Monday, July 31, 2017

Welcome Sophie Dawson

The Sweet Americana Sweethearts wishes welcome
Sophie Dawson
as our newest monthly contributing author.

About Sophie Dawson:

Sophie Dawson has made up stories in her head all her life. It wasn’t until 2011 that she began writing typing them out.

Sophie writes Christian fiction(translate that to romance). Her first books were all historical fiction romance. They’ve won multiple awards and garnered rave reviews. Now, Sophie is branching out into contemporary romance though she plans to continue writing historical and hopes to add more books in her popular Cottonwood and Stones Creek series.

Sophie lives with her husband and cat on a farm in western Illinois. She’s an avid seamstress and was a professional quilter for a number of years before the writing bug bit. She’s just thankful it’s not fatal.

She lives on a farm in western Illinois with her husband and  extremely old cat. She loves reading, sewing, gardening, computer games and traveling. An avid seamstress she was a professional quilter before the writing bug bit. Thankfully, the bite wasn't fatal.

Sophie’s Links:

Sophie has been writing the Cottonwood series and the Stones Creek Series. Her next release will be out soon. Her book, Chloe's Santuary, was featured on a previous Blog Tour Tuesday post which you may read by CLICKING HERE.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hi Yo Silver and Away!

HORSES ~  I love them.  One reason I have always liked westerns is because of the horses. Silver, Trigger, Fury. Remember them?

I went on vacation and came back to find a visitor in my yard. My son told me the horse was just visiting and mowing grass. So, I call him John Deere.

He must be hungry because I rarely see him with his head up. He's normally munching on the grass.

Thanks to the Spanish Conquistadors, America has horses. It would be hard to think of the Indians charging across the plains, on foot. 
Or a cowboy without his horse.

And while we write sweet romances where the guy gets the gal and all live happily ever after, I like to think of them riding off into the sunset together. 

[Funny side note - my last book ~ Ellen's Lesson in the Sweet Americana Series - Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs. I don't think I have a horse in the book. But I do have a burro named Pickles and her baby - Amerigo.]

So, what color of horse do you like the best? Black, white, red sorrel, bay, paint, Appaloosa, Palomino, Roan?

I can't really decide. 

Watch for more horses in my books and enjoy the stories when horses ran wild, the country was young, and sweet romance moved men and women across the country. 
You can find more of my books on Amazon Books by Patricia PacJac Carroll

Have a blessed day,
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's All about the Feathers...

Part of the fun of writing "Home to Roost" was that I could include a bunch of 'extra characters' in my story... they were representing something I was missing in my daily life. Don't laugh... my chickens. 

Chickens, plural.

Four of them.

Yes, we used to have chickens at home. Four fluffy, brown mixed 'blood' chickens.
We started our familial love of the feathered beings when my son had his first summer as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor. Assigned to the nature lodge, he wanted to raised some chicks by hand. There were wild chickens in the woods, but catching them without hurting them was going to be an issue. So I found a hatchery, which by good fortune was only about twenty minutes from where we were living.
Two chickens went to Camp Pupukea and came home nearly ready to start laying eggs. They easily became part of our family, but a few months after they came home a neighbor reported a man who ran into our backyard and stuffed both chickens into his backpack and ran away.
My son was devastated.. those were his babies.. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were gone...

Left with a coop and saddened hearts, we didn't stay lonely for long. The hatchery had four extra chicks from a hatching and we took them home.

Things to know.
Keep those little ones warm. Using a desk lamp and the box they came in, we keep our little babies warm on the back porch until they were big enough to keep themselves warm.

When they start laying eggs. Don't leave the eggs in there for long before you remove them from the coop/hutch. If for some odd reason the eggs crack and they eat the insides, they'll develop a taste for it... yick. We found one of those long 'reach' helpers from the store and used those to retriever the eggs from the nesting area. Using your hand can open yourself up to a lot of pain.

Chickens give and receive. We gave them our kitchen scraps (make sure you check before you feed, not all scraps are good for your feathered friends) and in return our garden had free fertilizer. The pesky bugs were extra food for the ladies. And the shells from the eggs can be broken up (read pulverized) and mixed in with soil to add to the health of your yard.

It's a win win all the way around.

But what's the best part of it.. the chickens. Those crazy little cluckers. Two were fun, but four? Holy Cow! Those ladies were a hoot! A stray cat made the mistake of trying to attack one of them and got the receiving end of a whole bunch of angry beaks and a ruckus the likes of which I had never heard before! We never saw another stray cat in the backyard. Apparently, the frisky felines learned which yard to stay away from.

Don't get me wrong.. .those ladies were vicious! But they were also cuddly! They sounded differently when they saw me coming, or when it was my son or my mom. They sounded like they had completely different 'languages' for each of us. Two of them liked hugs. One couldn't be bothered for human contact unless you had a scoop of food in your hand. The last was a crazy little thing who probably had half a brain cell in her head.. but she was a hoot.

They were a ton of fun. They were part of the family, but when we had to move to an area that wasn't rural/animal friendly, we had to give them up. The hatchery found a farmer who had a big coop and a huge yard and wanted more chickens... we all cried the day they went to their new home, but a few days later, we got a call from the farmer. He'd never seen such odd little chickens... well, I guess when you're a part of my family you absorb the crazy.

When I joined in to write a story for the 'Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs' I knew I had to write about chickens, so Quinn ended up having a big ol' flock of feathered friends. The big difference with my life was that we didn't have a rooster at home. We didn't want chicks... just the eggs.

Writing "Home to Roost" gave me the ability to visit with my little feathered friends, if only in my memories and my imagination. I enjoyed my little foray into the world of Livingstone Quinn and his little mud-covered 'Birdie,' Brigid Belham.

I hope you'll get to know my couple and their dozens and dozens of feathered family members!

Click on this image to go to

Love - Romance - Books

Aren't they all the same thing?

Oh, I sure hope so! 

I've been reading romance books for what seems like forever. When I was a teen, the days that I wasn't in dance class after school I'd go to the mall to wait for my mom to finish work for the day and my haunt of choice... Waldenbooks. (I think I just showed my age there.)

Whether it was Scottish Lairds, Medieval Knights, Regency Gents, Rough and Tumble Cowboys, or handsome modern Heroes, I loved them all! There was always another hero and heroine to follow through page after page of breathless love!

I really hope that my readers will enjoy some of the same thrills as discover characters to love between the pages of my books.

Connect with Reina Torres:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Blog Tour Tuesday - HOME TO ROOST by: Reina Torres

Today Blog Tour Tuesday features 
Home to Roost - 
From the Bower, Colorado Series 
by Reina Torres

About Home to Roost:

She didn’t have a place to belong. He thought he was happy by his lonesome. When she stumbled into his life, everything changed. 

 Brigid Belham had always done what was expected. She worked for her father in his accounting office and managed his home. When he married, she knew it was her time to move on, and traveled to Bower, Colorado to meet a prospective husband. Her ‘best laid plan’ goes horribly awry, leaving her stranded. Caught in a storm of both rain and tumultuous emotions she ends up lost in the woods, until she’s found by a mountain man grumpier than a bear. All he wants to do is send her away. What if she wants to stay?

Most people in Bower know him as a hermit, a mountain man who hardly talks and likes company even less. His parents named him Livingstone Quinn, but unlike his namesake, he doesn’t want to explore. He doesn’t want to discover. He just wants his peace and quiet, all by his lonesome with his animals on his homestead. When Brigid literally falls at his feet, he keeps telling her she needs to leave, but shocks himself when he keeps finding reasons for her to stay. What will he do when he runs out of excuses?

In the whole wide world they managed to find each other. Would they walk away from their happiness, or would they bring their love home to roost?

You may purchase Home to Roost by CLICKING HERE.

Chapter One
Turning onto the path behind the sawmill, Livingstone Quinn tucked his chin down toward his chest. It was early enough in the day that no one was outside. He had just enough time to make his delivery and get back to the homestead before the sun hit with its full strength and the mill would start up work for the day. 
There was a light burning in an upper window of the Chinese Society house, and when he drew closer he could see a dark form move across the window, winking the light. Perhaps they were up early, preparing for a community event or just an early riser. He hadn’t met many of the Chinese for himself, but they seemed a quiet industrious lot that kept to themselves and he felt a connection to them because of that.
Further down the row, between the small row of homes, he could see a resolute puff of smoke from the flue at the Bath House. The boiler must be piping hot, even at this early hour. He did well enough at the homestead, warming water when the weather made the pond too cold, even for his weathered skin. But as he approached Hampton Road he got a whiff of something that smelled like a good strong soap. The clean scent followed him as he walked across the street.
He slowed his steps for a moment as he approached the back gate of Hampton House. The Hamptons had become his friends over time. They were friendly and warm, but they didn’t press him to be social. They understood that he didn’t want to stand around wasting time when he came to town. He rarely even saw the Hamptons this early in the morning. With the original boarding house and the annex they’d added within the last year, the early morning hours were usually the busiest time of the day for the couple. Still, he was happy just to make his delivery and head home with his payment in his pocket.  
The scent of coffee tickling his nose only got stronger when he reached the porch.
Someone cleared their throat in the near darkness. “It’s just me.” Recognizing Miles Hampton’s voice, the tension eased from his shoulders. “Having a cup of coffee before I finish my chores.”
Reaching up to his shoulder, Livingstone tugged at the leather strap and pulled it over the rise and down his upper arm. “I wasn’t expecting you to be out this early.”
He heard the creak of a chair before he saw Miles lean into the meager light of the lantern by the back door. “Normally, I’d just leave you alone, but I have some business to discuss.”
Crossing his arm over his opposite shoulder, he held the top of his pack while he slid the contraption off his other arm. He’d brought the whole pack safely to town from his homestead and having his morning solitude interrupted wasn’t going to play havoc on his nerves. He set the pack down on the edge of the porch and unbuckled the straps. “Sounds all right to me,” he grudgingly admitted. “It is your porch, so you could stand out here whether you wanted to talk or not, but before we talk about anything else, I’ve got three dozen eggs here.”
The sky was lightening, taking on a yellowish tint, enabling him to see Miles’s smile as he leaned forward and braced his hands on his knees. “That's good. We can certainly use them.”
“Got a full house?” Livingstone winced in the shadows. It helped to keep his distance when he didn't ask questions.
But rather than uncomfortable, Miles’s voice was warm, as if he was pleased at the inquiry. “Very nearly. We’re expecting more on the train, spaced over the next few days. So we could use more eggs. Maybe another dozen at least for the next few weeks. That is,” he gave a little self-conscious cough, “if you've enough to spare.”
Livingstone had plenty of eggs, thanks to a good-sized flock and a rooster that seemingly appeared out of the blue sky.
He'd already made his decision, but it took a bit to squeeze out the words. “Same price for each dozen?”
“Sounds fair to me,” Miles agreed.
“I can bring another dozen when I come. Monday and Friday?”
“Just like clockwork,” Miles added.
Livingstone looked at the tree at the corner of the building, behind the windowless back wall of the bank. “You left the money in the tree already?”
Miles followed his gaze. “Yep, tucked into the knot like before.” His tone was cautious, like he didn't want to startle him and Livingstone both appreciated it and regretted it. He didn't want to be treated with kid gloves.
“All right, then.” He finished stacking the full half-crates of eggs on the porch and took the empties from the last deliver and stacked them up onto the base of his pack, setting the last full half-crate on the top. “I’ll bring you the extra dozen with each delivery.”
“Thank you, Carolina will be happy to heard it,” Miles added. “I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference to you, but we’ve heard talk about a bunch of mail order brides set to arrive in Bower. Don't be surprised if your quiet morning walks into town take on a bit of disquiet in about a year.”
Livingstone narrowed his gaze at his friend. “Women sure can talk,” he agreed, “but how much noise can they make in the mornings?”
While he couldn't see Miles’s exact expression, he could feel his good humor like a strong wind. “Babies cry, my friend. They make a fair amount of noise throughout the day, but mornings will likely be the worst.”
“I have a rooster,” he reminded Miles. “I've learned to get up and on the trail before he gets up.”
A door inside opened and shut with a soft click, pulling Miles from his chair. “That would be my cue,” he explained. “I've got some work waiting for me inside.” Livingstone didn't move while Miles made his way to the door.
Miles pulled the screen door open and closed it again, turning back to his friend. “If the mood ever strikes you, we’d like to have you stay one of these mornings and have a meal with us.”
Livingstone’s instinct was to hesitate. “I-”
“We've a good group of folks staying with us. Most just keep to themselves,” he added, trying to keep his tone light. Livingstone heard the effort in his tone. “And we have a young woman coming in on the train today.”
Livingstone narrowed his eyes. “Traveling alone?”
The businessman nodded and then shook his head, seemingly confused. “She's coming in on the train, one of those mail order brides. Appleton Winslet arranged to have a room for her for the week.”
Livingstone’s mouth pinched at the corners. “The lawyer?” He cringed at the thought. “Huh, leave it to him to have a fancy degree and order in for a woman.” He heard the sharp tone in his own voice and huffed out a sigh, shaking his head. He felt the long lengths of his hair sweep back and forth over his shoulders. “I'm sorry, Miles.” Livingstone felt a knot in his middle. “That wasn't a polite thing to say. While I don't know Mr. Winslet more than just a few words in passing, he’s never done anything to me personally.”
It took a moment for Miles to answer back. “I know what you mean, but from what I've seen, he's a real particular person and I just hope that the woman he has coming finds him… amiable.”
Livingstone smiled and felt the coming warmth of the sun starting to play on his skin. “That sounds like a good way to say it. Amiable. Well,” he grunted, hefting the pack on one shoulder, “I'd better get going. Got to drop off some eggs for the Pastor and get on home ‘fore too many folks find their way on the street.”
Miles gave him a half wave and disappeared inside.
Livingstone shook his head and let out a puff of air. “Looks like I’ll have to steer real clear of Bower if it's going to fill up with women and children.”


When Brigid Belham stepped onto the platform at Bower, she willed her hands to stop shaking, but she had no chance of that particular dream becoming a reality. Her nerves had a hold on her that was even stronger than her grip on her valise. The handle, clutched in her grip, pinched her palms and while she struggled to ease the pain in her hands, she was all too aware of the pain in her ribs and waist. Her fashionable corset, the garment sworn to be the height of fashion by the modiste back in Omaha had started out to be such a great idea. But after more than a day locked in that tortuous garment, rattling about in a smoky train car, she was regretting her desire to appear fashionable and fulfill the wishes of her prospective spouse.
The hustle and bustle of the train station quickly died down as she stood waiting. There was over a score of men milling about, carrying or moving boxes, and transacting their business. Hardly a one met her eyes for more than a second, and if they did, it appeared to be a mistake or a curiosity and even then, no one seemed to recognize her.
She could blame that on the fact that her photo had been taken before her fine wardrobe had been delivered. She’d settled for loosening her bun that day, and wrestling a smile onto her lips that the photographer said looked quite ‘serene.’ It wasn’t anywhere near pretty or appealing, but it was enough to give prospective matches a clear image of her.
The platform cleared quickly, leaving the clerk and a handful of men who seemed to be sweeping up. Brigid was ready to flag one of the men down to ask for directions.
“Miss Belham?”
With a relieved sigh, she turned in the direction of the voice and stopped short. The man approaching her didn’t bear any resemblance to the man in the photo she had received. Before she could release the handle of her bag and fish out the studio image, the man whisked off his hat and held out his hand.
“So sorry to be late, Miss. I’m Miles Hampton from Hampton House.”
Her shoulders sagged in relief. He was from the boarding house where she would be staying while she had the opportunity to become acquainted with Appleton. It wasn’t necessarily how these pairings worked, but she was glad of the time to acclimate herself with her husband before the ceremony. It showed a certain amount of consideration for their unique relationship. “Hello, Mr. Hampton. I wasn’t expecting you.”
He bobbed his head in response. “Mr. Winslet asked me to meet you and see you settled in the boarding house. I believe he plans to be over at the end of his work day.”
She held back her disappointment, settling a quiet expression on her face. “I understand. Thank you.”
Responding with a ready smile of his own, the gentleman set his hat back on his head, covering the balding pate. “It’s been quite a change in Bower, balancing out the numbers of men will take some doing, but it seems like we’ve made a good start.” With a quick signal to one of the men and a coin tossed in his direction, Mr. Hampton paid for the men to hold her trunk. “George will keep an eye on your trunk until I can come back for it.” He held out a hand to Brigid to take her valise.
She gave it up gladly and noticed that he didn’t seem shocked by the weight. Still, she apologized. “I can carry the bag, Mr. Hampton.”
He shook his head and adjusted his hold on the bag. “Not a problem, Miss. I’m used to carrying quite a bit around the house.”
She smiled and stepped off the platform beside him. “It must be interesting as well, meeting people who come from different places.”
Mr. Hampton turned slightly to give her a smile. “That is part of what we enjoy about running a boarding house.”
Brigid lifted the hem of her skirt and stepped over a curious looking puddle that made her shudder. When she looked back up she saw the boarding house owner giving her a curious look, looking from her eyes to the top of her hat, which due to her uncommon height was a few good inches over his head.
When he saw her look back he coughed, uncomfortable. “Excuse me, Miss.”
She waved off his concern. “No need to apologize, most people just stare openly when they meet me.”
His face went ruddy with color. “I am sorry,” he explained, “I’m not used to seeing a woman of your height.”
Brigid lifted her hand and placed it against her neck, an unconscious gesture that always puzzled her. “One of my teachers showed me a drawn image of an animal in Africa,” she explained, “he called it a giraffe. The children agreed with him and the name stuck. The day before I left Omaha,” she let out a shaking breath, “I saw one of my former classmates. She felt it was so very humorous to remind me of the name. Everyone within earshot heard her, and the rest of the people in the street heard her laughter after that.”
Beside her, Mr. Hampton paled and lowered his eyes. “I hope I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable. That wasn’t my intention.”
Brigid touched him on the arm to draw his attention.
“Mr. Hampton, please, don’t worry about me. It’s been a long time since that moment, and I hope that I’ve developed a thicker skin. You weren’t mean, just stating facts. I appreciate your straight-forward manner.”
His smile broadened as he adjusted his hold on her bag. “You’re going to fit right in at Hampton House, Miss Belham. You remind me quite a bit of my wife, Carolina. I believe the two of you will get along quite well.”
Brigid crossed her hands over her heart, ignoring the slight twinge of pain from her ribs under her corset. “I hope so, Mr. Hampton. I truly hope so.”
From the corner, they walked along Front Street, keeping to the side to avoid the street traffic. It wasn’t nearly the normal hustle and bustle that she was used to at home, but things here moved at their own pace. A rider trotted down the street and Brigid took an unconscious step closer to the side. Mr. Hampton reached out a hand and took hold of her arm above her elbow.
“Is something amiss?”
She heard the concern in his voice and felt her cheeks flare with color. Straightening herself away from him, she swallowed and lifted her hand in a wan gesture. “Animals,” she explained, “I don't really feel all that comfortable around animals.” She continued down the street beside him taking quick looks at him sideways. “That must sound horribly silly to you.”
Swinging open the side gate of the property, Mr. Hampton tried to hide his grin with the position of his head. “Well, Bower does have its share of animals.”
Brigid tripped slightly, making a little skip in her step as she tried to find her footing. The pinch in her side grew as she followed after her host. “Even here in town?”
They made their way around the smaller annex and stopped before the front door of the residence, a friendly smile on his face. “Well, the town is likely to grow quickly now that we have more women and soon more children. But,” he paused for a moment as if he was considering his words, “we’re still bordered by the wilderness and animals are a part of that. Don't worry too much.” He shifted her bag to one hand. Reaching and for the doorknob and easily swung the door open. He gestured for her to proceed him inside. “The wild animals we tend to see in town are smaller than your bag.”
Brigid froze just inside the door, shock written across her features. “They’re that big?”
A soft laugh turned Brigid’s head.
“And that,” Mr. Hampton announced in a warm tone, “would be my lovely wife, Carolina.”
The woman that emerged from the hall finished wiping her hands on her apron. Turning the fabric loose she moved closer. Giving Brigid a bright smile, she held her hand out in a warm greeting. “You must be Miss Belham.” Brigid gladly took the woman’s hand and was pleased to find her hand held in a firm grip. “Pleased that you're here.” She gave her husband a thoughtful look. “I finished cleaning the room at the top of the stairs. Go ahead and put Miss Belham’s things in there.”
Mr. Hampton gave his wife a mischievous smile. “And what pray tell, will you and Miss Belham be doing while I'm breaking my back with her things?”
Brigid froze for a moment, her eyes focusing on his face, struggling for something to say, an apology of sorts.
Carolina touched Brigid's arm with one hand and waved the other at her husband. “Don't listen to him,” Carolina sighed, “he's just hinting at all the work I make him do because he thinks I’ll let him have a piece of cake after supper.” She drew in a breath. “Which he may still get if he stops grumping around and gets your things up to your room.” She turned back to Brigid with a soft conspirational tone. “I will show you where you can freshen up a bit. Then we’ll get in trouble before he returns with your trunk.”
Giving his wife an indulgent smile, Mr. Hampton started up the stairs.
“Now, you'll come along with me, my dear. By supper I’ll know everything there is to know about you and we’ll be fast friends.”

Brigid followed along, swept up with the other woman’s gentle enthusiasm. She felt some of the knots in her stomach begin to unravel and she felt her own hopeful nature rising amidst the uncertainty that had held her in its grips since her father’s surprise engagement.

**Tomorrow is my regular Blogging Day... you'll learn more about my love of chickens.. :D And my book Home to Roost will have changed to its 'Regular Price' of $1.99 - See you tomorrow!!**

Love - Romance - Books

Aren't they all the same thing?

Oh, I sure hope so! 

I've been reading romance books for what seems like forever. When I was a teen, the days that I wasn't in dance class after school I'd go to the mall to wait for my mom to finish work for the day and my haunt of choice... Waldenbooks. (I think I just showed my age there.)

Whether it was Scottish Lairds, Medieval Knights, Regency Gents, Rough and Tumble Cowboys, or handsome modern Heroes, I loved them all! There was always another hero and heroine to follow through page after page of breathless love!

I really hope that my readers will enjoy some of the same thrills as discover characters to love between the pages of my books.

Connect with Reina Torres: