the next five or six, not to mention the novellas and short stories that are all part of the “Outlander” world.

I’ll bet if you look back through your hard copy books or your ereader, you’ll find an old favorite by an author you haven’t checked on for awhile, which may happily lead you to a new release — or five. In fact, you might want to poke around a bit here at Love Historicals. Our authors have been pretty prolific. Let an old favorite give you something new.

May 06

Rescuing Scotland’s Honors from Under Cromwell’s Nose

I’m pleased to announce that Highland Betrayal is now available. 

The impetus for this tale came from the true story of the rescue of Scotland’s Crown Jewels from Oliver Cromwell’s clutches. After the execution of King Charles I, Cromwell destroyed the English regalia and wanted to do the same to Scotland’s Honors.

The crown, sword and scepter had been hidden away in Dunnottar Castle. The fortress fell to English forces after a siege of 80 days. However, no trace of the jewels could be found. It is reported that a woman was instrumental in their disappearance.

I decided my heroine, Hannah Kincaid was the plucky lass who carried out this bold theft. And her hero? Morgan Pendray, a gunnery captain in the English army, of course.

Buy links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Excerpt:

When the latest round of shot chewed into the wall, Morgan deliberately averted his gaze from the cloud of yellow dust to the distant cliff path. He narrowed his eyes against the late afternoon sun, startled by the unexpected sight of a raven-haired lass struggling up the steep slope from the beach. She was bent double under the weight of a basket she carried on her back. The checkered shawl most women wore around their shoulders was tied around her hips.

She paused at the top, slid the basket straps from her shoulders, straightened and stretched to touch the sky. It was a vision of innocent beauty amid the sickening slaughter. He sucked in a breath as the sight of her proud breasts and shapely figure stirred the interest of his tarse. In a trice she evoked wants and needs he’d thought grief had drained out of him.

He was tempted to rush over and offer his help when she crouched to lift the basket back onto her shoulders, but that was out of the question.

Mar 27

March Madness, Marketing, and March Hares

basketball in hoopMarch Madness usually refers to basketball. For many writers, the madness of March is the push to get older manuscripts finally finished, to begin new stories that have been kicking around in their heads for too many long winter months, and to figure out that elusive creature called “marketing.”

I know I’m definitely juggling all three as I finish up Book 4 of The Defiant Hearts series, which should have been finished and published about two years ago. At the same time, I couldn’t help but write back cover copy for two books that don’t exist yet. The characters have been nagging at me to get started so, at the very least, I wrote the bcc so they know I’m serious. Those pushy people in my head. Sheesh!!

email marketing imageLastly, I’ve been delving into the land of newsletter marketing. Many writers, including a good friend of mine, were stranded by the closing of one business that handled relatively inexpensive emailings to large lists of thousands of subscribers. The next closest seemed to be prohibitively expensive since my friend has 25,000 signups to her newsletter. Then I discovered that for me to help her produce her newsletters, I don’t have to go with the expensive, canned variety, such as MailChimp, Mailer Lite, AWeber, or Constant Contact.

No, for very short money, under $50 per year, I can use a WP plugin to integrate her newsletter signups to her list and send her emails from an independent SMTP. This part is important since it might be a headache (meaning slow and unwieldy) to use her website’s host server to send out 25,000 emails at once.

Too technical for many, I love figuring this stuff out. All part of my March Madness routine, adding more things to my plate until I’m running around like a March hare!!! Honestly, maybe I look more like this:

 

 

Meanwhile, we are still enjoying a warm reception to our Love Historicals boxed set entitled Once Upon a Kiss. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet . . . click here.

Once Upon A Kiss

Mar 09

Am Writing. #amwriting

I started a full-time job in July. My writing skills, honed on historical romance, helped me earn the position. In an office with a team of seven people, I’m now the go-to for editing a career biography or pulling together a press release. I look forward to these few and far between tasks when I can sink my teeth into word choice, punctuation, and flow. Because I’m a writer at heart. And folks at work are happy because — did you know? — some people absolutely hate writing. Even people who love to read can despise creating the written word.

Lucky for me, I’m still writing. This blog, for example. Snippets of marketing material. A gazillion emails a day.

But books? Not so much right now. The plots of unwritten stories float in my head like motion barely caught in my peripheral vision. The children of my very first characters beg for the chance to grow up. My poor new adult heroine, abandoned amidst a volcanic eruption, wants to know if her freshman crush will really be her forever guy.

Every published novelist can tell you that having a story in your head is the easy part. On a scale of difficulty, falling off a log ranks far higher than plotting fiction in one’s head. However, past history shows that the very existence of characters in my head indicates these stories’ time may come. One day I’ll likely find myself building sentences/paragraphs/chapters instead of emails.

Until then, I’ve got a small collection of books already launched in the world, and have been lucky to be part of a few extraordinary boxed sets with the Love Historicals authors. Check out our latest – the Once Upon A Kiss set. #amreading  #amwriting

 

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

iTunes

Mar 03

Once Upon A Kiss with Anastasia Pollack

The Love Historicals presents Once Upon A Kiss is featured today on the blog of Anastasia Pollack, crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth. It’s a lovely honor to be there and to meet Anastais. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our newest release featuring 10 award-winning and best selling authors, it’s a great chance to do so. From gladiators to noblemen, rogues to cowboys, there is truly a hero (and heroine!) for every reader of historical romance.

Feb 09

Lakota Moons

Whether in song or affecting our tides, the moon, the second brightest object in the sky after the sun, plays a vital role in our lives.

Native Americans’ close connection to nature is seen in their names for the months. Although calendar types vary from tribe to tribe, nearly all tribal calendars begin in the spring, the time of year that symbolizes the start of a new year through the emergence of new plants and the birth of new animals.

Moons of Renewal and Growth

Each spring, the camp circle moved to higher ground. Men fixed old weapons and made new ones to hunt with. Women gathered early berries and roots, repaired their lodges from new hides collected during the fall and winter hunts, and sewed leggings and moccasins from the smoked tops of the old lodge skins. After being confined to their lodges over the winter, children played outside in the warm weather.

During this time, the animals carrying babies were at their largest before giving birth. This was April, Wihakakta cepapi Wi, the Moon of Fattening.

The warmer weather made its way onto the prairies, and the pleasant temperatures meant it was time to plant. This was May, Wojupiwi Wi, the Moon of Planting.

The berries were tasty and red at this time of year, just right for picking. Parfleches and robes were painted, and raiding parties were underway. This was June, Wipazuka waste Wi, the Moon of Good Berries.

The Warm Moons

As spring gave way to summer, the camp circle moved often to follow the migrating buffalo herds. Women struck the lodges and packed the family’s belongings onto pony drags for transport to the new camp. They also prepared food and made and set up the lodges. Men made weapons, hunted for game and defended the camp. While girls helped gather firewood and water and were instructed in quill- and bead-work decoration, boys practiced their hunting skills on small animals.

Summer was the time of celebrations and ceremonies and for seeking visions. The women made pemmican from ripened chokecherries and other berries, and the men planned war parties. This moon marked the time for one of the most sacred Lakota rites, the Sun Dance. This was July, Canpasapa Wi, the Moon of Cherries Black.

As summer wore on, the men hunted and the women gathered vegetables and nuts and dried meats in preparation for the coming winter. This was August, Wasuton Wi, the Moon of Harvest. It was also called Wicokannijin, the Moon When the Sun Stands in the Middle for the unrelenting heat it brought down upon the Great Plains.

The Moons of Change

As summer turned to fall, the Lakota prepared for winter. Food was gathered to last through the winter moons. Women prepared meat from the buffalo that the men hunted. Underground storage caches were filled with dried meat and fruit, and large quantities of firewood were stocked. As the weather began to change, the trees responded. This was September, Canwapegi Wi, the Moon of Brown Leaves.

As autumn settled over the Great Plains, the Lakota people prepared for winter.The trees also prepared by dropping their leaves. This was October, Canwapekasna Wi, the Moon of Falling Leaves.

The Cold and Dark Moons

Winter brought a quieter time, during which a single camp site was used for the season. While women made and mended clothing, men went on raiding parties to ensure the camp’s safety and strength. Winter was also a time for storytelling. Children slid over the snow in buffalo ribcages and in the evening gathered around the fire to listen to the stories the elders told of past times and heroes.

This was the time when everyone started thinking about the coming winter. This was November, Waniyatu Wi, the Moon of Starting Winter.

When the heavy snows began to fall, and blistering winds fell upon the prairies, and the deer began to shed their horns, it was time to strike the lodges and travel to a sheltering wooded hollow near a river or to the sacred Black Hills where they would be close to supplies of firewood. This was December, Tahecapsun Wu, the Moon of Shedding Horns.

At this time of year everyone experienced difficulties. Food was often in short supply and the weather was fierce. A severe winter could bring starvation, and at times like that rose berries, acorns, and even the horses were eaten. This was January, Wiotekika Wi, the Moon of Hard Times.

As a new moon arrived, the Lakota people noticed a great change. Trees on the Great Plains popped and burst as their branches became laden with winter snow and ice. This was February, Cannapoppa Wi, the Moon of Popping Trees.

Although the promise of spring was on the horizon, the cold winter weather continued. It was a time of blinding sun rays reflecting off the snow. This was March, Istawicayazan Wi, the Moon of Snow Blindness.

And with the passing of another year spring came once again to the prairie, and with it, a renewal of life and hope.

 

My latest release, RESTLESS WIND, Book 3 in my Native American Wild Wind Series, continues the story of trader’s daughter Katie McCabe and Lakota warrior Black Moon. Their love has survived misunderstanding, treachery, absence, abduction, and tragedy, but the ever-increasing hostilities between the soldiers and the Sioux in late 1866 have planted seeds of uncertainty in Katie’s mind as to where she belongs – the white world into which she was born, or Black Moon’s Lakota world in which she has chosen to live. As tensions erupt over the plains and Black Moon rides with Crazy Horse to rid the Powder River country of the Long Knives, Katie joins a wagon train and embarks on a journey of self-discovery, setting into motion events as turbulent as the restless wind.

The story begins late in Canwapegi Wi. As Katie sits astride her Indian pony gazing out across the land, she is reminded of a Lakota legend about why the leaves turn colors.

She had ridden today much further than she intended, having joined the other women to gather wild prairie turnips, and then left them digging on the hillside to gallop her pony across the land in the futile hope that an exhilarating ride would chase away the uncertainty. Grappling with the doubts that plagued her, she gazed at the quaking aspen and scrub oak ablaze in color, with red, yellow, green and orange blanketing the hills in the distance.

The old ones told a story about why the leaves fall. Many moons ago, they said, when the world was still young, all the plants and animals were enjoying the beautiful summer weather. But as the days went by, the weather turned colder. This made the grass and flower people very sad, for they had no protection against the sharp cold of winter. Just when it seemed there was no hope for them to go on living, the Great Spirit came to their aid. He told the leaves on the trees to fall to the ground and spread a soft, warm blanket over them. To repay the trees for the loss of their leaves, He allowed them one last bright array of beauty. This, they said, was why the trees take on beautiful farewell colors before turning to their appointed task of covering the earth with a thick blanket of warmth to protect the grass and flower people against the chill of winter.

Katie heaved a sigh. Soon, the branches would be bare, snow would cover the ground, and ice would clog the rivers and streams. She thought again of the Lakota legend and wondered who would protect her against the chill that had found its way into her heart.

The restless breath of the wind blew across the land. As she turned her pony’s head away and headed back to the Oglala camp in a valley of the Tongue River, her father’s words echoed in her mind.

“Katie, m’darlin’, nothin’ stays the same.”

RESTLESS WIND is coming soon to all e-readers.

Jan 25

Love Historicals Presents “Once Upon a Kiss”

Ten of your Love Historicals authors have banded together to bring you an outstanding multi-genre collection of novels and novellas. We’ll take you from Ancient Rome to America’s west; from Imperial Russia to Medieval England; from the Regency to the Holy Roman Empire.

All for 99 cents!

Buy Links

It’s available at the following retailers:

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
iBooks

Featured Authors

Sydney Jane Baily, Christy Carlyle, Gina Danna, Jill Hughey, Catherine Kean, Anna Markland, Nancy Morse, Laurel O’Donnell, Margery Scott, Cynthia Woolf

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