Friday, December 30, 2011

Rave Reviews for 99¢ Romance Novel

It's the end of 2011 and lots of people received new Kindles over the holiday season and are looking for guood buys. Award-winning Much Ado About Marshals is one of those good buys--a full-length novel for only 99¢! You get romance, fun, and adventure. Take it from the reviewers:

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!
5 stars from Diana Coyle of Night Owl Reviews
Ms. Rogers has penned yet another story that has you fully engrossed from the very first page because of her superbly crafted characters and storyline. She has a wacky sense of humor and she knows how to entertain her readers while having them hang onto her every word. This is one of those great stories which make you feel that not only have you grown to love each character for their quirky traits, but also you can’t stop laughing at all the mayhem they’re causing themselves and each other. Much Ado About Marshals is another hit in my book and I can’t say enough good things about it. But honestly, don’t take my word for it. Buy a copy and see for yourself what everyone is talking about. Once you read just one of Ms. Roger’s books, I can assure you that you’ll be a fan thereafter. She’s one author that you just can’t help but love. Great job, Ms. Rogers! Please keep writing more wacky stories for us to enjoy! (Read the entire review)

"a place of honor on my Keeper Shelf"
5 stars from Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews
A hilarious, yet romantic, comedy of errors and assumptions that kept my emotions in constant turmoil. One minute I am nodding and agreeing with Daisy's logical deductions, the next I am worried she is sticking her nose into the business of someone who would cut if off her face. One minute I am worried the locals would see through Cole's charade and the next I am laughing at his methods of solving the town's unusual problems. One minute my heart is melting as Cole and Daisy are falling in love, the next I am giggling at some sort of humorous interruption. I grinned. I frowned. I worried. I sighed from tension relief. I snickered at Bosco's romantic troubles with two widows. I often found myself laughing until I thought my side would split. Author Jacquie Rogers penned a fabulous historical romance and then inserted her own brand of wackiness. As a result, this story quickly grabbed me by the throat, kept me reading long past my bed time, and earned a place of honor upon my Keeper Shelf. Unforgettable! I cannot recommend this title highly enough. (Read the entire review)

Coffee Time Romance CTRR Award!
5 cups from Cherokee of Coffee Time Romance and More
Much Ado About Marshals is a hoot. I loved the endearing characters and the way they connect well in the story. Everything fits together wonderfully allowing the audience to bond with the characters. I could really sense the sensations, as well as visualize all the events surrounding them. There were times I could almost taste the food that was being prepared. Jacquie Rogers creates a witty, delightful, and downright amusing book with impressive charming players. I love the chemistry of Daisy and Cole. With the collection of lively secondary players, this exquisite storyline is a remarkable read. (Read the entire review)

5 Dragonflies from My Eclectic Bookshelf
Like romance? Love stories about the old west? Want a dreamy cowboy to cuddle up and read about? Then this is the book for you. I didn't want to put it down once I picked it up. I kept turning the page to see what was going to happen. When would Daisy find out the truth, was the strength of their love enough to see it through? Could she see past it all to the true man she had fallen in love with? And with Cole, how much longer could he continue with the deception? Could his morals handle much more? Would he get the bad guy and live happily ever after with Daisy? All questions are answered in the book, but be ready to sit down and not get back up till you are finished. Well written, great story line, and emotions that pull you in and won't let go. Go grab your copy today!! 5 dragonflies on my scale! (Read the entire review)

4 Spurs from Love Western Romances
Much Ado About Marshals is an entertaining story with lots of small town charm and amusing characters to keep things interesting. Cole is good-hearted which is part of the reason he finds himself in complicating situations. Daisy is bubbling over with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. Both are prone to action first, questions later which is the source of many amusing moments along their path to happily-ever-after. A fun read. (Read the entire review)

"easily a 5 Star read"
Caroline Clemmons, author of The Texan's Irish Bride and many other award-winning books
Jacquie Rogers has penned a wonderful historical western romance set in late 1800’s Idaho. Ms. Rogers is a gifted author. Her subplots are superb, and her cast of characters are spot on character studies. In fact, she creates characters so fully formed you believe they are real people. I would never give away the ending, but I will simply say do yourself a favor and read this book! It’s one of the best I’ve read in a while. I could not stop reading--or smiling--once I started this book. She tied up all the threads except one, and I think that might be her next book. It’s easily a 5 Star read. Even better, right now this book is available from Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents. (Read the entire review)

Nancy Drew Meets William Shakespeare — A Comedic Romp Through 1885 Western Idaho Territory
Taylor Lee, author of The Grandmasters Legacy series
Much Ado About Marshals is available at a variety of venues, but is on special for only 99¢ at Amazon.  If you'd prefer to purchase a copy from Smashwords for 99¢, let me know and I'll send you a coupon. jacquierogers @ gmail.com (without the spaces).

Much Ado About Marshals is on Super E-Reads!
amazon logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogersbarnes and noble logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerssmashwords logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerskobo logo1 Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogersibooks logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerssony reader logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogers
Daisy Gardner wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu.  To her delight, her sister shot a bank robber and he got away, so now she even has a crime to solve. But her parents insist she marry a man whose farm is miles from town.  She can't solve crimes stuck out there. What better solution than to marry the new marshal!

Rancher Cole Richards saves his friend from robbing a bank, but is shot for his efforts, and now is a wanted man.  His friend takes him to Oreana to see the doc, where Cole's mistaken for the new marshal.  Now he faces a dilemma few men have to face--tell the truth and hang, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.

Coming soon: Much Ado About Madams
Want a sneak peek?  Just let me know where you reviewed or "liked" Much Ado About Marshals and I'll send you the first chapter of Much Ado About Madams.  Easy peasy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Walk Down Christmas Lane

by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright © 2011 Jacquie Rogers

Sometimes we have to dig through a whole lot of hazy memories to get to the fond ones. One thing is clear, we appreciated our gifts. We lived in the country and seldom ever went to the city, we didn’t get a “treat” every week. We only had a few toys and Dad made most of those. We didn't have DS games or X-Boxes—we had horses and peddlecars. Come along with me down memory lane.

Reality check: Christmas is a lot of work. Farming is hard work but when you add in baking Christmas goodies, shopping, making gifts (sewing and such) on top of that, you have some busy weeks leading up to the Big Day.

A little background: I grew up on a dairy farm. The thing about milk cows is they need milked twice a day every day, twelve hours apart. Cows like a daily routine and they don’t like it broken. Plus, they get downright cantankerous if you don’t feed them when they think they ought to be fed. Translation: cows really don’t much care for Christmas.

But I loved Christmas. For one thing, we kids didn’t have to do chores on Christmas morning, lest we’d see what Santa brought before Dad got in from milking. It’s cold on December 25th in Owyhee County, Idaho, so feeding calves and cleaning milking machines wasn’t all that much fun. What a treat to get to sleep in. Of course, that meant Dad had even more work to do so it took him longer to get to the house.

My brother and I shared a room and we had a direct view of the Christmas tree from our doorway. To prevent us seeing it, Mom sat in the doorway (she was paraplegic so was in a wheelchair) and corralled us in the room. She brought a supply of homemade cocoa with marshmallows melting in it, and sometimes topped with whipped cream. There never has, nor ever will be, hot chocolate as delicious as my mom’s.

Of course, what goes in must come out, so then we’d beg and plead her to let us go to bathroom. My brother was younger so he always got to go first. The rules were that we had to dash in as quickly as possible, only looking at the floor. Well you know we tried everything we could to get just one peek at the tree and all the enticing gifts surrounding it. After my turn, my brother and I would have a little powwow (whispers only) to discuss what wondrous glimpses we’d caught.

Ah, the anticipation! And wasn’t Dad ever going to get finished up??? Sometimes he’d pound on our bedroom window and scare us, or pretend like he couldn’t come in. What torture!

But finally. FINALLY. He would come in the house and our festivities began. First we high-tailed it to the unwrapped gifts that Santa brought. After about fifteen seconds, we were ready to open gifts. One thing we kids had to accept was that Dad was going to play with all the best toys, so if we got something really, really good, there’d be a wait.

But to tell the truth, it was great fun watching Dad play with those toys. One year he and the cat had quite a time with my brother’s racecar set. And then when my aunt and uncle came over, Dad and my uncle were racing, trying to get the cars past the cat, who’d bat them off the track every go-round. LOL. We even have a picture of that. They wore out the brushes on the cars so my brother didn’t get to play with the racecar set for a few days until Dad was able to procure new brushes (he didn't realize they would wear so quickly). This wasn’t out of the ordinary.

No squirt gun was safe from my mom. She also loved cap guns and I always hoped Santa brought extra caps to accommodate her. One year Santa brought a pair of Roy Rogers pistols and the holster. She played with those while I figured out how to use my bow and arrow without shooting the floor-lamp over.

My parents taught me to take pleasure in other people’s joy. This gift will be with me always. Christmas was never a quiet and serene day at our house, and to this day, it’s still not. It’s a day to share and love, with exuberance.

In that same spirit, I'd love to give a few gifts away today. Tell me, what's the one gift you gave that was the most fun—the gift you're so glad you gave? We'll have three winners and three prizes today: a $10 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Much Ado About Marshals, and a free ecopy of Faery Merry Christmas.

Thanks so much to RomFan Reviews for hosting me on this blog hop.  It has been really fun reading everyone recounting their memories!

Good Luck, and a Happy 2012 to you!

Participating RomFan Reviews Blog Hop Authors

Bobbi Brattz December 11th
Franny Armstrong December 12th
Regina Carlysle December 13th
Elizabeth Amber December 14th
Brita Addams December 15th
D.B. Reynolds December 16th
Beth Trissel December 17th
Amy Romine December 19th
Skhye Moncrief December 20th
Carrie Ann Ryan December 21st
J.S. Wayne December 22nd
Shannan Albright December 23rd
Jacquie Rogers December 27th
Keta Diablo December 28th
Anne Holly December 29th

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Romance Novels for Your New Kindle!

Happy Holidays!

Did you get that ereader you wanted?  Have you figured out how to use it yet?  I was surprised how easy it was to get in the swing of things.

Mr R gave me a Kindle last spring.  I thought I wouldn't like it but after about fifteen minutes, I was a dyed-in-the-wool ebook fan.  The convenience, the adjustable font, the space savings, the easy reading--yes, I'm a convert for sure!  And I loved it so much, I gave my daughter one for her birthday, and now my grandson for his birthday--with a gift certificate for Christmas. :)

There are tons of great buys right now, so if you have a new ereader, you're in for a treat.  My books are on special, too!  So of course I'd love for you to try one.  These books are available in print, too.

Much Ado About Marshals

Like romance? Love stories about the old west? Want a dreamy cowboy to cuddle up and read about? Then this is the book for you.  ~~My Eclectic Bookshelf, 5 dragonflies

amazon logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogersbarnes and noble logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerssmashwords logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerskobo logo1 Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogersibooks logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogerssony reader logo Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogers
Daisy Gardner wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu.  To her delight, her sister shot a bank robber and he got away, so now she even has a crime to solve. But her parents insist she marry a man whose farm is miles from town.  She can't solve crimes stuck out there. What better solution than to marry the new marshal!

Rancher Cole Richards saves his friend from robbing a bank, but is shot for his efforts, and now is a wanted man.  His friend takes him to Oreana to see the doc, where Cole's mistaken for the new marshal.  Now he faces a dilemma few men have to face--tell the truth and hang, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.

Faery Merry Christmas


Romance has gone awry in Faeryshire.Who would've thought Mr. and Mrs. Claus's daughter would be "on the shelf"? Yep, Cheshya's all a'flutter because her 2,000th birthday, the last day she's eligible to take a mate, is on Christmas, only four days away, but Liam of the Red Clan, the only man she has ever wanted is otherwise occupied . . .

Terra Humanus in 1956: carhops on roller skates, the submarine races, a pink Nash Metropolitan, Lucky Strikes, Little Richard, and the Shoreline Sharks Baseball Club starring ace pitcher Liam Stone.

For the past five years, Liam of the Red Clan has lived in Terra Humanus, pitching for the Shoreline Sharks and obsessed with signing as a major league pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds. The faery queen sends Cheshya to help him achieve his goal, but in signing with the Reds, will he lose out on his true heart's desire?

What will it take to make a Faery Merry Christmas?

"What faery fun! A winsome sprite's barely still-ticking time clock. Mayhem in the land of Claus. And the man who could wave just the right magic wand obsessed with baseball. A Christmas story to cuddle up with--and keep you really warm." Stella Cameron, NYT Best-selling Author

You can find my other award-winning books at my website:

Happy Reading in 2012!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicken Dinner: Christmas in the Old West

by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright © 2011 Jacquie Rogers

The holiday season is here in its glory! Do you have your shopping done? I haven't started yet--two-day shipping is my friend.

Life was a little different a hundred years ago. Here's an article called Winter Festivities in the Old West. No matter how Hollywood draws the picture, the Old West was a melting pot of race and religion, upright citizens and the tawdry--but all enjoyed a day off now and again, especially Christmas.

Legends of America always has something interesting. Take a look at the Old West Legends: A Pioneer Christmas page. Life in the Old West has a good article, too: Celebrating Christmas in the Old West.

In the spirit of Christmas (and all those new Kindles we'll be getting!) the Indie Book Collective is sponsoring the 12 days of Christmas
Indie Book Blowout Extravaganza!
Over 200 books for sale at only 99¢ each (including Much Ado About Marshals).

Special thanks to this week's guest, Karen Witemeyer. Didn't you just love her posts? If you missed them, take a look at her interview and excerpt, then at her article, When History Inspires... And guess what? We have a winner! Tracey D won a copy of To Win Her Heart. Congratulations, Tracey!

Romancing The West is going dark during the holidays. Okay, sorta gray, actually. I'll be posting occasionally, and we might even have a post-Christmas sale, so don't stray too far. :)

Our next featured guest will be Stacy Coverstone on January 9th.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Night Owl Romance Top Pick! Much Ado About Marshals

What a nice surprise to open my email and see:


Actually, my heart did a little palpatation because I while I think it's a great book (don't authors always think that?), I'm never sure if others will think so.  I'm always hoping they'll See The Light.

So you can understand why Diana Coyle's review of Much Ado About Marshals on the Night Owl Romance review site totally made my day!  And hey, she gave it a NOR TOP PICK!

But that's not all--Much Ado About Marshals is a featured book on Day 6 of the Indie Book BlowoutFrom December 12 to 24, hundreds of great books are on sale for only 99¢ each!

Want a Kindle? Enter to win!  Browse through the 12 days of fabulous books, buy to your heart's content--and be sure to check the Indie Book Blowout's site where you can enter to win a Kindle or $100 of gift cards.

Here are some other books you just can't go wrong by buying!

Border Lord's Bride (The Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars)
by Gerri Russell
only 99¢!

"Set around both a holiday and engagement theme, [this] novella is the perfect way to escape a hectic schedule. Even in a short format [Russell's] style shines through and charms readers." --RT Book Reviews Magazine

A man on a mission...To protect his sisters from disaster, Lucius Carr leaves the Templar Knights and returns home to his Scottish estate to assume the family’s earldom little expecting to inherit a bride in the bargain.

A woman from his past...Elizabeth Huntingdon had spurned him once before in favor of his brother. Lucius bears the physical scars of battle as well as the emotional scars of betrayal. He vows to guard himself against the one woman who enchanted him heart and soul.

A desire neither can resist...Neither Lucius nor Elizabeth expects to join forces for the sake of his sisters. Or have their loyalties tested as they struggle against the potent desire that threatens to consume them both. She is the last woman on earth he wants to marry, yet the only woman he could ever imagine as the…Border Lord’s Bride.

by Jackie Chanel
only 99¢!

Fame, fortune and love; that's what most women want.  Two out of three isn't bad but it's not enough for Asia Pierce.  With three men vying for her heart, will she ever find her one true love?

Millions of adoring fans...loving and devoted parents...fantastic friends...the world belongs to Asia Pierce, at least she thinks so.  There is only one thing that eludes the girl who has it all...unconditional and everlasting love.  Asia wants what every woman wants, the fairytale. And Asia always gets what she wants.

With three men vying for her heart, Asia has a decision to make.  Who can she trust?  Which one will love her the most?  The answer is right in front of her.  But will years of bad judgement and one bad romance cloud her judgement?  Will one more bad decision make her miss out on the best thing that has ever happened to her?

by D.L. Carter
only 99¢!

The Throne of the High King stands empty… and so are the nurseries of the High Court Elves. A solution to both must be found before the magic of the Empire fails.  Eioth, Lord of the North West, has found a very odd book sitting openly in a library. The Use and Complexity of Sex Magic is a scholarly study of that most obscure, frequently derided and almost unknown branch of magic.  For an Elemental Scholar of Eioth’s rank and ability the exploration of Sex Magic begins as a simple exercise in curiosity … soon it may become the solution to all the problems of the Empire.  But first he needs to find one special woman.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When History Inspires…

Karen Witemeyer, author
by Karen Witemeyer
Copyright © 2011 Karen Witemeyer

As a writer, nothing excites me more during the research phase of plotting a book than discovering actual history that allows my entire plot to fit together in a way more perfect than anything my imagination could have conjured. This is exactly what happened during the writing of my latest novel, To Win Her Heart.

My hero, Levi Grant, enters the story after spending two years in Huntsville State Prison for an unintentional crime. Being a large, muscled man, he was put to work in the labor camps during his incarceration, breaking rock at a granite quarry. The abusive camp sergeants he faced there left him with scars inside and out, but the compassion of a prison chaplain helped him rebuild his faith and rededicate his life to serving the Lord. Upon his release, he takes up his father's blacksmithing trade and tries to create a fresh start by keeping his past a secret. Now, as the author, I couldn't allow this secret to stay hidden forever. So I began looking for ways to expose my hero's past. And I stumbled upon the perfect solution in my time period research.


Convict labor at Granite Mountain

In 1881, the Texas Capitol building was destroyed by fire. The Texas Legislature decided that when they rebuilt, they would use only materials native to the state. They initially chose limestone, as there was a quarry near Austin, but when iron particles in the rock led to discoloration, they elected red granite instead. This granite was obtained from Granite Mountain near Marble Falls, Texas in 1885. To cut costs, the state contracted convict labor for breaking the stone. The use of free—or almost free—convict labor in the quarries, however, was seen as an attempt by the state to undermine unionized labor and was opposed by virtually every organized labor group in Austin. Hence, word spread throughout the region about the controversial labor force.

This historical event allowed me to supply Levi with quarry experience during his incarceration (breaking rock at Granite Mountain), but with a project that was so well known for using convict labor, it could easily expose his past should anyone learn of his involvement. And, of course, someone does. History provided the perfect scenario.

Not only did this fabulous research gem supply the plot point I needed, but it also helped determine my setting. The story opens in 1887, in keeping with the time frame of Levi working at the labor camp in 1885 at the beginning of his incarceration, leaving time on the back end of his two-year sentence for his spiritual rehabilitation with the prison chaplain. It also played a role in the location of Spencer, Texas. Knowing how pivotal a role having a quarry nearby would be to my story, I chose to set my fictional town near Limestone County where the natural resource from which the county derived its name was abundant enough to allow me to install a quarry a few miles from town.

Fun how things work out, isn't it?

To Win Her Heart
A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

Amazon buy links: Kindle, Paperback, Large-Print, Audio

What is it about Western romances that keeps you coming back for more?
The rugged cowboy heroes? The feisty heroines? The frontier setting?

Share your thoughts with me, and remember that everyone who leaves a comment here or on my Monday interview/excerpt will be entered in the drawing for a free copy of To Win Her Heart. (US residents only, please.)

I can't wait to hear your responses!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Indie Book Blowout: FAERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

What will it take to make a
Faery Merry Christmas? 

Shopping! 
For books!!!

'Tis the season of fabulous shopping--Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and hey, don't forget the best place EVER to buy books: Indie Book Blowout, Day THREE!

All books only 99¢ each!
Including
Faery Merry Christmas
and you can win a Kindle
or gift cards worth up to $100!

 
Romance has gone awry in Faeryshire.
Who would've thought Mr. and Mrs. Claus's daughter would be "on the shelf"? Yep, Cheshya's all a'flutter because her 2,000th birthday, the last day she's eligible to take a mate, is on Christmas, only four days away, but Liam of the Red Clan, the only man she has ever wanted is otherwise occupied . . .

Terra Humanus in 1956: carhops on roller skates, the submarine races, a pink Nash Metropolitan, Lucky Strikes, Little Richard, and the Shoreline Sharks Baseball Club starring ace pitcher Liam Stone.

For the past five years, Liam of the Red Clan has lived in Terra Humanus, pitching for the Shoreline Sharks and obsessed with signing as a major league pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds. The faery queen sends Cheshya to help him achieve his goal, but in signing with the Reds, will he lose out on his true heart's desire?
"What faery fun! A winsome sprite's barely still-ticking time clock. Mayhem in the land of Claus. And the man who could wave just the right magic wand obsessed with baseball. A Christmas story to cuddle up with--and keep you really warm."
Stella Cameron, NYT Best-selling Author

Other great books...

by C.K. Bryant
YA Paranormal
Only 99¢

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

by Amber Scott
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Only 99¢

"Intensely satisfying!" Carolyn McCray, Kindle Bestselling author, Heartsblood
Snarling teeth, glowing eyes. Someone--something--is after her.  The man who haunts her dreams enters her reality, claiming she's transforming into a changeling--not quite immortal but no longer human. Except nobody wants this change. Not humans, not immortals and least of all her.  Battle lines are drawn and blood spills as the two fight not only for her life, but for mankind's as well.

by Kristen James
Holiday Western Romance
Only 99¢

When her estranged brother passes, Missy is suddenly an unwanted co-owner to Ocean View Stables by Florence, Oregon. Missy wants to start over somewhere new after her old boss burned her. She's jobless and has a wrongly ruined reputation, so this works out perfectly . . . until she meets the cowboy running the place. Brent built his dream with determination and his two hands; he's responsible for everything that happens there. Secretly, he feels responsible that his former partner died. He also doesn't hide his belief that Missy won't stick around. Women tend to take off on him so why would she be any different? They both have a past that can ruin their future. Can he trust her to stay? Can she trust him with her heart? 

Check out ALL the GREAT BOOKS on the INDIE BOOK BLOWOUT EXTRAVAGANZA!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Karen Witemeyer: CBA Bestselling Author

To Win Her Heart
by Karen Witemeyer

Romancing The West welcomes CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer! She writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. In 2011, her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, was a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers' guild. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

RTW: Karen, tell us about your book, please.

KW: Levi Grant is looking for a clean start in Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing to devote her time to the lending library. When the new blacksmith asks to borrow a book, his halting speech leaves her doubting his intelligence. Yet as his true nature is revealed, Eden discovers hidden depths that tempt her heart.

Contest
Karen is giving away a copy of
To Win Her Heart (US residents only)
so be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post.

RTW: What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into To Win Her Heart?

KW: I love the pioneering spirit that was so prevalent in the Old West. People were willing to work hard to achieve their goals, yet at the same time, they would go out of their way to offer hospitality to a stranger or lend assistance to a neighbor.

I did work some of this into my story. Levi has much at stake as he tries to get a new business off the ground, yet he risks it all to help a friend. And Eden opens her home to a stranger and in the process opens up herself to a slew of criticism

RTW: If you lived in 1887 what modern convenience would you miss the most?


Karen Witemeyer, author

KW: Definitely the washing machine. Can you imagine bending over a boiling cauldron all day, washing and rinsing clothes only to put them through a wringer that puts as many wrinkles in as it takes water out? I think that's where the term "backbreaking work" originated. I already complain about laundry and all I do is toss some clothes around and hit a few buttons. I think I might have to go home tonight and kiss my lovely GE washer and dryer just to let them know how much I truly appreciate them.

RTW: Are there any common errors in western historical romances that bug you?

KW: I believe most historical writers do their best to research their story elements. I am by no means a historian, and I tend to get caught up in the plots of the books I read, so it's very probable that any mistakes would pass me by without my even knowing they existed. However, if I ran across an error that pertained to something I'd personally researched, that would catch my notice.

RTW: Why is Levi perfect for Eden?

KW: I believe that in the ideal relationship, not only will there be physical attraction, but there will also be compatibility in spiritual, emotional, and intellectual matters. Levi and Eden share this special bond, although it takes a while for them to uncover and develop each layer. They share a passion for literature; their struggles form an emotional bond between them; and they both strive to be people of God. Best of all, Levi challenges Eden to become a bigger person. He forces her to look outside her safe, restrictive world to a place where she can truly make a difference and finally find the love she's always craved.

RTW: Great characters!  And now it's time for your excerpt.  Would you set it up for us, please?

KW: In this scene, Eden has met Levi for the first time and is mentally summing him up.

Eden fiddled with the bonnet strings that draped over the arm of her chair and into her lap. Even though she and Mr. Grant were not alone in the room, it suddenly felt as though they were. She glanced in his direction, and her gaze collided with his. They both smiled then quickly looked elsewhere. Well, Mr. Grant looked elsewhere. Eden couldn't seem to find another object in the room on which to rest her gaze. But it wasn't as if she wanted to look at him. The man was as big as a mountain. Where else was she supposed to look?

He certainly possessed an abundance of brawn. Eden's attention flittered over his arms as he leaned forward and balanced his forearms on his knees. The fabric of his sleeves seemed too meager to contain the muscles within as it stretched thin over his biceps. The heavy aspects of ironwork would be no hardship for this man. It was unfortunate that his intellect hadn't developed to the same extent as his physique. Then again, he wasn't interviewing for a position as schoolmaster, so what did it matter? Except that it did matter—to her—a bit more than it should.

A vague feeling of disappointment had circulated through her when she first heard him speak. Why his halting verbiage should bother her, she had no idea. It wasn't as if she had any personal attachment to the man.

Eden sat up straighter in her chair, uncrossing her ankles then crossing them again in the opposite direction. She forced her eyes away from the blacksmith, glancing behind him to where Mr. Draper stood hunched over the desk, penning an addendum into the lease contract. Unfortunately, Mr. Grant chose that moment to straighten his own posture, the top of his head moving to block a good portion of the banker's back and half of the preacher's arm from her view. Eden bit the inside of her lip.

For heaven's sake. She was tempted to think he had somehow discerned her intention to ignore him and taken action to prevent it. But, no. The man was just restless. He lifted a hand and scratched a spot behind his ear as he turned his face toward the window. When he finished, a small tuft of hair stuck out, somehow making the gargantuan man seem almost boyish. Eden's lips curved slightly before she pressed them back down into an indifferent line. His thick, dark brown hair was cropped into short waves. She wouldn't call them curls; that descriptor sounded much too feminine for a man as rugged as Mr. Grant. However, the strands looked as though they would easily wind around a person's finger … should a … uh … person's finger have cause to be in his hair.

The smith glanced back at that moment, and Eden dropped her gaze to her lap. Where her right index finger had apparently wound itself up in her bonnet ribbon while she'd been contemplating the man's hair. She immediately extricated the iniquitous digit and gave it a firm glare.

Amazon buy links: Kindle, Paperback, Large-Print, Audio

RTW: Ha!  I love the "iniquitous digit"!  What are you cooking up for us next?

KW: My next release, Short-Straw Bride, is coming in June 2012, and I can't wait to introduce everyone to the Archer brothers.

All Travis Archer cares about is his brothers and his land, but when a good deed goes awry, he's stuck with a bride who endangers both.

One fun tidbit about the brothers in this story – they are all named for heroes from the Alamo. Travis is the main character, the next oldest is Crockett, the kid brother is Neill (for the Alamo's commander who missed being at the fight because of a family illness that called him away), and the third brother's given name is Bowie, but he refuses to answer to anything except Jim. I don't blame him. Poor guy. What we authors do to torture our characters.

RTW: Your new series sounds like a must-read! Anything else you’d like to add?

KW: Thanks so much for having me here today. It's been such a pleasure.

So a question for you: What is it about Western romances that keeps you coming back for more? The rugged cowboy heroes? The feisty heroines? The frontier setting?

Share your thoughts with me, and remember that everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in the drawing for a free copy of To Win Her Heart. (US residents only, please.) Be sure to leave your email address with your comment or another name will be drawn!

I can't wait to hear your responses!

Karen will be back this week, talking about how real history inspired her story.  
You won't wanna miss it! :) 
Comments on either of her articles will enter you in her contest, so don't be shy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chicken Dinner: Santa, Scoundrels, and Stockdogs

Coffee Time Romance Reviewers
Award for Much Ado About Marshals
Whether I made the naught or nice list, I don't know, but Santa did bring a rather nice gift this week. What's that? Much Ado About Marshals won the Coffee Time Romance Reviewers Award thanks to Cherokee for her marvelous 5-cup review! (I ♥ you, Cherokee!) Here's part of what she said:
Much Ado About Marshals is a hoot. I loved the endearing characters and the way they connect well in the story. Everything fits together wonderfully allowing the audience to bond with the characters. I could really sense the sensations, as well as visualize all the events surrounding them. There were times I could almost taste the food that was being prepared. Jacquie Rogers creates a witty, delightful, and downright amusing book with impressive charming players. I love the chemistry of Daisy and Cole. With the collection of lively secondary players, this exquisite storyline is a remarkable read.
You can read the entire review on the Coffee Time Romance and More website. I would carry on more but can't think of anything else to say, so now we return to our regular Chicken Dinner scheduling...

Goodreads Giveaway!
Speaking of which, if you'd like a free autographed copy, head on over to Goodreads where we're giving away three print copies of Much Ado About Marshals. Hurry, because today is the last day!

Here's a book you'll want to put on your Christmas list: ALIAS SOAPY SMITH: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel: The Biography of Jefferson Randolph Smith II, written by Soapy's great-grandson, Jeff Smith. This book is chock full of everything you didn't know about the Old West. I'm hoping Santa brings one to me, but Jeff tells me it won't fit in my sock--the book is over 600 pages long and filled with authentic pictures.

What do you know about cow dogs? If your story involves cattle, then you'll need a couple good herding dogs. Don't know anything about dogs and cattle? Not a problem--go to StockdogSavvy.com, and if that isn't enough information for you, Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ty Taylor wrote a book titled Stockdog Savvy. Learn all about cattle, their habits, their social pecking order, and how dogs work with them so effectively.

Indie Book Blowout Extravaganza

Want a bunch of great books in practically every genre for only 99¢ each?  Of course you do!  Join us for the Indie Book Blowout Extravaganza December 12 to 24!!!  Want to win a Kindle and/or over $100 in gift certificates?  Head on over to http://bit.ly/ogtk1x  and see how you can enter!  Load up your Kindle before the holidays!  Great books and awesome prizes. :)

REMINDER: Romancing The West will go dark over the Christmas break, returning the first week of January. I might post a little special here and there, but we won't have any featured authors during that time.  Stay tune for a few freebies, though. :)

This week's guest author: Karen Witemeyer!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

California's Rich Agricultural History

by Jannine Corti Petska
Copyright © 2011 Jannine Corti Petska

The business of agriculture in California began in the 18th century and was well documented in the diaries written by the Spanish missionaries. They worked the land, growing wheat, fruit and nuts. By 1797, aqueducts and other irrigation systems were in place.

Almonds were second only to grapes as the most important aspects of California agriculture. In 1873, two navel trees were brought over from Brazil. As a result, the pacific state became world-renowned for its flourishing citrus crops. The climate played a big part in developing the agricultural industry. California’s two seasons—winter (rain) and summer (drought)—lured farmers away from their homes in the Midwest and east to begin anew.

With progress came conflict. Political, social, economic and even labor were valid points of argument among the people. Water laws came into effect, giving rights to “owners whose land borders on water courses.” But it wasn’t until the Wright Act in 1887 that public utility came to the fore, establishing irrigation districts.

The Gold Rush and the completion of the transcontinental railroad aided the industry, creating more jobs. However, farming wasn’t an easy life. Among the many ethnic groups working hard labor were the Chinese. They suffered through sixteen hour days, heat, low wages, and lived in unsanitary conditions in camps. They were subjected to frightful discrimination, as were other ethnicities.

The U.S. was relatively late in developing a working agricultural industry, far behind the rest of the world. But it caught up quickly. In Claude Hutchison’s History of the University of California and the Land Grant Colleges (1946) he wrote: “crowded into a short spam of less than a hundred years, the commercial agriculture of California has passed through all of the stages exemplified by several centuries of the world’s agricultural history.”

This subject is barely touched on here. So much more has been written about the beginning and growth of California’s rich agricultural history. Thankfully, our ancestors recorded their experiences in diaries and journals. I originally thought agriculture would be a boring theme for an article. Instead, I found it fascinating, and it has opened new avenues for this writer’s future stories.


Love's Sweet Wager
by Jannine Corti Petska
Buy links: Amazon, The Wild Rose Press, B&N

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jannine Corti Petska: Love's Sweet Wager

Love's Sweet Wager
by Jannine Corti Petska

RTW: Welcome to Romancing The West, Jannine. Start out by telling us a little about Love's Sweet Wager, please.

JCP: Her gambler father murdered, Rachel Garrett joins a wagon train west to be with her aunt and the fiancé she's never met. Her dream is to forget the life she led performing on stage to earn the money her father gambled away and settle down in one place. But along the trail, she is helplessly drawn to a priest--forbidden fruit--and her hopes are shattered.

Professional gambler Reno Hunter is wanted for the murder of James Garrett. His disguise as a priest on a wagon train is foolproof, until he discovers the woman the old gambler wagered in that fatal card game and Rachel Garrett are one and the same. Can he protect his identity and his heart, or will he surrender to his desire for Rachel and risk being apprehended by the law?

RTW: What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Love's Sweet Wager?

JCP: I've always loved cowboys and horses. The combination, to me, exudes strength and committment during a harsh time in history. The men in the Old West were real, uncomplicated. It was the start of "modern" conveniences, yet there was a raw, open slate for improvement and new-found technology. While the hero in Love's Sweet Wager is a gambler and not a cowboy, his travel by wagon train along the California Trail accentuated the diffiulty of an era where people had to be resourceful.

RTW: If you lived in 1852, what modern convenience would you miss the most?

JCP: Indoor plumbing. :-) I'm not a "roughing it" type of person. My idea of camping is staying in a hotel near a campsite.

RTW: Same here. Are there any common errors in western historical romances that bug you?

JCP: When I read a novel, I suspend belief for the sake of the story. However, the storyline must be believable. I can't point out any one error that bothered me in any of the western books I've read, but what I dislike in any book is poor reference of time. If the heroine conceives in July, two months later she has the baby. I've seen this type of error many times. I'm a stickler for keeping track of days, weeks and months that pass.

RTW: Why is Reno Hunter perfect for Rachel Garrett?

JCP: They are at odds throughout the entire book, and neither is willing to bend. They are two people who shouldn't be together just because their physical attraction is hot. But they motivate each other to move beyond their difficult circumstance. While their relationship may never be smooth sailing (each is stubborn in their own beliefs), their relationship will always be interesting and loving.

RTW: You have an excerpt for us to day, so please set the scene.

JDP: In this scene, Reno is jealous that his brother Alex accompanied Rachel into the fort to shop. Because of his disguise as a priest, Reno couldn't do anything about it. Neither could he suppress his strong attraction to her.

Reno shrewdly watched Rachel ride into camp alongside his brother. His gut twisted every time he saw the two together.

He was still irked at Alex for accompanying Rachel into the fort on the premise that Mrs. Larson called for the priest. The lie battered his mind, and he’d conjured up many reasons for Alex’s duplicity. The moment his brother left Rachel alone, Reno walked up to her before she had the chance to dismount.

“A new hat?”

She touched the hat, seemingly guilty for wearing it. “Yes, it is. Alex bought it for me—I mean…he—” She
pressed her lips together in displeasure then stated bluntly, “I didn’t ask him to buy it.”

Her familiarity with Alex’s name raised Reno’s suspicions. It slipped off her tongue as if she’d spoken it a hundred times before. He doubted the gift didn’t mean anything. Knowing his brother lavished gifts on the women who had succumbed to his charms turned Reno’s gut inside out. He scowled while thinking up ways to make Alex suffer for his indiscretions. Reno inhaled deeply to collect his unhealthy thoughts and control his precarious temper.

“I see you have your own gloves.”

She bunched her hands into her skirt and indignant fire flared in her eyes. When she sat up taller with a look of challenge, his gut twisted tighter.

“I cannot lie to you, Father. Alex bought the gloves, too.” She pulled blue material out of her saddlebag. “And the reticule.”

Apparently, guilt rode her to tell the truth.

She swung her leg over the horse’s neck to dismount. Reno curved his fingers around her small waist, forcing her hands to his shoulders as he set her to the ground. Remembering his place, he dropped his arms like felled trees.

“Apparently you and Alex are on friendly terms now.”

Her sunny smile stole his breath. “Yes, he and I are on friendly terms now.”

A tick worked along Reno’s jaw, and he couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it. He felt a burning need to ask how friendly.

Instead, he chomped his teeth together and pried his lips apart with a reserved smile.

“May I help you unsaddle your horse?”

“Don’t trouble yourself, Father.”

“Believe me, it’s no trouble at all.” He clenched his jaw.

Better me than Alex.

Watch the book video!


RTW: What are you writing now?

JCP: I am currently working on book four of my Italian medieval series. Then I'll write book three of my medieval psychic sisters trilogy. After that, I plan to pull out several westerns I wrote years ago and re-write/edit them. I'm itchin' to get my hands on a cowboy again, lol.

RTW: Anything else you’d like to add?

JCP: I have one other historical western romance available. Rebel Heart is set in 1872, Santa Fe, at the beginning of the range wars. My hero, Beau Hamilton, is the most frustrating and fractured hero I've ever written. But I am absolutely in love with him. This book can be bought in print or ebook.

Buy links for Love's Sweet Wager: Amazon, The Wild Rose Press, B&N

To learn more about Jannine, check out her bio on her website.

Thanks for visiting Romancing The West, Jannine!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicken Dinner: Holiday Reading and Sinful Recipes

by Jacquie Rogers

Not to shake up your world or anything, but I ran across this article by Paisley Kirkpatrick called Who Really Wrote "The Night Before Christmas?" You think Clement Moore? Um, maybe you should read this. There's always something good at Sweethearts of the West.

We're in the midst of the holiday season and what's more important than food? Okay, lots of things are but the holidays wouldn't be the same without the family gathered around a feast. So Michelle McCleod came up with the idea of a recipe blog hop. Just follow the links at the bottom of the page and get recipe after recipe! I posted Grandma's Guaranteed-to-put-you-in-a-sugar-coma Pumpkin Bread. It's so delicious! Should be illegal.

Caroline Clemmon's Fudge
Oh, Fudge! And Divinity, too! Yep, you know that's what Caroline Clemmons blogged about. I'm gonna give her recipes a try, then diet for six years. Twelve years if I have the aforementioned pumpkin bread. The pictures on Pass the Fudge, Please, will make your mouth water. Get out your saucepan and for it.

Romancing The West has a newsletter. I have no idea why, but it was there so I signed up. Romancing The West News comes out ever Sunday until I change it. It's a collection of news items from my friends on Twitter. Pretty cool. The Western Online has one, too, so you should hunt for that one.  If I knew how to find it, I'd tell you, but I don't so that will have to wait for another Chicken Dinner.

Contest Winners!

We had three winners this week thanks to the generosity of this weeks Romancing The West featured author, Celia Yeary. In case you missed her visit, check out her article on Judge Roy Bean and the interview with Celia about her western romance, Texas True.

The winners get to pick out one of three books (pdf) they want: Texas True, Texans Promise, or Angel and the Cowboy. So who are the lucky commenters?

Patricia
Tracey D
Sandra

Congratulations to the winners!

Next week: Please welcome Jannine Corti Petska!