Monday, January 25, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
In case you are one of the few people who has escaped my announcement, please let me share my news with you. Recently, I learned that A BRIDE FOR GIDEON received the honor of being named the #1 Proxy book of all time by BookAuthority! OF ALL TIME! Can you believe it? I am—to say the least—amazed and pleased!
Do I believe A BRIDE FOR GIDEON is the best Proxy Bride book of all time? Of course, I'd like to because it's my baby and I love it. I think you'll have to read it and decide for yourself.
The hero and heroine in A BRIDE FOR GIDEON are among my favorites and the book is one of my favorite stories. The cover by V. McKevitt of Black Widow Designs is one of my favorite covers. Obviously, I enjoyed writing and promoting this book. To have someone else recommend it is icing on my cake—with cherries on top.
Here’s a bit about the story:
Keira desperately wants to belong somewhere...
Gideon is haunted by a secret too horrible to share...
Fate conspires against them.
Keira Cameron came to Boston from Scotland after the death of her parents. She wanted a job, a husband, and eventually a family. She feels rejected because she's too tall, too foreign, and too pretty for a wife to want her working near her husband. Were her expectations unreasonable? Her cousin convinces her to enter a proxy marriage to his friend, Gideon Ross, who lives in Montana Territory. Out of options, she agrees and hopes her goals will be realized.
Gideon Ross is a large man at five inches over six feet. His business is a smithy and gun repair shop. The war left him with a terrible scar on his face. He wears a beard to try to conceal the scar but still hears people whisper he's a monster and a giant. Do they think he has no feelings? He's haunted by the war and has terrible nightmares. Reluctantly, he agrees to wed Keira by proxy.
Outside forces work against the couple. Keira and Gideon must find the key to the attack on their lives. Can they defeat the enemy before they're too late?
I sympathized with Keira because she was even taller than I am. As a girl I was usually the youngest and tallest person in my school class. I dreaded one part of the several family reunions we attended each summer. Seeing extended family was fun and the food was great. Unless you were tall, you have no idea how many times I heard a man tell my father that he should tie a brick to my head to slow my growth. Ugh. This was supposed to be a joke but I did not find the comment funny.
Moving on, A BRIDE FOR GIDEON is a mystery which has Keira and Gideon racing to solve before the villain succeeds.
Universal buy link at Amazon is https://mybook.to/Keira and the book is in e-book, print and is also in KU.
Although this is a part of the multi-author series Proxy Brides, the book is a stand-alone work. If you haven't read this story, please do. And, please leave a review.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Stephanie Smith here posting for Caroline Clemmons.
I always seem to like the romances Nora Roberts sets in Ireland. She lives in Ireland half the year and in the United States the other half. I would be happy just to travel to Ireland, let alone live there. Caroline told me she met Nora Roberts a couple of times at writer's conferences. Ms. Roberts was always nice to everyone there. I always like to support writers that are nice people. On the other hand, there are some writers that I won't read because they are mean.
The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy Book 1 by Nora Roberts
Breen Kelly hates her job but needs it to pay off her student loan and live on. When watching her mother's house one day, she finds some papers that show there is an account worth four million dollars under her name. She immediately guesses that her dad, who left when she was little, had sent the money and her mother never mentioned it.
After gaining control of her money, Breen goes to Ireland for the summer to find her father. She rents a nice cottage by a big wood outside of Galway. One day she follows a dog into the wood and falls, quite literally, into a new world. This world mirrors Ireland in some ways, but also has faeries, elves, mermaids, and her family on her father's side.
A man named Keegan will teach her to fight, she will embrace powers she never knew she had, and where a newfound courage will lead her toward her destiny.
I asked for this book for Christmas and finished it in one day. It was that good. There was a time when I felt like Nora Roberts would publish one newly written, good book, then something from her early, rejected works. That time has long passed. Her writing is well-honed and sucks you into the work.
I write non-fiction but have read enough romances to understand the cadence and arc they are supposed to follow. This one hit all the right notes.
Also, I like stories set in Ireland with faeries, elves, and assorted exotic wildlife. This one did not disappoint. I started it at bedtime, then couldn't put it down. I binge-read it all at once. Who needs sleep anyway? My only complaint is that the next book in the series does not come out until the end of the year.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Caroline Clemmons is letting me post today to talk about my pet peeve: animal anachronisms.
I used to live far out in the country. My neighbor leased the grazing rights on my land. He had a couple of horses, including a mare. I looked out of the study window one day and saw two extra horses, one of whom was being overly “friendly” to the mare. The horses had escaped from another neighbor’s pasture.
This incident reminded me of the books that have the macho hero riding a stallion only he can ride. No one else can touch the horse, but he rides quietly among a group of other horses, including mares. I have news for you. No one who knows anything about horses would ride a stallion near another group of horses. They are dangerous and unpredictable and will mount a mare in season regardless of who is on the mare’s back or riding the stallion. They will fight with and even kill other males.
Just as it is important to have the right clothing and furnishings in your book, it is important to have the animals in your book behave correctly. To do otherwise damages your credibility and the willing suspension of disbelief that your readers engage in. You should not have a horse do something horses just do not do any more than you would have a regency character dress in an Elizabethan manner.
In the same vein, you should make sure that a dog or cat is of the correct breed for the time and place you are writing about. A Scottish Highlander during the 1600s would not have a Labrador retriever. The breed did not yet exist. The Highlander would probably have a Scottish Elkhound instead, or something similar.
Similarly, while highborn ladies had lapdogs in Regency Europe, they did not have Chihuahuas. They had dogs like the Bichon Frise, a French dog who was bred to be a lady’s companion. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, or their ancestors, appear in many paintings during the reign of King Charles I and II because both had them.
I am not a cat person so I cannot give you cat examples. However, the Cat Fanciers Association or The International Cat Association will answer questions about what breed would be in what place when. The American Kennel Club will answer such questions for dogs. For horses, you will have to query the individual breed registries to find out when the breed came into existence and whether it would be in the time and place you are writing about. All of these places have press liaisons who can help you with your research.
You may feel this is a lot of trouble for something most people will not pick up on. People who read historical romances know their time period. The wrath of fans against authors who make mistakes is legendary. Take care to place the appropriate animal in your books or it may be directed at you.
Bio: Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. is a dog person, has had horses, and does not own cats. She is also a nonfiction writer, photographer, master gardener, and the research department, on occasion. Her website is http://gardencopywriter.com.
Monday, January 11, 2021
Friday, January 08, 2021
By Kara O'Neal
Book 7 in the Texas Brides of Pike's Run Series was a
labor of love for me. Love's Redemption tells Willa Kramer's
story, which became quite complex and meaningful.
Willa has to overcome some very difficult internal and external battles. She faces two truly evil people, and it was hard to write. Not because the story wouldn't flow, but because Willa's journey contained some tough events that she had to endure. And, of course, triumph over.
I love her story. I love what she learns about herself, and how she takes the necessary risks in order to save everyone.
She is strong. She is tough. Stubborn. VERY stubborn. And Lonnie, the man she loves, is her match.
I enjoyed bringing these two together. They are a force, in my opinion. After what they go through, not much else can shake their love.
Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/49lVYM
Pike’s Run, Texas
When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.
Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.
A sagging house stood before Oscar Kramer. His blood boiled. What the hell had happened to his brother’s home? The damn place was falling apart. The weeds rising around the rotting wood served as evidence something had gone wrong. He spat tobacco on the ground.
While he considered possible scenarios, he cracked his knuckles and narrowed his eyes. If someone had ruined his brother, Oscar would rip his heart out then get back everything that had once belonged to his kin. The acres of wheat and corn surrounding the house were in good condition. What was going on?
A cheerful whistle distracted him. He turned his head toward the sound and found a man with a hoe slung over his shoulder walking down the dirt road. Oscar stalked to the gate. “Whoa, there.”
The wiry man noticed him and paused. Caution spread over the whistler’s face. “M-Mornin’.”
Oscar jerked his head at the decaying structure behind him. “You know the people who lived here?”
The man swallowed then nodded.
When he didn’t continue, Oscar had to tamp down irritation. Grabbing him by the throat wouldn’t help get the answers he needed. “Where are they?”
The man’s face paled. “I…uh…I don’t know. Their man died.”
The explanation knocked Oscar on the jaw. “What the hell do you mean? Willard Kramer is dead?”
White appeared around the informer’s lips. “I-I…”
Oscar shoved the gate. “Get the damn words out before I rip them from you!”
The man’s eyes shot wide. “The sheriff shot him. K-Killed him. A-After Kramer beat up the schoolteacher, Miss Parker.”
Murdered? His brother had been murdered? Because of a woman? He blinked as a roaring grew in his head. The sound of harsh breathing reminded him he wasn’t alone. He snapped out of his haze. “Get the hell out of here,” he growled.
The man didn’t hesitate. Dust followed in his wake.
Oscar’s hands trembled. He whipped back to the house. The sheriff would pay for this, and he’d find his brother’s children and take them from that bitch of a wife. He gritted his teeth as he cracked his knuckles again. No one murdered a Kramer. No one.
Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please visit me at www.karaoneal.com.
Wednesday, January 06, 2021