Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Look what our authors published in May!


Our authors have been busy writing and publishing books this past month. Here is what we published in May:


By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Amity Grenville is set on reaching Oregon’s Sweet Home Valley, where her aunt and uncle have a farm. They were part of the Great Migration of 1843, and Amity saved every letter Aunt Beitris wrote, complete with advice on the journey preparations. Amity is eager for a fresh start, in the hopes that her husband, Garvey, will find a new vocation in farming and leave behind his drinking and gambling ways.

Newly finished with his apprenticeship, blacksmith Shawe Creighton can ply his trade just about anywhere so he agrees to throw in with his best friend’s family on the trek to Oregon. With no family ties, he heads west, thinking Oregon is as good as any place to establish a shop. Fun loving by nature, he’s also looking forward to what the adventure will bring.

In St Joseph doing last-minute preparations for the journey, Amity receives the bad news that Garvey was caught cheating and killed over a poker game. Now men are seeking to claim the wagon and team as their recompense. She barely removes her belongings in time but is faced with either marrying a stranger to comply with the wagon train’s rules or remain behind. Taking pity on her plight, Shawe offers marriage and is immediately faced with her two demands--no drinking or gambling. Intrigued by the outspoken woman, he figures the trip won’t be boring. Will a decision made in haste bring disaster, or will the journey forge bonds neither Amity nor Shawe can imagine?

Releases May 1, 2022


Amelia's Proposal: The Reclusive Man Series, Book 11

By P. Creeden

Can an invisible man find the love and acceptance that he's never had?

As a halfbreed, Angus Macawi has never been accepted by his native tribe, or the townsfolk of Fort Pierre. He's lived on the outskirts both literally and figuratively. No one wants anything to do with him--he's invisible to everyone--until he meets Amelia Fletcher. This irksome female refuses to leave him alone, even though he does everything he can to stop her from visiting him, he can't help the feelings she's stirring within him. Would it be okay for him to feel hope for the first time?

Released May 24, 2022



A Match for the Banker: A Sweet Historical Western Romance (Pettigrew Matchmakers Book 4)

By Kit Morgan

A rich man.
A poor woman.
And a ruse ...

Tangie Sullivan had a problem. Two actually. Her family's business was failing and worse, the cause was pushing her parents for her hand in marriage. The lout ran the neighborhood, forcing business owners to "pay for his protection". It was only a matter of time before he got what he wanted.

Mason Pratt didn't plan on rescuing a damsel in distress, especially a feisty florist from one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver. But once he knew her family's predicament, he had to do something. Unfortunately, the only thing he could come up with was to pretend he was said damsel's betrothed. Now both their lives were in danger. Can he save everyone before it's too late? Find out in this fun romp as only Kit Morgan can deliver!

Released: May 24, 2022



Not all of our authors put their books on pre-order. For those who do, advance sales help their sales ranking and are greatly appreciated.


Pre-orders for June:

Joshua's Bride: Land Run Mail Order Brides Book 1

By Zina Abbott

As arable farmland grows scarce, the United States opens up former sections of Indian Territory for homesteading. Those who want to claim land must make a run for it.

Should she claim her own land when he has a claim on her heart?

            Rose Calloway feels guilty about living off her sister, Marigold’s, meager schoolmarm’s wages. In spite of taking in sewing, it is not enough to support herself. She sees little future for marriage in a town where people are still struggling from the latest economic depression. She responded to a matrimonial advertisement, and after corresponding for several months, sees great promise for her future with Joshua Kent.

            Joshua Kent, landless and working as a farrier, sees promise in the land run planned for the Cherokee Outlet in Oklahoma Territory. Knowing once he claims his land, he will need a wife, he places a matrimonial advertisement. He soon decides Rose Calloway is the woman he wishes to marry. However, once he realizes there might be more applicants than there is available land, he writes and warns Rose he can only marry if he is successful claiming his own homestead.

            Marigold, realizing the land run will bring new families, sees there will be a need for teachers and a chance to achieve her dream. She decides to make her own land claim and insists Rose is welcome to join her.

            Rose is homeless unless she marries or goes with her sister. She holds a certificate for the latest Oklahoma land run in one hand and the final letter from Joshua Kent in the other. Her dream is to marry Joshua, not own land. What will she do now?

Releases June 3, 2022



Bolton's Bride: Land Run Mail Order Brides Book 2 Kindle Edition

By Kimberly Grist

Orphaned as a young girl, Ellie longs for a life she’s only read about in books. To escape a desperate situation, she heads west as a mail-order bride, narrowing her choice of spouse to three brothers, a millwright, a businessman, and a horse trainer, all searching for a marriage of convenience which will provide the inheritance that will finance the family’s business venture in Oklahoma.
Newspapers claim the unchartered territory is a land where streams flow with milk and the heavens rain down a supply of honey. Will her road lead to the Promised Land?

Releases June 6, 2022



Brewster's Baby: The Land Run Mail Order Brides Book 4

By Marisa Masterson

He wants her, needs her. But, will he ever trust her?

Hetty Fields must find a home after her father's sudden death. Michael Brewster needs a wife as he sets up a new business.

Should she have warned him about the baby? And why didn't he tell her they were rushing into Oklahoma to claim land?

If you enjoy sweet romance set against historical events, this book is one for you to read!

Releases June 13, 2022





Pre-Orders for July:

Rosie's Gamble: Land Run Mail Order Brides, Book 9

By Linda Carroll-Bradd

After seeing her mother die in childbirth, Rosabelle Ardmore decides to become a doctor. Her self-funded education takes longer than she’d hoped. When she returns to the job promised upon her graduation, she discovers the hometown doctor has died. His replacement has no use for a female doctor. Nor do two other offices where she applied. Rosie takes a chance on answering an ad for a mail-order bride for a man intent on the Cherokee Strip Land Run. Surely, people populating a new town will accept medical care wherever they can get it.

Beck Shepherd returned empty-handed from the 1889 Oklahoma land run. Trying it alone didn’t work. He vows to win a plot this time, but he needs a partner to achieve his dream of opening a mercantile. The easiest way is to arrange for a wife so he places an ad in a matrimonial newsletter. Ideally, level-headed Beck would like more time to decide, but Rosie’s two letters reveal the heart of a woman as determined as he is for a new start. But her bold plan for securing a claim might be the act that tears them apart…forever.

Releases July 1, 2022



Ainsley: Sweet Historical Western Romance (Love Train Series Book 8)

By Jo-Ann Roberts

Some people come into your life as lessons…
Unexpected fatherhood finds former bank detective, Lucas Harmon desperate for a woman to care for his orphaned nieces. A governess…perhaps? A housekeeper…maybe? A wife…definitely not! Six years ago the wealthy Chicago socialite he planned to wed, publicly spurned his affections. Despite his determination to guard his feelings, a meddling matchmaking conductor and an encounter with a past acquaintance threatens to upend his heart.

…some come as blessings
Anxious to leave behind the whispers and stares of two failed engagements, Boston socialite, Ainsley MacKenzie hopes for solitude on her way to New Hope, Kansas. But when the kindly conductor enlists her help to care for two orphaned girls, she couldn’t say no. Little did she know their uncle and guardian was the one man she couldn’t forget… Lucas Harmon.
Taking a chance, Ainsley offers Lucas an unusual (some might say, scandalous!) arrangement. She’ll look after the children, read them stories and cook their meals until Christmas, giving Lucas time to find a permanent replacement. Yet, the longer she cares for the family the more she longs to be part of it—whatever the risk to her heart.

Releases July 15, 2022



Thursday, May 26, 2022

Practical and Pretty - A Short History of Hair Combs by Jo-Ann Roberts


I've discovered a few trends in my writing over the past five years. The majority of my tropes are second-chance romances; I write mostly as a pantster (loosely translated means I'm a person who writes by "the seat of her pants' as opposed to a plotter, or one who outlines her writing); and my heroes always, always insist on courting their ladies. So, when my hero--Lucas Harmon--in my Love Train release, 'Ainsley' sees a pair of hair combs with blue-colored stones reminding him of Ainsely's eyes, he knows they'd make the perfect courting gift.

While researching hair combs, I learned these fashion accessories date from earliest times and were created from wood, bones, ivory, feathers, and other natural materials. Sometimes they were embellished with gems or painted with designs. At first, they were flat in construction, but over time they evolved into curved pieces to better fit the shape of women's heads.

During the Victorian era, decorative combs came in handy for pinning into place the false hair needed to achieve the illusion of abundant tresses. By the Civil War, mass manufacturing meant the combs were often adorned with paste jewels, making them within the reach of almost every pocketbook. Large, straight combs, many in graceful fan shapes were the centerpiece, accompanied by smaller side and curved back combs. In coiffure lingo, four teeth or more made a comb a comb. Three teeth qualified as a "hair ornament", while two marked it as a "hair pin".  
Hair combs were one of the key items used to adorn women's coiffures and helped them achieve the popular upswept hairdos of the times. Their importance was noted in the 1862 edition of Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine.

"The hair is rolled over a cushion in front, and arranged in a waterfall at the back, round which is twisted a heavy plait. The comb is of black velvet and gilt. The coiffure is composed of a black barbe and lilies of the valley. 

Plaits and puffs are also arranged with these combs in endless variety. When worn in the daytime, these small combs are made of light tortoise shell, with a row of small pearls. For the evening they are made of gold, either plain or studded with pearls, coral, steel, gilt, or even precious stones..."


Yet, the same publication encouraged readers to make their own.

"Fancy combs are still the rage, and very economical ones may be made by cutting a fancy design out of cardboard, such as knots, bows, linked rings, etc., and covering them with gilt, steel, or jet beads, and fastening them on a small plain comb." 

Types of Hair Combs

Initially, combs were widely made of steel, gilt metal, brass, and other types of metals. 


Tortoise shell has been used since ancient times. Its popularity began with the trend of the Spanish mantilla and would remain until it became scarce, being replaced by gutta-percha.


Although tortoiseshell and gutta-percha were popular, the most plentiful and popular material for hair combs throughout the 19th century was probably horn--partly because it was easy to find and cheaper than tortoiseshell. It was also extremely flexible, acting almost like plastic that could be easily cut, bent, stretched, pierced, or carved. Horn also easily lent itself to imitating the popular tortoiseshell pattern.

Decorative hair combs of the 19th century ranged from Gothic and Renaissance styles to Napoleonic and Oriental designs. Materials used to create combs also changed so quickly as the styles and what was popular one day was out of fashion the next.

Still...I'd like to believe that Ainsley will love the set of hair combs not only because they are beautiful but because Lucas gave them to her along with his love.

Ainsley - Book 8
Available for Pre-Order June 1st