Sunday, February 10, 2013


Today launches Marketing For Romance Author's first Blog Hop. First in more way than one: The theme is "Firsts" -- the first kiss, the first love, the first loss, whatever is first in the story. Join us for three days of fun excerpts, contests, and giveaways. Details about giveaways are on each author's site.

I'm giving away a copy of BRAZOS BRIDE, Men of Stone Mountain Book One. This book celebrates several firsts. BRAZOS BRIDE is the first romance in which I've used poison. Hope Montoya is the first woman Micah Stone has ever loved. Micah is the first man Hope has ever trusted. Their kiss is her first. (He's too gallant to say whether or not it's his first kiss.)

One disaster after another plagues the couple.

Here's the BRAZOS BRIDE blurb

Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning her, but who? She suspects her mother was also poisoned and knows her father was murdered. Who wants her family eliminated? She vows to fight! She realizes she won’t last the eight months until she turns twenty-five and her uncle no longer controls her or her estate. Never will she be dominated by a man as she was by her father, as she has seen her mother and grandmothers dominated. If she marries, she gains control now, but only if she weds a man she can trust. Only one man meets her requirements. Can she trust him to protect her and capture the killer...but then to leave?

Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. But he was accused of her father’s murder and surely would have hung if not for his two brothers’ aid. Most in the community still believe him guilty. But the drought has him too worried about water for his dying cattle to care about his neighbors’ opinions. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw. His name may be Stone, but he’s not made of it. He can’t refuse her for long, and so their adventure begins. He and Hope have to stay alive and discover the killer before they become victims in the deadly assaults.


She savored a bit of the stew, then bit into a fresh biscuit covered with syrup. Closing her eyes in bliss, she chewed slowly. “Oh my, this is wonderful. Never have I tasted better stew. And these biscuits are light enough to float away.”
Bert blushed and lowered his head. “Thank you, Miz Stone.”
Micah’s dimpled smile demonstrated his appreciation for her comment. Why should that please her so?
Hope learned more about their struggle for water, how they'd hauled barrels of it from some spring a good ways off on Zach's land, apparently their only remaining dependable source of water.
She remembered her father’s angry reprimand and the blow he’d delivered when she’d suggested he install windmills on their land. Her eye was swollen and purple for days, but he told the servants she’d fallen against the door. They knew, of course, and wouldn’t look at her until the bruises faded. She pushed the sad memory aside and returned to the present. Did she dare make a suggestion to Micah?
She gathered her courage. “Have you thought about a couple of the Mitchell Self-Governing Patent Windmills? I saw an ad for them and plan to install them in several spots on my land.”
Excitement gleamed in Micah’s eyes. “Hey, I saw an ad also, and I’d love to have them. Until now, I haven’t had the cash.”
He’d planned the same thing. And he didn’t appear to resent her suggestion. She wanted to shout with glee. He actually respected her opinion, and didn’t say a woman had no business thinking such thoughts. “Oh, well, maybe we can get a discount on the freight and cost if we order together.”
Zach nodded. “Good idea, Hope. I wouldn’t mind a couple of them myself, soon as we get your and Micah’s problems settled.”
They talked about where the windmills would be placed and guessed how long it would take them to arrive. All through their discussion, Hope was treated as if her ideas were equal to those of the men. Their response surprised and soothed her. Maybe this arrangement would work for everyone.
Micah laid his spoon aside while Bert served up the pie. "I need to talk about something less pleasant. Someone tried to kill us last night." For a minute everyone stopped talking and stared at Micah. The only sound was a horse’s nervous whinny.
Bert cocked his head toward the window and paused as if listening to the horse, but it quieted so he resumed serving. Everyone forked up the pie while Micah explained about the ordeal.
"Sheriff know?" Joel asked between bites.
Micah nodded. "Surprised me. Acted halfway decent about it. Said he'd keep investigating, but don't suppose anything will come of it. Without a witness, it could be anyone."
"So what's your plan, Cap’n?" Slim asked.
Micah swallowed and said, "I'm leaving you and Bert in charge here. For months now someone’s been poisoning my wife. You know her father was murdered, and now someone's tried to kill us. We have to be on guard all the time. You two are charged with taking care of this place while the rest of us take care of my wife." He dug into the last of his pie.
Slim looked indignant. "Poisoning a purty lady like Miz Stone? Low down sidewinders!"
"You’re right about that.” Micah pushed his plate aside. “Tomorrow you can start the cattle toward the river. One of us will stay at the Montoya ranch with Hope so she's always protected, but the other two will be over to help."
Always protected. She repeated the words in her head while she nibbled at her pie. The words reassured her and she looked at each of the men at the table. She might not have her home to herself, but safety in numbers popped into her mind. She no longer faced danger alone. Things would be all right now.
Bert asked, "Reckon I ought to go cook for you? I could make sure no one messed with Miz Stone's vittles."
Zach smiled apologetically at Hope as if he'd known she should have been included in the decision. "Our two aunts will arrive soon to help our new sister, maybe today if they caught the stage."
Micah said, "You're badly needed here, Bert, to look after this place."
Bert actually smiled. "Me and Slim can do it, cain't we?"
Slim nodded and started to say something, but another horse whinnied and this one sounded alarmed. Slim frowned and sniffed the air. "You smell smoke?"
Micah sniffed at the same time. "Something burning, Bert?"
"Nope, I done put the fire out on account of how dry it is. Covered it good with dirt." He rose and ambled to the window.
"Lord A’mighty, the barn's afire!"




"This was one of the best books I have read for a while."

"I really liked this mystery/romance."

"Well written, flows nicely, and has an interesting plot."

"A wonderful story, memorable characters, and a great read."

"I could almost taste the dust and heat."


"Firsts" blog hop starting at midnight FEBRUARY 10TH through midnight FEBRUARY 13TH! 
40 authors from  

Click here and ride our ribbon!

Here's what you're supposed to do, as I understand the blog hop. Go to the above link, and leave your comment to enter my drawing for a copy of BRAZOS BRIDE. I don't understand how it works either, but I've been assured it's magic. Or technology. Or something. Feel free to leave a comment here, too. That will guarantee you're entered in the drawing just in case magic goes awry.

Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

Nice post and excerpt.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and excerpt.

Margery Scott said...

Great excerpt, Caroline. Beautiful cover. I do love my western romances.

Tina Gayle said...

Enjoying the blog hop so much fun to see different author sites.

M. S. Spencer said...

Ooh I love murder mystery romances (in fact, I've written a couple!) Brazo's Bride sounds great. Thanks for hopping. M. S.

Martha Lawson said...

This one sounds really good! Westerns are my first love. Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Mary Jo said...

Added to TBR list. Love the description.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Excellent book! The winner of The Brazos Bride is in for a real treat. :)

veRONIca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.