Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Come Home To Me

Here's a new teaser for Come Home To Me. I will probably announce a release date next week.

Jake’s free arm snaked around her waist, cutting off what she wanted to say, and he pulled her flush against him. Heat shot through her, and her limbs went weak. Memories of the previous day, when she willingly wrapped her arms around him assaulted her. This was different. Intense. Forbidden. Jake Owens was slowly chiseling away all of her defenses. Rachel fought for a breath of air as her mind swirled out of control like the churning river behind her.
“Please, don’t do this,” she whispered, her words in sharp contrast to what her mind screamed.
He leaned forward, his breath tickling her ear and neck, and she shuddered. “Why, Rachel? Because I make you feel things? You’re shaking, and I don’t think it’s because you’re afraid, or cold. Tell me, has anyone ever kissed you, and made you tremble with need?” His lips grazed her neck.
Intense waves of pleasure rippled through her as his lips trailed along the sensitive area of her neck, just below her ear. A soft moan escaped her mouth, and she leaned into his touch.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,” he rasped, and his arm tightened around her. “What the hell are you doing to me?” He sounded almost angry at his own question. He released her hand, and entwined his fingers in her hair at the back of her head. Giving it a gentle tug, he forced her to raise her head. He’s going to kiss you. And you want him to. Rachel held her breath, braced her trembling hands against his chest, and stared into his dark eyes. He lowered his head. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Author - Debra Parmley

My special guest today is author Debra Parmley, and she has a great treat for us! One lucky commenter will win a print copy of her first book, A Desperate Journey! Please leave a comment for Debra, along with your email, in the comment section at the end of the interview. The winner will be notified, and asked to supply a mailing address. Good luck everyone!

Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Peggy, thank you for inviting me to visit your blog. I always look forward to meeting and hearing from readers. Let's see, a little about the person behind the pen. Rather than the typical bio or timeline of my life, how about my personal life as it relates to westerns? I married my high school sweetheart at eighteen. His fathers' side of the family is from Rusk, Texas where the old homestead was, though they're scattered about now. My family is from Ohio so much of what I know about the west comes from marrying into the Parmley family, listening to family stories and traveling through the west. My husband collects John Wayne movies so I've seen almost all of them. We've raised two sons who are grown and on their own now. I started writing full time in Dec. and I love this new lifestyle.   

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

In a western, there are good guys and there are bad guys, it's pretty clear who they are and the good guys always win. In romance, there must always be a happy ever after for the hero and heroine. I am an optimist and I always wish for a happy ending. I love history so the western historical romance was a natural genre for me to start writing in when I started out. I was attending the Ozark Creative Writers conference when Dusty Richards, who is a western author, challenged everyone there who hadn't written a novel to write their first western. That challenge was too good to resist. ;-)

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

I used to do most of my research using books, searching online and speaking to experts on certain subjects. For instance in my first book, A Desperate Journey, I had a member of the Memphis SWAT team read my gunfight scene and advise me. Then with my second book, Dangerous Ties, I had the chance to shoot black powder guns and rifles, which had me hurrying back to rewrite my gun scenes. Nothing is quite as good as hands on experience for research, so I now try to find ways to experience the subjects I research, or to at least find someone who has to advise me.

What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?

The best comment I ever received was on Amazon. One of my readers reviewed my first book favorably and then bought my second book and in the second review said I had become an "auto buy" author for her. That thrilled me to my bones and I am still grateful for and humbled by her comments. Sometimes I need to pinch myself to be sure I'm not dreaming.

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

I used to write entirely by the seat of my pants. Now that I am able to sell on proposal, before the first page is written, that has changed. I'll get a story idea, have maybe a page written of what I think is going to happen in the story and then start writing. I still let my characters and my story lead me after I get started, because I want the story and the characters to grow organically, not be forced into a straight jacket.

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

My current work in progress, Trapping the Butterfly, is a historical romance set in 1920's Hot Springs AR.  My husband and I have visited several times, staying at the Arlington Hotel where Al Capone used to stay. I've always wanted to set a story there and one day I imagined the heroine, standing in the park and knew it was time to start telling her story. Trapping the Butterfly will be an April 2013 release.

What sets your heroine Bethany apart from all the other women in your hero’s Paul's life? Why is she perfect for him?

She's different from the flappers he's been spending time around. She hasn't bobbed her hair yet and dresses more modestly. She's shy and sweet and she's the first woman who hasn't wanted something from him. She doesn't have one manipulative bone in her body. He's been spending so much time following gangsters and their girls he'd nearly forgotten there was innocence like Bethany's in the world. 

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

I once had a six-month writers block after my 14-year-old golden retriever died. She would sit by my side as I wrote at my desk and I was unable to write there after she was gone. I broke the writers block by writing on a legal pad I would carry around the house, putting down one sentence and then another. Since I couldn't write at my desk on the computer, I filled the legal pad and wrote in every room, line by line until I'd filled the pad. By the time I had filled it the writers block was broken. I've never had it since. The book I recommend for helping to break writers block is Write Mind by Eric Maisel. It is filled with exercises to help writers break those blocks.

Can you give us a little background on your hero Paul that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? What inspired you to create this character?

Paul is tough guy, a strong detective who has seen much of the world. What has not appeared in the story fully is the story of the little boy (Paul) who used to chase and collect butterflies. When he first sees Bethany she is in a park and there is a beautiful butterfly near her. The beauty of the girl and the butterfly is frozen like a snapshot in his mind, tapping into that part of him. It's a part he rarely lets other people see.  

Describe a favorite scene in your current novel?

So far, the scene described above is my favorite. I suspect it may remain so even after I've finished the first draft.

What else do you have in store for your readers?

Oh, we have a fun week coming up with the release of my first contemporary romance, which is set aboard a cruise ship.  Aboard the Wishing Star will be out Oct. 11th and I'm having an online release party at The Romance Studio. Details and links are listed on Facebook for all the events I'm taking part in that week if you look me up there. I'm also taking part in the Lucy Monroe Online Reader Retreat from Oct. 8th to the 12th where there will be games and prizes. Readers have two more weeks to sign up for that event so check it out. Readers will have several chances to win a print copy of my first western historical romance, A Desperate Journey during the week. I'm also posting blogs Oct 8th to the 12th on the Desert Breeze Publishing website which will be full of travel tips. I've worked as a travel consultant and have set foot in thirteen countries, so I'll be sharing some of what I've learned.  

Book blurb for Dangerous Ties:

He found her dangling from a rope
Her life about to end in the
Black abyss of a mine shaft

Since coming west
Lillian's life had gone terribly wrong
Misplaced trust had shattered her soul
And a lust for gold had nearly forfeited her life

One man would bring her back
From the brink
One man would save her life
And give her back her heart

If he can severe the rope
That binds her with 
The most Dangerous Ties

Debra's website http://debraparmley.com/

Be sure and leave a comment, along with an email address to contact you, and you are entered to win a print copy of this book:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Unpublished Chapters

Continuing on with my plan to publish the first few chapters that didn't make it into the published version of Yellowstone Heart Song, I've uploaded the first chapter on the "Unpublished Chapters" page.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Author - Paty Jager

I'm thrilled to welcome award-winning author Paty Jager to the blog today. She's here to tell us a little bit about the Nez Perce Indian culture, and her Spirit Trilogy.

Welcome, Paty!

Peggy, Thank you for having me here today.

Here is some insight into being a Nez Perce woman in the 17 and 1800's I learned while researching for my Spirit trilogy set among the Nez Perce(Nimiipuu).

The children of Nez Perce families were taught by their grandparents. The grandfathers taught the boys how to make weapons, hunt, fish, track, and fight. Grandmothers taught the girls how to take care of their families, do the chores, and help their men. The elders passed down the stories of the trickster coyote and how "The People" came to be. By reading books of their legends you see how the legends taught the children basic truths about life and how to conduct themselves to be good Nez Perce.

Grandmothers also taught the girls about the coming of age and were by their sides during marriages and the births. When a girl began her menstrual cycle she would stay in the menstrual lodge for the duration of her bleeding. They believed the women carried strong powers during this time and were susceptible to getting pregnant.

This isolation served a purpose. They held private discussions about personal problems and conditions of health, exchanged views on herbal medicine, and composed songs. They cooked their own meals in the lodge and did not touch anything outside nor could they attend any ceremonies during this time.

They used buffalo hides with the fur still on for menstruation pads or buckskin and milkweed. The pads were put in a hole in the middle of the dwelling and buried. 

After puberty girls were no longer allowed to play with boys and stayed in a lodge with their grandmothers and aunts who taught them the ways of women.

To help make the premise work for my heroine in Spirit of the Mountain, she is the daughter of the chief and is allowed to live with her parents even after she is of age to be in the women’s lodge.

This information also was helpful for the second book, Spirit of the Lake, as the heroine in that book was attacked by a Whiteman and became pregnant. This is a case where the information I gathered for one book worked for the second as well.

The third book, Spirit of the Sky, required more research on the army chasing the Nez Perce and about how they(the Nimiipuu) survived along the route.

Blurb and Excerpt for Spirit of the Mountain.

Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, has been fated to save her people ever since her vision quest. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, her world is torn apart.

Himiin is the spirit of the mountain, custodian to all creatures including the Nimiipuu. As a white wolf he listens to Wren’s secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he cannot prevent her leaving the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.

When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin must leave the mountain to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…

Wren’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “My gift is to save The People. The weyekin who came to me in my vision quest said this.” She wrapped her arms around herself as if staving off a cold breeze.
Himiin hated that they argued when they should relish their time together. He moved to her, drawing her against his chest, embracing her. The shape of her body molded to his. Her curves pressed against him. Holding her this way flamed the need he’d tried to suppress.
He placed a hand under her chin, raising her face to his. The sorrow in her eyes tugged at his conscience. To make her leaving any harder was wrong. But having experienced her in his arms, he was grieved to let her go. Even for the sake of their people.
Her eyelids fluttered closed. Her pulse quickened under his fingers. Shrugging off the consequences, he lowered his lips to hers. They were softer than he imagined. Her breath hitched as he touched her intimately. Parting his lips, he touched her with his tongue, wanting to see if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.
She tasted of sweet honey straight from the bosom of a bee tree.
One taste was not enough. He pulled her closer, moving his lips across hers, tasting and savoring the feel of them.
Her mouth opened and she sighed.
 His body came to life. The sensations transcended anything he’d experienced before. How could one woman make him feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time? Why did he wish to crush her to him and never let go and yet feel compelled to treat her with the tenderness
one would give the tiniest of creatures? He couldn’t continue this way.
To hold her, to touch her soft skin. He would never be able to let her go.
He must.
He released Wren and stepped back, avoiding her eyes. How could he show her the sensations she brought to him then turn around and tell her they couldn’t see one another anymore?

This spirit trilogy is my proverbial book of my heart. I spent countless hours on research to make sure the Nez Perce culture is correct in the books and the historical information is accurate.

Bio: Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently farm 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Paty is a member of RWA, EPIC, and COWG. Wild Rose Press has published nine of her books. Spirit of the Mountain won the Lorie Award for Best Paranormal. Spirit of the Lake was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest.  Perfectly Good Nanny, won the 2008 EPPIE for Best Contemporary Romance. 

You can learn more about her at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com  her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Unpublished Chapters

Instead of a teaser for my upcoming book, Come Home to Me, I decided to do something a bit different today. 

The original version of Yellowstone Heart Song contained a prologue (long enough to be it's own chapter), and three chapters at the beginning, before Aimee even time travels. On the advice of several people, I omitted these chapters from the final published version. I decided to go ahead and post them on the blog.  I created a new page titled Unpublished Chapters, and I'll add to it in the coming weeks. Today, I added the prologue. Enjoy!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest Author Diane Jewkes

My special guest author today is Diane Jewkes, and she is here to share a little about herself and  her book, The Heart You Own.


Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen. 
First, thank you so much for inviting me! Hi, I’m Diane R Jewkes, and this is the question I dread most! I really don’t like talking about myself. It makes me squirmy (even in my ‘day’ job for reviews – I have this problem). <deep breath> Here goes: I grew up in southern New Mexico surrounded by three sisters, one brother, lots of horses, dogs, cats and other animals. I went to college at the University of Arizona (go ‘Cats!) and New Mexico State University (summer school) and completed my degree in journalism with a minor in history (hint) in three years. Why was I in a hurry? No idea. If I had to do it again I’d do college on the 5 year plan. I worked on a small town (population less than 10,000) newspaper and covered three murders in under 8 months! I moved back to my hometown, met my future hubby, got married, had my children (one girl, one boy) and we were transferred to Denver. We live outside Denver in the foothills (8400ft elevation) where I work from home. My children are grown and I have three wonderful grandchildren and three doofy dogs.

Why did you decide to write historical/western? What is the appeal? 
I have always loved history, primarily British history, so that was a natural for me to write. The western came in partly because of where I grew up and partly after I visited my husband’s great-uncle and his family on their ranch in central New Mexico where The Heart You Own is set.

 How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that? Tons of research! I love research and that can be a problem since I can get lost in it. Once upon a time I went to libraries for research, but with the advent of the internet, research has become easier. I still love libraries and going to where my story is set, if possible, I feel is important.

 Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just plow through them? 
I do not plan or plot. I have a general idea of a general outline of a germ of a story and then I go for it and see where the characters take me.

 Can you tell us a little about your current work, The Heart You Hold (working title) ? 
This is Alec’s story. He is the sidekick to my hero, Hawke Pryce, in The Heart You Own.

 What sets your heroine Kara Jonston apart from all the other women in your hero’s Hawke Pryce life? Why is she perfect for him? 
Everything about her is different from the women he grew up with. He grew up in the world of wealth and privilege in England where women had very strict rules of behavior. She grew up with greater freedoms. She has very strong opinions and a strong work ethic. Though she has also grown up with money, she has a drive to contribute to the world she knows. While she understands that well-bred women are supposed to behave a certain way, she cannot accept it. Her since of self and belief in independence makes her the perfect mate for Hawke because she challenges his beliefs and makes him take a deeper look at who he is as a man.

 Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it? 
All the time. I try to unblock by walking away from my writing for a while. Usually that makes me relax and my brain kicks back in.

 Can you give us a little background on your hero Hawke Pryce that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? 
There isn’t too much about him that isn’t in the story. He’s a very straight-forward kind of man. What inspired you to create this character? I wanted a man who was so strong in his beliefs that he felt he was always right to come to an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I wanted him to show growth in being able to see where his stringent beliefs may have caused pain for someone else and for him to be man enough to recognize it and try to make it right.

 What else do you have in store for your readers? 
In addition to my current WIP following Alec McCairn, I have another story set in New Mexico in the 1890’s based on a little known piece of history, and I have a para-normal involving a forensic anthropologist and a ghost.

Here is the blurb for The Heart You Own:
Why would an English lord want to have part ownership in a New Mexico cattle ranch? And why did it have to be her father’s ranch?
Kara Jonston has grown up thinking she will someday inherit the family ranch. She has worked the ranch as hard as any man. Ask any of the cowboys. Finding out her father sold half ownership in the ranch—and to a soft Englishman, no less—without even talking to her hurts her pride and stirs her anger. To make matters worse, this outsider is coming to inspect his investment, and her father expects her to be nice.
Although she promises her father to give his new partner a chance, she vows she will never accept him as her partner on her ranch.
Hawke Pryce, Lord Stoneham, is not English, he is Scottish. He is not soft, and he is not coming to the New Mexico Territory just to inspect his latest investment. He’s hunting a man.
Sparks fly—but will they turn into lasting love for two people determined to hang on to their hearts?

And here’s an excerpt. The hero and heroine have met before this scene, but this is where they get their first real look at each other.

Kara stepped back as he reached the door and Hawke got his first good look at what she was wearing. Stopping midstride, he let his eyes roam from her head to her toes. A part of his brain once again noted how delicate she seemed. The rest of his brain and his body, however, focused on the sight of her long legs wrapped in snug denim trousers and the man‟s shirt tucked into the waist.
Thankful he was still behind the stall door, so she was unaware of the physical evidence of his reaction to her, he murmured, “You certainly add a new dimension to men‟s clothing.He fought the desire firing through his veins.
 “I don‟t think I‟ll ever look at denim thesame.” His eyes traveled up her body and he smiled slowly.
Her face went up in flame.
“You insufferable, arrogant ass! Just who do you think you are, talking to me like I‟m some . . . some—” The horses began tossing their heads nervously as her voice got louder. “You might talk to people like that back where you come from. But mister,” she continued, almost shouting, her hands gripping the top of the stall door, her knuckles white, “not here—not to me. And to think, I was about to reconsider my opinion of you.
“Silly me.”
He saw the fury sparking in those incredible blue eyes. She was standing so close he could feel the heat radiating from her body. She backed up a few steps. “I thought maybe a man whose horse liked him couldn‟t be all bad, but you know what?” her voice softened. “I was wrong.”
With a thump, Titan pinned Hawke against the stall, making him gasp out an “oomph.”
“Get off me, you bloody coward.” He pushed against the jittery horse pinning him against the wall. “She likes you, you‟ve got no worries, it‟s my hide she wants to nail to the barn door.”
Hawke watched Kara stomp into the other stall and begin grooming her horse. The animated brushstrokes reminded him of the first night on the balcony.
Better make amends, laddie.

Diane's links are:
The Heart You Own, http://www.crimsonromance.com - Crimson Romance Books

The Heart You Own is available at all ebook retailers, but here are some of the links:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Come Home To Me

Here's another short snippet from Come Home To Me (Book 1 in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series)
And, I'm posting one of the two possible book covers for this book. I have a poll on my facebook page right now, asking for readers to vote and choose the cover for the book. Everyone who votes is entered in a drawing when the poll closes (when I announce a release date for the book) for a chance to win a kindle ARC of the book. So be sure to cast your vote!

“Dammit all to hell!” Jake kicked at the dirt on the ground, his foot connecting with the tin coffee cup he’d dropped when Rachel stumbled and nearly fell on her pretty face. He rubbed at the stinging sensation in his cheek, and cursed the fate that had brought him to this time and place. He cursed Thomas Parker, and finally Reverend Johnson. It was all the old man’s fault. He’d known exactly what he was doing when he told Jake that he had to look out for Rachel. Was this his punishment for something?
Jake scoffed. He hadn’t been sent here for a second chance. He’d come straight to purgatory. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest Author - L.B. Shire


It gives me great pleasure today to welcome western romance author L.B. Shire to the blog.
Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Hi everyone, my name is L.B. Shire and first I'd like to thank Peggy for having me on her blog today. I'm a writer of Western Historical Romance with my short, sexy read Devil Wears Lace out currently with Breathless Press. Stealing the Sheriff's Heart is available for pre-order now at Breathless Press, and will be available September 21th. Then I've recently signed for two more short stories with Breathless Press, another Western Historical Romance titled The Damned. Then if your into super hot reads with a touch of paranormal, I wrote a short story for the Breathless Press Crimson Anthology titled In the Cover of Darkness with a vampire cowboy hero. Last of all, I have a novelette titled Game of Hearts with No Boundaries Press release date still TBA. I've had an exciting year with all these contracts! I began writing when I was just a youngster, stories that included horses and cowboys and haven't looked back since!

Why did you decide to write Western Historical Romances? What is the appeal?

I love the history and wildness of the old west! I'm also a horse crazy gal and the idea of horses as daily transportation always excited me.
How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that? I love to research, and can spend entirely to long with my nose in the history books. Especially history on women outlaws and women who could handle a gun, Annie Oakley being one of my all time fav's. I tend to write myself out a list of questions for my story, then try to keep my research specific to those questions.

What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?

My favorite is "Never underestimate the determination of a woman...”

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

Well, like most authors I do both. Recently I've been working on being more organized and plotting my stories out. I need to buy stocks in sticky notes and spiral bound notebooks!

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

Yes grr, you never know when the evil monster will strike! I take a ride into the surrounding forest on my Kiger mustang who's name is Cowboy. We love to explore the wilderness together. The quiet mountain trails are a wonderful inspiration.

What else do you have in store for your readers?
Well, for the upcoming year I hope to sub my latest, a Contemporary Western Romance tentatively titled  A Cowboy's Love, then I have another historical western romance in the works.  Also I've written a YA paranormal romance that is being published with Wild Horse Press, and book two of the series is completed, just needs polished and sent off! I have lots of exciting stories to come!  Most all with colorful characters set in my favorite place, the wild west!

Where can we find you and your books?

Blurb for Devil Wears Lace

Sara McAllister wants two things in this life: revenge and a new start for the future.

Sara wants revenge. The thought of avenging her family has kept her sane these past years. Now she is so close to reaching her final goal. Joseph Murry, the man who murdered her family, will pay—with his life. She needs only to win the horse race this corrupt politician is sponsoring, finish him, take her winnings, and head west to begin a new life. But someone she never expected to see again has crossed her path, possibly changing the course of her future forever.

Slade hadn't expected to find Sara in Devils Cove—and inside a seedy little saloon, to boot. But here she is, standing before him, stunning as ever. She tells him she is going to win this race and take care of business. Slade recalls her tortured past: a man had murdered her family and left her for dead. He thought he was here to win a race, but instead finds he must protect Sara. For even though they had decided long ago to go their separate ways, the only way she will survive is if he remains by her side.