Monday, December 31, 2012

Julia's Golden Eagle now available

The second book in my Historical Western series is now available on Amazon. Whoop! This one was first released in 2007.  I cleaned it up some more, took out a few redundancies and painted a new cover. I still have two more to get ready so be patient. It might be spring break before Eliza's Copper Penny (my personal fave of the four) and Kaitlin's Silver Lining make their reappearance.

Here's a blurb for Julia's Golden Eagle:

When the only daughter of a Brownwood’s local cattle baron allows a stranger to take the blame for a murder she thinks she committed, she orchestrates a jail break.

Jake Nolan knows only one thing; he’s innocent of murder charges and Julia Stanton is the only person who knows who’s really guilty. While Jake holds her captive to discover the truth, Julia’s seductive charms imprison his heart.

You can find this story on Amazon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Experimenting hopefully leads to sales

Experimentation is good and keeps me on my toes. So - here's what I've been up to. I decided to try self publishing. My reasons are selfish in some ways and not so selfish in other ways. I needed a way to find new readers for one and this seemed like a simple solution. I stressed over how to do this and worried over the right path. Well, there  is not right way to do anything new or experiment except to just dive in and hope for the best. That said, I asked for the rights back on 4 of my historical westerns.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not egotistical enough to think I don't need my publisher. I do. In fact, I probably need them more now than before. But I wanted this to be a win/win for both of us and I think it will be.

The reason I wanted the rights back on those 4 is pretty simple. I needed books that were already written to assist in my self publishing endeavors. I'd written a new story, Texas Forged. It had been a year since I'd had anything new released. The wheels of publishing move slowly and if I'd submitted this one, it would have probably been another year to year and a half before it would release. An author knows that he/she must keep producing to stay alive in this business. So, with that in mind, self publishing seemed the best route for this book. However, without a publisher, this book has little hope of being discovered. With so many books offered on Amazon daily, the only way to make its presence known is to offer it for free on occasion. And this is where the other books come into play. Texas Forged is my loss leader. I'm hopeful that if others read this one and like it, they will purchase Sarah's Brass Token, which will then lead to sales for my other three westerns.

Is it working? I think so. When I put Sarah's Brass Token up, she ranked around 500,000. Today, she's ranked at 53, 960 and she's showing up on pages for other westerns. That's the real goal.

How will this help my publisher? Well, if they like these books and my writing style, I'm hopeful they will try the books I've written in other genres. Do I have plans to ask for the rights back on my other books? No. Having a publisher opens doors I wouldn't have otherwise.

Now, off to finish getting Julia's Golden Eagle ready for Amazon. I've already got the rough draft of a cover done. Just need to take a better photo of the painting I did. I have about 50 more pages to edit and I'm there.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Charley’s Hart

I ran across this short story the other day and thought I'd share it here. I wrote this two years ago when we were doing a promotional thing on the Writer's Vineyard Blog.

Set up for Scene:  I’d like for you to meet two characters from Kaitlin’s Silver Lining who have now grown into young adults. Pete Hart was fourteen when Charley Kanatzer was eleven, but Charley is on her way home from a fancy school in Boston and makes a stop at Bryce Stanton’s family home in Brownwood. With nowhere else to go, Pete found his way to the Stanton ranch and is now foreman, and though he still has inner demons to wrestle, he’s content if not happy. But Charley wants more and starts a stampede on his emotions.

Pete was pitching hay into the back of wagon, and Charley took a moment to appreciate the fluid way his lanky but powerful body moved. He shot a wary glance at her approach but continued to work.

“Feel like taking a break?”

“Can’t.” He speared another pitchfork full and tossed it into the bed. “Gotta finish this chore.”

“You work too hard. Do you have family? Someone special to share Christmas with?”

He paused for a moment before returning to his work. The worn felt hat shadowed his face, so Charley had no idea what emotions her comment had elicited, but by the way his hands gripped the handle tighter, she figured she must have hit a nerve.

“The boss won’t mind if you stop for a bit. In fact, Uncle William will consider it a favor if you’ll help me out of a bind.”

He stopped and wiped his forehead with the back of his gloved hand. His silence was not inviting, but she plowed on anyway.

“I need you to help me cut a tree for Christmas.”

“I’ll have Blake do it.” He pushed his hat back, and his striking features arrested her attention. Dark brown hair fell across his forehead in a tangle of waves. High cheekbones and a broad nose hinted at Indian blood somewhere in his lineage.

“No. I don’t trust anyone to do it right but you, Mr. Hart.”

He narrowed his blue eyes and looked as if he meant to protest, but William chose that moment to ride into the yard and into their conversation.

“Goodness, Uncle Will, you look cold to the bone.”  Her own cheeks felt blustery from the winter chill. The cold front had brought rain and biting temperatures but little else. With Christmas only five days away, she hoped it would snow.

“I hate the cold. You about done, Pete?” Will asked after dismounting.

“I’ve got another hour of work before I’m finished with this chore, I reckon.”

“But I want to steal him for the afternoon. Please, Uncle Will. Your kids are counting on me to find the perfect tree to decorate.”

Will frowned but nodded. “Pete could use a bit of fun. Yeah, you two go on. I’ll find someone else to finish up here.”

Pete did not look happy with the order but couldn’t refuse the boss’s wishes. Steam left his lips as he heaved a great sigh. Without much talk, he gathered supplies, hitched another wagon, and clamored into the seat. “Climb in,” he ordered.

She stood next to the buckboard and glared. “A gentleman always lends assistance.”

He jumped from his perch and roughly helped her onto the hard, wood seat. She adjusted her coat and folded her gloved hands into her lap. After rearranging the scarf about her throat, she was ready to go.

They found a patch of forest that looked promising, and Pete set the brake. He even remembered to help her down. She lamented the need for gloves, for she would have enjoyed feeling his touch.

He followed her into the dense woods.  “Find one fast. I really need to get back to work.”

The elm and oak had all lost their leaves and looked like skeletons against the harsh blue sky, but after hearing the stories of the Christmases she’d enjoyed in the northeast, Will’s children had wanted a tree. With enough decoration, bare limbs could come alive with color and symbolic meaning.

“No you don’t. You work all the time. I’ve been watching you.”


“Handsome young man without a wife? Single woman heading for spinsterhood? No mystery there.”

“You don’t know anything about me, or you’d play in someone else’s backyard.”

“I know more than you think, Pete.” She stopped in front of the perfect tree and examined it from top to bottom. “I know you want to kiss me in the worst way.”

He caught her arm and yanked her close. “Don’t toy with me. I’m not the settling down kind of man you want.”

His gruff voice spoke of a deep hurt, one that only time could heal. She understood, had singled him out for that very reason. She’d overheard Bryce talk about Pete with her Aunt Kaitlin and knew she had to find him, to heal the wounds in his soul. In so doing, she could come to grips with her own tainted childhood. They had a lot in common. He’d been abused as a youngster, and she’d grown up in a brothel. And both owed the Stantons the world for changing their destinies.

“I – I know most men don’t want the daughter of a calico queen for a wife.” There, she’d finally put into words the pain she endured the moment a prospective beau found out her past. Oh, they might be willing to overlook her upbringing in light of Bryce’s wealth, but once she’d seen that look in their eyes, she knew they could never love her for herself.

“Why me?” His voice broke. She’d touched his heart with her confession.

“Because the reasons you don’t want me have nothing to do with my past and everything to do with yours.” She stepped closer.

He dropped her arm as if her nearness would roast him alive, but she didn’t back down. She grabbed the lapel of his jacket and tugged him forward. “Kiss me, Pete. Make this a Christmas to remember. For both of us.”

If you want to know more about either of these characters, read Kaitlin's Silver Lining, available soon on Amazon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In answer to a western challenge

I spend a lot of time at the western forum at Amazon. Maggie, a reader, is wonderful about issuing challenges. Most of the time I don't really have time to participate, but I wish I did. There is something very liberating about just writing without an end purpose in mind. Indeed, a lot of my work starts out that way anyway as I'm a pantser, but ...

So, the first challenge she issued has us drafting a short scene with the following words:  Cake, Rustler, Tuesday, Cheyenne, and Jack rabbit.  I wrote a short scene that I really liked. So yesterday she issued another challenge whereby we had to use the words: Ghost town, Tumbleweed, Townsfolk, Gingerbread, and Angel(s). 

I decided instead of working up something new, I'd just add to what I'd done before. Since it's too long for the forum, I'll post here for any who want to read it. I'm stealing the idea of posting the longer version here from Alison Bruce. Be sure to read her challenge answer also. It's amazing.

So without further ado, here's my short:

Cheyenne Meeks leveled his Smith and Wesson model 1870 Schofield at the unsuspecting jack rabbit foraging for its own supper. The tall eared critter hopped to the left and just out of view, its gray brown body hidden behind a fallen log. Cheyenne continued his vigilant pursuit and stood stock still hoping dinner would reenter his sights soon.
“You best hightail it out of there, mister.”
He jumped and whirled toward the voice. The movement had the rabbit bounding away faster than a rustler making a quick get-away. “You just cost me dinner.”
“Better an empty stomach than having to digest one of my bullets.”
The voice was decidedly female, but her garb was anything but feminine. Dressed in buckskin pants, fringed tunic, and a wide rimmed cowboy hat, she presented a comical picture.  He relaxed his stance and rocked back on his heels. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten since leaving Fort Worth on an errand he hoped would solve many of his current problems. The piece of cake he’d nibbled yesterday morning couldn’t stave off the gnawing hunger working its way to his feet. “Mind telling me why you stopped me from shooting.”
“Floppy White Toes is a pet.” She lowered her Colt revolver and smiled. “You wouldn’t happen to be Cheyenne Meeks, would you?”
“I guess that depends on who’s askin’.” Her eyes were sure an interesting shade of amber.
“I knew it. Been expecting you since last week. I’m Tuesday Henshaw. Your fiancĂ©e.”
Cheyenne maintained his smile with some effort. He hadn’t come all this way for a bride that could probably outshoot, out cuss and out ride him. Damn the war for forcing him into his current situation, but his place of birth was all but a ghost town, and he was right tired of living from hand to mouth. Her advertisement promised a large plot of land for a man willing to work. The only catch – marriage.
Tuesday holstered her Colt but maintained a wary stance. “Got vittles simmering at my place if you’re still willin’ to marry me. If not, then you can just mosey on back the way you came. Got no use for men who don’t keep their word.”
His glands salivated at the mention of food and desperation forced an answer. “I’d be honored to accept your proposal, but I require an inspection of the property first. I, too, would prefer not to be swindled with an unsatisfactory promise of goods.”
“Well now, ain’t it grand that the wind blew me such a cultured tumbleweed. I s’pect I can give you a tour. We’ll start out at first light tomorrow after a good night’s rest. I’ll even take ya into town to meet some of the townsfolk. They’re right curious about my future husband. Though I can’t quite understand why. Women get married all the time without all the fanfare my notice created.”
“About that. Are you still set on wedding a stranger? Perhaps we can work a deal whereby you hire me instead.” Though to be honest, the idea of owning a hundred forty acres of prime land appealed more than he wanted to let on.
Something flashed in her eyes. Hurt? Surely not. After all, they didn’t even know each other.
She flicked her head to the side. “Come on. Let’s get on up to the house. We can discuss the details then.”
He plowed through fallen leaves and clinging foliage until they hit a more established path. From there, they walked in companionable silence until they reached their destination. He stared in awe of the two story white washed house trimmed in gingerbread scrolls. The wrap-around porch held a cozy appeal that reminded him of his childhood home. The quaint abode somehow didn’t match the woman who stood beside him. Perhaps she had a soft side after all.
He was about to voice his approval when the door squealed open and a small child peaked out at them.
He straightened against sudden and intense pain, his appetite gone. “I believe our deal is off, madam.”
“Beg pardon?”
“Your advertisement said nothing about children.” God, why did she have to look so much like Savannah?
“Have you got somethin’ against the wee angel? Cuz if’n you do, I s’pect you’re right.”
No. He didn’t have anything against angels, but the doe eyes, full cheeks and blonde curls reminded him more acutely of all he’d lost. The cherub peered up at him through thick lashes and stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Is she yours?” he asked.
“Hell no. Got no little ones. This here’s my niece and one of the main reasons for my need of you.” She hefted the child into her arms and smiled. “Wednesday Lou, meet your new daddy.”
He started at her brazen announcement. He took a deep breath and willed himself to remember why he’d agreed to her terms in the first place. For better or worse, he was about to accept the hand of a woman more suited to herding cows than being the wife of a misplaced, southern plantation owner.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Texas Forged

Whoop!  I finally got this story ready for Amazon and it's uploaded. Hopefully, readers will be able to access it by tomorrow. Yippee. That said, here's the blurb and a short excerpt.

Blacksmith, Galin Walker has an uncanny knack for predicting the weather, but he can’t predict the storm about to invade his heart. Telegrapher, Aubrey Caine’s search for her absent husband leads her straight into the arms of a man with a shady past and secrets that haunt him. Together they forge a bond that will endure the forces of nature and a con man’s cruel swindle.

His hand reached for her hat and came back clutching a twig. “Do you always wear hats like that?”
“Like what?”
“Like nature stirred up a hornet’s nest.” His voice softened in a way that sent awareness skittering along every nerve cell. “The artist that conjured that monstrosity ought to be shot. At the very least, tarred and feathered.”
She took a step back, thinking she should be angry at his rudeness, but the heated look he gave her said something entirely different. Whoever tore her place apart wasn’t Galin. He might be many things, but dishonest wasn’t one of them. She’d have to look elsewhere for the culprit. She even doubted his ability to steal. “Perhaps you best finish my grinder.”
“You have secrets. So do I.”
The subject had come back to Spencer. Should she tell him about Thad now? Sooner or later, she’d have to confide in the man if she hoped to get her son back.
“I don’t have time for you to analyze my nature. I’m due at the depot in an hour. If you could just …”
“Come back in half an hour.”
“I’d rather wait.”
“I’d rather you didn’t. Miss Caine, you’re a distraction I can’t afford.” His large hands spanned her waist as he turned her from him. His warmth soaked through to her skin and caused heat to rise to her cheeks.
“A distraction?”
He bent his head behind her left ear. “You tempt me to want to kiss you. Neither of us wants that, now do we?”
We don’t? “I don’t like your forwardness, sir.”
“Nor do I. Go before I do something we’ll both regret.” He pushed her gently from him.
Incensed by his coarse ways, she hurried away, but regret dogged her steps. If she’d been a stronger woman, she’d have stayed to tempt his ardor.

You can find the book now on Amazon!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Update on the hacking incident

Ever since I got hacked, I now get notices on my personal e-mail account. Evidently, I had all my e-mails listed under my yahoo account and the thiefs got a hold of them. I ignore their attempts but sometimes that's hard to do.

The messages look so legit. I use suddenlink and the way the messages are worded make you think they're from suddenlink. But, I always go to the suddenlink website and look for updates of information there. I now know not to click on any links, especially ones I'm unsure of.

Just thought I'd let you know so if you're ever hacked, you'll be aware to look out for similar activity on your other accounts. I've also noticed more spam on that account. Bummer.

On a brighter note, yahoo was able to retrieve my addresses but unfortunately, not any of my saved messages. That's rather frightening because I don't remember what personal information might be in those saved messages. So - now, I don't archive any messages. Of course, I guess that doesn't matter because they would still have access to any sent or trashed messages for at least a short time.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I went sailing this weekend. Well, not really. We went to the boat but the weather wasn't condusive to sailing as a front had moved in, but the weather proved perfect for writing. I went into the cabin, curled onto the couch, plugged in my laptop and finished polishing Sarah's Brass Token. Today we planned to sail in the morning, but no wind made us change our minds. Still, it was a fun weekend at the lake. Very relaxing -- and I got a lot done on my wip.

Not only that, but my neighbor graciously posed for pictures so I could paint the cover. I'm stoked. I hope to have the cover done by next weekend. Once that happens, I can format the book and upload to amazon.

I'm waiting to have this one done before I upload, Texas Forged. In the meantime, I'm reading back through to polish more. I can't wait to share this story with you.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Learning from my son

Authors are always comparing the differences between men and women in hopes of providing a more realistic hero or heroine. Well, I think I'm going to model my next hero after my son. He's a great person over all; helpful when you need a strong arm, polite, knowledgeable when it comes to any type of machinery and a lot of common sense. But - yeah, there's a but - he is sorely lacking in the ability to communicate. I think it's a man thing as I remember my husband being the same way when we were first married. In fact, husband number one was also bad about this. Yeah, it's a guy thing but I do believe it's one of those guy things that can be changed over time.

So - the other morning, my son gets up as early as I do, which is not the norm. I ask why he's up so early and he replies, "I'm waiting on Jed." (I changed the name to protect the innocent - grin) I nod and think nothing more about this. When I got to leave, though, my son is no where to be found and his car is still in the driveway. My husband's already gone to work so I consider what I should do about the door. Well, I figure Jed picked him up in his car and drove him to a coffee shop or something so I go ahead and lock the door. Thirty minutes later, I get a text from my missing son. "Thanks for locking me out of the house." Of course, my response, "Thanks for letting me know your plans." Duh. Seems he and Jed went bike riding. Oh, and my son is 23 by the way. He moved back into the house this past summer to help with his expenses while he finishes the last year of school.

Today, I decided to fix chili omelets. As I finish the last one, I ask my son to let my husband know that breakfast is ready. I put food on the table and wait. No hubby. I asked my boy if he'd relayed the message. "Yes, mom." Still we wait and then I figure the man's just busy so we eat without him. He comes in later and says, "El son came out to the garage and asked if I wanted an omelet. I said yes. I didn't realize he was telling me the omelet was done and ready to be eaten."

Yeah, I've decided my duty to my future daughter-in-law will be to help train my son to communicate a bit better. On the other hand, I figure this is good research for my next hero. Maybe, I'll just let the boy continue to give me examples of how not to communicate.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

SAT words?

Lately, I've been doing more reading than writing; mainly because September is so busy I don't have concentration time. I love to write but it still requires a clear head and space to be able to reason out the scenes.

As a reader, there are a lot of words I just plain take for granted. I assume everyone else knows them also, but I was teaching the other day and I evidently used words my students had never encountered. They accused me of prepping them for the SAT so now, when I throw out a word they don't know we use it as a teaching moment and call them our SAT words.  But seriously, I'm very surprised in some of the words they don't know. Here are just a few.

Conscientious (they even accused me of making this one up)

Oh, and I don't teach English. I teach art so I think I must surprise them with this knowledge. Could it also be that the use of simpler words and acronyms that folks use when texting is helping us lose some of these words? It does make one ponder.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My son's a trooper

Nope, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth - yet. Just been very busy with the start of school but I'm trying to find my writing groove again. So - here's the latest update. My newest western is ready to go but I'm waiting until I have my other four previously published pieces reworked and polished for re-release. Be patient. They'll be up hopefully before Christmas. Actually, if I can get the first one polished, I'll go ahead and self publish it and the new one, Texas Forged. Of course, I just have to share the cover I came up with. My son posed! Of course, I took creative liberties in that his hair has never ever been that long.

And yes, I painted it. I'm actually pretty proud of my efforts. Would love to know what you think. Now I've got four more covers to paint.

Look for Texas Forged to come out late September or early October. I want to do one more read through before I call it ready.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Angela Renee and her out-of-this-world romance

Please Welcome Angela Renee as she talks about her new release, You Are Mine.

Did you always want to be a writer? When did you know you wanted to pursue writing as a career? I have always been a story teller, but I never considered being a writer. Then one day I was watching the Twilight Zone and these people were transported from earth to another planet. Something happened to me. What would happen if a spaceship landed in Grant Park (a huge park in Chicago)? I had to write this story. After I wrote You Are Mine, I sent it to an editor and she said it was good. I’d caught the writing bug, and the rest is history.

Tell us about your writing “cave”.  Are you organized or messy? Do you have a dedicated place to write or do you have to go to the local coffee shop for quiet time? I have a quiet room in my home. It has a television in it, but it is rarely on. I like to create in complete silence.

Will this story be a stand alone or are you already plotting a sequel? You Are Mine is a stand alone. I don’t know if I have the mentality to write series. I’m the type of person who likes for the entire series to be out, then I purchase the whole thing and read it. I can’t imagine writing a series. I can’t write fast enough. It would drive me crazy.

 Was the hero fashioned from someone you know or was he a fabulous manifestation of your imagination?  D’Jarus is fashioned after my ideal man (except the being from another planet thing). He’s strong, handsome, confident, intelligent, Alpha, yet not so much so that you want to strangle him.

I took a look at your website and I love the blurb for this book. Can you share the blurb with our readers?

In the hundreds of special assignments Erica Morgan has worked, there was nothing that prepared her for waking one morning on an alien spaceship. More surprisingly, her captor and adversary, the leader of this mission, is the one man who could make her want to leave her home planet and embrace a different life.

D’Jarus Commodore doesn’t want a wife, but his planet is slowly dying, and their salvation lies in the people of Earth. As leader of Darien, he chooses to make a sacrifice and be the first to marry a terran. His captive bride, Erica, is like no other being he has ever met. At first sight he knows he must have her, but for obvious reasons—he did kidnap her after all—she resists him every step of the way.

Buy links: Purchase the Print Version ($9.99) or the electronic version Nook, Kindle ($3.99)

Ciara, thank you so much for allowing me to take over your blog today.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Distant Obsession

I'm joining the ranks into uncharted territory for me. I've got a freebie up on Amazon for a book that my writing buddie, Micheal W. Davis and I co-authored. It's our first self publishing adventure. This is also new territory because it's in a genre I don't normally write - romantic suspense.

Here's the blurb for Distant Obsession:

After years struggling to succeed as an artist, Lilah Randal accomplishes her dream, only to return from her first sold-out exhibition to find her husband and his mistress in bed, murdered. For a year she’s persecuted by the cops and media, accused of killing the Senator, her husband. Reluctantly, Lilah stalls her career, assumes a different identify to avoid the media and begins anew in a small town far away from the attention of DC. Her days are filled with new vigor as the serenity of the Cherokee Valley surrounding Watauga Lake fed her creative muse under a fake alias, Carmen. Yet her nights remain hollow, like her marriage to the Senator, until she becomes obsessed by the allure of a stranger that glides by her cabin in his sailboat. Both his male form and solemn expression bleed into every painting, every midnight fantasy, until her new dream becomes reality. Lilah’s future will remain corrupted by the past until she solves the secret behind her husband’s murder and explores her attraction to the mysterious sailor.
This book is free through Amazon from now until Friday, Aug 10.
So, lot's of new adventure for me with this one. First, this is my first time to work with another author. The experience was fun - interesting but I don't think I'll do it again. If I get time, I'll do another with Michael as he was great to work with, but I really do have control issues when it comes to writing and he gave in more than I did. My bad.
Secondly, this is the first time I did the cover layout and formatting for a book to be self published. That in itself was an experience. I plan to self-publish my historical westerns, but I plan to send my publisher any work that's in the fantasy and sci-fi realm. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind later.
And third, the genre is not one I've attempted before. I tend to try and add suspense elements to my other works but not to the point where the suspense is almost as important as the romance. Will I do it again? Maybe. Just not sure at this point. Anyway, just thought I'd jot down my thoughts on the matter.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Head's UP

My publisher, Champagne Books, announced Christmas in July sale. So yep, from now until Aug 1, which is right around the corner, all e-books at their site are 50% off. Of course I'm hoping you all go out and by all of mine but truly, Champagne has some fantastic writers and wonderful novels. They also have some of the best covers around. Oh, yeah, I'm a bit biased since they're my only publisher but still...

Just go to and once you've filled your cart full, plug in this code XeJul12 and I apologize for short notice. I should have posted this two days ago. My bad.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bouncing Between Genres

I'm not sure how folks write in the same genre all the time. I think I would get so bored. On the other hand, I do only write romance so maybe I can kinda see this. But within the romance broad category there are so many different flavors. I've written fantasy, paranormal time travels, futuristic sci-fi stories and historical westerns. Right now I'm bouncing between a historical fantasy and a historical western.

At first I thought, wow, how odd to be going back and forth but then when you think about it, a lot of fantasy books have the same qualities as a western. You have your host of bad guys all harmed to the hilt in some way. Cowboys have their guns and trolls have their sharp teeth and claws. You have the damsel in distress. She's your cowgirl who needs a hero but can still handle herself when it all falls apart. The heroine in my fantasy is pretty much the same way. She needs the hero and yet she's leading him around and pretty much showing him how much he needs her. Then you have the sexy hero. He's a cowboy through and through. A quiet man with strong morals and a belief in justice. He's strong willed, an alpha with beta tendencies and while he has his faults, he always manages to save the day. My hero in the fantasy has all these qualities and more.

I remember when Star Wars first came out in theaters. My then boyfriend took me to see it seven times. We were captivated. Critics claimed it was a western set in outer space. And yep, that pretty much sums it up. With that description, it's easy to see how a sci-fi writer can find herself penning historical westerns as well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ciara Gold got hacked

I'm usually so good about stuff but here's how my e-mail got hacked. I needed to change tribes and I've been waiting for invites from two tribes so indeed I was expecting two e-mails. I got an e-mail from Yahoo that said they were holding two e-mails because  they were making changes to their database and if I wanted them, to click here and they'd eventually be delivered. I did. And nothing happened so I immediately changed my password.

Well, I finally convinced myself that e-mail might be legit and I really wanted those invites to the new tribes, so I did it again and clicked here. About 6 hours later, I got one of those e-mails. Yay for that but, this morning, I woke up to a message from two friends that said my account had been hacked.

I changed passwords yet again but in doing so I lost lots of stuff. I lost all my contacts for that account and I lost all those wonderful e-mails I'd saved from fans. So sad.

I feel violated. I can't imagine how folks feel when thieves break into their homes or steal their cars. Why do folks have to be like that.

Anyway, my advice is that if Yahoo ever asks you to log in again for any reason, do so if you think it's legit, but immediately change your password afterwards. And keep a backup for your contacts and anything else that's important.

I'm just glad I didn't have that account tied to anything else like facebook, twitter, goodreads, etc. What a mess that would have been.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Tribe and Edits Galore

I haven't posted lately because I was waiting for an invite to a new tribe. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about Triberr . This a way for those that tweet to reach more folks with their blog posts. I was in a tribe previous to this new one that was full of great authors that didn't really write the same sort of romance I write, so I thought a change would be better. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm in deep edit mode. I had a wonderful mega reader take a crack at my latest wip and her comments were invaluable. I knew the ending wasn't right but couldn't put my finger on why and got tired of trying to figure it out. She nailed the problem on the head so I'm having to rework the last chapter but I'm cool with that.

I also considered a sequel to Texas Forged but I have three other projects calling to me and while I have a basic idea for the sequel , I can't get it to gel. I think it's because tackling an antebellum book doesn't really call to me. Maybe when I have more time to research.

Target date for publication: September 25.

Don't have a blurb yet but as soon as I flesh one out, I'll share. Might be my next post. I also need to finish outlining my time in Italy and Switzerland. Soon - I promise.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

And the winner is!!!

I'm actually on vacation and it was difficult getting connected but I made it so without further ado, the winner to my guest blogs for Romancing the West is......

Devon Matthews!

Congratulations. BTW for those didn't get a chance to visit The Romancing the West blog, she won a print copy of Once Jilted. Too fun.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Contest Time

So yeah, it's been a week since I posted but I've been writing! I finished my new historical western and I'm just waiting feedback from a beta reader before I take the dive into self publishing. Well, I sorta already took the dive. I co-authored a book with a good friend and fellow writer, Michael W. Davis. He writes great suspense books with romantic inclinations. Distant Obsession is now available at Amazon for only $0.99.

In the meantime, while I'm gearing up to promote my newest endeavor, I wanted to promote an older title, Once Jilted. I love this story. Jacquie Rogers has invited me to be a guest on her blog, Romancing the West, on Monday and Thursday of this week. To celebrate, I'm going to give away a signed copy of Once Jilted. All you have to do to be entered is visit her blog for details on how you can win.

How many times will an orphan be cast aside before someone offers love?

Shauna Joyce has three weeks to find a husband or face watching a special little girl fall into the hands of loveless parents. An orphan herself, she knows the heartache of growing up without love. Armed with a need greater than her own, she finds a likely candidate in bridge-builder, Kane McKenna.

Kane McKenna has one goal; to finish the bridge he’s erecting so he can earn the capital needed to start a business of his own. A wife and child would drain his finances, so when Shauna Joyce proposes marriage, he balks at the idea. Will her determination be enough to build the bridge of trust needed to make him trade one dream for another?


He approached with quiet determination. A sudden wind-change blew smoke into Shauna’s face. Her hands flew up and she coughed.

“The smoke is enamored with its creator,” he said.

She turned away from the fire and gave him a blank stare.

“Granted, I reconfigured it a wee bit, but you must be familiar with the saying.” He came abreast of her and gazed at the fire. “Smoke follows beauty.”

She smirked. “Then this particular smoke needs glasses.”

He picked up another log and fed it into the blazing fire. “You do noot think yourself attractive?”

She quirked her head and gave him a baffled frown. “I’m as plain as oatmeal without brown sugar. Why else am I having such a difficult time finding a husband?”

“Your lack of suitors has noothing to do with your outward image, lassie.” The fire died down, so he removed his hat to fan the flames. “While you possess many fine qualities, your forward approach scares men.”

She arched a brow. “Do I scare you?”

“Oh, aye.” He laughed. “I can noot sleep at night for fear you’ll rope and brand me.”

She lifted her poking stick and shook it at him. “I need a husband, not a cow.”

He laughed even harder. She did have sass. He liked that about her.

“You’re a bold lass.” He shook his head. “But you possess the finesse of a greenhorn on his first cattle drive.”

“And what would an engineer know about herding cattle?”

“Enough to realize I never want to be a cow puncher.”

Indeed, he’d worked enough cattle drives in his younger days to know he’d never be a rancher. Besides, engineering was in his blood. He loved the challenge of building something to withstand the strains of its function.

She sighed and looked toward the expanse of bridge. “Or a husband.”

“Ah lass, I do noot need the added responsibility.” He gave her a gentle smile. “Besides, I travel from site to site. ’Twould noot be a pleasant life for a woman.”

“So tell me the truth. What scares the men most? Me or raising someone else’s child?”

“Both, lass.” Ach, how could he make her understand? “Men like to do the chasing. It’s the natural order of things. You’ve taken that pleasure away from them.”

“I haven’t the time to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.” She wiped her hands on her apron, smoothing out nonexistent wrinkles, and shot him a speculative look.

Game? She thought marriage was a game? Kane wanted to throttle her. “Fine, lassie, but you woon’t be getting married when no mon will have you.”

Firelight caught the sparks of anger in her eyes. He tensed, ready for her heated words. Instead, she approached, her gaze intent and her stride full of purpose. She grabbed his neckerchief and tugged until their noses came close to touching. “You can’t say challenging words without paying the price.”

Before Kane responded, she planted soft lips upon his. His eyes flew wide, and his breath caught. Aye, but she was a bold lass to initiate such a kiss. She punished him with her lips, forcing him to respond. He grasped her shoulders, whether to push her away or pull her closer, he didn’t know. He was caught between both desires. She took the decision from him as she pressed her body against his. Saints preserve, what is the lassie thinking? Kissing a man in broad daylight with the whole camp watching. He wrapped his arms around her, relishing the taste of her lips.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome Guest Author, Deatri King-Bey

A warm welcome to Deatri King-Bey! Welcome to my small corner of the cyber world. Please tell us a little bit about you.

I started in the publishing industry as a developmental editor for an independent publishing house a little over a decade ago. Their focus was nonfiction, so soon I moved onto freelance editing for several publishing houses. I’m also an avid reader and author. The only genre I don’t like to read is horror. I just don’t find being scared enjoyable. I’m also a multi-published, award winning author with fifteen full length novels under my belt. I

write romance and women’s fiction under my name and dangerously-sexy suspense under the name L. L. Reaper. On a personal note, I have three fantastic daughters who have given me the three greatest grandchildren ever. I also married my hero over twenty-five years ago and look forward to when we can both retire and can be the annoying older couple in the grocery store fussing over which bottled water brand to purchase.

I understand you’ve written a fantasy romance book. Tell the readers why you chose to write in this genre? What inspired the story? 

I read everything, but my favorite genres are sci-fi and fantasy. Authors get to create worlds, but the worlds usually follow the rules of the world we live in. For example the sky is blue, there are twenty-four hours in the day, it takes a sperm and egg to produce a child, we have various government structures. No dragons… Even though a novel is fiction, thus not real, you still need to make it realistic. With fantasy, I get to make my own rules for the worlds my characters live on. I create what is realistic. Okay, you’ve got me. I’m a control freak. Seriously though, The Other Realm is my first time writing a fantasy. I don’t know what took me so long.

My inspiration for The Other Realm was a Canadian goose. One morning I was sitting in the courtyard outside of my office building when a Canadian goose decided he wanted to visit with me. It scared the heck out of me at first because these are not small birds and if they are nesting nearby, they will attack. I guess the goose decided I wasn’t a threat so hopped himself up on the opposite end of the bench. I jokingly said, “You’d better keep your feathered butt on that end of the bench or there will be a problem.”

That’s when the concept for a plot came to me. What if the goose answered? Next thing you know, I was writing The Other Realm.

What makes this book stand out from the other fantasy romance books? You’ll still get your romance, out of this world creatures and an adventure to remember, but the two realms this novel takes place in—our current realm and the other realm—feel completely different. I did my best to also have the reader feel this difference. I even used Limited Point of View in our realm and Unlimited Point of View in the other realm.  And the clashing of the realms… Well, you’ll need to read to find out.

Who was your favorite character in the book and why? Aurora, the heroine. She was raised in our realm and taught other realms don’t exist. Her transition to accepting the impossible, then accepting her destiny yet not settling for less was enjoyable to watch. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my book.

Do you think this character would prefer plain vanilla ice cream or chunky chocolate brownie ice cream and why? Aurora would prefer plain vanilla ice cream so she could add whatever ingredients she felt like having that particular day to make it into whatever she’d like.

When you’re in the midst of writing a story, do the characters let you sleep at night?  The characters always take over the story when I’m writing. I walk around with a notebook and write, write, write. Now I must admit, nothing keeps me from sleeping. I think the characters and I would have to fight if they kept me awake at night.

Please give us a sneak preview, a short excerpt: Here’s the first scene in the book where the heroine meets her hero (who is a goose in this realm and a warrior in the other realm).
Majestic bird should be reserved for eagles and hawks, thought Aurora. Eagles, hawks, and now geese.  She watched a goose soar across the courtyard, his wings fully expanded. In a few graceful strokes, he traveled two hundred yards and descended into an effortless landing.
She’d never seen anything so magnificent. The goose took her mind back to her pet goose that flew away one day, never to return. She constantly worried about what became of him.
As if the goose knew of his audience, he took off again, skimmed the freshly mowed grounds, then stopped in front of her.
She quickly checked over her shoulders. A few people were walking along the path that circled the office courtyard, but none were within earshot. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were putting a show on for me,” she teased.
She jumped and clinched her pounding chest at the sound of a deep, husky voice calling her name. She couldn’t tell what direction it came from, but she’d never heard a more clear sound. After a quick visual scan of the area, she took out her imitation hearing aids to see if she’d actually heard speaking. She’d had the earplugs made in the shape of hearing aids to block out the distorted sounds she heard instead of clear voices.
Her heart lurched forward from an anxiety-laced adrenaline rush. One of her earplugs slipped out of her hand. She knelt to pick it up. The goose stepped forward and stood on the device.
She looked around again. There was no one around. Not even on the walking path. She and the goose were the only warm-blooded creatures in sight. “Please, mister goose,” she murmured. “I think I’m losing my mind and,” she pointed at his foot, “I need my earplug.” He didn’t move.
You’re not crazy. It’s me—Tahlan, the voice explained.
She sat on her haunches and fought to remain in control over her nerves. “Oh great. Now the voice in my head has a name.”
A hearty chuckle filled her head. I haven’t heard sarcasm in such a long time. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard spoken word in such a long time.
She slowly rose. “I’m hearing voices, a goose is standing on my earplug and I’m talking to myself.” She held out her hands. “What next?”
This goose is the voice in your head.
Her lips pursed and eyes scrunched. “Oh yeah, I’m crazy. Now the goose is talking to me.” She spotted a few people across the lawn walking onto the path. “Listen here, mister goose.
Geese do not talk,” she whispered with a touch of agitation.
I know this all sounds crazy, Aurora, but please listen to me. I’m the voice in your head.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “If you’re talking to me, why isn’t your mouth moving? And how can I understand you?” She held out her imitation hearing aid. External sounds were distorted for her. Therefore, she couldn’t understand spoken word. “I’m not happy about it, but I’m crazy. I’m either hearing voices that don’t exist, or I think a goose is talking to me. Either way, I need some serious psychological help.”
My mouth isn’t moving because geese don’t talk.
She laughed so hard she drew the attention of the people who walked along the path.
After she calmed, he continued, I don’t have lips in this form. We communicate to each other telepathically.
“Not only am I fighting with a goose, but I’m losing the argument. This isn’t right.” She walked away. “Keep it. I’ll have another made,” she said over her shoulder. Audiologist never found a medical reason why Aurora’s hearing was distorted. She wore the imitation hearing aids to block out the noise and to minimize questions from people. It was much easier just saying she was hard of hearing than explaining the truth.
Aurora.  The goose bent his long neck down, picked up her earplug, then gave chase.
Listen to me.
“I don’t argue with animals. I’m going through some sort of crazy, think–geese–speak psychosis thing.”
You have a clear mind and heart. You know you’re not crazy.
“Crazy people never believe they’re crazy.”
He stepped in front of her.
She stumbled over him onto the cement walking path. “Listen up you crazy goose.” She glared into his beady black eyes, and a jolt of recognition zipped through her. It took a bit, but she shook it off. “If you trip me one more gin, I’ll pluck your feathers and have you for dinner.”
He dropped the earplug onto her lap. I find your spoken word comforting, but you don’t have to open your mouth. Just think to me. Tell me to do a flying trick. You’ll see this is real.
She wiped her hearing aid off with her denim shirt. “Yuck. Goose slob.”
Please try. This is important. What do you have to lose?
“My mind. But I’ll try anyway.” She closed her eyes and imagined the goose sailing a few feet above ground. She opened her eyes and watched him glide a few feet above the ground.
She changed her thoughts to him circling the flagpole. He circled the flagpole.
Her whole body trembled. “Oh no. This can’t be.” She ran into the building and practically knocked over a few innocent bystanders who’d come out to enjoy the show.
~ * ~

Ciara, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to introduce myself and The Other Realm to your readers. It was truly a pleasure.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 777 challenge!

The 777 Challenge

I was tagged by Alison Bruce along with six other authors. My challenge is to go to page 7 of my current work in progress and post seven lines. When I'm done posting, I get to tag seven other authors. Hmm, who shall I tag? Oh and once I'm done, I challenge those seven to do the same and tag 7 more. Too fun!

And now for my excerpt. This is from my current wip, Texas Forged which I'm happy to report is basically DONE! I plan to send to the beta reader sometime this week, work up a cover for it and then I think this one I'll self publish just because.

Page 7, 7 lines: (Okay, so it's just a tad longer than 7, but still...)

“Think you can move this buckboard along at a pace guaranteed to ensure safe delivery?” she asked.
Teebon nodded, and the cowlick on top of his head wobbled. “I’ll treat you like you was a carton of eggs.”

 As long as you’re not thinking scrambled. “Great. Only this time, wait until I take a seat. I have an aversion to hanging onto the side of a moving vehicle while my skirts billow in the wind and my feet flutter like wings.”

His cheeks blossomed red again, and he ducked his head. “Yes’m.”

“Very well then.” She settled onto the bench next to the awkward teen and nodded a greeting to some of the gawkers gathered to witness their small calamity.

My seven authors to tag:

Jude Johnson
Linda LaRoque
Linda Mooney
Diana Castilleja
Tess St. John
Teri Thackston
Savannah Chase