Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Here! It's Here! Well, Almost.

Readers, as many of you know, these have been dark times in the South. Bluebell Ice Cream, due to a factory contamination that resulted in months of factory closures, has not been available. The grocery stores have been overstocking other brands in vain hopes that the public has ice cream amnesia, but to no avail.

Finally, for some lucky Central Texans, B-Day has arrived.

The news stations are abuzz with human interest stories about people who got up at 5:00 to go get their allotted four gallons of Bluebell. The company has only released four flavors, but promises more. One frantic store placed a call to the distributor for another truck as he sold out in fifteen minutes. Students were cheerfully eating pints of ice cream for breakfast on the school bus without censure.
Alas, my city is in phase two of the rollout, not phase one. Even though I won't be caught dead braving the rabid shoppers for Black Friday deals, I'm sure I will be out there with the dawn on that fateful day. Well, okay, I will talk Hero into going. But I bet he won't be hard to convince!
We still have a few weeks to go. But there's hope out there, people. There's hope out there.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Death by Romance
by Anne Kennison

Anne will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


The murder of Gordon Taylor, prominent businessman and philanthropist, has Detective Ryan Hamlin stumped. No viable suspects, no decent leads. When a chance conversation breaks the case wide open, Detective Hamlin suddenly has a long list of unlikely suspects who, with a "perfectly legal" multimillion dollar investment to protect, must make sure that none of them is convicted or everything will be lost. That's when the deception and finger-pointing begin. The detective is certain he's headed down the path that will lead to the killer, but is he?


The coroner stood up and backed away from the car to give Ryan a clear view into the front seat. “Single bullet through the head.”


“Nope. His wallet is in his back pocket. Nearly a thousand bucks in cash.”

“That’s more than the balance in my savings account. Guess I should have been a titan of industry instead of a lowly crime fighter.” Ryan paused, wondering briefly what it would be like to have that much money in his wallet. He shrugged off the thought. “Suicide?”

“Nope. No gun. This snow is going to make the investigation a real bitch, isn’t it?”

“They’re never easy, are they?” Ryan removed his hat and peered into the car. “Jesus, what a mess.” The detective ran his fingers through his hair, set the hat back on his head, and gave the crown a sound tap as if to lodge it firmly in place. He slowly and carefully surveyed the area. Red and blue lights from patrol cars splashed across the snow as men and women in uniform, beneficiaries of the industry of homicide, went about their business. The corpses of those who died mysteriously meant job security for cops, coroners, lab techs.

Ryan was tired of it. He was tired of the death, tired of the greed. Tired of the dark side of humanity. Maybe retirement wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Ryan reached into his pocket and, with as much thought as he gave breathing, popped the top off the antacid bottle that was always in his pocket, extracted two tablets, tossed them into his mouth, and chewed. He turned his attention back to Sommerville. “Who found the body?”


The book will be $0.99 during the tour!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Anne Kennison’s unique plot twist comes from a fertile imagination honed by 20-plus years as a trusts and estates attorney. Now retired from the practice of law, Anne lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Dale and two Ragdoll cats Grady and Elliott. When she’s not writing the sequel to Death by Romance, Anne loves to travel, dabble in photography, and spend time with her two adorable granddaughters.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Jodi Thomas is one of my favorite authors. Since discovering her years ago, I believe I’ve read each of her books and novellas. In fact, many of hers are on my keeper shelf.

My favorite of her early books is TO KISS A TEXAN, part of the McClain series. Even though it was different, WINTER CAMP, the prequel to her current Ransom Canyon series, reminds me of that story because of Millie, the Apache captive. If you haven’t read WINTER CAMP, you’ll do yourself a favor to do so. You can find it FREE on Amazon at and at other e-vendors.

Although a fictional work, RANSOM CANYON is named after a real location. In fact, the Ransom Canyon I know is a part of Yellowhouse Canyon, which cuts a giant slash through the Llano Estacado. My husband and I grew up in Lubbock, Texas where the canyon was only a mile or less from my home and only a little further from his. Ransom Canyon is further southwest down Yellowhouse and about twelve or so miles from Lubbock. The name is because captives really were ransomed and traded there when white settlers were new to the area.  

In RANSOM CANYON, we are drawn into the lives of four families through an inter-twining story about events that unite them. This book has romance, adventure, and humor woven seamlessly into a book I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end. One of the things I appreciated is the love of the land—the peace, the struggle, the beauty. Sunsets in West Texas are spectacular. Jodi Thomas paints those scenes with words that resonated with me.

Rancher Staten Kirkland is the last descendant of his ranch’s founding father, and a good steward of the land and the people who live there. He’s lost his wife seven years earlier to cancer and his sixteen-year-old son in a car crash two years ago. Since then, he’s a shell who only wakes to life when he’s around Quinn O’Grady. Theirs is a strange relationship to which each clings for a different reason. Quinn was best friends to Staten’s wife, but she has always secretly loved Staten. She always wondered if each time she saw him would be the last.

Lucas Reyes is a young man with goals who is working long hours toward achieving them. His interest in Lauren Bigman, the sheriff’s daughter, leads him on a course he never imagined. Lauren finds this quiet, hard-working young man to be the kind of friend she wants. Lucas, she learns, has the makings of a real hero. Even super-critical Sheriff Dan Bigman recognizes in Lucas a man worth trust.

Yancey Grey is an ex-con running from the past and himself. He counts himself worthless, but he wants more than his past provided. Safety. A family. A community. To stay out of trouble. He figures those things are beyond a common criminal like him.

 Once again Jodi Thomas weaves her characters’ lives together into a story that draws in the reader and keeps him or her enchanted for the entire book. I definitely don’t want to give away anything that would spoil a reader’s enjoyment of this book. Savor each event and hate the wait until the next book, RUSTLER’S MOON, is available. The next release can’t be soon enough to suit me. Without doubt, I give this book 5 stars! If you shop at Amazon, the link for RANSOM CANYON is  and it’s available at other e-retailers.

If you prefer a paper book, RANSOM CANYON is available in paperback and hardcover from brick and mortar stores and online.   

Jodi Thomas, Author
In 2002, Jodi Thomas was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech. A fifth-generation Texan, she is currently Writer in Residence at the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, on the edge of Palo Duro Canyon—an even greater slash in the flat Texas landscape than Yellowhouse Canyon to the south. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she has written over thirty historical and contemporary novels. She and her husband Tom live in Amarillo where they are renovating an historic home and keeping current with their two grown sons.


Here are some of the early reviews for RANSOM CANYON:

“Another winner…Tension rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes. Fans will be delighted.” Publishers Weekly starred review

“Compelling and beautifully written.” Debbie Macomber. New York Times bestselling author

“Terrific reading from page one to the end.” Fresh Fiction

“Jodi Thomas is a masterful storyteller. She grabs your attention on the first page, captures your heart, and then makes you sad when it is time to bid her characters farewell. You can count on her to give you a satisfying and memorable read.” Catherine Anderson, New York Times Bestselling author

Monday, August 24, 2015


LIBERATED is not the type book I usually feature on this blog. For one thing, it's non-fiction, a true story of one woman's tragedy and renewal. This is NOT a PG book because of the trauma the main character endured at the hands of the Nazis. With so many people now denying that the Holocaust and all the heinous acts committed by the Nazis never existed, I believe it is important for us to be reminded. Those who deny history are doomed to repeat it. 
The author is a friend whose friendship I value highly. She has mentioned the woman she calls Inga and how amazing and brave Inga was and is. Pre-order now for September 14th release!

By Laura Miller

This book is a biography of a woman I have loved and admired for the whole of my life.

In December 1944 a German family of seven were captured and convicted of war crimes for harbouring Jews.

I have known this story for most of my life. In the twilight of her years, this lady has decided that it is time for her story to be told, so it will be recorded for future generations.

The woman and her sister were interned in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp until Liberation on 13 April 1945.

This is a true account of her experience. Due to the gruesomeness of the real events, many were omitted. What remains shows the strength some humans delve deep within themselves in order to overcome adversity.


Hanover, Lower Saxony

The house looked the same as every other dwelling in the street. Two story, attached, weathered stone. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom with indoor plumbing upstairs. An attic, where family treasures were hidden, could only be accessed through a removable panel in the ceiling of the main bedroom closet. Downstairs was a small but adequate dine in kitchen, a sitting room and a storeroom. Inside the storeroom was a staircase which led down to a basement.

The house sat opposite the banks of the Leine River. It was home to Inga Albine and her family. She had one older sister, two older brothers and one younger brother. They loved summer when they could swim and play in the water.

Inga’s father, Adaulfo, was a well-known and successful Banker. An unusual occupation for an Aryan as most Bankers were Jewish.

Inga’s mother, Alisz, was a talented seamstress but with her husband being more than capable of providing for the family, sewing was a hobby rather than a chore. Although sewing gave her a great deal of joy, her first love was her family. She adored being with her children.

Being only children, both Alisz and Adaulfo had always dreamed of having a large family. Their dream had come true. They had five healthy children, blonde haired, blue eyed. Perfect Aryans in Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Klaus, 18, Manfred 17, Elke 15, Inga 13 and Oskar 8. The girls and Oskar attended private school while the two older boys studied Engineering. They all played the violin and with the exception of Oskar, they played very well. Neighbours often praised Adaulfo and Alisz on how polite and well-mannered all five children were.

The family were prominent in the local community. They never hesitated to help people who were less fortunate than themselves.

That was to be their downfall…..


Non-Fiction, Historical, True Life

Cover Design
Cover by Charlene Raddon of Cover-Ops

About Author Laura Miller

Laura is a middle aged lady who was born in England. She has a compassionate nature, a great sense of humor and is a loyal friend. She also has an insatiable love of history.

Growing up, Laura would spend hours with a member of her family who she loved dearly. Over the years she was told the story of how this amazing lady had suffered at the hands of the Gestapo and German SS.

Laura had always had a strong desire to write. She felt a responsibility to record the story as a part of her family history.


Pre Order Links:


Friday, August 21, 2015


Isn't it great when you meet an author whose work you enjoy and learn that the person is just as nice as her books? That's what happened to me when I met Hildie McQueen this spring. I'm pleased to feature her new book on the blog. Don't you love the cover?

Here's the scoop on Hildie's new release:


Comely widow Charlotte Kennedy is in over her head.  Between running a huge ranch and keeping a cruel rancher at arms length, she doesn't need the added distraction of romance.

Colter Valley calls to Rafe Preston, who decides to purchase land and settle there.  When he accepts a temporary job at a beautiful widow's ranch, he has no idea how much it will impact his plans.
Passion, deception and treachery, blend into a beautiful love story, set in 1860s Montana Territory. 


Barnes & Noble:

Author Hildie McQueen
Amazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves entering unusual situations and getting into interesting adventures, which is what her characters do as well. She writes romance because she is in love with love! Author of Romance in Highland historical, Western Historical and contemporary, she writes something every reader can enjoy.

Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.

Hildie's favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading. She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and an unruly boy Chihuahua and a spoiled rotten girl Chiweenie named Lola.

Visit her website at
Instagram: @HildieWrites

Monday, August 17, 2015


By Peggy L. Henderson

Thank you, Caroline, for hosting me on your blog today!

About two years ago, I had a fleeting idea for a book series.  We're all used to reading about the beautiful Barbie doll heroine, and the dashing, gorgeous hero in our romance novels, right? We're supposed to feel as if we ARE that heroine wooed by that dashing hero, and who wants to read about someone who isn't so perfect? Well, what if we can have physical imperfections, or even handicaps and limitations, and still be the most beautiful and desirable thing in that hunky, gorgeous hero's eye?

I finally wrote the first of, what I am calling the Blemished Brides Series, at the end of last year, and it was published this past February. 

That book, IN HIS EYES, was followed two months later by IN HIS TOUCH.

Today, I'm proud to announce that the third in the series, IN HIS ARMS, just released.

This series is quite a departure from my Yellowstone and Teton novels, which are set among spectacular wilderness backdrops, packed with action, adventure, survival, and history (and of course, lots of romance as well), or my time travel westerns in the Second Chances books. The Blemished Brides are all about evoking emotions, and overcoming the challenges and prejudices for being handicapped or different. While I had thought that the books would focus mainly on the heroines and their handicaps and/or limitations, it soon became obvious that the leading men were also overcoming their own personal challenges. The hero in each book needed the heroine as much as she needed him.

I'm having a blast writing this series, and one of the challenges has been researching and finding out about different handicaps, and how people in the nineteenth century were perceived and treated when they had physical limitations.

IN HIS ARMS Excerpt:

Levi expelled a relieved breath that she seemed all right, other than she was shaken up. He didn’t hesitate, or think about his actions, and gathered her into his arms. She fell against him, and sobbed into his shirt. Her body trembled, and he tightened his hold around her.

“It’s all right,” he murmured against her cheek, saying the words over and over while he stroked the soft tendrils of her long hair.

He had no other words to comfort her, but the way she clung to him told him it was the right thing to say and do. When he shifted weight to lift her into his arms, with the intent to set her on her feet, her hands gripped his shoulders. She moved her head away from his chest, and gazed up at him.

“I tried to shoot it while it stalked the mule,” she whispered. “I missed with the one bullet I had left, and your horse ran past me and knocked me to the ground. I couldn’t get back up without the crutch.” She darted a quick look to the ground where the crutch had fallen out of her reach.

Levi stared down at her. Her eyes glistened, and so did her lips.

“I’ll have to have some words with my horse about knocking you off your feet all the time,” he said to lighten the mood. His lips twitched in a hesitant smile.

His heart still pounded in his chest, the fear for Grace’s life still fresh in his mind. If he had been even a minute later, she would be dead. He didn’t dare move, but held her in his arms, almost in his lap, and simply stared into her brown eyes. A powerful rush of warmth spread through him, which quickly replaced the fear from a moment ago.

Grace locked her eyes with his. Her arms wrapped more tightly around his neck, and he couldn’t move. The nervous snorts from his horse, and the trampling of hooves from the mule as it moved around anxiously in the corral, ceased to exist. There was only Grace, and the way she looked at him with wonder in her gaze.

Had she moved her head closer to his, and tugged his face toward her, or had he done that on his own? Her lips touched his, soft and hesitant. Levi’s insides ignited. His hand lifted to her face, the tips of his fingers brushing up against the soft skin of her cheek, while his other arm drew her to him. A rush of emotion, more powerful than he could describe, nearly knocked him on his back. He fisted the fabric of her shirt in his grip, and leaned toward her, while at the same time, tugging her more fully to him.

Grace clasped her arms around his neck, her lips parting beneath his. Levi’s body tensed from the wondrous sensation of her soft mouth enticing him. The sweet ache in his chest threatened to explode. His fingers weaved through her hair at the nape of her neck, and he followed her lead, parting his own lips and moving them across hers. Every part of him yearned to wrap around her, draw her into him, and shield her from everything she’d endured. It was the thought of what she’d suffered at the hands of other men that stopped his actions cold. Right now, the need and desire she awoke scared the living daylights out of him, and he abruptly pulled away from her.

Grace stared, wide-eyed. Her mouth was slightly open, and her lips still glistened. Levi moved to stand, and reached for her hand to pull her to her feet. She accepted his help, her gaze locked on his.

“I’m sorry, Grace. I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he stammered.

Grace’s forehead scrunched. She shook her head slightly. “I’m the one who kissed you first,” she whispered. She held on to his arm, and adjusted her weight on her good leg. Levi supported her elbow, his eyes locked with hers, unable to look away. His heart still drummed fast in his chest. What the hell was happening to him?

“I don’t want you to think . . . I’d never take advantage of you.”

A soft smile spread across Grace’s face. Levi darted a quick glance to the ground in search of the crutch. He might need it himself to remain standing. His legs felt like putty. Grace reached her hand up to touch the side of his cheek. A renewed wave of tenderness and emotions, for which he had no words, flooded him at her soft touch.

“I don’t believe you could ever take advantage of anyone, Levi Colter,” she said in a satiny whisper. “You are the kindest man I’ve ever met.”

She leaned up and brushed her lips against his cheek. The feather-light contact lasted no more than a second. Levi forced his arms to remain where they were against his sides. Every part of him wanted to pull her closer, repeat what he’d done a moment ago.

“Thank you,” she said, breaking the contact. “Thank you for saving me yet again.” She laughed softly.  “I think I’m becoming too dependent on you.”

Peggy L. Henderson, Author

Peggy L Henderson
Western Historical and Time Travel Romance
“Where Adventure Awaits and Love is Timeless”

Author of:
Yellowstone Romance Series
Teton Romance Trilogy
Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series
Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series

Friday, August 14, 2015


By Paty Jager

My favorite thing about writing historical western romance books is indulging my curiosity. I’ve always been interested in history and how people lived and managed with the meager belongings and hardships. It’s what makes writing historical fiction fun.

For my newest release, Claiming A Heart, I was able to venture into an area that has fascinated me since I first heard about it. The underground tunnels of Pendleton, Oregon.

There are similar tunnels in other Pacific Northwest towns and cities but I grew up not far from Pendleton and found the idea of the tunnels interesting but the injustice of their use niggled at my need to bring these things to the forefront.

I joined a tour of the underground tunnels and became fascinated learning about the people who moved about and lived in the tunnels.

The tunnels were made under the boardwalks of the main part of town. The part that housed the banks. The tunnels connected and one ran to the train depot. The original use of the tunnels were to transport large shipments of gold to and from the bank to the railroad. This started when the big gold strikes were happening in the Blue Mountains. 

As the railroad made its way across the continent and there were no longer jobs for the Chinese who had been working on the railroads, they started settling in towns. Pendleton has always been known for being rowdy and a cowboy town. The liquored up cowboys would beat up Chinese they found on the streets. To remain safe, the Chinese started using the tunnels to travel across town from their dwellings to their jobs and some even slept and lived in the tunnels away from the Whites who treated them as with they had a disease.

The tunnels also allowed the prostitutes to travel about without being seen or ridiculed. They used the tunnels to go to their weekly checkups with doctors.

After my tour of the tunnels my mind started whirling with ideas for a book. And that is how Claiming a Heart, Book three of the Halsey Homecoming Trilogy came to be. If you read the book you’ll learn about the things that caught my curiosity and how I used them in the story.

Claiming a Heart

Book three of the Halsey Homecoming historical western romance trilogy that is a sequel to the Halsey Brothers Series.

Callie MacPherson - or Mac - is hiding from the law. When she witnesses a group of lawless thugs beating a newcomer, she drags the innocent man into the underground tunnels of Pendleton. Caring for the man, Callie discovers she hasn't become as hard-hearted as she'd feared.

Donny Kimball's loss of sight didn't blind his heart. It can see far more than his eyes ever could. His heart tells him Callie MacPherson needs him as much as he needs her. If only he can convince her of that before they both get killed.

Author, Paty Jager

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story. She recently started writing the genre of her heart- Mystery.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; Writing into the Sunset  
her website; 
Newsletter: Paty’s Prattle:
Twitter  @patyjag.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Hannah Fielding will be awarding a $15 gift card for Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 


Summer, 1976. Luz de Rueda returns to her beloved Spain and takes a job as the biographer of
a famous artist. On her first day back in Cadiz, she encounters a bewitching, passionate young
gypsy, Leandro, who immediately captures her heart, even though relationships with his kind
are taboo.

Haunted by this forbidden love, she meets her new employer, the sophisticated Andres de
Calderon. Reserved yet darkly compelling, he is totally different to Leandro – but almost the
gypsy’s double. Both men stir unfamiliar and exciting feelings in Luz, although mystery and
danger surround them in ways she has still to discover.

Luz must decide what she truly desires as glistening Cadiz, with its enigmatic moon and
whispering turquoise shores, seeps back into her blood. Why is she so drawn to the wild and
magical sea gypsies? What is behind the old fortune-teller’s sinister warnings about ‘Gemini’?
Through this maze of secrets and lies, will Luz finally find her happiness … or her ruin?


For a moment they stared at each other. He was clearly a gitano, one of those people that Luz’s
family had always warned her to steer clear of. The frayed, cut-down denims sat low on his hips, revealing deeply tanned, muscular long legs, and his feet were bare as though he had just
walked straight from the beach. Unruly chestnut hair, bleached golden in parts by the sun,
tumbled to his shoulders; his smooth copper skin glowed more than that of any gypsy she had
ever seen. As she allowed her gaze to flick back to his face, Luz caught the flash of amused,
provocative arrogance in those bright, burning eyes, mixed with something deeper that she
didn’t understand. She swallowed. The overwhelming masculinity of the gitano unsettled her.
Luz lifted her chin resolutely, but felt the pull of his magnetism reaching out and gripping her,
beguiling and dangerous, so that instinctively she nudged her mount and they broke into a
smooth canter. The thumping of her heart sounded loud in her ears. She could sense his eyes
on her, as a palpable touch, even as she rode away, trembling, and the feeling remained with
her until she knew she was out of sight.

Purchase links for MASQUERADE:

Author Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early
childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each
fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a
degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an
Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

Social links

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

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Monday, August 10, 2015


Today my friend Rain Trueax has agreed to an interview. I met Rain on an Amazon discussion loop and now we are both members of the blog Smart Girls Read Romance at Rain divides her time between her sheep ranch in coastal Oregon and her second home in Arizona. She writes historical, contemporary, and fantasy novels set in the American West. Now here’s Rain’s interview:

Caroline: Where did you grow up?

Rain: With parents and one brother, I grew up on a farm in the foothills of the Washington Cascades, right at the edge of the wilderness. I loved country living, sought to find it again all my adult life and have come close but never quite. The memories stay with me of that simple life, walking those hills, the spring from where our water came, the wildlife, and the old wagon roads.

Libraries and books were part of my life from as early as I could read. Books like The Black Stallion were always on Christmas lists.

I have been married over 50 years. We had two children and now have four grandchildren.

Creek at Rain's Oregon farm

Caroline: I remember my first trip to the library. In my case it was the county bookmobile. Tiny, but the books opened a vast world to me. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Rain: I grew up reading Zane Grey; Frank Slaughter; Ernest Hemingway; John Steinbeck; Jessamyn West;  Margaret Murie; and many other nature, adventure, romance, and western authors. Today I read a wide variety of books. I don’t tend to have favorite genres other than western or romance, but there are authors I read whatever they write and often in genres, which I don’t read otherwise like Craig Johnson and Kevin Hearne.

Caroline: I read those same authors plus Louis L’Amour and Agatha Christie. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Rain: When I am writing a lot, I don’t get far from the keyboard or research. My mini-breaks involve going outside and sitting under out trees to watch the birds, butterflies, and leaves. When there is time, I enjoy going for drives, walks, visiting nature areas, taking photographs, and oil painting. We have an RV, and it’s enjoyable to take it to the mountains, desert, or beach. Oregon is blessed by having many options not that far from where we live. The laptop, which means writing, goes with me. Now we have a hotspot which mostly means I can get email or read the papers from anywhere.

Caroline: I always wanted Hero to rent and RV so we could travel the countryside, but he doesn’t think that would be as much fun as I do. Perhaps it’s because he would be the one driving. ☺ Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Rain: To narrow it to one right now, this came to mind. I used it in one of my books, Where Dreams Go -- “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.” William Blake

Near Rain's Tuscon home

Caroline: Lovely quote. How long have you been writing?

Rain: Hmmm since I could write, My first though that I turned into a full length book would have been fifty years ago. I didn’t try to publish it then... thank goodness ;)

Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Rain: I have a corner of the living room with my desk, shelves, and a bulletin board. It works for me because we never turn on TV during the day. Mostly I want it quiet, but once in awhile I play a soundtrack or a particular song if I am trying to draw up a needed emotion. My computer is a laptop, but I use a monitor and split keyboard to write. I like the laptop for being transportable. I save frequently to jump drives.

Caroline: Aren’t jump drives a wonderful tool? Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Rain: I know where a story will be going, the stages it will pass through, but then let things materialize along the way. Characters will surprise me, when after taking them down a certain path, I realize there was a deeper reason for what they had done. Those discoveries are what make writing exciting. I think I am a plotter and panzer.

Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Rain: I use real historic events for any book set in the past. If a real person seems to fit into that, I might add them for color. I have yet to use a real person as a major secondary character. In Where Dreams Go, an actual, colorful traveling preacher fit into my story. He not only illustrated one of the revivals from those days, but served to add depth to one of the issues between the hero and heroine. I don’t though have my main characters based on anyone I know or have read about. That said, everything we experience does end up adding to the color of our stories.

Caroline: Do you set daily writing goals?

Rain:  I don’t have word goals for every day but when a story is going well for me, it will be around 5000 words in a day. That’s when I generally stop because if I write too fast, I miss the lucky surprises. I write every day but not always fiction.

Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Rain: I want them to have an enjoyable emotional ride along with my characters. I like it when one of them later tells me that the character seemed so real they momentarily had to remember it had only been fictional. I try to put nature into stories to inspire others to enjoy it as I do. I like the idea that a book of mine can be taken at two levels—one for the fun of the read but the other for something that can be learned about life itself.

Caroline: That our books have a deeper meaning is a goal, isn’t it?  What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Rain: I am no more a plotter for my life than my books. I have three books due out this year and will soon be starting another for February. I am researching it now. I never though know how my books will be seen by others as I write stories that come to me and they often aren’t what even I expected. My long-term plans are just to keep writing but maybe more novellas after I finish that next book... oh and lots of editing always is in the picture.

Caroline: Yes, we are constantly editing. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Rain: Editing is ongoing for what will be my third Oregon historical due out September 21st. I have its cover and have done all but the last edit which will happen after the beta readers get back to me. Then the sixth Arizona historical comes out November 5th—again, it’s all about editing as it’s written. Same with the fourth Oregon historical, which will be out December 21st. The story ruminating in my head will be the 7th Arizona historical, and it’s going to be out February 5th. Somewhere in there, I want to do some reading just for fun as it’s been way too long.

Front of Rain's Tuscon home

Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Rain: Write, write and write some more. Learn your craft. The best story doesn’t work if others cannot understand and follow it. If you haven’t already, take some classes. It is an exciting time to be a writer where we can put our story out there, but we really have to work to be sure we put it out in good condition and readable. The beauty though is it can be our story and doesn’t have to fit what just sold a bunch of books. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a writer.

Caroline: Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

Rain: My husband and I enjoy wilderness skinny dipping in rivers, creeks, lakes, and mountain hot springs. Just out of curiosity, once we went to a nudist beach in California. It was interesting but nothing we repeated. There is something though about swimming without clothing that is very freeing—but I like it best when nobody is around except us.

Caroline: What’s something about you that would surprise or shock readers?

Rain:  That’s definitely not going to be shared ;)

One of Rain's cows with calf in Oregon

Caroline: Is ECHOES FROM THE PAST part of a series?

Rain: I have two series going right now with alternate publishing dates, which I have to say complicates things. It more happened than was planned-- panzer. Both series, Arizona and Oregon, involve families or friendships extended over the years. The newest one, Echoes from the Past, is the first romance involving what will be three brothers. No cliffhangers and they all stand alone but with supporting characters showing up throughout the stories, kind of like people tend to come and go from our lives.

Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about ECHOES FROM THE PAST?

Rain: Holly Jacobs, a modern, educated woman, has been haunted by dreams since she was thirteen. It led to her going to university and becoming an anthropologist. Now, thanks to an inheritance, she is preparing an excavation into ancient ruins in Central Arizona, still a dangerous land in 1901. Beyond what science can tell her, Holly is looking for an answer to her own mystery. Did her dreams tell her that she lived in one of those ruins and experienced a great but doomed love?

When that star-crossed lover of the past shows up in Tucson, looking as dangerous as ever, she knows she should stay away, but the draw is too strong. Their love has been cursed before and will be again, or can a curse like that be broken?

ECHOES FROM THE PAST is a western historical, taking its characters on an exploration into Southwestern prehistoric ruins. Passion, adventure, and danger are experienced in the beauties of Central Arizona, as are the meaning of love, family and friendship.  With some spice and strong language.

Caroline: Hero and I love exploring ancient Southwestern ruins. We’ve hiked ruins in all over New Mexico, Mesa Verde and Sand Springs in Colorado, and Hovenweep. We’ve missed Arizona, though. The time we’d planned a vacation, there was an outbreak of the Hanta virus and we went back to Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde instead. By the way, I love your cover. How about an excerpt of ECHOES FROM THE PAST?

Rain: Here you are:

The Sicillas’ doors were already open. Holly walked in with a smile, which was instantly lost when she saw the tall man talking to Connie. The two turned to look when she had stopped through the doorway. Connie smiled broadly. His face was dour. She couldn’t imagine him smiling-- other than maybe as he squashed a spider.

“Holly,” Connie said as she pulled her into a hug to draw her forward.

“Is my order ready?” she asked, avoiding looking at him. He hadn’t moved from where he was standing, arms crossed over his chest. Even though clean shaven and now wearing a suit and white shirt, he looked as disreputable as when he had pulled her from her runaway horse. He was wearing a gun only partly hidden by a broadcloth jacket.

“Some came in. I want you to meet someone.” She pulled Holly to the last place she wanted to be. “Holly, this is Vince Taggert. Vince, Holly Jacobs is who I was telling you about.”

The smile on his face looked as unreal as she was sure hers did. “Glad to meet you,” he said with apparently no sincerity. He didn’t put out his hand, and she was glad. She’d not willingly touch him again, not even to be polite.

“How about you both come into the kitchen. I had something I wanted to explain to Vince, and now that you’re here, you can hear it also.”

Reluctantly, Holly followed Connie, all too aware of the tall man right behind her. Something about the sound of his boots on the wooden floor annoyed her, but then almost everything about him irritated her. She wondered if he would tell Connie how he saved her. She wished she had waited until later to come to the store. Then he’d have been gone, and she’d have been spared the awkwardness.

In the kitchen, Connie motioned for them to sit as she poured hot water into a tea pot. “I think you will like this one,” she said as she brought the pot and three cups back to the table for the tea to steep.

“Where’s Del?” he asked as he turned a chair and straddled it, leaning his elbows on its back.

“He was going to the river to bring back fresh greens. He gets restless and a ride in the morning helps.”

“If my supplies aren’t ready, I can come back,” Holly said wanting anything more than to be across the table from that man.

“First drink some tea, while I explain why I asked Vince to come to Tucson,” Connie said with another of those smiles that always made Holly wonder what she saw that she did not.

“You asked him to come?” she asked without modulating her tone. She knew the him had come out without masking her annoyance. She glanced over to see him watching her with a faint smile.

“I wrote him.” Connie turned to Vince. “Holly is why I wrote you.”

Vince’s smile of amusement broadened. Holly’s annoyance grew. “I am having a hard time understanding why,” he said.

“Holly is an anthropologist, an archaeologist. She is about to go on an excavation into the Cibecue area.”

“Cibecue huh.” He turned that cold stare onto Holly then. “You know much about that country?”

“Enough,” she said tilting her chin up with an expression that she hoped would stop his smile. It did not.

“Nobody with a brain would think that’s a smart place to go pot hunting.”

If she had been annoyed before, she was close to infuriated now. “Archaeology is not about pot hunting, Mr. Taggert.”

“Tell that to the Wetherhills.” He snickered.

“So you are not totally ignorant about the science,” she snapped.

“Not where it comes to making money.”

“Archaeology is about discovery. It is not about making money.”

“Ah and who pays for the digs?”

“Well, benefactors or universities.”

His smile broadened. “Money.”

“In some cases. I am, however, funding my own.”

This time he laughed. It sounded genuinely amused. It made her more annoyed and convinced she never wanted to see him again. “You are funding it because those with more sense wouldn’t.”

She felt as though the top of her head was going to explode. “I did not ask anyone else.”

“Children,” Connie said as she poured the tea. “Drink some tea and calm down a bit.”

Caroline: Intriguing! Where can readers find ECHOES FROM THE PAST?

Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?


Caroline: Thanks for sharing with us today, Rain. Best wishes for continued success in your writing career.