Friday, September 24, 2021

LONG WAY HOME 99¢ SALE

By Caroline Clemmons

LONG WAY HOME, a sweet historical romance novella set near the end of the Civil War, is on sale for 99¢ today through Wednesday, September 29th.

During the Civil War, no doubt soldiers longed for home the way it existed before the War. Many men lost their home and family members. In the Civil War, more men died than in any other war in which the United States has been involved. That’s a staggering statistic. Think of all the women who lost loved ones, who became spinsters because there simply were not enough men left of marrying age, and the damaged men who did return. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome was called battle fatigue, and thought to be temporary. No one knew how to treat severe cases.

Prisons on both sides were horrendous, as Parmelia Bailey’s brother found. Many who survived lost so much weight they were skeletal. Often they were without coats in freezing weather, some without even shoes. We hate foreign countries that do to our soldiers what our own countrymen did in the Civil War.

Soldiers from both sides chose several options after the War’s end. Some returned home to reclaim as much as they could. Some traveled West to seek a better life. Others became outlaws like the Quantrell or Murrell’s Raiders or similar groups, using their army training to rampage and wreak destruction. 


 

Here’s the blurb for the sweet historical romance, LONG WAY HOME:

Parmelia Bailey has promised to keep her family safe until the men in her family return from War. That includes bringing her brother’s fiancée, sisters, and mother to stay at the home of Parmelia’s grandmother in town. Maybe she shouldn’t have stolen back her horses from the Yankees, but she could think of no other way to rescue the Hardeman women.

Darrick McDonald waited four years to return to Witherspoon, Georgia and Parmelia. Who would have dreamed war would bring him back. He had to protect Parmelia from a renegade who’d vowed to make her sorry she’d turned down his proposal. He prayed he wasn’t too late.

Here’s an excerpt from LONG WAY HOME:

At last, she turned into her grandparents’ drive and pulled around to the back. With a huge sigh, she stopped at the carriage house. Surely a week had passed since she caught her horses last night. All she wanted now was to crawl in bed and sleep for days, pretend the war never happened. She couldn’t relax yet, not until the horses were back with those Yankee scoundrels.”

“Sarah, let’s see your mother and sisters inside. After that, Rob and I will deal with the chickens and cow.” Parmelia’s hands shook as she climbed out of the buggy. Fatigue, relief, and fear turned her limbs to jam.

She walked Sarah and her family to the back door where Grammy and Mama took over.

Parmelia returned to the carriage house. “Rob, help me unhitch the horses and put their bridles on so I can take them back.”

“Why don’t I do that.” Darrick McDonald stepped from the shadows. He appeared calm, until she looked at his face.

Parmelia was surprised sparks didn’t shoot from his dark eyes and ignite the entire carriage house. She clutched her throat, hoping a way out of this predicament would come to her. How had he known to come here, to wait for her?

“Darrick, you—you gave me a fright.”

“Did I? Perhaps you have a guilty conscience.” He freed one of the horses.

“When did you come back?” She fought for an idea, but none came to her.

“Late yesterday.” He walked back and forth beside Lady. “Funny thing, you having two horses after the Army confiscated all the livestock in town. Another coincidence, two Army horses went missing overnight.”

“Did they?”

He stopped and gave her a piercing look.

She gave up with a sigh. “I can explain.”

“I’m listening.” His eyes were still dark with anger.

“My brother’s fiancée. You remember Sarah Hardeman? I had to bring her and her family to town. I—I had no way to do that without a team.”

Rob added, “These are our horses anyway. You low down, yellow-bellied Yankees stole them from us.”

Oh, Lord. Leave it to her brother to make things worse.

“Hush, Rob. Give me the bridles. Put the cow in the barn then come help me with these chickens.”

He pouted and handed over the tack. “Oh, all right. I never get to hear anything good.” Rob untied the cow and stomped toward the barn.

“So, you’re a Yankee officer now.”

“Captain.” Darrick crossed his arms. “I’m waiting for an explanation, Parmelia.”

Her temper conquered her good sense, and she stepped toward him. “You’ve got your nerve, coming here wearing that uniform, you...you traitor.”

He stepped forward until they were almost touching. “Call me what you will, but you’re the one who stole two horses in a time of war.”

She refused to retreat. “How can you accuse me of stealing, when you Yankees have taken over our town?”

“Because you did steal them, and you weren’t even clever about it. I followed their tracks to your grandparents’ home. You do realize that with a less sympathetic Colonel, they could lose their home?”

Dear heaven, she hadn’t considered her grandparents if she were caught.

“No!” She took a step backward. “I was going to return them. Rob’s right, they are ours. They know me, so they were eager to come to me.”

He pulled a small, withered apple from his pocket.

Rats, she must have dropped it, one of the few from their store of fruit in the cellar.

Darrick held the apple in front of her nose. “Looks to me as if you coaxed them away.”

She sighed, “Maybe I did, but it was only to use them for a little while. Sarah and her family were in great peril.”

He tossed the apple from one hand to the other, but stared at her face. “Are you crazy? You could have been killed.”

She grabbed the apple from him. “Sarah, her mother, and sisters could have been murdered and their home burned. We barely got away in time as it is.”

“If you had bothered to consult the Colonel, he would have sent soldiers for them. As it turns out, I would have taken my men and gone.”

“Are you crazy? You could have been killed.”

Shocked at the concern in her voice and in her heart, she continued, “Um, I mean, they might not have recognized you and could have shot you. Or, that man that tried to take my horse could have killed you.”

Oh, no, she hadn’t meant to tell that last part.

He grew angrier and grabbed her arms. “What do you mean?

She tried to twist away. “Nothing.”

“Parmelia Bailey, who tried to take your horse?” He turned her to face him.

Refusing to meet his gaze, she stammered, “There, um, there was a man in the woods, a ways north of the Mitchell’s house. He…um, he jumped at me and tried to take Beauty, but Rob and I got away.”

“You are the stubbornest, orneriest woman I’ve ever known. Don’t you realize what could have happened to you?”

“It crossed my mind,” she snapped and raised her face.

“If you were mine, I’d, I’d...”

“Yours? You moved away and left me, remember? And now you’re a Yankee officer.” Lord, she shouldn’t have reminded him she’d loved him. Worse, she still loved him.

She willed tears not to fall. Keep your anger up, don’t let him know how he hurt you.

“You know why I left Witherspoon. You know I had no choice.”

“There’s always a choice.” And she would have chosen to go with him, if only he’d asked, even if she had been only sixteen.

“Like you chose to steal these horses?”

She shrugged away from his grasp. “Steal? Soldiers stole them from us. Do you understand the term ‘borrow’? That’s what I did.”

“In times of war, the government has the power to confiscate items from civilians. Do you understand that?”

“Call it what you wish, it’s still stealing when you take what’s not yours and keep it.”

“Maybe we’re only borrowing your horses.”

She thought his mouth twitched to hide a smile. His humor only irked her more.

“Like you Yankees borrowed from the stores in town so we can’t even buy supplies—that is, if we had money. Which we don’t.”

He smiled. “I heard you had plenty of those Confederate dollars.”

“Oh, you...you Yankees make me so mad. Take my horses and leave.” She turned and stomped toward the house.

He called, “Aren’t you going to invite me in to say hello to the family? Maybe you could bake me an apple pie.”

She slammed the kitchen door and leaned against it. His laughter floated around her.

From the front of the house, she heard Mrs. Hardeman complaining and Mamma and Grammy’s soft, soothing answers. She wondered how much of Mrs. Hardeman’s grousing they’d have to endure.

Parmelia pushed away from the door, and then remembered those dratted chickens. Peeking through the curtains, she saw Darrick leading the horses away. His long, lean body looked good, his walk a confident swagger. Dark brown hair caught the sunlight. Lordy, he was better looking than he had been four years ago when he lived in Witherspoon.

When he’d touched her just now, she’d sizzled. She’d wanted to throw herself in his arms and have him reassure her, kiss her, love her. How could he create these sensations inside her when he’d abandoned her four years ago? When now he sided with their enemies?

She jumped when Sarah came up to her.

“Parmelia, is something wrong?”

“I—I just remembered the chickens is all. I’ll get Rob to help me get them down and into the chicken coop.”

“Nonsense. My sisters and I will do it. You look all worn out. You must have ridden most of the night.”

She shrugged. “I’m all right. We started for your place close to midnight.”

Sarah’s dark eyes sparkled. “Did you really take those horses from the Yankees?”

“Yes, but they’re on their way back to those thieves now. Darrick McDonald was waiting for them in Grammy’s barn.”

“Darrick?” Sarah touched Parmelia’s arm. “Oh, Parmelia. Is he still as handsome?”

She sighed, hating to admit the truth. “More. And taller. He sure fills out his uniform, too, but it’s blue.”

“Oh.” Sarah paused. “But he’s here, and you talked to him. That’s something, isn’t it?”

Before Parmelia had to answer, Rob slammed inside the kitchen. “That old cow’s still upset. Am I supposed to milk her or what?”

“I’ll get the pail for you.” Parmelia retrieved it from the screened in porch. “The stool’s still in the barn.” She clasped her hands. “Fresh milk. Oh, that will be wonderful. We’ve been without it for a month.”

Rob called, “We got to have hay.”

“Maybe she can eat the lawn tomorrow. I’ll try to barter some hay.” But who had any supplies except the Yankees? Sighing, she went back into the kitchen. She simply could not deal with another crisis today.


If this tempted you to purchase LONG WAY HOME, it’s available from Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/LONG-WAY-HOME-ebook/dp/B005HQYUSK/

 


If you read this novella and enjoy it, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. I’ll appreciate your effort.

 

Stay safe and keep reading! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Haunted Bride by Maggie Tideswell

 

 


Haunted Bride

Moragh's Ghost Book 1

by Maggie Tideswell

Genre: Paranormal Romance



"Excellent read! Maggie Tideswell's book is impossible to put down. This writer is skilled in evoking deep emotions in the readerA pleasure to read." - Amazon Reviewer

A marriage of convenience - no strings attached - suited both Holly and Joshua just fine; a virgin marriage, so that they could both walk away… But they made a crucial mistake: they didn't take chemistry into account.

Holly —
Seriously? They actually advertised for a husband for her without telling her?
She was going to have to kill them, stone dead.

But having a ‘husband’ behind her would give her an edge she didn’t have now. Donald, her ex, and his wife would have to revise their strategy of keeping her children away from her. That was an advantage worth taking a risk for. But what kind of man was likely to respond to a tiny ad in the newspaper no one reads anymore?

Joshua —
Nicole had to marry him now or let him go. He was done waiting, but he did not know what else he could do to persuade her to his way of thinking. Until he saw the little ad in the paper. A plan fell into his head as if he'd snapped his fingers. This woman who audaciously advertised herself as available would do perfectly. Married to another woman would make him irresistibly attractive to Nicole – as was the case with everything she wanted and couldn’t have.

From the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage, strange things started happening to her, and the strangeness followed her to her new (temporary) home. She was going to have to unravel a decades-old mystery before anything else.

A ghost, a wronged fiancée, and trouble with everyone around them. Will Holly and Joshua get what they’ve set out to achieve?


Exerpt


Windows rattled in the wind, threatening the glass in its frames. Smoke billowed down the chimney, filling the room, tendrils of which swirled around the lovers, heating and cooling them at the same time.  

Then, silence. That was when Holly heard the owls again.  

Who-o-o, ho-o-o 

She imagined she heard their wings beating the air, but it was probably her blood slowing in her veins.  

Who-o-o, ho-o-o. 

Reality hit unmercifully. She covered her face with her hands. What had she done? This wasn’t supposed to have been a real marriage. How weak, needy, immoral—or all of the above—was she? She had only met the man a few hours ago. 

Joshua raised himself onto his elbows propped on either side of her head and glanced about the room. “Was it me, or did the earth move for you, too?” When he kissed her, she felt his grin. “The owls approve. This can only predict good fortune for our plans.” He rolled to his feet, swinging her up into his arms as he went. The door of the morning room crashed against the wall when he kicked open 

The passage was dark, the only light coming from a small window at the far end and from the open door behind them. The house creaked and sighed around them.  

Every house has its own sounds 

Holly snuggled into Joshua’s shoulder, rubbing her nose against the hot skin of his throatThere was nothing to be scared of, yet she jerked in his arms when he kicked another door open and it rebounded against the wall.  

He grinned down at her. “Skittish, aren’t you?” he said, depositing her in the middle of the huge four-poster bed.  

He didn’t understand, and she wasn’t about to enlighten him. What wouldn’t he think if she were to tell him a ghost was following her around, scaring the daylights out of her?  

The fire in the hearth cast long licks on the walls. When he met her eyes, she lifted her arms to him in welcome, her earlier remorse a thing of the past. She couldnt wait to be possessed again, this time to the chorus of the nocturnal hunters she could hear outside the window. She wouldn’t fear them. If Joshua said their presence was a good omen, who was she to argue?  

Drifting back down to earth with the pleasant weight of her new husband pressing her into the mattress, there was a flutter of wings in the absolute silence before an owl landed on the headboard. Its claws scratched the finish from the wood.  

Holly flapped her hands, trying to shoo the creature into the air, but only when Joshua rolled off her, did it take flightShe watched him sit up on the edge of the bed to follow the owl’s progress around the room. When it found the window and the night outside, he settled onto his pillows and pulled her head to his shoulder, lighting a cigarette. 

Through the fog of sleep, she heard him say, “Wasn’t that something? They’ve never made their way inside before. It seems to be a time for firsts.”  

Holly’s eyes fluttered. She’d take his word for it; she was far too sated to worry about birds. About to succumb to slumber, he said from somewhere above her head, “I presume you are on the pill?”  

His voice was low in the still of the night, but her eyes flew open, and her head came off his shoulder quicker than he could have said ‘gotcha’.  

Sitting on her ankles in the middle of the bed, she clasped both hands to her mouth. She hadn’t worried about birth control for so long, it had completely slipped her mind.  

What if she got pregnant?  

They had done it twice without protection.  

This could turn into a complication that would most surely foil his plans, although it would help her own cause tremendously.  

Joshua had been stubbing his cigarette out, but when he turned back and saw her face, he, too, shot up from the pillows. “You’re not on the pill,” he stated as he swung his legs from the bed. With a vicious curse that had her ears burning, he pulled a pair of jeans and a shirt from the closet, and slammed the bedroom door behind his naked self. 

Tears welled in her eyes and spilled over unchecked. Okay, this was nothing new. She knew he wanted children, but the kiddies had to be born from Nicole to satisfy Joshua’s sensibilities. In so many words, he had told her he’d amuse himself with her while they were married, but it would be no more than part of the act.  

How easily she had fallen for him?  

This was not what she had planned to do.  

Would he ever believe she hadn’t meant to trap him? 

Who-o-o, ho-o-o. 

Goodreads * Amazon


Maggie Tideswell, internationally acclaimed bestselling South African author, has a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, making it love, not money, that makes the world go round.
Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can't do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time.
The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them.
That might change soon.


Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads



Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon giftcard,

ebook of Find My Love by Maggie Tideswell

- 1 winner each! 


 a Rafflecopter giveaway