Good morning, everyone!
I hope you have recovered from the food binge and shopping of last week. If you are shopping on-line today for Cyber Monday, please pay attention to the site securities and guard your personal information as best you can. I am adamant about not using a Debit card anywhere except my actual bank location. And when it comes to credit cards, the safest thing you can do is buy pre-paid cards and use those on-line. This will also help you stay within your budget and avoid the 'oh shiny things' moments.
I loved having Shanna Hatfield in last week as part of the American Mail Order Bride Series. I can not wait to read this entire series.
Our winner for last week was Alisa Boisclair. Congratulations, Alisa!
I have posted the December line-up of AMOB authors on the sidebar. Emily Claire will join us on Wednesday. I hope you will come back and say hello.
Today is the final day for NanoWrimo. While I did not win, I am pleased with my decision to figure out how to get my heroine talking.
I have three days to see if I can round out the final touches to the rough draft of Book 1 in the Branson series. I'm making progress but I think I will be happier for the time and I'm already seeing things that will bleed into Book 2 when I try that one again for JANO - in January. ;-)
Have a great week!
Monday, November 30, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Next in our American Mail-Order Bride series, is Dacey - Bride of North Carolina by Shanna Hatfield.
Here is how Dacey's story came to be:
When I received an invitation to participate in the American Mail-Order Bride project, I thought it sounded like great fun.
Typically, my sweet romances take place in the Pacific Northwest where I live. This gave me an opportunity to write about a different area.
I chose North Carolina for two reasons:
My grandfather’s family lived in North Carolina before they moved to Oklahoma’s Panhandle. Often, I’ve wondered what type of shock my great-grandmother’s system must have gone through going from the lush beauty of North Carolina to an area where you can literally see nothing but dusty fields for miles and miles and miles.
I’ve been fascinated with the Biltmore Estate for years. It is on my bucket list of places to see someday. Although the Biltmore was still in the construction stage during the time of Dacey’s story, I loved the idea of having her story take place in Asheville, where the Biltmore resides.
Since I couldn’t completely abandon my northwest roots, Dacey travels from her home in Pendleton to Massachusetts at the urging of her friend, Josephine. She moves in with four other girls and works at the sewing factory only a few days before the tragic fire leaves her unemployed and desperate.
That desperation drove her (as it did so many brides) to respond to an advertisement for a mail-order bride.
Upon her arrival in Asheville, Dacey soon discovers Braxton Douglas (the man she’s traveled all that way to marry) knows nothing about the ad or her plans to wed. His scheming mother pretended to be him in an effort to see her only child married.
The Douglas family lives on a large, successful plantation. I had the best time integrating Dacey with her tomboy ways and western twang into their world of wealth and prestige.
I hope you enjoy Dacey and all the books in this series. If you’ve always wanted to take an adventure around the country, here’s an opportunity to do it from the comfort of your own home.
On the run from her past, Dacey Butler has nothing to lose when she agrees to travel to North Carolina to marry a stranger. Unaware his conniving mother arranged for a mail-order bride, Braxton Douglas has no idea what to do with the intriguing woman who arrives on his doorstep.
“You… you’re Braxton Douglas?” Dacey’s face drained of all color and her legs ceased to hold her. She sank onto the step, clutching the rail in her hand to keep from tumbling down the stairs they’d just climbed. The hat slipped from her fingers, but she didn’t notice.
“Yes, ma’am. I am.” Braxton tossed her valise up to the top of the steps then took her hands in his, pulling her to her feet. “Welcome to my home, to Bramble Hall.”
“Braxton Douglas,” Dacey muttered, overcome with dizziness, fear, and surprise. The strong, charming man before her was nothing like the bookish little fellow she’d envisioned marrying.
All too aware of her attraction to this handsome stranger, she clung to Braxton’s hands as the world spun around her.
Before blackness swamped her, she turned her face toward his and whispered the reason for her arrival. “I’m here to marry you.”
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GIVE AWAY! Shanna Hatfield is giving away a FREE copy of Dacey - Bride of North Carolina. To enter, please leave a comment below telling us why you are looking forward to reading Dacey's story and your email so we may contact you in the event that you win. Good Luck!
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, USA Today bestselling author 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 relatable characters.
When this hopeless romantic isn’t writing or indulging in rich, decadent chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Sweet Romance Reads, Pioneer Hearts, and Romance Writers of America
You may Pre-Order Dacey - Bride of North Carolina on Amazon
Monday, November 23, 2015
While we did not get this much snow over the weekend, the skiff we did receive was a gentle reminder that winter is upon us and the holidays coming fast.
I did not do as much writing as I'd hoped over the weekend, though I did add about 700 words to my JANO 2015 Branson story. What I wound up doing was lots of shopping. And some decision making.
Before I get to that, let me first announce our WINNER in the American Mail Order Bride Series -
Lottie - Bride of Delaware from author Kit Morgan.
Using Random.org (I never can get that screen shot to work right), The Winner is -
Congratulations, Cindy! Kit will be contacting you regarding your Free Download.
This Wednesday we have Shanna Hatfield joining us. Shanna will be sharing her book -
Dacey - Bride of North Carolina. Shanna will also be giving away a copy of Dacey's story to one lucky person leaving a comment.
* * *
My week is harried - as always. I want to add more to the JANO book. Sadly, the Nano project has tanked. But I'm not concerned. I just think Trevor and Kim's story isn't ready to be told yet. I can wait.
Other than the American Mail Order Bride posts that will run every Wednesday, I will be finished with personal Blog Posts after Friday. I always take the month of December off to enjoy my family and prepare for the coming year.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Our second stop on or travels takes us to Delaware with Lottie - the next install in the American Mail Order Bride series - with author, Kit Morgan.
Here is their story:
The American Mail-Order Bride Series is the brilliant brain child of Kirsten Osbourne, best known for the Brides of Beckham Mail-Order Bride series. This project would not exist without Kirsten’s ingenuity, so first off, THANK YOU! And I’m sure everyone involved in the project feels the same way. Lots of folks have these bright ideas, but Kirsten is the sort who acts when she has one. That’s the difference between someone with a great idea, and a true entrepreneur.
How did I get roped into this? She asked. I was honored, and the rest is history. Well, sort of. How did I get the state of Delaware when my books are set in Oregon as both a state and a territory, not to mention Washington? That’s easy. No one else wanted it. Why? Because the books are being released according to the order in which they became a state. In short, no one wanted to go first. If we were an army of writers, (which in essence, we are) lined up, the question some have asked is; did I step forward to volunteer or did the rest of the troops step back?
I stepped forward. No one stepped back, just to let you know. But going first is a little different. I didn’t want to just dive into a mail-order bride romance. I don’t mean that in the typical sense, we writers are all so individual, and trust me, there is nothing typical about this project. But I also wanted to give our readers a launching pad. Something to propel them into the rest of the series. Something to make them care about not only my characters, but everyone else’s too. So that’s how I wrote it. I’m writing two books in the series. My other state is California so I created two sisters. Lottie and Leora. Leora gets to go west to meet and marry while Lottie’s groom comes east on business, and they marry in Lottie and Leora’s hometown of Dover in the state of Delaware. These were fun books to write and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the vast variety of stories in the series. With this many great authors involved, there’s something for every one!
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!
“Did you just shut the door in Mr. Insley’s face? Really, Lottie, the landlord? You’ve got to get a hold of yourself – we’ll get everything straightened up in time.”
“It wasn’t Mr. Insley,” she whimpered and stepped away. She turned to the door, grabbed the knob and, taking a deep breath, opened it again.
A man – a very handsome man – stood on the other side, a bouquet of flowers in his hand … and now, a stunned expression on his face. “Good afternoon,” he said. It came out almost as a question.
God help her, but she was staring like a yokel! He was tall, easily six feet, with dark blonde hair and the most beautiful hazel eyes she’d ever seen. He had a wide smile of amusement on his face as he held the flowers a little higher. “Might I inquire if Miss Lottie Mitchell is at home?”
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Kit is giving a FREE copy of Lottie - Bride of Delaware away once the eBook is released. To enter, just leave a comment below telling us why you are looking forward to reading Lottie's story and your email so I can contact you in the event that you win. Good Luck!
About Kit Morgan:
A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet and clean stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. 'His Prairie Princess' is the first of the Prairie Brides books and the first in the series of a long line of stories about Clear Creek, Oregon. One of the whackiest little towns in the old west! Get to know the townsfolk in Clear Creek and come sit a spell!
You may Pre-Order Lottie - Bride of Delaware on Amazon
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I am so excited to introduce you to the first book in the American Mail-Order Bride series. First state we visit is Pennsylvania. Here is how Willow's story came to be for author, Merry Farmer.
I was incredibly fortunate to find out about this project right at the very beginning. I was in on things early enough to get my first pick of states, my home state of Pennsylvania. I always tell people that I’m not particularly patriotic, but I’m incredibly state-riotic! Pennsylvania is an awesome place with so many wonderful things going for it. We have some of the world’s premier universities (including my alma mater, Villanova), first-rate museums and sports teams, major industry, vast natural resources, Hershey’s chocolate the Liberty Bell, and Gettysburg. In fact, if Pennsylvania were to become its own independent country, it would have the 15th largest economy in the world, all by itself!
Now, when it came to writing a romance novel about Pennsylvania, I knew I had to tap into Amish romance. Living near Lancaster County, I’ve always enjoyed Amish romance and been fascinated with the community and culture. It’s an easy drive, and one that I make often to sample the crafts and food and the general serenity of the people. I jumped at the chance to write an Amish love story, but because I wanted it to fit in with the backstory of the whole American Mail-Order Brides series, I knew I needed to find a non-traditional way in.
That’s how I came up with the idea of writing a heroine whose grandparents were Amish and who is fascinated by her heritage, but was not raised that way herself. I also included a hero, Amos, who was raised Amish, but who was never baptized due to a conflict that is more than a decade old. In his heart, Amos wants to return to his community, but years of resentment is holding him back…until Willow comes along.
Willow: Bride of Pennsylvania is more than just a love story, it’s a story of community and friendship. It’s a story about how we not only need a strong, core, romantic love in our lives, but how we need friends and neighbors to make out life full. It’s a sentiment I strongly believe in. I hope that by reading about Willow and Amos, readers will be reminded of their own friendships and the people they have come to consider their family and their community.
When Willow Miller decides to change her life by becoming a mail-order bride to ex-Amish, Amos Stoltzfus, hope may carry her forward, but guilt over her part in the fire that destroyed the factory where she works holds her back.
Willow caught her breath and turned with a start. A numb buzz swept through her body as she caught sight of a man walking toward her. He was tall with broad shoulders and arms that stretched the fabric of his simple blue shirt. He was clean-shaven, with walnut-brown hair and hazel eyes that crinkled as he smiled. His clothes were similar to the Amish men on the platform, but just different enough to mark that he was not one of them. All-in-all, he was a very handsome man. And he held three apples in one of his large hands.
“Willow?” he asked a second time.
Willow opened her mouth to reply, but only a squeak came out. She wouldn’t let herself ruin things so soon. Instead, she nodded vigorously, face hot with a blush, until she found her voice. “Yes. Amos Stoltzfus?”
His smile widened. “That’s me.”
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Merry is giving a FREE copy of Willow - Bride of Pennsylvania away once the eBook is released. To enter, just leave a comment below telling us why you are looking forward to reading Willow's story and your email so I can contact you in the event that you win. Good Luck!
Merry Farmer is a bestselling, award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always have something to write about. Her books have topped the Amazon and iBooks charts, and been named as finalists in the prestigious RONE and Rom Com Reader’s Crown awards.
You may Pre-Order Willow - Bride of Pennsylvania on Amazon
Monday, November 9, 2015
Week 1 is done and I am far short of where I wanted to be. The crazy thing is I can not seem to get a handle on this story. I know what the internal issues are for both of my characters but something just hasn't gelled yet. I know I'll get there. I usually do. And when the story clicks, the words pour.
Normally I am a :
While I do not plan everything down to the minute detail I do have an idea of what is going to happen when in each chapter. My problem, is I've not taken time to do that this year. I'm afraid if I do take the time to plan, I will lose valuable writing time.
So for now, I am a:
This form of writing drives me insane and is probably why I'm struggling with my word count so far.
There is one badge NanoWrimo does not provide... the Quilter:
While I am a planner, I do not usually write in chronological order. I write scenes as they grab me then piece everything together in the end.
How do you write? Planner? Pantser? A little bit of both? Or do you have your own style? What works for you?
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
I am so excited for this series, I could barely wait for today to arrive so I could introduce you to the first author in this fabulous series.
I'm not giving you a full scope on Kirsten Osbourne. I'll save that for her big book launch but I think she's done a great job setting the series up in the PREQUEL. Click on the link to see how fifty courageous women go from losing everything to gaining more than they ever imagined. Join these authors as they take us on a journey through all fifty states.
Monday, November 2, 2015
The Book Launch was for a Fifty-Book series! Yes, you heard me 50! As in a book set in each of the 50 states. Here's the promo they sent to Romantic Times
Be a part of an unprecedented event as forty-five authors come together to bring you a new series of epic proportions. On fifty consecutive days beginning November 19, 2015, a romance will be published featuring a mail order bride, one set in each of the fifty states. The books will be released in the order they were admitted to the union. The stories all take place in 1890, when a factory fire in the East burns to the ground, leaving these women unemployed. Share the experiences of these women as they seek love and new lives across the United States.
And here is a portion of what they sent to USA Today that gives you a bit of the premise:
The year is 1890, and the initial premise, with a prequel written by USA Today best-selling author, Kirsten Osbourne, is that these girls all work together in the Mill town of Lawrence, MA in a sweat shop environment where they are all seamstresses. A fire that levels the building and business puts the girls all out of work and without many options. In Beckham, MA, there is a match-maker, Elizabeth, that plants the idea with the girls of becoming mail-order brides. Each girl moves to a different state as a mail-order bride, and eventually finds love.
If you follow my blog you know that Jayson's Range is a mail-order bride book so this series had my full attention right away.
The concept is to release one book a day through January 7th.
Beginning on Wednesday November 4th, I will post a link to the Prequel by Kirsten Osbourne.
Since I don't want to flood you with just guest appearances, I will be hosting one of the authors each Wednesday until we've completed the series. So while some of them will have been out for awhile, you can still get to know the author and any new things they have in the works.
I hope you'll sign up for reminders or just plan to stop by each Wednesday so you don't miss any part of this exciting new venture and meet some talented authors.