Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Release Day for Yellowstone Legacy!

It's Release Day! Yellowstone Legacy, Book 7 in the Yellowstone Romance Series, is now available!

“What we think we know may be completely different…”

Nurse Michaela Stephens has led a quiet, ordinary life, limited by restrictions and fear of making mistakes. When she is accused of wrongdoing on the job, escaping to the wilds of Montana seems like the best way to overcome her insecurities. What she thought she left behind is about to come back to haunt her in ways she never expected.

As a descendant of the guardians of ancient Yellowstone, Matunaaga has waited a long time to discover his destiny. Content and secure in his life, he is guided by a sense of duty and obligation to help ensure the future preservation of the sacred mountains. He’s ready to do just about anything to fulfill his role, except the one thing his vision requires of him.

When Mat is thrust into the world he gladly left behind as a boy, the woman from his vision is the only one who can help him find his way. Michaela must learn to set aside her fears, while Mat seeks to convince her of the truth she tries to deny. With forces at work to tear them apart, trust and love may be the key to survival as Mat and Michaela seek to protect the future generations guarding Yellowstone.

***Content warning: This book contains mild language, mild violence, and intimacy between consenting adults. Heat rating 3 out of 5, PG13

***While Yellowstone Legacy is a complete romance between the two central characters in this novel, certain events that happened prior to this story come into play in Yellowstone Legacy. For better enjoyment and understanding of this story, it is recommended that you are familiar with at least the following titles: Yellowstone Heart Song, Yellowstone Deception, and Yellowstone Origins.

BN (NOOK):  http://bit.ly/29sTI56

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Yellowstone Legacy in Pictures

It's almost here! Yellowstone Legacy, Book 7 in the Yellowstone Romance Series is set to go live on July 12th! I'm really excited about this book for several reasons. I thought Origins was difficult to write last year. (I wrote a blog post about it. You can read it here) I never expected to struggle that much with another book ever again. Boy, was I wrong! 
I struggled for over seven months to get Legacy written. Some of it was trying to get the story to come together exactly the way I had envisioned it, but a lot of the delays had to do with very personal reasons that I may someday have the courage to talk about, but not today. I even set the book aside for a while to write something "light." That was Cora's Pride (Book 1 in the Wilderness Brides Series), a book that was the start of a new series that's been in my head. It took me about a month to write that book, and I wanted to dive right in and write the second book, but I had to get Legacy done first. 

I've had a lot of readers ask me to include photos of the places I write about in my books. That's not really possible to do in a romance novel, so I've tried to post as many images as I can on my Facebook page and in the fan group there. I've also created a Pinterest board with images specifically from locations in the Yellowstone books. 

For the latest book, Yellowstone Legacy, I've compiled some images of the places my characters see and experience, that I would like to share in this post. While some of the images I'm going to post are mine, I've also used photos I couldn't possibly take myself from the Yellowstone website photo archives (public domain images), and quite a few are from photographs taken by a company called Trail Guides Yellowstone. They offer guided backpacking trips to various awesome locations in the Yellowstone backcountry. Their images are copyrighted, but they were gracious enough to allow me to post some of the photos from their website in this post. 

So, I'll stop talking now, and let the pictures speak for themselves (with captions):

 This first image is an overview of the Buffalo Plateau with the Yellowstone River, on the Helloraring Creek Trail leading to the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (image used with permission)

On the way to Hellroaring Creek on the hike to get to the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (image used with permission)

More images of the terrain my characters navigated in Yellowstone Legacy (images used with permission)

Hellroaring Creek (image used with permission)

Hellroaring Creek as it flows into the Yellowstone River (image used with permission)

The Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (image used with permission)

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (image used with permission

Yellowstone River suspension bridge (image used with permission)

Bridge over Hellroaring Creek (image used with permission)

Hellroaring Creek Trail (one of my pictures because yes, I do actually hike most of the trails I talk about in the books :D Husband and sons ahead of me on the trail )

Another of my personal photos along the Hellroaring Creek Trail. This is after crossing the Yellowstone River Suspension Bridge before coming out onto the Buffalo Plateau and heading toward Hellroaring Creek

Taking a break, overlooking Hellroaring Creek (which isn't in the picture)

Along Hellroaring Creek, which was more like a raging river when we made this hike. I did a blog post about this particular trail, about my experience the first time I hiked this trail. Well, I've come a long way since that first experience, which you can read about here

Yellowstone River in the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (image used with permission)

Yellow-bellied marmot

Wolf and two bears (mama bear and baby bear)

Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs

Fort Yellowstone at Mammoth Hot Springs, Residential Area

Albright Visitor Center, Mammoth Hot Springs

Fort Yellowstone/Mammoth Hot Springs are (image from 1977)

                                     Mammoth Hot Springs and Fort Yellowstone (image from 1977)

                                 Mammoth Hot Springs (image from 1977)

Wildflowers on the trail up Mount Washburn (2015)

View from near the top of Mount Washburn (2015) Those white dots on the side of the hill on the right are Bighorn Sheep

View from the top of Mount Washburn as clouds are rolling in (this was July 2015, and it snowed that day. We just made it down the mountain before the weather got bad)

Another view from the top of Mount Washburn, looking to the south. You can sort of see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the brightest area in the picture is where Yellowstone Lake would be. 

And finally, I'm tossing in this image, because I think it's just a really neat photo (from the Yellowstone website), and although my characters in Legacy don't make a stop at the falls, they are definitely mentioned plenty of times in many of the other books. This shows the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River on the left, and then the river makes a slight bend, and plunges down the Lower Falls on the right, to continue on its course northward  (yes, the Yellowstone is a north-flowing river)  through the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The parking lot in the center is the Uncle Tom's Trail Parking lot. 

So, I'm looking forward to book launch in three days (July 12, 2016) on the book that took so long to write. I hope it lives up to reader expectations! I plan on working on a few books in a couple of other series before I tackle the next book in the Yellowstone Series. 

meme created by one of my beta readers!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Yellowstone Legacy - It's almost here!

Coming Soon! 

 Book 7 in the highly anticipated Yellowstone Romance Series

It's taken a little longer than anticipated to get to the finish line with YELLOWSTONE LEGACY, but it's almost here, and I thank you all for waiting so patiently for this book. 

As this series comes to a close (I have a Book 8 planned, and possibly some more novellas), hopefully all - or most -  questions about the Osborne Family and the Sky People and their connection to Yellowstone and each other will be answered, as we continue the journey with them through time. 

If you have any questions that you're dying to get answers to, please ask in comments or you can email me privately. Hopefully, I will have covered most everything by Book 8. 

July 12, 2016

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Author Interview and Giveaway - Chad Strong

 I'm so pleased to introduce my guest author this week - Chad Strong. We first "met" in an online forum many years ago, and he's not only an all-around nice guy, but we both have stories in the Short-Story Anthology Rawhide N' Roses. 
He's also recently ventured into the self-publishing world, and re-released his award-winning book, High Stakes. 

Don't forget to comment at the end for a chance at an ebook copy of his book!

Thanks for finally being a guest on my blog, Chad. Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Hi, Peggy! Thank you for having me on your blog! I think the last project we both contributed to was “Rawhide’n Roses – a Western Anthology”.

A little about the person behind the pen … I’m Canadian, born and raised in western Canada, though I currently live east of center. I’ve spent most of my life with horses. When I didn’t have a book in my hands, there’d be reins – or a manure fork – instead. I’ve always been fascinated with the era of the Old West, feeling like I was born a century or more too late. I still love the old western movies with John Wayne and the newer ones, from Dances with Wolves to Young Guns, etc., and can’t wait to see the more current ones I haven’t got to yet! I enjoy short stories as well as novels, and my favorite western author is Matt Braun.

Why did you decide to write a western historical romance? What is the appeal?

It was sort of an accident. I hadn’t set out to write a romance per se. I’d set out to write a western/historical with a romance in it. But as the story took shape, the romance part started becoming more and more essential to the plot.

How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?

I do a lot of research. I love learning and I love history and I want to get it right if I use it in a story. Like most writers, I read a lot of books – from the library, to treasures found at second hand book stores, to articles on the internet. (Though I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century). The discovery of so much fascinating stuff can be addictive, so many side trails to explore! It takes an effort of will to narrow my focus to the bits that actually belong in a particular story.

What is the best comment you ever received from a reader?

The best comment about High Stakes came from a fellow who’s a self-proclaimed non-reader (he usually prefers to wait for the movie version) who said he couldn’t put it down and he missed it when it was all over. Some months later I heard from him again, and he told me he was reading it again. Wow – that blew me away!

Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just plow through them?

Mostly plowing. Generally, I have some idea of where I want to go with a story. I’ll jot down notes about characters or images or feelings or scenes, and just start writing. The first draft grows rather organically, and after that, during the rewrites, is when I start looking for the logical plot and discovering themes and linking and rearranging things to hopefully come to a meaningful whole when it’s done.

Can you tell us a little about your current work, High Stakes? Is there a story behind the story?

High Stakes is my first novel, and it grew out of my love of home - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and western/historical stories. After multiple rejections over a number of years, it was first published as an ebook by Musa Publishing in 2012. Musa went out of business in spring of 2015, so the book was no longer available to the public. I decided to self-publish to get it back out there, so the better part of the past year has been an enormous learning curve as I tackled reformatting and social media, etc, etc.  Not being the least bit tech-savvy, I ran into a lot of barbed wire. I’d expected to just ride from here to there and get it done, but rode into a lot of box canyons and had get back out and take the long way around. I’m very grateful to the folks who stepped up and helped me when I was clueless about what to do and how to do it. I feel like a quasi Dr. McCoy: “Damn it, Jim – I’m a horseman, not a computer tech!”

What sets your heroine, Mary Andrews, apart from all the other women in your hero’s, Curt Prescott’s, life? Why is she perfect for him?

Mary is perfect for Curt because she challenges him in ways he could never foresee. Mary is who she is, and expects, na├»vely or otherwise, the same honest presentation of themselves from others. Curt grew up on the streets and learned the hard way that not everyone can be trusted. Now, he’s an adult, and a professional gambler. Characteristically, he tends to present himself in whatever manner will give him the upper hand.

Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

At those times where I just can't seem to get what I need out onto the page, I find it helpful to do something physical, like take a walk, or work on something completely different, something to switch gears and allow my mind to let go of whatever it's stuck on. Usually, I can then bring a fresh perspective back to the work.

Here’s the back jacket blurb and an excerpt from “High Stakes”:


Young gambler Curt Prescott plays better poker than men twice his age.  His skill raised him from a life of degradation on the streets to a comfortable living with his girl, saloon songstress, Del, in Victoria, BC. 

In the spring of 1877, a new preacher, his wife, and daughter, Mary, arrive.  The preacher hopes to save the souls of Victoria’s “misguided”.  His wife forms a committee to eradicate them.  Curt must fight back with everything he has – including a plan to seduce Mary and shame the family.

 As a notorious criminal, and Del’s jealous rages, threaten them all, Curt’s battle for his lifestyle becomes one of right and wrong, life and death, and love lost and found.

 Chock-full of western grit, romantic allure, and courage of the heart, High Stakes is an adventure for men and women alike.

And the excerpt:

Mary grasped Curt's arm. "This is wonderful. I'm having such a good time."

“I’m glad.” He took the hand that grasped his sleeve and knitted their fingers together. Mary smiled and squeezed his hand. He felt that tingling sensation again.

They walked another half-mile to a place where the banks were less steep and the trees fell away for a small grassy meadow. The sun was high in the western sky and warmed them the instant they stepped into the open. The meadow was still surrounded by dense forest, still very private.

“Shall we sit awhile?” Curt asked her.

She nodded and they sank down onto the thick, soft grass, facing the creek. Mary drew a deep breath of the sweet spring air and hugged her up drawn knees.

“Feeling better?” he asked, leaning on his left hand and propping his right elbow on his right knee.

“Yes, much.” She smiled at him. “I feel as free as a bird.”

“I’m glad.” He beckoned her eyes with his. “I’m enjoying myself too, Mary. I really enjoy being with you.”

She blushed, and bit on her lower lip.

He chuckled softly. “I wish you didn’t embarrass so easily. It makes it hard for me to tell you how pretty you look sitting there, with the sun shining in your hair.”

The intensity of his stare drew her eyes to his and locked them there. He lifted his hand and touched her hair. She stiffened, and held herself frozen. He leaned over the inches between them and placed a soft kiss on her temple. He heard her sharp intake of breath.

“Are you afraid of me, Mary?” he asked, his breath fanning her ear.

“N-no. That’s silly.” She hugged her knees tighter.

He dipped his head and placed another kiss on her cheek. Her eyes ran away from his. “Mary. Mary, look at me.”

She bit on her lip again, then released it as she met his eyes once again. Holding her captive with only his gaze, he pressed a brief, warm kiss to her lips. She stiffened again, holding her breath, and did not exhale even after he’d drawn away. He cupped her cheek with his palm to keep her face toward him.

“That was nice,” he said softly.

She shivered, at last breathing out, and he sensed that one more kiss would send her running from him. He sat back but held her hand firmly in his. He could feel her anxiety in her rigid fingers. Gently, he stroked them, until at last she relaxed and met his eyes once again. There was uncertainty in them, a little fear, too, but there was also a small spark of awakened desire. He believed she was as close to wanting a man as she’d ever come. In time, she would want him beyond all reason, and she would surrender to him. And the spark he saw made him wonder if there was more passion hidden beneath her shy, quiet exterior than he had so far given her credit for. He was definitely going to find out.

What else do you have in store for your readers?

I’ve recently released a couple of western short stories in ebook format on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc. 

My next novel is actually a young adult fantasy. I enjoy reading multiple genres – mostly western and fantasy – so I guess it’s no surprise I enjoy writing across different genres as well. I’ve had a few short stories from each category published, and have plans for some western/fantasy combined. 

Does anyone have any questions or comments for me? I’ll be sending a free Kindle ebook copy of High Stakes to one reader who comments.

Happy Trails and Happy Reading!
Chad Strong

    I enjoy hearing from my readers. You can contact me, and learn more about High Stakes and other stories through:

See the Book Trailer on YouTube:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj-h47LCDhw

High Stakes is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon at:

From Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1sl2n2A

And many other ebook retailers.