Monday, November 23, 2015

Guest Author - Penny Brown Estelle

It is my great pleasure to welcome my guest author today, Penny Brown Estelle. She's graciously shared a little about life in Arizona, and about her book, which is part of the American Mail Order Brides Series that I've been featuring each day. Her book, Hannah: Bride of Iowa, comes out on Dec 17th!
Living The Dream – Sarcasm???

I have written a couple posts on my life in rural Arizona and living with no electricity.  We have solar and wind generators.  It’s been quite an adjustment for this city girl.  I retired six years ago after living in the big city all my life.  I told my hubby he had two years to make me love it or he needed to promise to move me back to the good life.

Well little did I know, this yahoo kind of life was the good life.  There is one thing I can’t seem to get a handle on.  The annihilation of snakes and mice (or rats) in the area.
When we first bought this property we were moving some wood and I said, “Oh my look, a baby bunny..uhm..with a really long skinny tale!”  No, it was a pack rat – a HUGE pack rat.  I have come to hate these things and in the six years we have been up here, they seem to have moved on to find other living arrangements.

The other visitors that drop in uninvited are the rattlesnakes – Diamondbacks  and Mohave greens.  We are indeed lucky enough to have seen them all.  

One day, my husband called me out and said, “I am moving the truck and there is a rattler underneath.”  He handed me the gun that always has the first three shots loaded with snake shot.  For those that don’t know, snake shot shoot a 3 – 5 inch circumference.
He moved the truck and I started blasting, empting the gun.  He ended up crawling away but I know he was wounded!  Apparently I need work on target shooting!

I have also learned NOT to shoot the bull or king snakes.  They eat the mice, rats, etc.  The only problem there is they look an awful lot like rattlers, so when they appear out of nowhere, another 5 years is taken off my life.  My life continues to get shorter and shorter. 

Living this rural does give me a lot of time for my writing.  I was so honored when a group of authors asked me to be involved in writing project that would have 50 stories about 50 mail order brides in all 50 states in the good old USA.  All stories needed to be staged in 1890.  I jumped at the chance, and asked for Iowa.  I was born in Iowa and lived in West Liberty, where my story, Hannah, Bride of Iowa, takes place.

* * * *

Samuel Morrison, a farmer from Iowa, is in need of a wife and a mother for Lizzie, his three-year old daughter.  He reads an article from Massachusetts advertising mail order brides. He writes to the agency stating he’s looking for a partner who will work by his side and, hopefully, come to care for him and be a loving mother to Lizzie.

Hannah Brown responds to his letter.  Though she doesn’t say too much about herself, Samuel decides to take a chance and asks her to come to Iowa.

This woman is everything he wants in a wife and more -- or so he thinks.  Hannah has a secret that, if revealed, could devastate their future.
If Hannah tells Samuel, would he send her away?  She could lose all she’s come to cherish.  Is Hannah willing to take that chance?

“Ma, why are you doing this?”
“We’ve been over this, Maddie. Jeb has helped us these last few months. We need a man around here.” Emma put on her bonnet and turned to face Maddie. “If marrying him will keep a roof over our heads, then I’ll do just that.”
            “When he first came here he was helpful. Maybe the first week! He’s lazy Ma and no good.”
            There was a quiet knock on the door. Emma went to answer it, but Maddie grabbed her arm. “Pa doesn’t deserve this!”
            Emma’s backhand connected with her daughter’s cheek. Shocked, Maddie brought her hand up to her face. She could not remember her mother ever striking her.
            “Oh Maddie, I’m…”
            Angry tears filled Maddie’s green eyes. “I won’t go!” She threw open the door and ran out, pushing her soon to be step-father out of the way.

* * * *

Hannah, Bride of Iowa, comes out on December 17, but can be preordered now! 

Peggy, thank you so much for letting me barge in today!  I sure do appreciate it!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ready, Set, Launch!

Today is the official launch day for the unprecedented 50-book AMERICAN MAIL ORDER BRIDES Series! 

Forty-five authors come together to bring readers a new series of epic proportions. On fifty consecutive days beginning November 19, 2015, a romance, featuring a mail-order bride, will be published--one set in each of the fifty states. The books will be released in the order the states were admitted to the union. The stories all take place in 1890, following a day when a factory in the East burns to the ground, leaving these women unemployed and forced to choose mail-order marriages for survival. Share the experiences of these brides as they seek love and new lives across the United States.
These books will initially be released only in Amazon Kindle Unlimited. After three months, they will be available at all other retailers.

A free prequel to introduce the series is available here:

My book, Emma: Bride of Kentucky, is Book #15, and releases on Dec. 3, 2015
You can pre-order it here:

But first up is Lottie: Bride of Delaware, by Author Kit Morgan!

Lottie Mitchell had a problem, a really BIG problem, and the only one who cared was, well, her. Oh sure, her roommate Beth gave stock to her theories of who was responsible for a tragedy that put herself and dozens of her co-workers out of a job. And yes, someone came up with the idea that in order to survive, they could all become mail-order brides, but still… Lottie wanted to know the truth. Did her sister Leora believe her? To a point, but not enough to keep from telling her that if she didn’t drop her silly notions, she’d miss her own wedding! Her other roommates, Alice and Judith groaned at any mention of helping her snoop around like a Pinkerton, and then there was her groom …

Sam Cooke gave up the notion of finding anyone from Clear Creek to marry. What available women there were, were either too young or too old, and heaven help him if his mother, Belle Cooke, got his matchmaking Aunt Sadie to help find him a bride. No, some things a man had to do on his own. But when he travels east on business to fetch his mail-order bride, little did he know what sort of hi-jinx awaited him on the journey home with her!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Release Day for Yellowstone Origins

Happy Release Day! Yellowstone Origins is here! 

All her life, Riley Bernard has felt like an outsider. Bullied and misused, she finds solace in her books and research. She comes to Yellowstone, hoping to learn about its ancient inhabitants, and unexpectedly overhears a strange tale about time travel from a couple of park rangers.  When a mysterious box of artifacts arrives for her, she is thrust into field research beyond her wildest dreams.

Taken as a boy from the only family he knew, Cameahwait is thrown into an unknown world. The Sky People spoke of promises and tales that he was chosen for something great, yet they abandoned him to find his own way in a harsh and primitive land. When he finds a beautiful woman held prisoner by his enemies, he knows she may be the key to what he’s sought for twelve long years.

Cam will stop at nothing to return Riley to her own time, even if it means facing those whom he turned his back on long ago. While searching for the ancient elders, the two embark on a journey of self-discovery and understanding of each other. When attraction turns to love, and Cam finally learns the truth about his past, he and Riley must make a choice to either follow their destinies, or allow an ancient evil to destroy the future of Yellowstone.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Author Spotlight - Shanna Hatfield


Welcome to the 2nd annual

Cowboys and Christmas

Blog Tour!

Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand

JCCF logoNovember 1 through Dec. 24, 10 percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don't forget to add books to your Christmas lists!  

An Interview with the Men of Hardman Holidays

Four characters from Shanna Hatfield’s historical holiday series, Hardman Holidays join us today. Set in the western town of Hardman, Oregon, this series of sweet romances highlights determined women and the men who fall for them.  Luke Granger, Blake Stratton, Arlan Guthry, and Adam Guthry talk about life in Hardman in the 1890s.

  A warm welcome to you all. Tell us a little about how you met.  
Luke: We all grew up in Hardman. Blake moved here with his parents from England just after my family arrived from New York when we were quite small. Arlan, your parents moved here before you were born, didn’t they? I was young enough, I don’t remember.  
Arlan: Yes, they did. Adam was a rascally little tyke when they moved to Hardman. Blake’s mother was of our mother’s friend.  
Blake: That’s right. When Mum and Dad returned to England, she mentioned how much she missed visiting with your mother, although she didn’t say the same about Luke’s.  
Luke: (Grins) Dora Granger just takes a little getting used to. Besides, she’s completely changed for the better since I married Filly.  
Blake: Rather like you, ol’ chum.  

What type of work do you do?
 Luke: Arlan and I own the Hardman Bank. I also raise cattle, hold an interest in a lumber mill, and a partnership in a mine.  
Blake: He doesn’t want to get bored. (Blake, Arlan and Adam chuckle). While Luke is running hither and yon to meetings and the like, I stay home and carve furniture or work with my horses.  
Luke: The Viscount should mention his furniture is in high demand both in England and America, under the Roxbury House name. He also breeds and trains some of the best horses in this part of the country.  
Arlan: His stallion, Romeo, is quite an impressive beast.
 Blake: Romeo’s feelings would be hurt to hear you refer to him as a beast.  
Arlan: If the name fits… As Luke mentioned, I work at the bank. When I’m not there, I play the trumpet in the community band, and participate in activities around town.
 Adam: I’m just here for a holiday visit. On a regular day, I’d be safely steering a boat down the Columbia River in my job as a pilot.  
Luke: While he’s here, Adam has been helpful in keeping the boardwalk free from snow, making repairs the rest of us haven’t had time to see to, and chasing Tia Devereaux. (Adam frowns at Luke while Blake and Arlan laughs)  
Arlan: You have been very interested in her, despite your protests otherwise.  
Blake: And she is very beautiful.  
Luke: And single. Don't forget she is as free and unfettered, should anyone be interested in courting her. (Adam glowers at Blake and Luke)  

Use five words to describe the most wonderful thing in your life.
Luke: Filly - my wife, my love.  
Blake: Beautiful Ginny - wife, friend, lover.  
Arlan: Alex the Amazing - true love.  
Adam: Maybe you can come back to me on that question later.  
Luke: (Slaps Adam on the back) It’s just us. Go on, fess up.  
Adam: (Frowning at Luke while fidgeting with his pocket watch.) Look at the time, we really must be going.  
Before you leave, tell us what’s the best part of Christmas in Hardman?
 Arlan: My wonderful wife, of course. I also enjoy the sounds of carols, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, and the decorations.  
Blake: (Snorts and shakes his head) Don’t forget the food, Arlan. You’re about to neglect a very important part of the holidays.
 Luke: Like Filly’s cakes, tarts, and candies. There are the sweet breads and rolls, jams and pies, and the best cookies.  
Blake: (Glances at Luke) Did she make those chocolate meringue things again?  
Arlan: I had the rash idea Filly and Ginny were the best part of the holiday season for you two. It will be my pleasure to let them know you much prefer cookies and bread to their love and devotion. (Smirks at his friends then looks to his brother.) What about you, Adam?
 Adam: There is a feeling of kinship and welcome all around town that I miss in the big city. It’s nice to be among family and friends.  
Thank you for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?
 Luke: Thank you for hosting us today. If you enjoy sweet holiday romances set in the past, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in The Christmas Bargain, The Christmas Token, The Christmas Calamity and The Christmas Vow.

New Releases

To kick off the second annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour and the JCCF campaign, two brand new holiday romances will release Nov. 12! 

Capturing Christmas Cover Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.

 Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo. Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
Pre-order your copy today!
Get all three books in the Rodeo Romance series!

The Christmas Vow CoverThe Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series. Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago. Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.
You can pre-order your copy today for only $2.99!
Hardman-Holidays-block for web 
Don't miss out on the Hardman Holidays series!

Guest Author Sign

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning)! Here’s the link to the party:
The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include: 
10 a.m. - Carmen Peone 
12:30 - Rachel Rossano 
1:30 - Dani Harper

Grand Prize Photo

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy Cover 
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
christmas bargain cover 
Travel back to a time of grandeur in the old west
with the Hardman Holidays series.
The Christmas Bargain begins the popular series
and is available free for a very limited time!

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.

  Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple  

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways! Newsletter

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Yellowstone Origins - Prologue

In anticipation of next Tuesday (Nov 10, 2015) release of YELLOWSTONE ORIGINS, today's teaser is the prologue to the book. Some parts of it should look familiar....


Los Angeles, 2036

Cameron cowered along the rough wall of the giant granite boulder and squeezed his eyes shut for a split second. It was too high to climb. He was trapped! Gritting his teeth, he gulped in a lungful of air, but it did little to take away the feeling of drowning. The air here was so thin, he hadn’t been able to take in a full breath since mysteriously ending up in this wilderness. How long had it been? Days? A week?
The low growl of the mountain lion that had stalked him into this dead end vibrated in his ears.  Cam’s eyes grew wide. He shot hasty looks all around him. He picked up a rock and threw it at the predator. The cat jumped back, but turned, and growled again. It's tail swished through the air in an agitated flick.
The cat crouched, and Cameron’s heart threatened to pound out of his chest. He glanced toward the trees past the animal. Relief swept through him. The old man he’d been following stepped from behind one of the pines.
“Help me,” Cameron called, casting another nervous glance toward the cougar. The ancient Indian stood stoically. There was no emotion on his face, or in his eyes. He clutched a fur hide around his chest and watched. Surely, any second now, he’d produce some kind of weapon and come to help.
The cat crouched lower, its ears laid flat against the top of its head. All its muscles were bunched as if getting ready to leap at him. Cam whipped his head around when the sound of falling rock, reached his ear. Not a second later, a man appeared, nearly leaping over one of the many boulders in this area. He yelled, but the words were lost to Cam.
Cam’s eyes widened when the stranger raised his arm and a tomahawk flew through the air, hitting the cat squarely in the ribs. The tall man lunged forward with a loud growl of his own and threw himself at the cat, a knife blade gleaming in his hand.  Cam blinked, his mouth open wide. The man rushed up to him not a second later and dropped to his knees.
“Are you all right, Cameron?”
Cam nodded, his eyes still on the cougar. The cat lay dead several yards away. Cam glanced up at the tall man. Dressed in jeans, a gray t-shirt, and hiking boots, the blond stranger still knelt in front of him. How did he know his name?
“That Indian was about to help me,” Cam said, pointing to where the old man had stood a moment ago. His forehead wrinkled.
The stranger glanced over his shoulder. “What Indian?” He didn’t sound at all surprised, but rather annoyed.
“He was just there,” Cam said, his voice shaky. “He’s gone.”
The man in front of him tensed. He chuckled slightly. “There’s no one there, Cam. Time to get you back to your scout troop, though.” The tall man grinned at him.
Cam narrowed his eyes and tilted his head. “Who are you?”
The man’s grin widened. “Chase Russell. I’m here to take you home.”
Cam pursed his lips and studied the man. He eyed the hand that was still held out to him, then reached for it. The stranger easily pulled him to his feet. Cam’s legs were as wobbly as jello.
“How do you know my name?”
“I’m with the park service. Search and Rescue,” he said simply.
Cam scanned the man’s clothes.  He’d watched enough television to know that official search and rescue guys didn't dress in jeans and t-shirts and carry Indian knives and tomahawks.
“There was an Indian. I’ve been following him since I woke up in that meadow.”
Chase Russell shot him another grin. “I think your mind’s playing tricks on you, kid.”
Cam frowned. The guy was clearly blowing him off.  His grip tightened on Cam’s hand, and he reached for something in the leather pouch hanging around his neck. Cam caught a glimpse of an object the man pulled from the pouch, the same object he’d touched when he’d ended up in an unfamiliar meadow, and separated from his scout troop. The red stones that looked like eyes gleamed eerily in the setting sun as if they were staring at him.
The stones glowed brighter and Cam squinted, looking further into those red eyes. A man and woman appeared. They were dressed in furs and animal hides and labored through deep snow. The man glanced over his shoulder and urged the woman forward. A baby in her arms cried loudly. The woman fell to the ground. She screamed, and then everything went black.
Cameron bolted upright in his bed. He held his hands to his temples, trying to catch his breath. He yanked the covers away and dragged his legs over the edge of the mattress.
Damn! Why couldn't he get those images out of his head? It all seemed so real. He'd been plagued by this dream ever since returning from his trip to Yellowstone National Park with the boy scouts a couple of months ago. He and a few friends had goofed off like they always did. It had landed him in trouble, which was nothing new. He hadn't wanted to go on the trip, but his parents thought it would be good for him and teach him some responsibility.
Hell, he didn't even want to be in scouting, but his parents had made him join. They told him camping in the great outdoors would build character. Yellowstone had been his first big outing with the scouts. He'd die before he admitted it to anyone, but the landscape and all the geysers and stuff had held his interest like nothing else ever had. He'd pretended not to care because his buddies didn't seem too interested in walking the boardwalks and looking at yet another hot spring.
Cameron had stared off at the mountains in awe, wishing he could go and explore them on his own, but that was out of the question. The scout leaders had kept them all together, herded like a bunch of cows, from one point of interest to another.
The tourist attractions had soon become boring, and he'd wished more and more that he could just run away and get lost somewhere in the endless wilderness. He hadn't so much as even left the city, and the vastness of the land fascinated him as if it was trying to draw him in. An odd feeling of familiarity had swept over him then like he should remember something about where he was, and that someone was calling him home.
Then that bizarre incident had happened. He and his friend, Julian, had been messing around at one of the picnic areas where the troop had stopped for lunch, tossing rocks into the river. They’d wandered a little too far away from the rest of the group. Julian had grabbed a weird-looking rock, something that reminded Cameron of a snake’s head, and he’d reached for his arm before Julian could throw it.
The next thing he knew, he was somewhere else. It was as if he’d fallen asleep, and then woken up in a meadow with no one else around. Julian was passed out next to him, and an old Native American man had stood a short distance away. He’d waved to him, then turned and walked away.
Cameron had followed him, leaving Julian asleep in the meadow, and kept yelling at the old man to stop and tell him where his troop was. The further he’d walked, the more disoriented and lost he’d become. He’d spent a cold and lonely night in the woods, huddling under a tree for some warmth. The sounds of animals had kept him awake, but strangely enough, he hadn’t been scared.
The following morning, he’d spotted the Indian again, and continued to follow him further into the woods. At the time, he hadn’t even thought about what he’d been taught by his scout leaders - to always stay put when lost, that it would be easier to be found if he didn’t wander away.
The mountain lion and the man who'd saved his life had been the last two things he'd remembered just before waking up with a bunch of park rangers and his scout leaders huddled around him.
He’d had to endure endless hours at the hospital being examined, even though he’d told everyone that he was fine except for being hungry. He’d even had to talk to a shrink, and everyone finally chalked up his experience to being lost in the wilderness. They’d told him that what he’d seen and experienced had all been in his head.
He’d called Julian, the coward, and had asked him what he’d remembered. Julian had always been chicken. Cameron could see it in his eyes that he knew more than he’d said. He had experienced the same thing Cameron had, but he’d let the shrinks tell him that he’d only imagined it. Or he’d been too scared to say anything.
Cameron groped for his cell phone on his nightstand. He turned on the lamp and told his phone to dial Julian's number. So what if it was three o'clock in the morning? These dreams were driving him nuts. He hadn't told anyone about them. His parents would only send him to the shrink again.
“Pick up,” he mumbled impatiently.
On the fifth ring, a raspy voice said a feeble “hello?”
“Jules, it’s me, Cam. I need to talk to you.”
Silence on the other end.
“Julian, wake up,” Cameron growled into the phone.
“It’s the middle of the night.”
Cameron rolled his eyes at the whiny voice coming through the receiver. Julian had better start growing a pair, or he’d be made fun of worse than he already was.
“Are you having weird dreams about . . . you know, what happened to us in Yellowstone?”
More silence. Cameron was about to yell into the phone, when Julian said, “No. Have you?”
“All the time,” he confessed. “Whatever happened to us just isn’t letting me go.”
“Nothing happened, Cam. We got lost, and like the rangers and the doctor said, we got disoriented.”
Cameron scoffed. “They really did brainwash you, didn’t they? Something happened, Jules. And it wasn’t disorientation. You and I both saw that Native American guy, the one who –”
A movement in the far corner of his room drew his attention away from the phone. Cameron looked up, then stared. His mouth gaped open. Right there, in his room, stood an old Native American, like the one from his dreams and experiences in Yellowstone that everyone had been trying to convince him hadn't been real. He moved his phone away from his ear and dropped it on his bed. Slowly, he stood and took a tentative step toward the old man. Julian's faint voice calling his name from the receiver faded away.
“Who are you?” Cameron raised his chin in a challenge to try and disguise the nervous beating of his heart. How had this guy gotten into his room?
A shriveled hand reached out to him. The man was dressed in tanned leather pants and a fringed shirt, and his white hair hung to his shoulders. He didn’t wear any feathers or carry a spear or other kinds of weapons like what he’d seen Indians do in the movies, or what he’d read in books. He looked rather plain and boring, and he was short. The hand opened, palm upward. Cameron gaped at the object the old man held out for him. It was the same snakehead-shaped thing that Julian had found in Yellowstone, right before they’d suddenly gotten “lost.”
The old man’s voice sounded raspy when he spoke.

“Come, Cameahwait. It is time.”