Torn Between Worlds promises to be one of those OMG angsty romances none of us can resist. She’s a Native American. He’s a gun-slinging trail boss. Both have sworn off love, yet, you know what happens when they meet. I haven’t read this book yet and look forward to seeing how the couple tries to avoid what we all know will happen. Click the photo below to buy this story or read in Kindle Unlimited, and happy reading! Be sure to let Linda know how much you enjoyed the book by leaving a review when you’re finished. It really helps authors when you do.
Elissa and several other of my western historical romance friends have banded together to share stories in a Mail-Order Mama series. I haven’t read this yet, but the blurb had me hooked and it’s on my Kindle. Who wouldn’t love a Brady Bunch meets Little House on the Prairie romance? You’ll really need to get your own copy to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited. Let me know what you think and be sure to leave a review for Elissa when you’ve reached “The End.”
Click the image to begin reading.
Seriously. We’ve been quasi-locked down since March. What does that mean? Lots of time watching the news, calculating numbers, and eating little pretzels with French onion dip. Should I mention the wine? So. Much. Wine. I don’t drink a lot but do drink the cheap stuff that only affects my waistline.
I’ve learned at least two things since the pandemic started. One is my husband is a great guy to be on a deserted island with. Or, more like in a suburban house while we both work from home. Two is I’m not a stress writer. I had grand plans for 2020, as did we all. I had no idea my imagination needed calm. I admire my other writing friends who can churn out book after book when they’re worried. Sadly, that’s not me.
Even though my writing has slowed, I’ve started a new American West Pony Express romance called Rider’s Ice. It’s lovely so far. Plus, I’ve sent Rider’s Desire to a new editor. She suggested some changes, and voila! I added a lot to the existing story. If you’re in KU, I think you’ll enjoy reading through the obvious additions.
I’ve had a lot of fun bundling the Orphan Train subseries of the American West into their own box set. The Oregon Trail also has its own box set with the three long novels and four short stories. I love it because you start in Independence, Missouri and end up in Oregon City, Oregon in one exceedingly long volume. I haven’t tried putting the set into print because of the thousand pages it’d be.
Find them all here at My Amazon Page.
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Hello! Oh my gosh, what a busy year! From Sally’s Sailor in January to Lost Orphans coming out on Kindle December 3rd, I’ve been writing like crazy. If you’re a fan of my Oregon Trail series and haven’t tried my American West novels, why not? Tell me about it at email@example.com because I do want to know.
What’s the difference between the Oregon Trail and the American West? Length and heat levels, mainly. I wanted the Trail stories to be as epic and intense as the landscape the settlers crossed. With the American West, my goal was short and sweet stories with happily ever afters. Some of my readers are working mothers, and I remember those busy days all too well. Since the second book in my American West-Orphan Train romances publishes next, let’s talk about that sub-series.
The Orphan Train romance subset of my American West series has been adorable to write. After visiting the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kansas, and reading everything in there, I really had a sense of what the children went through. Of course, I write fiction, but I’ve based as much as possible on facts. I skimmed over the genuinely horrible conditions some children came from and went to because these are short and sweet romances. I feel like in my Oregon Trail series, I could be a lot grittier, but still be within what romance readers want in a story.
Every book I write is not only from my heart, but I also hope it touches readers’ hearts, too. My characters are real people to me, as real as any internet friend I haven’t met. If anything, I know my people so well that I forget to tell you everything about them. So, if you have questions about any of the characters in my books, email me! For some of them, like Nick Granville of Undeniable, I have an entire family tree worked out to one of my contemporary romantic suspense series. Also, if a character in one book reminds you of another in a separate story, they’re probably relatives of some sort. I love playing with genetics and family traits. I’ve come up with more fun stories with thinking, “Hey, doesn’t Joe have a cousin in Wyoming???” So, yes, Joe does have a cousin in Wyoming and I’ve probably written about him or her. If you like steamy contemporary romance, the VERY Manly series might have something you’ll enjoy.
What else is new? Lots! Let’s get to the newest book! Harry Donovan made a guest appearance as a bad guy of sorts in Last Train Home. Because I love nothing more than turning a bad guy good, he’s my hero in Lost Orphans. After all the grief he gave Jack and Alice in Last Train Home, he deserved a little torture before finding a second chance at true love in Lost Orphans.
When Harry Donovan became an adoption agent for the Orphan Train children, he’d been more accustomed to prosecuting criminals. But when his wife, Polly, died in a flu outbreak, he ignored everything except work, until his irresponsibility stared him in the face. Mollie Nelson had been helping the adopted children keep a terrible secret about their new parent’s deaths. Like Harry, she’d lost her spouse to illness. Now that the adoption agent is asking questions of the children and their secret guardian, can either adult ignore the blossoming love between them and do what’s best for the children?
Click here to read more. -> Lost Orphans.
Like potato chips or cupcakes, you can’t stop there! A friend of mine, Cat Cahill, has a new book out for Christmas, aptly titled Forever Christmas, book 5 in The Gilbert Girls series. Since my first two American West-Pony Express books went through Canon City, you know I already have Forever Christmas on my Kindle. Check out the description and see for yourself. It’s going to be a marvelous read.
Which is here -> Forever Christmas
A lonely cowboy. A young widow. A Christmas to remember.
Elizabeth Hartley Campbell arrives at the Crest Stone Hotel, widowed, and searching for the brother she hasn’t seen in seven years. Distraught to learn he’s left, she takes a job as a Gilbert Girl and befriends the other girls, finding comfort in helping the hotel prepare for Christmas.
Landon Cooper didn’t mean to stop at the hotel and stay longer than one night. After all, a job awaits him in Canon City. But it’s hard to think straight when Elizabeth is nearby and has him hanging pine boughs for her instead of riding away.
Even though Elizabeth fears falling for another cowboy and Landon knows she won’t forgive him if she knew what he had planned, can they learn to trust in love or be driven apart forever?
So, now that you’re caught up with me and have an extra treat from Cat don’t be shy! Feel free to email me how 2019 went and your hopes for 2020. I hope you have the best Christmas holiday ever and a wonderful new year.
Hooray! I’ve finally come back!
Why was I gone? No reason. Okay, big reason. I started a pen name and oh my God! It’s seriously double the work. You all here know and love me for my western historical romances. But…there are space aliens living in my imagination. They won’t leave me alone, so I’ve been writing their love stories, too. For at least three of my western releases this year, I’ve also published sci-fi romance books, too. Seriously double the work and I don’t see it easing up until 2021 sometime.
I promised Canada and will deliver. I’ll be at Ignite Your Soul Author Event 2020 and so can’t wait. Mara Jaye will be there, too, with her alien romances, but in the meantime? Here’s a guest blog post I wrote about my love for the Great White North. Hang out at Get Lost in a Story and follow them. It’s a fantastic blog.
This isn’t the most natural blog post for me. If anything, I have a super tough time not meeting people and making friends. Getting out and finding new acquaintances comes naturally to me. If it doesn’t work for you, hang out with me, and I’ll share some hints. Also, while I wanted to include lovely photos, I do have that deadline.
“I don’t know if I can buy things online. I want to touch, feel, and be sure it’s what I want.”
“You’re showing your age.”
Sigh. Yes, I’m not the youngest out there and do like the in-person stuff. However, I am totally pwning the buying stuff online. (is pwning still a thing? is it not cool since I used it?) So is there hope for people who want to meet face to face and have the warm fuzzies when dating is all digital? Heck yeah!
It’s getting to where I know more couples who have met online, married or committed, and have continued to be happy years later. I’m not naming names, but some have met up in AOL chat. I know! Ancient!
But how? How do you know who a person is online and if you’ll like them? Good question! The first thing is to be honest in your profile. Even if you’re the only one who is, be honest. You don’t want a person attracted to a lie or even half truth. Lies are exhausting to keep up on a forever basis. Besides, you want to be loved for who you are, not who you can’t be. Honesty is good in the photo, too. Be recent and be proud of who you are right now. No one is perfect or where they want to be. Anyone who would judge you harshly on how you look now is not someone worth your effort.
Which leads to another aspect, the social media or dating app. Don’t roll around on Facebook for people if you’re a Twitter person. There is a definite difference between people who favor one or the other. If you wanted some opposites attract sort of thing, sure. Match your Snapchat to their blogger. Just be aware you’re quick and dirty while they’ll talk everything to death. If I weren’t on a deadline, I would list the Briggs-Meyer personality types of social media. Google the term if you don’t know what I mean. The Briggs-Meyer type is far more accurate than your zodiac sign.
If you’re someone who doesn’t trust easily or do want the in-person meetup, cool! Have I got some ideas for you. First of all, look at what you do when not at work. Do you go straight home? The gym? The grocery store? What hobbies do you have? My fave one, knitting, is not conducive to meeting guys. My husband doesn’t mind, but if I were single? I’d add in something a little more masculine. If you’re a guy who’s into cars, airplanes, monster trucks, all guy stuff, try something outside of your comfort zone. Cooking, art, exercise, any class you’d be leery of trying because it’s new and you might not be perfect at it. And if you’re a gal who’s done all that to no avail? Try auto repair, finance planning, monster trucks for a change of scenery.
I know this seems like I”m going along set gender roles, and I am. However, the gist of this is to push you out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Change is painful, I know, but if you want to find a new romantic partner, you’ll need to do new things. The worst case scenario is you don’t meet the love of your life but learn something terrific and new.
It is always so satisfying to see a book of mine on an ebook vendor’s website. A lot of work goes into every story. From the germ of an idea to the cover, the writing, research, editing, and telling readers about the book, I keep busy. The new American West series with its shorter, faster, and more convenient escapes do mean less writing for each book. However, oh my gosh the pace. My plan is to release a book every two months in this series. Two months sounds like a lot of time to write a 100-150 page book, but it’s not.
What’s fun is even the overall American West has four subseries. Dmitri’s Heart is in the Coastal Treasures subseries. I have four more Coastal books planned and the next story is top secret. The book and its series is a terrific surprise I know readers will love. I promise to blog about whatever I can as soon as I’m allowed to do so.
But, back to the book. I grew up in the middle of the United States where there’s very little water. Most of the lakes in my home state are man-made. Even so, I did happen to take a boating safety class while training for my Water Safety Instructor’s certification. And….that’s it. So writing about a ship’s captain who sails from Russia to the continental US and beyond meant a lot of research. So many different types of ships, so much cargo, so many ports of call. Whew! I also feel like Dmitri’s crew, Gleb, Theodor, and Serge, and Grigory are new friends. They didn’t get as much center stage as Dmitri, of course, because heroes need the spotlight. Still, I’d love to see what other adventures might be out there for them.
For now, you’ll have to read Dmitri’s Heart for yourself. Anyone who’s read Unexpected, an Oregon Trail Series short story will recognize the first three chapters. I’d always wanted to follow Anne and Dmitri’s love story. Finally, several years later, I get to do so! Poor Sam. If we didn’t know he’d meet Marie in Undesirable, we could be heartbroken for him losing Anne.
Back to the words since I have the secret project to write this month. Comment below if you’ve read anything from the Oregon Trail or American West series and what you think of them. Also, click the links to go to the books themselves or their series pages.
What happened to me blogging every Monday? Where’s the love? Where’s the romance?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Deadlines. Deadlines are what happened. It’s tough to publish a book every two months even if those books are more novella than a novel. What hasn’t been a book signing, a family reunion of some sort, or a ball game (I brake for the Toronto Blue Jays,) has been me with my butt in the chair and writing. It’s rather grueling to write historical romance and goes something like this:
Patrick gave his horse to the stable hand at Fort Leaven…..wait. What did they do with horses at Leavenworth in 1866? Google, horses at fort leavenworth1866. Nothing. Okay, assume there are stables… Fort Leavenworth. Grabbing his saddlebags…no, would he have saddlebags? Google, army officer saddlebags? Crap. Army officer saddlebags 1866. Eh, no. Again, we punt and assume there are saddlebags. Where was I? Oh, right, Grabbing his saddlebags, he went to the…..crap. They’re not BLQ (bachelor living quarters) or were they? Google, history of army blq. Okay, not an answer.
See? Okay, so this is the hard way. The easy way would be to read all the research first, then write. Maybe. I’ve been to Fort Leavenworth, Fort Larned, and Fort Dodge many times but there’s only so much that’s been carried forward from history. The land has been cultivated and modified into something the early trail riders wouldn’t recognize.
So yeah, when you add the historical accuracy to the spelling and grammar, writing well and engaging the reader, making an ongoing hook to keep the story flowing and interesting, and managing interruptions of all kinds that pull you out of the world you’re writing? It takes time.
I do have two other topics in this makeup post. Romance: My husband has been a darling this past week. We were out getting out the votes for the midterms when I tripped on a dodgy sidewalk. I’m an expert at stumbling and catching myself but when the second foot comes forward to hit the same thing my first foot caught? Boom. I literally landed on my face. My husband ran and brought our vehicle to me, brought every bandage from the drugstore along with ointments, aspirins, and wine when needed. I’m fine, and the injury looks far worse than it hurts. I suppose if I had to be housebound with a black eye, a deadline week was the best time to happen.
Second topic? A writing tip. Okay, when I hit submit to Santa Fe Woman on Friday, I was free at last. Free to play computer games, go shopping (my eye and face looked a lot better by then), and even better? Read! I had a new story in a genre I LOVE but don’t write in to read. Yay!
I already have an author who I worship in that particular genre and made grabby hands for the new author in the same genre. They are worship author equals author A, and new author equals author B. Okay, B was good. I read her first book in the series and loved the world, the couple, thought the sex happened a little too soon after traumatic events, but I’ve been married 24 almost 25 years. My perspective is different. Author A tends to wait longer for her naughty stuff even if the attraction is instant between the couple.
Still, I did love author B and will, of course, read more. But it got me thinking about something. Why will I read the grocery list of A as soon as she writes or types it and I don’t mind waiting when B does the same? Why the hero worship of one and not the other when most things about their work are the same with the same elements?
I was laying in bed thinking about this before going to sleep when it hit me. Emotional events and the point of view. Boom. I’m going to make up the events, so they’re fiction, but here goes. Let’s say, and I’m going to use situations NOT in these authors’ genres, that a train’s boiler explodes when our hero is nearby and hurt. The heroine comes up on the scene and begins to help him with his near-fatal wounds.
Author A would have the hero’s point of view during the explosion. We would feel his fear, surprise, and pain during the event. Then, when the heroine arrives, we’d switch to her point of view to feel her fear, surprise, and empathy for the hero’s injuries. All the feels.
Author B happened to do the opposite, and I bet I’ve done this in my books, too. She wrote the explosion in the heroine’s point of view when she arrived. Then, in a bit of a tell, not show, we got the hero’s point of view during the heroine is caring for him scene. So we missed out on the initial shock from him of the explosion, and we missed the fear for the hero’s life from the heroine. We do feel, but superficially.
I’ve always known point of view matters. The same story told by different characters ends up being vastly different. I use this in the last half of Undesirable and the first third of Uncivilized. Undesirable is through Sam and Marie’s point of view. Uncivilized is the exact same events, conversations, everything, but through Del and Ellen’s eyes. Words in the conversations are identical, but the feelings surrounding them are vastly different. Making sure the dialogue perfectly matched was tough but I had a blast with writing those books because of the point of view shift.
So there you have it! Part of what I did on my summer vacation! By the time you’re reading this, I’m getting ready to or on my way to Florida for a conference. I plan on learning more and meeting people I’m in awe of while there. The husband and I are crossing off Cape Canaveral from our bucket list. Should be fun!
Comment below with any concern, questions, or even random thoughts.
It’s about time I got back to the love and romance stuff, right? Launching a new book in a new series kept me distracted for the past couple of weeks. But now, I’m back to it, giving advice gleaned from twenty-four years of married bliss. By bliss, I mean no one’s been murdered, yet.
So. You’re in love. Can’t live a moment without each other. This is forever, and you know it. This time, anyway. Which was a lot like the last time, oddly enough.
Really, though. You’ve found the perfect for you person and want to make the relationship work. Today it’s easy. Tomorrow? Eh, your tomorrows tend to fall apart.
What do you do?
- Road trip! Pick a place as far as time will allow you to travel and spend the night. The best thing to do is find somewhere neither one of you have been before and go. Why overnight? No reason and you are encouraged to make the trip longer. A road trip will tell you what another person is like when they’re lost, tired, hungry, or at the end of their compromise limit. I would recommend sharing a room even if you don’t share a bed quite yet. If you can tolerate the other person’s bedroom habits, it’s a checkmark in the Keeper column. Once you’re back home and remembering the trip, your feelings will tell you how much longer the relationship will last. Relieved to be alone? Yeah, unless your excursion lasted a week or so, it’s a warning.
- Family or friend reunion! Does the idea scare you? Before you pull the ripcord on either your loved ones or loved one, think. Are you worried about them liking him or her? Or is his or her perception of your roots the problem? If you can’t introduce your significant other without qualms, you might rethink the whole in love thing. I’m assuming your relationships with reunion attendees are somewhat normal. A family with extreme dysfunction or toxic friends might be the ones you reconsider keeping in your life versus the love you’ve found.
- Share the disinterested! Huh? He used to ski, you used to antique shop. Or, she used to run races, you used to put together model cars. Now, you both do neither for now. And that’s a point to consider. Train for the 5K with her, hit the slopes with him. Even if one or both people can’t get into their partner’s interests, they should at least be able to empathize. My husband doesn’t knit, and I don’t Knights of Columbus, but we appreciate how the other likes doing so. He brings me Tootsie Rolls from their fundraising, and I’ll knit him sweaters. I’d say if one person has a destructive habit or a red line activity, really take a step back and reconsider if this is a relationship you want to work on. Expanding your interests or point of view are all right but compromising them is quite another.
Are there more ways to truly get to know a person in a hurry? Leave a reply and tell me your ways!
It’s always fun to press “Publish” on a finished manuscript. There’s so much coordination after typing The End. I’ll get a germ of an idea, research the heck out of it, consider how I might link the concept to my currently published books. I’ll plot, write, edit twice, send to the editor, fix per the editor’s instructions, re-edit, format for ebook and print, and give the book a final read through.
Is that all I do? Ha! No. There’s more. I’ll upload to Amazon and CreateSpace, and have my digital guy/husband upload everywhere else. Plus, while I have waiting time for editors or if I can’t write for some reason or another, there’s plenty else to keep me busy. I’ll search out stock art for my cover artist and personal/virtual assistant to create covers and advertising. You’ve seen both artists’ work but here’s some of the latest.
I’ll also write the back cover blurb, write blog posts like this one, and yes, it’s a little late since the book came out today. My newsletter is also delayed, going out this week instead of today. I also look at my social media to see if anyone needs a question answered, or if I can learn something new. I love my readers, and I hope they know it because while I write for me, I publish for them.
I’m in the middle of writing book two in the American West series. Because I’m not familiar with the terrain between Sacramento, CA and Fort Bridger, WY, I’m taking more time than usual on researching. I don’t know that I have a favorite part in writing and publishing, but if I did, it’d be the research. I love learning new things and following informational rabbit holes. That’s probably why writing history is one of my favorite things to do.
Considering how many more books I have planned, I’m not sad that one book is done because the next is already started. In fact, I not only have nearly a chapter done of book two in my American West series, but I also have it and the next two books’ covers ready to go. It is so tough to not share them, either. I’m the gal who needs to shop last minute for presents because I can’t keep my own secrets. I can keep your secrets to my grave, but never my own.
I hope you all had a great time learning more about my publishing process. Comments, questions? Tell me about it!