Monday, July 2, 2018

Hurray for Independence Day!

Love in Independence is set in the town of Independence, Oregon in 1871. There's just something special about a story told around our nation's holiday. Not to mention everything that holiday brings to mind.  Picnics in the park, good food, good company, neighbors, friends, and of course fireworks.
In Love in Independence, our hero and heroine are caught up in the town's preparations for their big Fourth of July celebration.  A celebration that includes all of the above-mentioned fun, along with a speech by the town mayor, who, not adverse to public speaking, was the perfect man for the job. He did love to give a good speech.
 for those not familiar with this book, here's the small excerpt describing our hero and the town of Independence…

Independence, Oregon, April 1871

 Pastor Luke Adams was a simple sort. He owned three white shirts, two pairs of trousers, one pair of suspenders, two coats, one pair of boots, a hat, a Bible, a pen and an inkwell. That was it. It was all he needed.
Leaving Chicago and heading West was the best decision he'd ever made. The tiny congregation of independence, Oregon was just the sort of place where he could immerse himself, work and grow old. The people were friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand, the parsonage was adequate for his needs (even if bigger than he liked), and became fully furnished.
But it wasn't long before he discovered something about small towns like Independence. In Chicago, and had a certain and anonymity -- the city was too big to keep tabs on everyone. But a small town of meant small town gossip. Some folks did so via friendly banter, others by a series of afternoon teas throughout the month. And, of course, everyone ventured into Tindle's Mercantile at some point during the day to catch up on the latest news and rumors, Mrs. Tyndall being the self-proclaimed eyes and ears of the town.
Even now she was hard at work. "Widowed, you say?" Asked Mrs. Vander, the mayor's life. Petite and soft-spoken, she fanned herself at the unsettling news.
"Yes-- and with no children, but I suppose it's better that way," added Mrs. Tindle.
"A pastor without a wife? Who's ever heard of such a thing?! Who's idea was it to hire him?" Demanded Mrs. Smythe, the undertaker's wife in town matriarch. It's in decent!"
"Your husband, for one," Mrs. Vander pointed out in her bird-like voice. "Not to mention mine. In fact, I think Mr. Tyndall had the final vote on the matter, didn't he, dear?"
"Octavius thought Pastor Luke would be a fine addition to our town," Mrs. Tindle said. "except…"
"Except what?" The other two asked in unison.
"Except for the fact that he's not married!" Mrs. Tindle declared as if it should have been obvious.
"This'll never do," Mrs. Smythe said firmly. "You know how people talk."
"Don't we though?" Mrs. Vander giggled.
"Mercy, whatever will we do?"  Mrs. Tindle lamented.
"I have no idea, dear," Mrs. Vander said, shaking her head.
"I wasn't asking you," Mrs. Tyndall told her. "I was praying to the Almighty."
"Well, how is one to know?" asked Mrs. Vander.
"Mercy Vander!" Mrs. Smythe groaned.  "Don't think that every time someone says the word 'mercy', they are addressing you."
"Well, I declare, what else am I to think? It is my name!"
Such was a typical day in the lives of Mrs. Tindle, Mrs. Smythe, and Mrs. Vander. Martha, mod, and Mercy had been friends from the moment they met on the wagon train headed west over 15 years ago they were considered the pillars of the church, not to mention the town. Their husbands held high positions. One provided goods and services that fed and clothed townsfolk, another buried them, and Mr. Vander look darned good in a suit. His oratory skills were also a plus. And he wasn't at all averse to public speaking, which is how he landed the job of Mayor...

If you'd like to read more, Love in Independence is free through the Fourth of July on Amazon. You can get the book by clicking Here

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cowboys and Debutantes, Contemporaries ...

Yes, first came the historicals starting with Effie and her two sisters, Minnie and Lula (Lula is yet to be released), and her cousin Della and her two sisters, Hattie and Pearl. These riches to rags stories have been a blast to write and I'm working on Lula's story now. We'll cover her in another post. What I want to talk about in this post is my adventure into contemporary western romance! What a fun time I had writing about the Sullivan family. 
Tate, Jake and Jenny Sullivan, along with their mother Samantha, inherit a riding academy in Brooklyn, New York. Jake, the first to venture to the Big Apple to see what sort of shape the stable is in, is also the first to have a chance at love! Can a simple rancher win the heart of a rich, New York, debutante?
Here's an excerpt from Jake, Cowboys and Debutants, Book One, Contemporary.

Casey and Melanie both sucked in a tiny breath. He was at least six feet tall with a lean, muscular build. Short, light brown hair peeked out from underneath his black Stetson, his dark eyes doing the same. He wore a denim jacket over a light blue t-shirt and put his hands on his jean-clad hips. “Can either of you ladies direct me to the office?”
  “Sure, it’s through there,” Melanie said as she pointed to a gate behind them.
  Casey glanced around. “Are you delivering a horse?” she asked out of curiosity. Well, and the fact she couldn’t take her eyes off him. This wasn’t a guy from the city, that’s for sure.
  “No, ma’am. I’m here on other business.”
  She smiled at his use of the word ma’am, not knowing what else to say. She didn’t know enough about the place and didn’t want to look stupid. Melanie was the expert. She’d been coming to Dixie’s for what seemed like forever.
  “Do you work here?” he asked.
  “No,” they said at once. The women exchanged a quick glance. “I’m a client,” Melanie said before Casey could blink. “I board my horse here and take lessons.”
  He nodded then focused on Casey. “And what about you?”
  “I take lessons too,” she said with a smile. Please don’t ask for how long, she tacked on silently.
  “That’s nice. Do you like it here?” he asked.
  Melanie nodded. “I do.” She shot Casey a warning glare.
  Casey wanted to smack her. Then again, Melanie knew her penchant for blurting things out without thinking. It wouldn’t do well to say she liked it too when she’d only just set foot in the place. She settled for a smile and nodded instead.
  “Glad to hear it.” He tossed his head at the gate. “I’ll just mosey on over to the office then.” He flashed them a brilliant smile. “See you later.”
  They nodded, both mesmerized by the way he sauntered to the gate, opened it and stepped through.
  Melanie broke the spell with a groan. “Oh, no, I still have my helmet on!”
  Casey laughed as Melanie undid the helmet’s chin-strap and pulled it off. Her long blonde hair lay plastered against her head “Trust me, you were better off with it on.”
  “Thanks a lot.” Melanie tucked her helmet under an arm and tousled her hair with her free hand. “I have to take care of Georgie. Want to come? You can help me give him a bath.”
  “A bath? That didn’t sound very appealing, but if she hung out long enough, she might get another peek at the cute cowboy before her lesson. If she got lucky enough to gt one, that is. “Okay. So long as I don’t get drenched.”
  “You won’t. Not if you’re careful,” Melanie said and headed for the gate.
  Casey noticed Melanie was going the long way around. She’d learned enough her first visit to know that the horse stalls, tack rooms, break room and everything else was more accessible from the other end of the arena. Going this way meant walking past the office though, which also meant Casey wasn’t the only one that wanted to grab another look.
  “If you really want to take riding lessons,” Melanie said conversationally as they passed through the gate, “why not take them from someplace closer to home?”
  “Because you’re here,” Casey said. “Besides, what if someone that knows my dad rides there, spots me and rats me out?”
  Melanie slowed her pace as they approached the office. “I guess you’re right, but this place is sure out of your way.”
  “As much as it is yours,” Casey countered. Both lived in the upper east side of Manhattan and had known each other for years. They met as freshmen in high school, made their debut together and went to the same college of arts. Now, both graduated, they had embarked on their prospective careers and spent the last two years trying to build them up.
  Melanie had gone into fashion photography where as Casey became a designer. The two worked a lot together and knew a lot of the same people. True, the riding stable was located in a part of Brooklyn no one would expect, and yes, there were other stables much closer to the both of them. But this particular place Melanie chose for its location and the amount of riding trails available. Casey picked it because Melanie hadn’t fallen off a horse and landed herself in the hospital. That had to count for something, right?
  “I wonder who he is,” Melanie remarked casually as they passed the office.
  Casey gave it a sidelong glance. Through the plate glass window she saw Mr. Cowboy chatting it up with Miss Williams who was not only one of the instructors, but managed the place as well. “I wonder if she thinks he’s cute.”
  Melanie giggled. “Who wouldn’t? But she’s too old for him.”
  Casey arched a brow. “You never know. Miss Williams might be a cougar.”
  Melanie stopped dead in her tracks and looked over her shoulder at the office, now behind them. “Miss Williams? Not a chance.”
  Casey shrugged and kept walking. “You never know.” Now ahead of Melanie, she turned and walked backwards. “Bet she’ll be able to tell you what he’s doing here.”
  Melanie made a face. “Like I’m going to ask? It’s none of our business.”
  “But you know you want to,” Casey teased.
  Melanie stopped again. “No, you want to. But that doesn’t matter because you’re not going to be around.”
  “Yes I am,” Casey countered, spun on her heel, and walked on. “I just paid for six lessons.”
  “Lessons your dad is going to make you quit if he catches wind of it,” Melanie called after her.
  If he does,” Casey said as she waved a hand in the air. In truth, she didn’t want to talk about it any more. If Melanie didn’t stop pestering her, she was liable to leave. Then again, that would suit Melanie just fine. She’d have won.
  Casey turned and glanced at her friend who continued to trail behind, probably in hopes Mr. Cowboy would emerge from the office before they made it to the wash area.
  She wasn’t disappointed. Miss Williams came out of the office first, followed by Mr. Cowboy. He stopped and looked at them, then flashed that brilliant smile of his. Casey tried not to smile back. Melanie on the other hand …
  “Casey’s going to help me bathe Georgie,” she called to Miss Williams. “In case you want her, you know where to find her.”

  Miss Williams gave her a quick nod and a wave, and then continued toward the arena, Mr. Cowboy on her heels. He turned one last time and smiled at them before disappearing through the gate.

You can get a copy of Jake on amazon  Enjoy his story and then check out Tate's! 

That's just a sample of our hero's story. Tate, his brother had his own adventure, and one of a different sort than Jake. Here's a snippet from his story:

“This is so New York,” he commented after they’d walked past the Brooklyn Library and the museum. “What are the Botanical Gardens? I noticed an entrance to them back there.”
Melanie tuned out her guilt and smiled. “Oh, they’re very nice. Too bad it isn’t spring, they’re great in the spring. All those blossoms …”
“Really?” he remarked with interest. “Has Cassandra ever been to them?”
Melanie fought back a sigh. “Yes, I’ve done some photo shoots with her there.”
“Did she like them?”
“We were working, so I couldn’t tell you.” And wouldn’t want to tell him even if she knew. But she did know Cassandra wasn’t one for nature – she was a city girl through and through. But hadn’t she mentioned once that she was originally from the country? One would think she’d hanker for the outdoors, but no, the more concrete the better. Hmm, she must have Cassandra’s origins mixed up with someone else. Which brought back Tate’s earlier question – had Cassandra told him she liked to go hiking?
They crossed the street and walked down the tree-lined walking and bike path that ran down the center of Eastman Parkway. Tate reminded her of a kid in a candy store. “Look at all these benches.” To her surprise, he stopped at one and sat.
The path, which ended another block or so down, was lined with benches on either side. She’d taken this walk before after hiking through the park and had occasionally stopped just to sit and think. It was a pretty spot, even with cars going by on either side. “You’re enjoying yourself.”
“Oh yeah. Jake told me about places he’d gone his first time here, and I saw a couple of things the last time I was in town – tourist stuff, like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. But I was busy – there wasn’t much time. This is new.”
“You should check out some of the museums,” she suggested.
He shrugged. “I’m more interested in checking out Yankee Stadium.”
She made a face. Her father was a baseball freak – she should introduce them. Better yet … “You should check to see if there are any games while you’re here.”
“Now you’re talking!”
Melanie laughed at the look on his face – one would think she’d just given him a brand-new car. “My dad’s really into baseball.”
“He is?” Tate asked, just as enthused.
“He’d love to go to a game – though mind you, he’ll talk your ear off about the old Stadium and all the players he’s seen. I can call him after we eat.”
“Wow – thanks, Mel!”
Her breath caught. He’d never used her nickname before. Maybe it meant nothing, but the sound of it coming from him …
For Pete’s sake …, her conscience began.
“So you like baseball?” Melanie blurted, hoping to drown out the interior monologue. Besides, baseball was a running joke in her family, at least when it came to her father. He’d even taken Bernard the doorman to a few games. “It’s kind of a requirement.”
“A what?”
“Yeah,” she said with a nod. “I see about four games a year, if I have time. But my dad …”
“When can I meet him?” Tate asked, excited.
“Well, um, I suppose I could invite him to join us for dinner …”
“Great, do it!”
Melanie did her best not to groan. A few hours alone with Tate Sullivan, when she’d planned to savor every moment, was being washed out by the gleam of the superfan in his eye and the excitement in his voice. Tate and her father were going to hit it off beautifully. Sigh. With feigned enthusiasm, she pulled her out her phone and dialed her dad’s number.

Tate's book is also on amazon 

And I even wrote Jenny's story, because after reading Jake's story folks wanted her story as well as Tate's. It's part of the Welcome to Romance series which takes place in Romance, Oregon. Here's the blurb:

A rooster, a tortoise, and love, oh my! Jenny Sullivan is finishing up school in Romance, Oregon. She’s also homesick in Romance, meets a man in Romance, and now needs lessons in romance to boot! If she hadn’t gone to the Finding Forever Rescue Shelter’s annual fall festival, she wouldn’t be in this mess! If only she wasn’t so romantically impaired, she might be able to get out of it.

Andy Cotton wasn’t looking for love and no wonder. After his last disastrous relationship, he wasn’t keen on being tripped up by another. But when a woman shows up during his volunteer shift at the local animal shelter’s fall festival to adopt something, um … different, he began to reconsider. And lucky for him, he just happened to have something very different indeed. Now if he could just find some of that same luck to win her…

I explain more about Jenny's story and the series in my previous blog post. You can get Jenny's story here.

These are just my contributions. Vivi Holt has written the Cowboy and Debutante series with me! Check out all the books! Available on amazon

Now, off to work on Lula's story. And guess where I'm sending her?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Get Ready to Fall Into Romance!

What happens when you mix together a group of authors, add laughter, lovable pets, and a dash of pumpkin spice? The perfect combination resulting in ten sweet novellas that'll have you falling in love all over again!

Surround yourself in the romance of the autumn season with 10 heartwarming, sweet novellas from the USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Each story takes you inside the heart of a small town-its people-and features adorable animal friends in need of a forever home. Take a trip to Romance, Oregon, where falling in love has never been easier and happily-ever-after is guaranteed!
Available for Pre-order Now!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunesKobo | Google

Stories and Authors

Lost in Romance by Stacy Claflin
At Second Glance by Raine English
Blown Into Romance by Shanna Hatfield
Wired for Romance by Franky A. Brown
Restoring Romance by Tamie Dearen
Finding Dori by J.J. DeBenedetto
Katie’s Chance for Romance by Jessica L. Elliott
Chasing Romance by Liwen Y. Ho
Lessons in Romance by Kit Morgan
Finding Forever in Romance by Melanie D. Snitker

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Lessons in Romance 
By Kit Morgan
Being a part of this boxed set has been an amazing experience and a blessing. My novella, Lessons in Romance, was a blast to write and I can’t wait for you all to read it! 

A rooster, a tortoise, and love, oh my! Jenny Sullivan is finishing up school in Romance, Oregon. She’s also homesick in Romance, meets a man in Romance, and now needs lessons in romance to boot! If she hadn’t gone to the Finding Forever Rescue Shelter’s annual fall festival, she wouldn’t be in this mess! If only she wasn’t so romantically impaired, she might be able to get out of it.

Andy Cotton wasn’t looking for love and no wonder. After his last disastrous relationship, he wasn’t keen on being tripped up by another. But when a woman shows up during his volunteer shift at the local animal shelter’s fall festival to adopt something, um … different, he began to reconsider. And lucky for him, he just happened to have something very different indeed. Now if he could just find some of that same luck to win her…
Don't forget to pre-order your copy of Fall Into Romance!  It's just 99 cents!