Wednesday, April 29, 2015


My new release is the hardest I’ve written. Not because of the romance, which I love, but because the hero has a difficult job. So have I!

Here’s the cover of the book scheduled to be released on May 16th.

If you read THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE you might remember the heroine’s older brother, Finn O’Neill. He works for his sister’s husband, Dallas McClintock. Both men work together raising fine horses. Finn wants to get his own ranch adjoining that of Dallas so they can be equal partners. When the ranch he needs comes up for sale, he has to act quickly or lose this golden opportunity. Problem is, Finn has no money other than his salary from Dallas. Dallas has helped the O'Neill family and has no extra funds.

In O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, Finn is desperate to strike before someone else buys the perfect place. He and Dallas discuss the problem and Dallas encourages Finn to ask Grandpa McClintock to loan him the money needed.  This might sound bold, but not when you consider that Finn is a hardworking member of the family who saved the lives of Dallas and his uncle, Austin McClintock. Dallas is certain Grandpa will help Finn with the loan.

When Finn arrives at Grandpa McClintock's home, he finds the nephew of Gran McClintock there asking for help. Gran is as self-centered as Grandpa is generous and Finn is wary of her nephew. The man owns a coal mine and needs someone to go undercover and discover who is causing the so-called accidents at his mine southwest of San Antonio. To strike a deal with Grandpa for the ranch, our cowboy and would-be rancher Finn agrees to go undercover as a coal miner.

Here is where my research went crazy. There are numerous articles on coal mining online and in books. Unfortunately, the material documents very early coal mining or modern coal mining. Learning what coal mining was like in 1885 Texas has not been easy. In all my books, I strive to have the historic background credible for that time period. I don’t want any reader to be taken out of the story by seeing something he or she believes to be an error.

I have to admit that part of what I include is general for a coal mine. Fortunately, I’ve had specific details from my critique partner, Geri Foster, whose father worked in an Oklahoma lead mine in the 1950s. Also fortunately, because Lignite is fictional, I can include those things I need for the town and working conditions as long as they are accurate for the time and locale.

The heroine of this story, Stella Grace Clayton, teaches school in the mining town of Lignite. Although I made up the town of Lignite, I based the community on actual towns of that time period. Lignite is in the Texas Hill Country I love. Let’s face it, I love Texas. ☺All my books except one novella, LONG WAY HOME, are set in Texas.

Here’s the first in the series, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE.

Because my husband created the cover for the first in the series, he has created the covers for O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE and the third in the series, McCLINTOCK’S RELUCTANT BRIDE. The third book is scheduled to be released July 3rd  and involves an error of the hero, Josh McClintock, which lands him married to a reluctant bride, Nettie Sue Clayton.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading this series. I love the main characters and want you to also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 27, 2015

INHUMAN INTEREST @Eric_Turowski #mystery #paranormal

by Eric Turowski




Story By Tess Cooper

Thirteen words in a want-ad turn Tess Cooper’s world upside down after she signs on as a paranormal research assistant to the mysterious Davin Egypt. He reveals a world of grave robbing, clockworks artifacts in blue amber, antique revolvers that fire strange ammo, and powerful forces beyond human comprehension.

As ancient occult energies threaten to destroy her city, Tess must use her journalistic instincts to stay one step ahead of the public works director, Drew Dawson, whose agenda seems bent on destruction rather than maintenance. And possibly murder, but will anyone believe her?

Yeah, right. When garbage trucks fly.

If Tess teams up with the hunky police lieutenant, Kirk Gunther, and the pale, oddball Mr. Egypt, they might be able to save the city in time. That is, if Egypt even wants to. And if Tess overcomes her phobias long enough to do battle in Granddad’s 1983 Subaru Brat.

Things are about to get icky.


Egypt sat behind the desk, leaving me to stand. He switched on the light. “Nearly all of my work is done at night. I trust that won’t be a problem.”

I generally had no plans at night. But that wasn’t my primary concern. “What exactly is the job?”

His brows squeezed together in mild confusion. “I thought I made that clear. I am an occult researcher, you will be my research assistant.”

“So, what, we look things up in books, cite them for papers?”

Egypt leaned back in his chair. “Hardly. Do you know what the word occult means, Miss Cooper?”

I couldn’t recall actually introducing myself to him. But I must have, right? “It means ‘hidden,’ or ‘covered.’ From the Latin. Same root word as occlude. Synonyms would be, oh, arcane or esoteric.”

“And do you believe we could research the hidden, the arcane, by browsing published media?”

Well, put it that way. “I suppose not.”

“Not, indeed.”

“So, what, you go out hunting for ghosts and that?”

His mouth made a little moue. Not, indeed. “We will seek out events caused by apparently hidden means, examine them, study them, and place them into context with other apparent occult phenomenon.”

I suddenly recalled Lieutenant Gunther’s reaction.

“You’re looking into the grave robberies for the police.” I carefully worded it so it wasn’t a question, the way Egypt did.

The moue spread out into almost a smile. “It seems that even if we are not on the same page, we’re in the same chapter. At midnight, we need to examine the graves at the City Cemetery.”

Frankly, I had developed an aversion to City Cemetery. All I needed was to fall in another loose grave, which seemed far more likely in the dark. “At midnight? Why not right now? It’s forty-six degrees and sunny. We’re supposed to get six inches of snow tonight.”

Egypt leaned forward, clasping his hands on the antique desk. “That forecast is incorrect. And as for midnight, it is a most important hour in occult research, as you will learn.”

Eric Turowski, Author

Newspaper founder, bookstore owner, artist, musician, and man-about-town Eric Turowski writes lots of mixed-genre books when he’s not too busy playing laser tag with Tiger the Cat and his fiancée Mimi deep in the Central Valley of California.

You can learn more about Eric at

Connect with Eric online



Eric will award one randomly drawn commenter a signed copy of the book, plus a $25 Amazon gift card (US/Canada only) and a second randomly drawn commenter a signed copy of the book (US/Canada only).

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Friday, April 24, 2015


wedding haters

Wedding Haters by Melissa Baldwin

The exquisite dress, the dazzling menu, the family drama . . . It’s the day every girl dreams of, and Madison Wales is no exception. Her wedding plans seem to be going perfectly thanks to her very talented wedding planner, Sienna Harris. That is, until her grandmother and her two overachieving, bullying cousins suddenly want to become very involved in her big day. But . . . why? Madison’s perfect wedding dreams are dashed as things slowly start to unravel. With family drama in her midst, she wonders if her cousins are behind each disaster or if she has truly become a paranoid bridezilla. Will Madison be able to withstand all of the pressure and finally stand up for herself? The idea of eloping with her fiancé, Cole, is looking better everyday, even if it means leaving her dream wedding behind. Will she make the right choice?

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“There you are. Why did you run off so abruptly?” She sounds very concerned. I contemplate explaining everything to her, but I’m not sure I want to share the skeletons in my closet just yet.

“I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous about seeing my cousins. I haven’t seen them in a while,” I explain.

“Don’t you worry! When it comes to family, it doesn’t matter how much time goes by,” she says as she pats my arm.

This woman has no clue what is about to take place. My grandmother alone is a piece of work; thankfully, they have met and really got along well. I’m secretly hoping that the Ellie I spoke with on the phone is the Ellie that shows up tonight. Susan and Cole leave as I take a few more minutes to myself. As I stand, there in Susan’s perfect guest bathroom it occurs to me that maybe I’m completely over-reacting. Ellie and I did have a good conversation, and ultimately they have gotten their way by being asked to be in the wedding. That should be enough for them to be on their best behavior and not make themselves look bad in front of my new family.

Just then, I hear the doorbell ring and hear several female voices. Cole knocks on the door.

“All hell is about to break loose, are you ready?” he says, raising his eyebrows. He grabs my hand.

“I’m ready, but the question is, are you?” I lean up on my tippy toes to give him another kiss, and we head to the living room as if we are walking into a lion’s den.


                                                                               Author Melissa Baldwin

Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she fulfilled her dream with her debut novel, AN EVENT TO REMEMBER . . .  OR FORGET.

Melissa resides in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and young daughter. She is a master at organization and multi-tasking. Her daily jobs include mother, chauffeur, wife, PTA President, Fitness Trainer, and now Author.
When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, fitness, decorating, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.


$50 Blast Giveaway
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 5/11/15
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Perfect Fit
by Lynda Simmons

**One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.


Fast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbour is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!


Amanda snapped on her gear and opened the front door. “That was chance. But this.” She picked up a couple of bags. “This is fate.”

Rachel stopped in the doorway. “Do you really believe that? Do you think it’s possible for two people to be des¬tined for each other? Like soul mates.” She shook her head. “Forget it. Let’s go.”

Amanda blocked the way. “Who did you meet?”

“No one, and I’m late.”

Amanda planted her skates sideways. “You cannot do this. Not after I told you about the real estate broker.”

Rachel looked through the fringe of Amanda’s bangs into her frank green eyes and wondered if she should take a chance. “Let me ask you this. Have you ever heard of dreaming on a piece of wedding cake?”

“Sure, it’s an old custom. Like walking to church because it’s lucky and passing on a green wedding gown because it’s not. But most people serve the cake for dessert these days.”

Rachel tried a smile. “Not all.”

“Someone gave you cake to dream on?” Rachel nodded and it was Amanda’s turn to laugh. “Don’t tell me you did it.”

When Rachel didn’t answer, Amanda’s mouth dropped open and her voice rose. “You did, didn’t you?” She put the bags down. “Okay, I need details. Did you have a dream?”

It was on the tip of Rachel’s tongue to say no, to deny that anything out of the ordinary had occurred. But she found herself nodding and watched Amanda’s eyes grow even rounder.

“Did you see him? The man you’re supposed to marry?”

Rachel took comfort in the fact that her friend had been sucked into the fantasy as easily as she had and nodded a third time.

Amanda stepped closer. “Alright, this next part is really important. Where exactly did they get this cake?”

Lynda Simmons, Author

Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Follow the tour and comment; the more often you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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Monday, April 20, 2015

THE STARLET SERIES #StarletTour @CarlaJHanna @MasqTours

Titles: Starlet's Man / Starlet's Web / Starlet's Run / Starlet's Light
Series: The Starlet Series #0.5–#3
Author: Carla J. Hanna
Publication Dates: 2012-2014 
Genre: Young Adult Romance

Series LinksGoodreads | Amazon

Synopsis–Starlet's Man
Lights, Cameras, and Lies. High school student athlete, Manny Biro, is caught between the boy he should be and the man he wants to become.

Everyone around him accepts the Hollywood life. He doesn't. Manny wants no part of acting. On the surface, his childhood best friends seem to have it all: money, power, success. Between the lines, they are all confused. Alan is a messed up want-to-be director focused on pushing scenes to their sexy potential. Beth is an athlete driven to escape from a dark past. Janet is Manny's kid sister caught up in fashion and trends. And Marie is a lonely actress exhausted by the culture that makes everyone's favorite stories.

What is the price of fame for all the characters? Conflicts and truths will unfold in this thought-provoking installment of Carla Hanna's young adult Starlet Series, Starlet's Man.

Synopsis–Starlet's Web
Love. Lies. Acting. A novel about celebrity influence & teens in Hollywood. What makes a star shine? Humility empowers the spirit. Sometimes.

Discover the Starlet Series for new adult & college readers and uncover the life of a talented actress caught in Hollywood's web of lies.

I'm actress Liana Marie Michael. I won an Oscar at 17 but whatever. Celebrity is what it is: marketing a product. I'm part of a tight-knit group. I keep to myself and don't complain about my life. I've been happy until lately.

Evan dumping me leveled me. Matthew shocked me. I knew he couldn't hurt me with my bodyguard so near, but his I have trust issues. Dating super-hot Byron didn't help clear the confusion either. I'm torn between going to church on Sunday and making a living from pop culture.

But experience builds perspective. My days of shutting up needed to end. First, I told Manuel. Then I told my mom. It turned out awesome until I learned the truth.

Now I'm screwed. Totally. Let's face it: Hollywood's web entangles everyone.

Synopsis–Starlet's Run
Love. Intentions. Acting. Life is more complicated than a Hollywood story.

Fictional actress Liana Marie Michael writes her second memoir, Starlet's Run, as she suffers through the Five Stages of Grief. But when Lia's scripts speak for her and drama becomes her life, can she find the strength to run her own lines and shape her new role?
~ - ~
I'm actress Liana Marie Michael. Hollywood's obsession with beauty made my actress-mother stay competitive. Athletes use steroids. Actors use plastic surgery and anti-aging drugs. So now I'm a physical mess inside, dealing with it, and starring in a major motion picture.

Of course I can't quit. I have brain surgery, feel alive at Grandma's Montana ranch, go back to Hollywood and act. My boyfriend, Manuel, and I want to get married. Everyone has an opinion. I ignore the millions of naysayers until consequences turn dire.

I believe that dwelling on pain is a waste of time. Indecision is exhausting. I want to write my own future. But I'm only eighteen years old.

In a world where an actress is a product and everyone is a critic, can our young love survive? Should it?

Synopsis: Starlet's Light
Love. Trust. Acting. Cancer survivor-actress gives up the fight until she sees the light. Liana Marie writes her third memoir as she struggles with trust and commitment and shapes the role she plays.

I'm actress Liana Marie Michael and am dying. In my last two memoirs, I show how I'm the ideal Hollywood product. In writing Starlet's Web and Starlet's Run, I realized that the drama in our stories affects the lies in our real lives. The thin, young ideal of beauty is as much of a lie as the plot twists and dialogue we create to hide our insecurities.

In this memoir, I make a mess of my love life while shooting a film in Great Britain. I dump Manuel for his own good. I love him with all my heart. So how could I not when he has a bright future? My dad visits and puts my past in perspective. I spend weekends in the hospital. I learn to rely on Franz, Evan and Amelie. Yes, I hook up with my Swiss billionaire-heir friend Pierre even though I miss Manuel every minute. But it all makes sense, especially since I am so done with acting.

We are all flies and spiders in a web of stories. If I live a more authentic life, can love prevail despite my many faults? Can truth alter Hollywood's web?

Carla J. Hanna, Author

Carla J. Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. Her award winning books, The Starlet Series, include Starlet's Man, Starlet's Web, Starlet's Run, & Starlet's Light. Starlet's End is scheduled to release September 2015, subject to change from publisher interest.

Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this tour$25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble Gift Card or Book Depository Spree; One (1) Necklace (Based on Cover Image). Ends 5/1. 

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Friday, April 17, 2015


Since I write mostly western historical romance set in Texas, knowing I love Texas history should surprise no one. Stories about the old Goodnight and Chisholm Trails have so dominated the writings of Western Americana that even most Texans have forgotten that their first great cattle drives ended up at New Orleans rather than Abilene or Dodge City, Kansas. 

Known as the Opelousas Trail, enterprising men took advantage of the thousands of longhorn cattle, unbranded and roaming. In Texas and Mexico, the cattle were worthless. Across the Sabine in the United States, they were worth upwards of a dollar a head. At the time in 1825, it was illegal to drive longhorn cattle to Louisiana. That didn’t stop men seeking their fortune. This is the tale of danger for those returning from New Orleans after selling cattle. 

Thomas Denman Yocum was born in 1796 in Kentucky to Jesse Ray Yoakum and Diana How (Denton). From birth, Thomas learned theft and deceit. He and his father and brothers rode with John Murrell but struck out on their own. Jesse was tried for murder several times in Natchitoches, Louisiana. A veteran of the American Revolution, he was suspected of bribing witnesses and jurors and was never convicted.    

After being forcefully “invited” to leave Louisiana, Thomas Yocum and his family crossed the Sabine and settled on a Mexican land grant on Pine Island Bayou, the south boundary of the Big Thicket of Southeast Texas, around 1830. Having acquired some wealth and affluence by 1835, the old killer and slave stealer became more selective with his victims. He and his family built Yocum’s Inn in Jefferson County, Texas.

This part of Texas was then a virgin, sparsely-settled region of prairies, pine barrens, and thickets. Any settler living within ten miles was considered a neighbor. The deep, navigable stream, 100 feet wide and 75 miles long, was a tributary of the Neches River and had already attracted ten or more pioneers who also held land grants from the Mexican government.

Thomas Yocum’s Inn was a combination saloon and lodging house between Beaumont and Sour Lake and stood on the Opelousas cattle trail between Texas and Louisiana. Yocum reportedly rode out at the first sound of the herds heading east and invited the drovers to quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger at the Inn. The well-treated travelers spread word of the genial host’s hospitality. When they returned with money belts filled after selling their cattle, they once more stopped at Yocum’s Inn. Big mistake, as they were never seen again. Instead, the Yocum’s stock of fine horses grew.

Exactly how many people the Yocum’s robbed and murdered is open to guess. No one knows. The popularity of Yocum's Inn spread far and wide. Yocum soon became the postmaster of Pine Island settlement under the old Texas Republic, supervised the local elections, served on juries, and was widely respected by his neighbors and travelers alike.

Yocum acquired much land and many slaves, and by 1839 his herd of l500 head of cattle was the fourth largest in Jefferson County. While other settlers rode the wiry Creole, or mustang-size, ponies of a type common to Southwest Louisiana, Yocum's stable of thirty horses were stock of the finest American breeds, and his family drove about in an elegant carriage.

A gentleman's life, however, held no attraction for Yocum, a man who literally was nursed from the cradle on murder and rapine. For many years, Yocum's Inn was actually a den of robbers and killers. What is the most startling is the fact that Yocum was able to camouflage his activities for more than a decade, maintaining an aura of respectability while simultaneously committing the worst of villainies, with a murderous band of cutthroats unequaled in the history of East Texas.

How Yocum could accomplish this since he used no alias, is unexplainable, for he, his brothers, his father, and his sons were known from Texas to Mississippi as killers, slave-stealers, and robbers. If any neighbor not a member of the gang suspected that something at Yocum's Inn was amiss, he probably feared for his life.

One account, written by Philip Paxton in 1853, observed that Yocum, "knowing the advantages of a good character at home, soon by his liberality, apparent good humor, and obliging disposition, succeeded in ingratiating himself with the few settlers."
In October 1841, the Yocum’s downfall occurred. A well-dressed man stopped at the inn and asked directions. Thomas agreed to ride with him and show him the way. Thomas returned leading the man’s fine horse.

Yocum’s wife, Pamela Peace Yocum, was overheard to ask, “How much did he have?” When Yocum replied only six bits, his wife said, “Any man who rode a horse like that, wore such fine clothes, carried a gold watch and chain, and only had seventy-five cents on him deserved to get killed.”

Another potential victim staying at the hotel overheard the conversation and went for the Regulators, an illegal but active vigilante group. The Regulator posse went to Yocum’s Inn, ordered him and his family to pack up and quit the country, and then torched the building. Shortly after the Yocums left, an elderly man who’d been a witness to some of the goings on at Yocum’s Inn showed the posse the bones of other victims. According to Paxton, the Regulators found the bones of victims in Yocum's well, in the neighboring thickets, in the "alligator slough," and even out on the prairie.

The Regulator posse set out after the Yocums. A day or so later the posse caught up with the family. No longer willing to trust a Yocum's fate to the whims of any jury, the vigilantes gave the old murderer thirty minutes to square his misdeeds with his Maker, and then they "shot him through the heart" five times. In addition, they may have killed other members of the Yocum family.

Almost from the date of T. D. Yocum's death, legends began to circulate concerning the murderer's hoard of stolen treasure, because the vigilantes knew that neither the old robber nor any member of his family had had time to excavate it before they were driven from the county. Some of them thought that only Yocum and one of his slaves actually knew where the loot was hidden. For years treasure hunters dug holes along the banks of Cotton and Byrd Creeks. Decades later sinks and mounds in the Pine Island vicinity were said to be the remains of those excavations.

If anyone ever found the treasure, that fact was never made public, and one writer claims it is still there awaiting the shovel that strikes it first. Do you fancy searching for hidden treasure? 

Thanks for stopping by!

TALES OF BAD MEN, BAD WOMEN, AND BAD PLACES, C. F. Ekhardt, Texas Tech University Press, 1999

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Thank you to those of you who bought my recently released WINTER BRIDE. For the rest of you, I’m posting another excerpt to (hopefully) tempt you into buying your copy. WINTER BRIDE is about Kendra Murdoch and Sheriff Butch Parrish.

When her sister dies, Kendra is left to raise her eight-year-old nephew Caleb and two nieces, ages two and six, Mittie and Abby. Kendra loves the children and wants to give them a loving and secure life. All the men in her life have been bullies and she refuses to put her fate in the hands of a man like that. At the same time, she dreams of the kind of man she could trust. Knowing her brother in law Gus beat her sister so badly that Glenna may die reinforces her desire to gain independence.

Sheriff Butch Parrish has been drifting through life since the death of his beloved wife, Annie. He’s protective of those in his care, and that includes Kendra and her charges. Here’s a scene when he rescues her from the isolated cabin where she lived with her sister and brother in law.

After eating, they decided to leave for town. They loaded their belongings on the mule. Caleb appeared to realize they wouldn’t be returning, and gathered all their toys and clothes. Not that there were many of either. 
Kendra packed her clothes and her sister’s. Let Gus get his own if he wasn’t in jail first. She hoped he’d be in prison for a long time, maybe hanged for stealing a horse from the livery.
“I guess there’s no way we can take Mama’s rocker, is there?” She looked sadly at the only remaining furniture from her and Glenna’s family.
He scrubbed a hand along his jaw. “We can’t overload Clemmy. What we can’t pack, I’ll come back for once you’re settled.”
“Why are we taking our stuff?” Mittie asked.
“We’re going to live in town now, angel. Do you remember all the children you saw in town at the Christmas party?”
The little girl’s eyes widened. “Will there be more toys?”
She laughed and shook her head. “Only at Christmas, but there’ll be playmates your age and others Caleb and Abby’s ages. I’m sure you’ll like living in Radford Crossing.”
Her nephew nodded. “And we can see Mama soon as we get there, can’t we?”
The sheriff came into the house. “That’s right. Everyone put on a coat and let Miss Murdoch and me bundle you up in a quilt before we set you on a horse.”
Using the best quilts, they wrapped each of the children for travel. She hated she’d be leaving as much as she was, but wanted to get to her sister as soon as possible. And she’d be relieved to get safely away from the isolation of the cabin and trail to town. The thought of Gus returning while they were here filled her with terror.
The sheriff would be an easy target even with Caleb behind him. Two additional men increased their security. Surely even Gus would hesitate to attack three armed men.
When they were ready to leave, Sheriff Parrish spoke quietly. “Sound travels in cold weather. We need to save all out talking until we get to town. Can you children be quiet that long?”
All three nodded. Each face was swathed in a scarf and knit caps pulled to their eyebrows. They were such good kids. No wonder she loved her nephew and nieces as if they were her own.
Sheriff Parrish set Caleb on his horse. “My deputies are going to ride with us, but they need to be ready to chase anyone who tries to stop us. You kids will ride with your aunt and me.”
Abby rode in front of Kendra. Mittie sat behind her and held on to her waist. Kendra asked the sheriff to tie Mittie to her so the little girl wouldn’t bounce off. Still, they couldn’t go fast or they’d be in danger of one of the children being hurt. Speed would increase the risk to the horses and mule as well.
Snow had a crust of ice on top with tall drifts. Thank heavens she hadn’t had to carry Abby and walk with the other two children. Holding the sleeping child in front of her while riding was tiring enough, especially since every muscle in her body clenched with fear. Would she have succeeded? Maybe, but there was as much chance they’d all have frozen part way there.
Even with two deputies beside them, Sheriff Parrish appeared to be on guard throughout their trek. He’d needed more time to recover but had insisted he could travel. At least there’d be a doctor to treat his wounds when they arrived. That is, if Gus Tucker didn’t bushwhack them on their way.
Their pace was slow but the depth of snow decreased as they descended from the high valley where the cabin was located and drew nearer to the settlement. Relief flooded her when she spotted buildings signaling the outskirts of town by early afternoon. Surely for now they were safe.

Ah, but we know they aren’t safe yet, don’t we? Kendra’s brother in law Gus is determined to have her then kill her. He wants to take his son with him, but cares nothing for his daughters. Gus is a sly and devious villain who won’t stop as long as he’s alive.

Here’s the Amazon link: It’s also at Apple, Kobo, and Nook.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 13, 2015


In RESCUING LARA, by Lyn Horner, Lara Spenser was badly injured in the car crash that killed her beloved Uncle Malcom. When she learned that the car had been tampered with, she knew she was supposed to die in that accident too. Since the wreck, she wears a brace on her leg and can’t place any weight on that foot. For that reason, she is in a wheelchair or on crutches. She flees to Ireland to heal and evade the evil forces set on doing her harm.

She rents a cottage that comes with a housekeeper, Una. What Lara needs is a bodyguard who can protect her from those sent to steal her family’s legacy and kill her. Only one man answers her ad in a satisfactory manner, Connor O’Shea. Connor is a Texan on leave from his job as foreman of fire fighters on an oil rig in the North Sea. His mother wants him to trace his family’s Irish roots. He accepts the job with Lara on a temporary basis. He has eight weeks before he has to go back to work.

Lara is desperate. She senses danger is near. She’s trying to decipher a message from her late uncle. He was the chief Guardian of an historic relic and had passed that office down to her. Uncle Malcom hadn’t completed telling her all she needed for the hand-over of the office. Lara is left with many questions and no one who can answer them.

Connor understands Lara and encourages her to expand her world. Lara is soon enjoying rides on Connor's motorcycle and meeting new people. Lara and Connor bring out the best in one another.. 

Ms Horner works in many twists and turns to keep readers reading until the book’s end.Readers don't need to know Celtic myths or Irish history to enjoy this novel. The background of Irish life is appealing. When the characters move to Texas, Ms Horner paints vivid word pictures of Caddo Lake, complete with the eerie sensation conveyed. 

If you enjoy reading romantic suspense with heavy paranormal content and Celtic myths involved, you will certainly want to read RESCUING LARA, by Lyn Horner, Book One of Romancing the Guardian series.

You can purchase RESCUING LARA on Amazon and on most other online sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 10, 2015


As she did in her historical romance about the founding of Harmony, Jodi Thomas takes three couples and intertwines them in this latest contemporary novel set in Harmony. In ONE TRUE HEART, six characters seemingly with no similarities become partners in the quest for a criminal and find love as well.

Former Captain Millicent McAllen has returned to Harmony to heal from her war wounds, a shattered leg. Harmony is the last place she felt secure and happy. Unfortunately, that was when she was ten years old. Even though my situation is less traumatic than war, I've undergone several ankle surgeries and could identify with Millicent.

Drew Cunningham left the horrors of a mass school shooting in which he was a hero to retreat into life in a cabin and teaching one class at a local college. He appears to be a shy academic, supposedly writing a book on local history. He wants no attention and avoids crowds. Drew is the sort of man who reminds me of my husband--he wants no glory but he steps up and does the honorable thing. 

Kare Cunningham is a brilliant woman who masquerades as a loopy fortuneteller. She found her half-brother Drew to reward herself for her life with isolating but cold parents. But she has another mission. I adored this free-spirit whose loving heart manages to bring out the best in everyone.

Johnny Wheeler is more embarrassed than heartbroken when he catches his wife with her friend Max. He farms the land several generations of his family have farmed before him. When his ex-wife told him he was boring, he couldn’t deny the label. Johnny is my favorite of these characters. He is a sweet, hardworking man whose heart needs solace. 

Beau Yates has made a success of his life in spite of his parents. He’s returned to Harmony to try to make peace with his dying father. Something is holding him in town, though. Here is where the songs come to him and where at seventeen he met the girl whose memory still inspires his music.

Ashley Lark Powers has no real complaints--except she didn't want to go into banking. Her daddy owns three banks and her parents are the best. But she can’t forget the young singer who calls her Trouble and sings songs she knows are for her.

These six people make three unforgettable couples as they join forces to defeat a foe of the United States. On the way, they find love more powerful than they had dreamed.

Ms Thomas vivid writing evokes a mental image. I believe I could walk through the town of Harmony and find my way from Winter's Inn to Hatcher's book store to the Blue Moon cafe and to all the other places she's named in this series. The Mathesons and McAllens and the other residents of Harmony are real people in my mind. I love every Jodi Thomas novel I have ever read. Her masterful storytelling keeps the reader engaged until the last word. Don’t miss this one. I give it 5 stars. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

WINTER BRIDE RELEASED! @CarolinClemmons #western historical romance #MFRW

You know the old sayings, “Life is what happens while you’re making plans,” and “When man plans, the gods laugh”? Do I ever know those are true!

After life interfering with my writing, I am extremely pleased to announce that my latest western historical romance in the Stone Mountain Texas series, WINTER BRIDE, has recently been released. This is a stand-alone novel, but I'd love if you read the entire series. ☺

Here’s the WINTER BRIDE blurb:

When Kendra Murdoch’s brother in law murders her sister, she takes charge of her nephew and two nieces. Fearing the man plans the same fate for her, she seeks shelter in Radford Crossing where she opens a café to support her small family.

Determined to be self-sufficient, Kendra shuns all advances from the handsome sheriff as danger hangs heavily over her head.

Butch Parrish battled a snowstorm and a killer to rescue Kendra and the children. He’ll do whatever is necessary to protect the independent young woman who rekindles sensations he thought were long dead. Protecting her, dealing with the town gossips, and investigating a stagecoach robbery, Butch has a battle on his hands.

Here’s the cover, designed by Kim Killion of Didn’t she do a lovely job depicting Kendra Murdoch and Sheriff Buster Parrish in Kendra’s café?

Let me share an excerpt from WINTER BRIDE:

 “Her nephew came to stand beside her and she ruffled his hair. “I peeled the potatoes and they’re in the big bowl of water.”
Thanks for your help.” She was glad Saturday had arrived, for she looked forward to being closed tomorrow. Although she loved operating the café, tensions of the week weighed heavily on her shoulders. She was proud of Caleb for wanting to help her today.
“What should I do next?”
She looked around. Terence was cutting up chickens for frying later. Dora was busy with dishes from meal preparation and their customers’ breakfasts. She wanted to make Caleb feel a part of their venture.
“Mr. Koenig’s helper will be by soon to pick up the slop cans. Can you make sure all the scraps are in pails?”
“Sure. I don’t see how pork can be good for us when the hogs eat old leftovers.” Caleb wrinkled his nose.1
Terence laughed. “I haven’t noticed you turning down the meat.”
Caleb dumped the potato peelings into one of the two large pails.
At the worktable, Kendra rolled out another batch of biscuits. “Thank goodness Mr. Koenig takes all our scraps. Without him, we’d have to pay someone to haul all that off.”
“I can put the cans outside for you, Aunt Kendra.”
Terence glanced over his shoulder. “Caleb, are you sure? They’re heavy.”
“See?” He hefted one of the pails.
Although Caleb struggled to manage the heavy can, Kendra supposed he wanted to prove he was a big help. Watching him, she struggled not to rush to his aid. He was growing so quickly and she knew she had to treat him less like a baby and more like an almost-nine-year-old boy.
He opened the door and stepped outside then returned for the other pail. As he disappeared from view to set the second can outside, he screamed. “Aunt Kendra, help me!”
Gus. Kendra ran as she reached a doughy hand into her pocket for her revolver. When she stepped out of the café, she saw Gus dragging Caleb toward a horse.
“Stop right now.” She aimed the pistol as Butch had shown her.
When Gus continued toward his mount, Kendra prayed she wouldn’t hit Caleb. She fired but her shot hit the dirt near Gus’ feet. He shoved his son to the ground and rushed toward his horse.
Kendra fired again, hoping to hit Gus now that Caleb wasn’t in the man’s grasp. Gus yelped and jumped as her shot went into his leg. He managed to climb onto his horse and gallop away.
Walking toward Gus, Kendra fired after him until he’d disappeared from view and there were no more bullets in her gun. Her hands shook and her knees threatened to give way. She staggered over to Caleb and hugged him to her for several seconds.
She checked his appearance and searched his face. “You’re going to have a bad bruise on your cheek. Are you all right otherwise? Did he hurt you?”
Gingerly, he touched the injury on his face. “I’m okay. I sure was scared, though.”
Terence, meat cleaver in hand, stood nearby. “You hit him. I was right behind you and saw him jump.”
Gun drawn, Butch ran around the building’s corner. “I heard shots. What’s going on?”
Kendra still clasped Caleb to her. “Gus tried to take Caleb. I was so afraid I’d hit Caleb, but Terence agrees I shot Gus in the leg.”
Butch holstered his gun and laid an arm across her shoulders. “Go back into the kitchen and sit down. I’ll go after Tucker.”
She waved away his comforting arm. “We’re fine. Go get that devil.”

WINTER BRIDE is part of the Stone Mountain Texas series set in North Central Texas near the site of present day Possum Kingdom Lake. Long before the lake was constructed on the Brazos River, settlers came to establish ranches and farms in the fertile lands along the river. Many remain today in towns like Strawn, Palo Pinto, Mineral Wells, and Graham.

Edge of the Palo Pintos in the distance.
What look like hills, but are really the Palo Pinto Mountains, are not as fertile, but furnish enough brush for cattle. Small valleys dotted over this range offer picturesque vistas. Needless to say, I love the area and always enjoy driving there. I hope you will find it equally fascinating in this series and hope you will read WINTER BRIDE

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