Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Come Home to Me

Here's another little snippet from Book 1 in the Second Chances Time Travel Series, Come Home to Me.

“By asking me to pretend to be this competent wagon train scout, you are condemning a bunch of people to die. Do you realize that?” Jake stood, anger building up inside him. How was he supposed to get a large group of people through the wilderness of the nineteenth century? If he really had time traveled, this would be an impossible undertaking. “I don’t have the first clue how to get from Iowa to Oregon in the 1800’s. What if I refuse to do this?”
“You’ll return to your jail cell in your time, and will be convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances. I believe you understand what that means.”
Yeah. He knew what that meant. Life on death row. “You’re crazy, you know that?” Jake paced the floor in front of the reverend.  He could rot in a jail cell for the rest of his life, or he could die here in the nineteenth century. “Some choice,” he mumbled. “I don’t even know why I’m agreeing to do this.” A pair of blue eyes flashed in his mind. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Western Roundup blog hop winners!!!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway this past week! I asked my son to draw a name from a hat, and of course, my other son didn't want to be left out. So, I had no choice but to pick two winners.

Congratulations to Danielle B, and Renee G!!!!

I've emailed both of you. Happy reading.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Hike in Yellowstone - Lone Star Geyser

Lone Star Geyser Hike

Lone Star Geyser
If I had to pick a favorite hike in Yellowstone, the walk (I don’t even want to call it a hike) to Lone Star Geyser has got to be it.  This is probably one of the easiest backcountry hikes in the park. The trailhead is located a few miles south of Old Faithful, just past the Kepler Cascades turnout (I’ve been told that Kepler Cascades are beautiful to see, and I think I’ve stood at the viewing fence once. I can’t bring myself to get close enough to the fence to see beyond it for a full view. Remember, I’m terrified of heights).

Anyways, Lone Star has it’s own parking area just past Kepler Cascades, along with a brand new vault toilet. This is a big plus, since the hike is almost five miles round trip. This is a fairly popular hike, and the parking lot is not very large, so parking is definitely limited. The best time to get there is fairly early in the day.

The hike is almost completely level all the way. It does incline gradually, but this is barely noticeable. The trail itself is an old asphalt service road.
Shortly after starting the hike, you’ll come along the Upper Firehole River, which is a peaceful meandering creek in this area. After crossing the river on a bridge, you’ll walk through forest and several meadows, following the Firehole. If you’re from the city like me, it’s a good idea to stop once in a while along the river or in a meadow and just sit and listen…..to the quiet. There’s nothing better than getting out in nature, and just listening to the solitude. The gentle sounds of the breeze through the trees, the crickets, the gurgling of the water, or the birds makes this a really relaxing hike.

Since this is an old service road, mountain bikes are allowed on this trail. Personally, I’d rather walk and enjoy the scenery, but if you’re in a hurry, a bike may be the way to go. There are bike racks at the end of the road, just before you get to the clearing where Lone Star is located. You’ll see the twelve-foot tall cone of the geyser as you come out of the paved path into the clearing. There are no boardwalks here. This is a backcountry geyser, and you’re on your own, so use common sense.

They geyser itself erupts about every three hours, and can shoot water 30-50 feet in the air, with several minor eruptions in between. There is a log book where visitors can note the time of the last eruption, and make notes on what they’ve observed. It was not very well updated when we were there last month. There are a few downed trees and logs you can sit at to enjoy the scenery and maybe a snack, or even lunch if you planned ahead, and wait for the next eruption.
Lone Star Geyser is not named for the Lone Star State of Texas, but because it is a lone geyser in an isolated location. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday is back!

Okay. New book, new teasers. Unless someone wants more excerpts from the Yellowstone series. I do have some unpublished/cut scenes from Yellowstone Heart Song I could post, I guess, if anyone is interested. 
But for this Tuesday, I have a snippet from one of my current WIP's, Come Home To Me (Book 1 in the Second Chances Time Travel Series).
I published the first chapter at the end of Yellowstone Deception. This is a snippet from chapter 2.

“What the hell is going on here, reverend?” Jake forced the words from his mouth, his jaw clenched.  “What did you put into that glass of water yesterday? Or should I ask how long I’ve been passed out?”
“Take it easy, Jake,” the reverend said calmly, and scooted out from between the pews and into the center aisle. “Have a seat.” He motioned to the first row of benches.
“I want some answers, and I want them now,” Jake demanded heatedly. “I don’t need to sit down for that. I don’t take kindly to being drugged. You should know that.”
“I didn’t drug you, Jake. Not the way you’re thinking.”
Jake’s eyes narrowed. “But you did put something in that water,” he accused.
“Only to get you here,” the reverend said in his calm and casual tone that grated on Jake’s nerves worse than nails on a chalkboard. “Believe me, son, it’s a much smoother trip when you’re not aware of it.”
“Aware of what? Where exactly is here?”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Annual Western Roundup Giveaway Hop!


First Annual Western Roundup Giveaway Hop

July 20th - 26th

Featuring books with cowboys, rangers, mountain men, anything to do with the old west!
Westerns are sexy and deserve a hop of their own. The western genre has exploded beyond old west and romance to include werewolves, wizards and other magical beings. Want to meet a charming cowboy or tough as nails cowgirl? Want to know what magic has to do with the old west? Want an old-fashioned historical western romance? How about a little time travel? Well then, hop on and enjoy the ride!

             The Yellowstone Romance Series

Yellowstone Heart Song (Book 1)

In the land of Fire and Ice, two worlds collide, and a love is born that transcends the test of time.

Nurse and avid backpacker Aimee Donovan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She encounters a patient who tells her he can send her two hundred years into the past to spend three months in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness at the dawn of the mountain man era.  The only requirement: she cannot tell anyone that she’s from the future.
How did a white woman suddenly appear in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness? Trapper Daniel Osborne’s first instinct is to protect this mysterious and unconventional woman from the harsh realities of his mountains. While he fights his growing attraction to her, he is left frustrated by her lies and secrecy. 
Daniel shows Aimee a side of Yellowstone she’s never experienced. She is torn between her feelings for him, and exposing a secret that will destroy everything he holds as truth.  As her three months come to an end, she is faced with a dilemma: return to her own time, or stay with the man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. When the decision is made for her, both their lives will be changed forever.

Leave a comment on this blog (along with contact information) for your chance to win a kindle copy of Yellowstone Heart Song. 

Be sure to visit the other participating blogs below to see more great western books, and more great prize giveaways!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Few Announcements

My apologies that the blog has been so quiet lately. I'm trying to get my Friday trail features or campfire recipes features up and running again. Now that I have two new WIP's, I can post teasers again on Tuesdays. I'm sure if you're reading this blog, you've more than likely read the books in the Yellowstone Romance Series, so there's no need for me to keep posting excerpts from those books. I'm hopefully also going to get a few more western guest authors on the blog again on Mondays. 

First, let me say that Yellowstone Deception has had an awesome debut week! It is in the top 100 in time travel and historical fantasy, as well as in the top five in hot new time travel romance releases! 
Yellowstone Heart Song and Yellowstone Redemption have also remained in the top 100 in time travel romance and historical fantasy for the last three months. Yellowstone Awakening and Yellowstone Dawn pop in and out of the top 100 in Western romance. Thank you! My readers are aweseome!

As you can see on the sidebar to the right, Yellowstone Heart Song and Yellowstone Redemption have new covers! I finally decided to change the cover art for these two books. I still like the ones I made originally, but felt that they needed a little more professional look. I'm still in the learning process. Please let me know what you think of the new covers. 

Also, this Friday, July 20th, I am participating in a western blog hop. I hope you'll stop by, and also visit some of the other participating blogs. There will be lots of great prizes. 

I also post on my facebook page on most days, so I'd love for you to stop by and give it a "like". 

Sunset in Yellowstone

Monday, July 2, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Yellowstone Deception in Pictures

I am a visual person. If I can't see something clearly in my mind, I can't get a good feel for it. My husband often has these ideas for home improvements, and he goes into these lenghty descriptions of what he "sees" in his head. His descriptions are great, but in the end, I always say, "show me a picture. I can't see what you're telling me."In college, Organic Chemistry was one of my hardest classes (and I had to take three levels of OChem!) for me because I couldn't "see" the 3D images of molecules and compounds in my head. 
Writing a book is very difficult, because, unless it's a picture book, the author has to be able to create that visual for the reader that is in the author's head. 

I had the most difficult time describing a certain location in Yellowstone Deception. My critique partner returned that section with comments such as "I must be clueless, because I have no idea what you are describing"...."I had no idea you were describing a location." Hmm...bad writing on my part. In my mind, the location was crystal clear. Then, this past week, I actually went to the location I was describing, and I asked my husband, and my boys, "describe for me, in words, what you are seeing. Pretend I am blind and have never seen this before." They all had a hard time putting into words what was in front of them, but each one came up with something different.

So, in the end, I hope my description as I finally wrote it in the book will make sense to someone who has never seen this particular feature in Yellowstone before. I'll keep it a secret for now as to which feature I am talking about. Hopefully my readers will give me feedback.
Until then, my teaser for today, from Yellowstone Deception, are pictures I took while on vacation last week of places that I describe in the book. Below each picture is a short quote from the book. (Let me know what you think of this sort of "teaser." I can probably do the same for each of the other books, if anyone else wants to see some visuals of some of the locations from the books)

Brink of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River looking straight down over guard fence

Jana grabbed for the fence, and slowly peered over the edge. It was an awe-inspiring view. Millions of gallons of water spilled over the yawning cliff, plunging straight downward. The icy wind created by the river left thick patches of snow and ice clinging to the rocks of the canyon walls, even though it was well into July. Far below in the canyon, the turquoise waters of the Yellowstone River continued their journey north after its mighty plunge. The blue ribbon was in sharp contrast to the earthy hues of yellows and reds that adorned the canyon walls as if an artist had painted them there with broad brush strokes.

Eruption of Old Faithful as viewed from Observation Point

Old Faithful was putting on its timeless show. The enormous fountain of water shot high up in the air, enveloped in a veil-like cloud of steam in the cool evening breeze. From their high vantage point, it seemed even grander than watching the spectacle from ground level.

Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces

“The early explorers called this White Mountain,” Dan said.