Monday, August 29, 2016

Blog Tour Tuesday: Cowboys and Calico by Kirsten Osbourne, Amelia C. Adams, Cassie Hayes, Kristin Holt, and Margery Scott

Today's Blog Tour Tuesday features Cowboys and Calico by Kirsten Osbourne, Amelia C. Adams, Cassie Hayes, Kristin Holt, and Margery Scott.

What happens when you get five western romance authors together and ask them to compile an anthology? Well, in our case, you get a great collection of sweet love stories sure to sweep every reader off their feet.

Considering that I am one of the participating authors, it's difficult for me to offer an unbiased review. I happen to think it's an awesome collection, but you don't have to take my word for it - there are 70 reviews on Amazon right now that are mostly five star. (I don't mean to sound braggy, even though maybe I feel a little braggy. It's just fun to do something that people are enjoying so much.)

Here are the blurbs for each story:

MAIL ORDER MIDWIFE by Kirsten Osbourne - Widowed midwife Patsy Lawrence spent too much time working and not enough with her young daughter. She knew Emily's childhood would be over before she realized it, so she responded to an ad for a mail-order bride, hoping for a better future for them both.

Dr. Wesley Hardy needed a wife to complete him, so he sent a letter to a mail-order bride agency back East. When he received a letter from a widow with a young daughter, he was thrilled with everything but her profession. Could he live with the fact that his new bride was a midwife? Or would they be destined to live without love for the rest of their days?

A BROKEN WING by Amelia C. Adams - Bored beyond all reason while riding a train from Missouri to Colorado, Trinity Scott amuses herself by imagining things about the passengers around her, including the handsome man sitting across the aisle. With his dark curly hair and warm brown eyes, he’s certainly intriguing, and the fact that his arm is in a sling makes him all the more a curiosity.

But when three dangerous men board the train, her desire for adventure and excitement takes a sinister turn, and she must call on her inner strength to do what’s needed to survive.

THE MARSHAL’S REBELLIOUS BRIDE by Cassie Hayes - U.S. Marshal Curtis ‘Griff’ Griffith is on the trail of a wanted man. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by the newest resident of the Dalton Brothers Ranch. So why does he keep returning? It’s certainly not to see the beautiful-but-bullheaded Catherine James.

Catherine has no interest in men or marriage, but there aren’t many choices for single ladies to earn a living on a remote Texas ranch. When she discovers that she holds the key to capturing the outlaw — and collecting some of the reward — she doesn’t hesitate to force Griff’s hand.

Will they kill each other before they find the murderer, or will they risk their damaged hearts for a shot at a new life?

COURTING MISS CARTWRIGHT by Kristin Holt - Courtship, by the book, is supposed to be easy…

As the daughter of an unwed mother, Felicity Percival is accustomed to rejection. Her mother was her only family ... until she is summoned to the reading of her father's will. To learn he was a married preacher with a second daughter horrifies her. The stipulations attached to her inheritance infuriate her. The last thing she expects is the emergence of truths that destroy her life-long beliefs. The last thing she wants is to feel the blush of first love for a man she can't have.

The road to Happily Ever After should not be rocky, especially for level-headed, rule-following Rocky Gideon. His courtship of the minister’s daughter is successful and on track, surviving everything life throws at them … except the appearance of the preacher’s other daughter. Felicity asks too many questions, forces him to evaluate his carefully constructed plan, and somehow steals his heart.

Rocky desperately needs a solid marriage that will go the distance … so why does he yearn for the wrong sister?

WANTED: THE PERFECT HUSBAND by Margery Scott - Sybil Franklin needs a husband—fast! In order to keep her ranch, she must be married within thirteen days. Devin McGregor meets all her requirements and comes highly recommended, but he has no interest in marriage.

Devin McGregor had a ranch once, a fiancée, a future. He made a mistake, and it cost him everything. Now, even though he’d love to own his own land again, he’s afraid to risk failure.

Sybil decides to post an advertisement for the perfect husband. As Devin tries to protect her from being taken advantage of, his feelings for her grow, but his fear of failing her won’t let him accept her proposal.

Both Sybil and Devin have choices, but making the right choice means they could both lose everything.

This anthology is only available until November 1st, but the good news is, it's only .99. After November 1st, the books will be released again, but separately at full price.

About the Author:

Amelia C. Adams has been having far too much fun lately researching horrible diseases and how to treat them for her Nurses of New York series. (You never know what authors will find fascinating.) She's also been bonnet shopping (see visual evidence to the right).

She spends her days frittering and her nights writing and editing. You can learn more about her at

Friday, August 26, 2016

What’s in a Name?

One of the first steps in my writing process involves searching for just the right name that creates an image or impression for that character. For walk-in characters or ones with a small role, ordinary names are okay because as an author, I don’t want them to stand out or gain personality quirks.

For my main characters, I have always sought unique and hopefully memorable names. Probably a carryover from real life because that’s how I chose my own children’s names.

Another part of the initial creation is what ethnicity I want for the characters. Will this factor have an impact about their goals or possibilities in making a successful life? Often with historicals set in America, I need to factor in the time in history when a large number of a particular ethnic group immigrated. Can’t really have a story about Scandinavian farmers in the western Great Lakes area (present-day Wisconsin) in 1790 when the biggest influx wasn’t until 1830-1840. Or I can’t put a big number of Spaniards in Vermont.

In the meanings of the names, I find a personality characteristic that becomes a core element for that person. As I think of my heroes, I realize I choose one-syllable names a lot (Luc, Cord, Slade, Finn, Whit, Holt, Roark, Rey, Dez—to name a few). With those choices, I’m relaying a strength, a solidity for the heroine to rely on. As with many female names, the ones I choose for a heroine end in the letter “a” (Vena, Lyssa, Hanna, Rikka, Ciara, Kimbra, Dissa) which highlights a softer aspect of their natures.

When I was plotting my story Dreams of Gold, I wanted a name for my Irish heroine that flowed off the tongue and that the reader could envision was being spoken with an accent, so I picked Ciara Morrissey. For the hero, I wanted a name that conjured the image of a no-nonsense man. My ex-soldier became Quinn Riley.

So, next time you start a new romance story, consider the author’s intent in choosing the names to fit the characters.


1871, Wyoming Territory

Easterner Ciara Morrissey travels west to honor a sacred promise to her mother and locate her fortune-seeking father. Three years of acting as caretaker to her grandparents and mother until their deaths has created a thirst in Ciara to see what the wide world has to offer.

Sheriff Quinn Riley has been tracking the Irish charlatan who swindled half the population of Bull City, Wyoming. He’s determined to stick close to the opinionated woman who arrived on the runaway stagecoach. Within only a few hours, easterner Ciara Morrissey upsets the townspeople by making inquires about his prime suspect. He’s duty-bound to keep her safe, even when being close to the green-eyed beauty sets off a stampede in his heart.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gold Fever

Gold Fever

No, I'm not talking Olympic gold.  : )
The USA along with the New World was pretty much a rush for gold. Like a carrot, the allure of the yellow metal drew people from Europe and then in the United States ~ Westward.

The United States was new when the first gold find was made in 1799. And it was by a young lad of 12. He lugged the 17 pound of rock to his family farm and for the most part - they used it as a doorstop.

Once word got around, North Carolina housed the first gold rush in the United States.
Thirty years later in 1829, gold was found in the Southern Appalachians in Georgia.

Of course, we all know the big one, started when James Marshall found gold as they were buidling a saw mill. Sutter's Mill. And the race was on. 1849 helped unite the east with the west. Spurred the idea of Manifest Destiny. And before long, thousands of Forty Niners made their way to California.
California Clipper 500.jpg
WE can thank the gold rush for many things. Sourdough bread, Jeans by Levi Strauss, growth of San Francisco as leading city in the west. California becomes a state and expansion to the west. Wagon trains.

Then in 1896, we have the Klondike gold strike and the Alaskan gold rush was on. in 1900 gold was discovered on the beach in Nome, Alaska and gold seekers flooded the area.

While greed and the lust for quick riches may have been the driving force, we can see how Gold Fever helped populate the west.

So, what say you? Would you pull up stakes and take a half-year long journey to look for gold? As for me, how exciting! Yeah, I'd go.

You can find my books on my website : Patricia PacJac Carroll

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bustles and Bustle Benches ... Oh, My!

Don't we love these gorgeous old dresses with their yards and yards of fabric and ruffles and flounces and yes, bustles? One of my favorite pictures when I was a little girl was found in my set of Little House on the Prairie books and showed Mary getting ready to go to college, and she wore a dress that looked somewhat similar to the one on the left. Hers wasn't quite as full, though, since Pa was a farmer and couldn't afford all that fancy stuff.

I've often imagined what it would feel like to wear a dress like this (aside from hot and stuffy). Would I feel taller, more elegant, more refined? I think I'd enjoy for about an hour, and then I'd be ready to be done. In addition to the heat and the stuffiness I just mentioned, a dress like this would just be too inconvenient. Can you imagine trying to get in and out of carriages, or for that matter, in and out of chairs?

Last summer, I toured a house that was built in the 1800s, and in the ballroom of that house was a chair they said was specifically designed to be used by a lady wearing one of these huge dresses. My own pictures seem to have disappeared, but this chair is somewhat similar. It's made with just one arm so her voluminous skirts can drape off the other side.
It's a little amusing to me that they'd need to build special furniture to accommodate the fashions of the day, but hey, I can't really judge. 


Amelia C. Adams is the author of the Kansas Crossroads series, the Nurses of New York series, the Hearts of Nashville series, and others. She is an eater of chocolate chip cookies, especially those that are warm, and sees no reason to apologize for that. You can learn more about her at

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Post by Angela Raines

So what inspires you? Is it a line, a word, a picture? Today I wanted to share some of my visual inspirations and maybe some history.

This is the area around Wilkerson Pass on the way from Colorado Springs, CO to the South Park region of Colorado. Yes, there really is a South Park. The park is composed of a grassland flat within the basin formed by the Rocky Mountain Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges at an elevation of 10,000 ft and is around 1,000 square miles in size. It is the largest and southernmost of three high altitude basins in the Front Range of Colorado. The other two are aptly names North and Middle Park. On the West side of the basin are the collegiate peaks.

This is Pikes Peak's Western slope as seen from Wilkerson Pass. My fictional town of Agate Gulch sits between these two areas. 

This photo and old ruin was the inspiration for the town of Agate Gulch. The area is located north and west of the Cripple Creek/Victor mining district and close to the town of Guffey, CO. Guffey is famous for its mayors.  In the 1980-90s animals were elected as mayors of the town, although such an office does not officially exist. According to the locals political parties are called the "Democats" and the "Repuplicans". The last known Mayor of Guffey was a cat named Monster who was elected in 1998.

I just love this photo for the image of the old and new together. It was taken just prior the the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs that destroyed the Flying W Ranch along with numerous other structures. This photo is from that property.

This is a photo of the Gold Coin Club in Victor, CO. For more about this structure and the story of the men who built it:

I leave you with one of my favorites. This sculpture is in the Pathfinder Regional Park located between Canon City and Florence Colorado. To me it typifies the spirit of the men and women who made the journey West to find a new path for their lives.

I have two new stories out this week. One "Never Had a Chance" is Western Historical Romance. The other "Lost Knight, Out of Time" is a Medieval short. Both are part of the Prairie Rose Publications 3rd Birthday Bash.
Never Had a Chance: An Agate Gulch Story by [Raines, Angela]
Lost Knight by [Raines, Angela]

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:


Tuesday, August 16, 2016


This week's Blog Tour Tuesday features 
Lorna Loves a Lawyer 
by Linda Hubalek

Description for Lorna Loves a Lawyer, 
Brides with Grit Series, Book 9:

A sweet historical romance set in 1873. Lorna Jantz left Boston looking for adventure, signing up as a mail-order bride for a rich Kansas rancher. But, the groom only becomes rich after taking off with her money, after their twenty-four hour marriage. Which left Lorna in a pickle, stuck in a little town with no money, no home and a growing belly. 
Lyle Elison was one of Boston’s worst, a spoiled, rich merchant’s son, until enforced time on the family’s Kansas ranch made him see his purpose in life. After training in Boston, he’s back in Clear Creek, Kansas, as the town’s new lawyer. 
Backgrounds make Lorna and Lyle connect, but time spent together makes them good friends, willing to help each other face their respective problems. Lorna needs help tracking down the louse who stole her money and left her in a family way. Lyle needs to be married by his birthday to receive his inheritance from his grandfather’s Will. 
In between their capers, each falls in love with the other, secretly wishing they could confess their love and be together forever. But first, they have to find Lorna’s wayward husband before Lyle’s birthday. 


July 1873, Clear Creek, Kansas
Whap! Whap!
What?! The waitress just slapped him with her dish towel!
“Where have you been?!” she hissed.
Lyle Elison’s hands shot up around his head as he tried to duck her blows.
Whap! Whap! Whap!
“Answer me! Where have you been?!”
“Uh, back East, ma’am.”
“You said you were going to Hays and would be back in a day!”
“Look lady,” Lyle rose out of the dining room chair so he could move out of the way of the next swing and see who the heck was hitting him. “I don’t know why you’d be mad at me…”
Lyle grabbed and twisted the offending towel out of the woman’s hand before focusing on her face. Probably in her mid-twenties, she wasn’t much shorter than his five-foot, eight inch frame. Her light blonde hair was in a bun on the nape of her neck, but wisps of escaped curls flitted around her head as she shook with fury. Her eyes were so narrowed to slits he couldn’t see what color they were, but her lips were pale pink since they were pressed together in a thin line. Her fisted hands were raised to punch him in the face as soon as he let down his guard.
“Maynard Jantz, you took off the day after we were married!”
There wasn’t a sound in Clancy’s Café as the patrons watched the woman scream at him.
“And with my money!” she added.
Lyle’s brain finally caught up with her conversation.
“Who’s Maynard Jantz?” Lyle looked at the woman, then at his brother, Carl, who still sat at their table, chewing on the piece of tough chicken fried steak they’d both unfortunately ordered.
“Maynard? Don’t act like you don’t know me! I’m your wife!”
Carl choked on the meat and spit it out onto the plate. Lyle felt like he’d swallowed the whole steak now.
“I’m Lyle Elison, ma’am, and I do not know you,” Lyle shook his head as he stepped back from the fuming woman.
“Really? You don’t remember our marriage ceremony in Ellsworth and our wedding night?” Her hands were fisted at her waist and she was fuming mad.
Carl rose from his seat, acting like the mediator he always was when Lyle needed help.
“Ma’am, I’m Carl Elison and I assure you there are several people in this café who can vouch that my brother’s name is indeed Lyle Elison. Even though we’re just here visiting for our sister’s wedding this week, we did live here for a while, before returning to our home in Boston early last spring.”
Lyle looked around, hoping a few people would nod their heads. During the short time he did live here, he hadn’t tried to make friends or fit into the community. His father had exiled his sons to this forlorn prairie hoping they’d “straighten up”, and fit the mold of the elder Elison’s plans of his sons taking over the management of the family’s textile mill. But Lyle hadn’t taken on any responsibility of the Bar E Ranch—his parents had bought for him to run—instead, spending his time horse racing, gambling, and traveling.
Although his family didn’t know it, after moving back to Boston, Lyle had begun working on getting his life straightened out, by studying law.
“Well, nice to meet you, Carl. I’m your new sister-in-law, Lorna Adams Jantz,” she snipped while holding out her right hand for Carl to shake. Her left hand was still firmly balled at her waist.
“Lyle,” Carl growled while still looking at this Mrs. Jantz, “did you do something to this woman I should know about?”
“I swear, Carl, I’ve never seen her before,” Lyle felt sweat beading on his forehead as he tried to think if he had met her somewhere…that he shouldn’t have.
Her green silk brocade dress wasn’t the usual attire for someone working in a café. The other woman serving here wore a plain cotton dress and apron for her attire. And her voice was definitely from the Eastern seaboard. What was this high society lady doing in the frontier town of Clear Creek, Kansas?
“So, your name isn’t the same as you wrote on our marriage certificate? Is that part of your scheme to scam me out of my money?”
“Besides not marrying you, I did not take any money from you, either,” Lyle emphatically stated. The woman was getting downright scary.
“Daisy!” the woman yelled to the young girl who stood in the doorway between the dining room and kitchen watching the drama. “Go get Marshal Wilerson for me. He’d be at the jailhouse or at his house behind it. I want this man arrested for stealing my money.”
Lyle inwardly groaned. He’d been in trouble a few times with Marshal Adam Wilerson when he lived here. He’d done some silly pranks when he was drinking with his friends, not causing any property damage, but still disturbing the peace. His father was right. His past would catch up with him someday. It was past time to start acting like a responsible man, not a rich playboy.
“Lorna, get these plates out to customers,” Dan Clancy barked from the open window between the two rooms. “Quit pestering the Elisons and get back to work!”
The woman glared at Lyle before trouncing back to pick up the plates of food lined up to be served. She gingerly tried to balance one plate on her forearm before picking up two more plates in her hands. The woman was shaky, not smooth like the other waitress carrying food to her tables. Lyle guessed she hadn’t had this job for very long, as she wasn’t very good at it.
He and Carl sat back down at the table to eat their cooling food while the lady tended to her job. Hopefully, Marshal Wilerson was out of town and wouldn’t be available to come to this lady’s “rescue”.
“So?” Carl spoke again after grimacing and swallowing his last bite of meat. Unfortunately, this was the only café in town so it got the business if a person wanted to eat.
“I do not know the lady, I did not marry her, nor did I meet her upstairs in any saloon in the past, where I might have met her. For once, I am in the clear.”
“Stealing a thousand dollars from me does not put you ‘in the clear’, Mr. Jantz!”, the woman hissed as she passed their table with a pot of coffee. Lyle grimaced and pulled his shoulders up to his ears, waiting for the scalding liquid to drain down his back.
“A thousand dollars?!” the woman at the next table exclaimed, causing all the customers to look up from their meals to stare at Lyle, then Mrs. Jantz. Now her accusations were getting serious, and Lyle would welcome the marshal’s help.

Purchase links for Lorna Loves a Lawyer:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple

About Linda Hubalek:  

Author Linda K. Hubalek
Linda Hubalek grew up on the Kansas prairie, always wanting to be a farmer like her parents and ancestors. After earning a college degree in Agriculture, marriage took Linda away from Kansas as her husband worked in engineering jobs in several states.

Meanwhile, Linda wrote about pioneer women that homesteaded in Kansas between 1854 to the early 1900s, especially her Swedish immigrant ancestors. Eventually the Hubalek's returned to Kansas, back to the area Linda's ancestors settled in 1869.

Her historical fiction book series are Butter in the Well, Trail of Thread, Planting Dreams and the Kansas Quilter.

Currently she is writing the historical western romance series, Brides with Grit.
Brides with Grit Series in order: 
Rania Ropes a Rancher (Rania and Jacob) 
Millie Marries a Marshal (Millie and Adam) 
Hilda Hogties a Horseman (Hilda and Noah) 
Cora Captures a Cowboy (Cora and Dagmar) 
Sarah Snares a Soldier (Sarah and Marcus) 
Cate Corrals a Cattleman (Cate and Isaac) 
Darcie Desires a Drover (Darcie and Reuben) 
Tina Tracks a Trail Boss (Tina and Leif) 
Lorna Loves a Lawyer (Lorna and Lyle),

Helen Heals a Hotelier (Helen and Ethan) pre-release for Sept. 27, 2016

plus more Brides with Grit stories to be released in the future. 
Also read Lilly: Bride of Illinois, a spin-off book in the American Mail-Order Brides Series.

You can find out more about Linda on her social sites.
Website | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest