Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet My Character #MailOrderTangle @CarolinClemmons @JacquieRogers #romance #western



Meet My Character
Matt Johanssen
Mail-Order Ruckus
the second book in
Mail-Order Tangle

I introduced you to Laura Dickerson two weeks ago, and Caroline Clemmons introduced you to Ellie Dickerson last week.  They're sisters, and Ellie has come to Texas as a mail-order bride.  Laura, who's older, comes along.

Now I’ll introduce you to the hero of Mail-Order Ruckus, a short western historical romance that is the second book in a duet with Caroline Clemmons, Mail-Order Tangle, to be released in September.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Matt Johanssen. He’s definitely fictional, a combination of many men I've known and admired.  Matt is a year older than the hero of the first book, Kage Johanssen, his cousin.

2) When and where is the story set?

1880-1881, first in Texas and then in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory.

This is what Matt's ranch looks like in the spring when it's all nice and green.
3) What should we know about him/her?

Matt admires his Grandpa Bert (Adelbert Johanssen) and wants to achieve what his grandpa did—build a ranch despite the elements and other issues a ranchman faced. His word is his honor, and he holds to it. In Mail-Order Ruckus, Laura Dickerson shows up as a mail-order bride and unless he marries her, a man on the grooms roster will.

Matt's prize bull.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Matt is focused on his ranch and determined to make it a going concern. To do that, he’s invested every penny he has into it—he bought a blooded bull and after a harsh winter, 400 head of breeding cows. What money he makes has to go for wages, bills, and feed for both animals and crew. He has no money and no time to spend on a wife. Problem is, Laura, who he met and admired in Texas, comes to Silver City with a group of mail-order brides for a week of courting by men who’ve paid for the privilege of courting them. She has a week to pick a groom. And it can’t be him.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Matt’s all about building the ranch to a self-sustaining operation just as his grandfather did in Texas.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title of the duet is Mail-Order Tangle. You can read more about both books in the duet at
We don’t have much on the site yet, but the cover’s posted and there’s a blurb for each book.

Caroline Clemmons
7) When can we expect the book to be published?

We’re aiming for September 10. It’s an ambitious schedule and we have lots to do, but both Caroline and I are extremely excited for this release. It’s our first time working together, although we’ve been online friends for quite a while, and I’ve been a fangirl of Caroline’s long before that. So I’m tickled to be included in this book with her!

Caroline will be writing about her hero, Kage Johanssen, so check her blog on the 21st!

For the latest scoop on my shenanigans, subscribe to my newsletter, the Pickle Barrel Gazette, and join my Facebook group, the Pickle Barrel Bar & Books.




Monday, August 4, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour @kmnbooks @carolinclemmons


Meet My Character Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Meet My Character Blog Tour! My friend Karen M. Nutt is the one who roped me in, and for that, I thank her. So before we get to my character, Laura Dickerson, I’d like give you the rundown on Karen (and isn’t that just the cutest dog?).

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover.” You can also check out her published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.

Karen designed the
fabulous cover for
Muleskinners #1: Judge Not
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Meet My Character

Now I’ll introduce you to the heroine of Mail-Order Ruckus, a short western historical romance that will be included in a duet with Caroline Clemmons, Mail-Order Tangle, to be released in September.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Laura Dickerson. She’s completely fictional, although I wouldn’t tell her that.

2) When and where is the story set?

1881-1882, first in Texas and then in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory.

3) What should we know about him/her?

Laura has always been a dreamer but she’s had to put her dreams aside to care for her younger, prettier sister. Their parents are deceased and the savings are gone, so now the two of them have to make do as best they can. Once her sister is situated, Laura is feeling a bit lost, so she decides to take her dreams out of the bag and make them happen.

What Laura might be wearing
when she arrives at Silver City
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The man of her dreams—actually, he’s more handsome than she’d ever dreamed—won’t ask for her hand in marriage because in his mind, an honorable man must make a good living before he offers for a woman. But she’s 24, going on 25, flirting with the edge of spinsterhood, so she has agreed to be a mail-order bride. Now she’s contractually bound to marry at the end of the week, but her dream man proves to be more stubborn than she ever could’ve thought.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Laura’s goal is clear—she wants a house to make into a home, and a husband and children to put into it.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title of the duet is Mail-Order Tangle. You can read more about both books in the duet at
We don’t have much on the site yet, but the cover’s posted and there’s a blurb for each book.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

We’re aiming for the first week in September. It’s an ambitious schedule and we have lots to do, but both Caroline and I are extremely excited for this release. It’s our first time working together, although we’ve been online friends for quite a while, and I’ve been a fangirl of Caroline’s long before that. So I’m tickled to be included in this book with her!

Next week (August 11), please check out these awesome writers’ characters!

Caroline Clemmons

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is GABE KINCAID, book four of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, From The Heart Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audiobooks of BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and--for a short and fun time--an antique dealer. When she's not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, getting together with friends, and enjoying watching the birds, butterflies, and squirrels wandering through her back yard.

Wendy Delaney

Wendy Delaney writes fun-filled cozy mysteries and is the award-winning author of the Working Stiffs Mystery series. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America, she's a Food Network addict and pastry chef wannabe. When she's not killing off story people she can be found on her treadmill, working off the calories from her latest culinary adventure. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with the love of her life and has two grown sons.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

6 Chances to Win: Western Round-up Blog Hop!


Do you Westerns?
You've come to the right place!
We're giving away bunches of books, so be sure to click on all the links at the bottom of the page to win even more. Woot!  And I'm giving away...

THREE digital copies of

Muleskinners #1: 
Judge Not
by Jacquie Rogers
Western Trail Blazer
Traditional Western

Elsie Parry and her eight mules survived the war, but can they escape the wrath of the Danby Gang? She lived alone for five years after the Recent Unpleasantness and was overcome with happiness to be reunited with her father. Now, his fondest desire is to leave all the bad memories behind and see the Pacific Ocean, so she agreed to head west. All’s well until they approach Wolf Creek, where they’re set upon by the notorious gang of ex-Confederate guerrillas… intent on proving the war is not over, after all.

The Muleskinners series of single reads is my first foray into traditional westerns. For those of you who prefer romance, I'm also giving away

THREE digital copies of

Sleight of Heart
by Jacquie Rogers

Sleight of hand? or Sleight of Heart?

A Straight-Laced Spinster
Lexie Campbell, more comfortable with neat and tidy numbers than messy emotions, is determined find the sharper who ruined her little sister and make him marry her. When his lookalike brother Burke appears, she greets him with a rifle and forces him to help her. Can she resist his magic charm?

A Gambler With Magic Hands
To claim the family fortune, smooth-dealing Burke O'Shaughnessy has to find his brother Patrick, despite being saddled with an angry spinster. But when Lexie shows an astounding talent for counting cards and calculating odds, he figures she might be useful after all. Can he draw the queen of hearts?

"... a fun and fast paced read with a charming and sexy hero!" ~Jennifer Haddad

All you have to do is comment, and tell me how long it has been since you read a straight western story, or why you enjoy westerns or western historical romance. Be sure to include your email address with your comment. Drawing will be at midnight, July 31st, Pacific Time.

Be sure to check these terrific authors and book bloggers!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#NewRelease Muleskinners #1: JUDGE NOT #western http://amzn.com/B00LMC6RS4



New Release! 

Judge Not
Muleskinners #1
by Jacquie Rogers

The first installment of the Muleskinners series, Judge Not, is now available.  This is my first traditional western story and I hope you enjoy it.  I really loved writing it, and four more stories are planned, the second installment will be released later this summer.  

Judge Not was first printed in Wolf Creek, Book 6: Hell on the Prairie.

About Judge Not
Elsie Parry and her eight mules survived the war, but can they escape the wrath of the Danby Gang? She lived alone for five years after the Recent Unpleasantness and was overcome with happiness to be reunited with her father. Now, his fondest desire is to leave all the bad memories behind and see the Pacific Ocean, so she agreed to head west. All’s well until they approach Wolf Creek, where they’re set upon by the notorious gang of ex-Confederate guerrillas… intent on proving the war is not over, after all.

About Elsie
Elsie's had a rough time of it.  In 1863, border ruffians abducted her brother, Zeb, along with the neighbor boy, Hank, from the family farm in Missouri.  The next year, more came – she didn't know which side – and burned the farm to the ground.  Elsie was given responsibility for eight draft mule foals and sent to live on a forested hill out of harm's way.  She had little contact with the outside world, but her father visited infrequently.

She learned her mother had passed away, whether from sickness or hunger, Elsie didn't know, and neither did her father.  In fact, he disappeared the last year of the war and Elsie thought he was dead, too, but imagine her elation to find him alive and relatively well five years later. Meantime, those eight mules were her only friends and she'd named them after the Greek gods in her mother's book.  They have a good communication, and she's very protective of them.  Her father was born with the gift of blarney, and he's a lot better at making deals than actually coming through with them.  Still, he's her father and she loves him dearly – her only family other than the mules.

Excerpt
Muleskinners #1: Judge Not
by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright 2013 Jacquie Rogers

My pa wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. He’d flapped his lips all the way from Missouri to the middle of Kansas, and I reckoned by the time we did get to the ocean, I’d be ready to dunk him in it.

“One of the mules is lagging.”

“Hermes,” I hollered. “Quit sniffing that bush and get over here.” Sure, my mules were coddled, but they’d been my only company for a year during the war, and the six years since, my best friends. “You know you’re supposed to stay by the wagon.”

The mule sent me a guilty look and trotted to his spot by the rear wheel with the other three. I have eight mules, but a harness for only four, so four mules pulled half a day, then I traded them out.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to tie the spare mules to the wagon, Elsie?” My father, Obadiah Parry, had lost his wife, son, home, and thought he’d lost me and the mules in the war, but he’d run into me a few years back. 

Believe me, the moment I saw that man was the happiest day of my life. His brown hair had grayed and he’d hunched over and slowed down considerable, but his blue eyes still had that sparkle – the one that let you know there very well could be a frog in the sugar bowl, so watch out. I wouldn’t call him a moocher, but he did let me do the working while he did the talking.

“Maybe, but I ain’t tying them up. They know their jobs.” Unlike Pa, who was more of a dreamer than a doer. The one dream he had that worked out was when he decided to start a draft mule business with a mammoth jack he’d won in a card game. He talked the local farmers who had quality draft horse mares into giving him one foal for every two breedings. The result was more than a dozen draft mule foals the next year, but then the war broke out.


Now his dream was to go to California. I had eight of the mules, the wagon, nowhere else to go, and I was happy to make up for lost time with my pa. He had the gift of gab and a hefty dollop of charm, which got me more than one well-paying freight job. We had a light load this time, though – supplies for the trip west. But we had to take a detour to Wolf Creek to pick up a wagon he’d won playing euchre last week.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Another grand Wolf Creek adventure - STAND PROUD #western #kindle


Wolf Creek #11
Stand Proud
by Ford Fargo


This has got to be the most fun a writer can have!  It's a Western Fictioneers collaborative novel, the brainchild of Troy Smith, who is also one of the authors (his characters are Marshal Sam Gardner and Charlie Blackfeather).  We all write under the name of Ford Fargo.  I have two characters, Abby Potter who isn't in this novel, and Gib Norwood.  Actually, Gib is head of the Norwood family so I have the whole family. 

When Troy put out the call for characters, I thought Wolf Creek needed some milk.  I grew up on a dairy farm and one thing I know is milk cows.  In fact, I know way too much about milk cows and that's why I live in the 'burbs. LOL.  But one thing about dairymen, they work hard, lift lots of milk cans, bags of grain, and an occasional calf, so you can bet they'd be someone to stay away from in a fight.  And that's how the Norwood Dairy happened--there's Gib, his half-brothers Peter and Paul who are octoroons, and their mother, Glory, who is Gib's half-aunt.

In Stand Proud, the Norwoods are minding their own business, when the nasty bad guy, Andrew Rogers (um, no relation) uses the dairy as a decoy for his other objective, Matthias.  So the Norwoods start off the book.  I wrote chapters one and three.

This book has quite a line-up of authors.  Jory Sherman is one of the most talented writers of today, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and his chapter is a thing of beauty--nearly ripped my heart out.  Robert J. Randisi is incredibly prolific and has written around 700 books to date--good books, too, so check them out.  His chapter in Stand Proud rocks.  Troy D. Smith has won both the Peacemaker and the Spur awards--he's the glue that holds these novels together (if you haven't read his Blackwells series, do it!  You won't be sorry.).  Jerry Guin has contributions in several Wolf Creek books, and then... there's me!  So here's the blurb:

Welcome to Wolf Creek.

Here you will find many of your favorite authors, working together as Ford Fargo to weave a complex and textured series of Old West adventures like no one has ever seen.

Greedy and ambitious cattle baron Andrew Rogers has caused a lot of trouble around Wolf Creek, intimidating farmers into selling out to him and hiring a small army of gunmen who have proven themselves capable of almost anything. But now he has set his sights on clearing out a whole town – Matthias, a hamlet near Wolf Creek settled by former slaves. Sheriff G. W. Satterlee has a plan to protect them… but it may be too late.


Writing as Ford Fargo in this volume:

Jory Sherman
Robert J. Randisi
Jacquie Rogers
Jerry Guin
Troy D. Smith

Wolf Creek: Stand Proud

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rod Thompson: The Saga of Jane Hicks #western #newrelease

Interview:
Rod Thompson

Today, Romancing The West welcomes western writer Rod Thompson, who has a brand spankin' new book out, The Saga of Jane Hicks. First, he'll tell you a little about himself, and then RTW will ask him a few questions.

Rod Thompson: 1889, the same year South Dakota became a state and the Dakota Territory as a whole ceased to exist, Greenberry (GB) and Eliza Ann Thompson, my grandparents, made the move from "Missoura" to "Dakota" in a covered wagon to homestead. In 1897, the same year Geronimo enlisted into the army as a scout, my father was born. I came along in 1938 and spent the first part of my life on a farm near a corner of the Rosebud Indian Reservation where my dad traded with local Indians and I rode a horse to an all-eight-grades-in-the-same-room school while learning to shoot at the age of eight. Later, when one of my brothers died six months after my mother, my dad called it quits on farming and the family broke up, but the Black Hills were always there, along with stories of Indian wars, legends of Deadwood, Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickok, Casey Tibbs and rodeos.

Near Sioux Falls, as a teenager, I looked down from a foot bridge into the Devil's Gulch that Jesse James is said to have jumped to escape the largest posse ever formed. My father loved telling stories and I loved to listen. Until he died at the age of 76, I sat at the feet of the master. For years, I dreamed dreams of inventions and made up poems, songs and kid's stories and submitted articles to magazines that were always rejected. When I finally decided to write a book at the age of 70, could it be anything but a western? When I began to write, I realized that all the time I had been listening to my father, I had been learning the lingo and facts of the end of an era. When I sent off my first book, "The Black Hills," I expected the usual rejection notice, but instead, much to my surprise, everyone seems to be loving it for which I'm extremely grateful.

RTW: What inspired these characters? Where do you see them going in the future?

Rod: It is said that writers should write about what they know, I knew how to be a country boy. I spent the first years of my life on a small South Dakota farm. Country folks are good people, and I wanted my protagonist to be a typical Dakota farm boy with a strong moral compass; an honest, hardworking, God-fearing man with a sense of humor and loyalty whose life was shaped by the events in his life, as was the life of the one love his heart would allow him to have. That’s the way things were back before divorces were given out like popcorn. They took their wedding vows seriously.

He wasn’t born a superman with wonderful skills and a desire to save the world. His ideals, love of life, humor, and loyalty were given him by his parents. What skills he had, were developed through hard work, determination, and necessity, as were hers, and that is the thread that connects the thrilogy: two normal people of the time, separately together, struggling to find their way on the frontier and rising to each occasion. They did what needed to be done and were shaped by the doing.

The characters meet in The Black Hills, get married and torn apart in The Saga of Jane Hicks, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them the third book of the thrilogy (not a misspelling).

RTW: What do you think about the mixture of western and romance, and is there any romance in this book?

Rod: Now that is perfect timing for this question. I love romance in the western, romance of the times, romance of the old west, romance between a boy and his horses, romance between a boy and girl—man and woman as long as it isn’t overdone. I’ll leave that to others. My agent first described The Black Hills as an Americana filled, humorous, western action epic and my editor at Berkley added, with a strong underlying love story. So yeah, I love romance and most readers say they like it and want to see what happens to them in the future. I pray I can continue to do it justice.

RTW: What led you to become a writer?

Life…it was in me. Before television, movies, electronic games, and sports bars with 3000 television screens stole everyone’s imagination and creativity, people entertained each other with stories about their ancestors and travels and made up poems and songs and played fiddles, guitars and harmonicas.

My mother played piano, my father played fiddle and harmonica, and together they played at barn dances; and he also loved to tell stories, some of which were even true. He loved to tell them, and I loved to listen. For years I sat at the feet of the master. The desire to write was never about choice. It just was, and I am my father’s son.

RTW: What authors have inspired you?

Rod: My father read Zane Grey while my hero is L’Amour. A few readers have likened my writing to his, however, as fun as that is to think about, I am not now, nor will I ever be in his category. He was nothing short of amazing. Just being mentioned anywhere near him is good enough for me.

RTW: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Rod: Write. And get two books released on the same day. My first book, The Black Hills was re-released by Penguin Berkley with a foreword written by James Drury, the star of “The Virginian” television series who called me to tell me it was the “best book of any kind he had read in years,” and thanks very much to an extra effort from Troy Smith, The Saga of Jane Hicks was released on the same day. What a blast. My daughter and draft editor, Rhonda, went out to dinner that night.

I would like to conclude by saying thank you to the many people who have taken the time to tell their friends about my book: Thank y’all.

 Rod Thompson



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

LASSOING A GROOM #newrelease #historicalromance #freebook

Lassoing a Groom
Prairie Rose Publications


I’m so excited that I sloshed my Arbuckles all over my keyboard! Lassoing a Groom was released today! I’m bouncin’ around like a goat kid on catnip to be included with five other talented authors in a new anthology from Prairie Rose Publications. Wait... I don’t think catnip does much to goats. No matter, since kids have springs in their hooves. The other five crazy hombres are: Kirsten Lynn, Tracy Garrett, Kristy McCaffery, Linda Hubalek, and Kathleen Rice Adams. If you knew these gals, you’d be as excited as I am— or runnin’ fer cover.

Speaking of goats, Lady Jane Grey and Cleopatra horned their way into my story, “Don’t Go Snaring My Heart.” So did two dogs, Max and Minnie, a mule named Princess, and Jethro, the killer chicken. I have no idea how Jethro got in there, but he has his own ideas about things. Just don’t ruffle his feathers and you’re relatively safe.

What are these stories about? Just that—getting a husband bagged good and proper. My heroine, Betsy Lynch, doesn’t use a lasso. Her preferred method of catching men is a snare. Was she any good at it? Well, she was good enough to make into this anthology. But she wasn’t aiming for a husband. She did teach a lesson or two to some claim jumpers who wanted her silver mine, and it’s not her fault Dex Madsen came along at the wrong time. Or was it the right time?

I have to say, every single story in Lassoing a Groom is a good read—whether fun or dramatic, all are sigh-worthy. Here’s the blurb:

Lassoing a Groom

How is a woman supposed to catch a husband? In the wild, wild west, she’s got to find a way to Lasso a Groom! Some of them are lawmen…some are outlaws. Ranchers and homesteaders are fair game, as well—none of 'em safe from love’s lariat, or the women who finally manage to rope ’em in!

Don’t Go Snaring My Heart
Jacquie Rogers
Can rancher Dex Madsen get past loner Betsy Lynch's goats and killer chicken to help save her mining claim and win her heart?

Race to Marry
Kirsten Lynn
He’s in town to tame a man-killer. She’s accused of being one. When she proposes marriage the race is on.

WANTED: The Sheriff
Tracy Garrett
He’s a confirmed bachelor…but she’ll capture his heart.

Canyon Crossing
Kristy McCaffrey
In search of her brother, Annabel Cross enters Grand Canyon. When U.S. Deputy Marshal Angus Docherty rescues her from a cliff side, her most guarded secret might save them.

The Perfect Homestead Bride
Linda Hubalek
Will a dangerous man from Gussie Hamner’s past sabotage the future she’s building with Noah Wilerson?

The Worst Outlaw in the West
Kathleen Rice Adams
An inept bank robber and a bossy spinster team up to rob an empty vault. What could go wrong?

Free Books!
Three ebooks to three commenters
Drawing will be held May 24th at 6pm Pacific Time.
Be sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can reach you!