Thursday, August 27, 2020

Lightning Over Bennett Ranch

Character Interview with Melody Bennett from Lightning Over Bennett Ranch

Hi, Melody. Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with me. Let’s jump into the questions. First of all, what do you look like?

I’m about 5-8 with blue eyes and long blonde hair that I always wear in a ponytail. I really should cut off the curly locks since it’s a pain in the butt to deal with, but I just can’t grab up the scissors. I’m curvy and my—um—bosom is a tad larger than I like, so I wear oversized shirts and flannel a lot. A bunch of the workers on my dad’s ranch can’t seem to keep their dang eyes to themselves whenever I wear tighter-fitting clothing.

Where and when does your story take place?

Willow Creek, Montana. Modern day. 

What did you think the first time you saw Max?

Oh, Lord. My emotions were all over the place that day. I was seventeen and trying to wrangle a wild horse under control. I was all cool and calm on the outside, but inside I was jittery. After I finally managed to stop the runaway mare, I spotted Max by the stable. He was a new worker on the ranch, and the most gorgeous cowboy I’d ever seen. I was smitten, all right. His sweaty blond hair lay tousled over his head, and his brown eyes lit like wicked fire when our gazes met. It was kismet.

What is your family like? 

Aargh. Controlling. My father knows I need my privacy, but he doesn’t think any man is good enough for me. My mother keeps trying to marry me off to the wealthy cattle rancher I dated and dumped a few years back. Neither of my parents approved of Max, nor did my brothers, but they’re finally coming around. As the only daughter in the family, I’m used to hardheaded men.

What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? 

I train and breed horses, and yeah, I’m excellent at it. I’ve had Lightning, my beloved Rocky Mountain horse, since he was colt. He’s won several ribbons and has sired quite a few colts and fillies that have themselves won races and begot their own offspring.

What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Max and I planned to runaway together when we were younger, but when I showed up at the motel, he was already gone. He broke my heart that night. I never expected to see him again, so when he finally returned, he threw my life out of whack.

What conflicts are you facing?

The biggest conflict was dealing with Max’s return. He acted like we could pick up where we left off, which shot my temper through the roof. After ten years of no contact, I had to summon a lot of courage to give him a second chance. And there was my family. Max and I had to sneak around a bit, but I soon put a stop to that.

What is people’s first impression of you?

That I’m cold and a tomboy. Sometimes they see the pain simmering just below the surface, but I’m pretty good at hiding my emotions.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Not really. I’m a reserved person, but I’m trying to break out of my shell. Thank you, though, for inviting me to talk. It feels good to get this stuff off my chest.


Melody Bennett’s parents trampled on her teenage romance with a drifter ten years earlier. After he disappeared without a word of goodbyes on the night they had planned to run away together, she casts aside her foolish notions of happily ever after and works hard on her family’s ranch.

Max Fortaine returns with a heart guarded by secrets and a sizable bank account that took blood, prayers, and tears to fund. The cowboy disrupts Melody’s peaceful life with stolen kisses and a promise for more. After a lifetime of running, mistakes and regrets, he vows to reclaim the only woman he’s ever loved…if only her overprotective father didn’t stand in his way.


“Did you ever love me? At least tell me that.”
He drew back, his eyes widening. “Yes, I did. I’m sorry you doubted it.”
Could she trust him? A tear slid down her cheek. Where was her control? God, please. Keep her strong. She dug her nails against her palms. “You owe me the truth.”
“Yeah, I do.” He forced his fingers through his spiky, dark-blond hair. “You’ll hate me more than you already do.”
“I don’t hate you. I did long ago, but I forgave you.” She inhaled his musky scent through her nose, then stepped back for breathing room. “I’m happy, Max. My life is good. To answer your earlier question, no, I don’t have a boyfriend. I’ve dated men after you, of course, but I’m single now. That’s my choice.”
She couldn’t tell him about her list of must-haves, her criterion for potential love interests. How could she? If he knew how much his betrayal had hurt her and how it affected her view on men and love, would he think her weak and immature? Maybe she was.
“Besides, I’m sure you moved on to other women.” She cast her gaze down his body. Despite the desire tingling in her veins, her heart and her mind were in accord. He wouldn’t fool her again. “I doubt a handsome man like you would have trouble finding a new bedmate.” After all, that’s all she had been to him. Right?
He glanced away and shifted his feet.
Oh, yes. He’d slept with other women after her. How many had he lied to and seduced? How many fell in love with him?
Her stomach roiled. She wrapped her arms around her middle and walked to a window. She peered through the slats of the blinds, but the great expanse of land blurred into one giant brown-and-green mass. She faced him. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to feel not good enough? Why did you leave Willow Creek without me? I don’t care what the answer is. I just want to know. I won’t hate you for it.”


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Montana Ranch series:
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About the Author:
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Norse Hearts

The historical romance,

by Robynn Gabel, is now available on Amazon. 

It’s the eve of Seraphina Forthred’s wedding in Seletun, Britain, late 800 AD, and Einar, a Viking warrior, has been ordered to kill her by Cecil, her betrothed. But when Einar isn’t paid, he makes other plans—holding her hostage for the silver denied him.

Seraphina finds Einar, as willful as she is, and she’s thrown into a world that is savage in comparison to hers.

Robynn Gabel had two dreams growing up, writing books and riding horses. In her first two books, she fulfilled them both by publishing her award-winning story about her time with Elvis, a champion Missouri Fox Trotter. However, her continual pursuit of adventure pushed her off into the deeper waters of writing a historical romance novel taking place in the backdrop of the Viking Age. In her latest book, Norse Hearts, she draws from a rich treasure trove of experiences and painstaking research to provide not only a historically authentic tale but one with true emotional power only she can bring.

You can find this riveting story in both paperback and ebook on For more information on Author book signings, reviews, and background, check out the following links.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Death Southern Style


Death Southern Style

Excerpt from Death Southern Style

Perrine Dupré hurried down the street. She needed to get home. Dark New Orleans clouds hovered overhead. Thunder rolled. Large drops of late May rain pelted the streets of the French Quarter. It sounded like hail as the fat globs bounced off the pavement behind Perrine. The ozone mixed with the scent of magnolia and the smell of shrimp and fish cooking in the area.

The older African American woman struggled against the wind. It whipped her umbrella inside out. She clutched it tightly so not to lose it. Rain blurred her vision. Thunder crashes caused her to jump. She stumbled up the three steps to her front door. Her daughter was coming home for a visit. Perrine’s pulse increased and a smile sneaked out.

Perrine loved her New Orleans. She hated to travel, but two years ago she’d gone to New York to see Julie Ann and her new business. It was a mass of busy airports and crowded flights, but she’d enjoyed seeing the city and staying in her daughter’s apartment. Her daughter had showed off her new interior design business, introduced Perrine to a few of her friends and dragged Perrine to some of the typical tourist activities. Julie Ann had been getting her designing business established then and had a challenge taking time off to leave and come home. Recently she’d taken on a partner. It freed up a little extra time. Tomorrow Julie Ann would be home in New Orleans and Perrine could give her a big hug.

Juggling her parcels, umbrella and the key Perrine jabbed it in the direction of the lock. Finally, the key found the opening and turned.

Thunder rumbled a little louder, sounding like pins crashing in a bowling alley.

Perrine turned the doorknob and froze.

One of her psychic visions flashed in front of her. Her shoulders sagged. A man stood inside. Her visons didn’t lie. She wasn’t going to see Julie Ann after all. And she'd miss their regular telephone call tonight, too.

She wasn’t prepared to die. A single tear shimmered down her cheek. Her heart pounded. She clutched her parcels to her chest. Why now?
         Lightning flashed. Thunder crashed again.

He waited for her to come inside.

The vision showed her crumpled on the ground in front of the house. She’d run, but obviously she wasn’t going to get far. Even if she managed to escape, they would kill her eventually. And after tonight Julie Ann would be home.  She would also be in danger.

The family was too rich and powerful. They didn’t care about collateral damage or anyone who might get hurt. Had they killed off all the other people involved? Was that why the documentation wasn’t important anymore? The birth certificate should have been enough.

There was so much she should have shared with Julie Ann. At least then she would be aware of the threat.
         Perrine didn’t want to die in the house. It would leave a permanent stain and memory. Julie Ann might never enter the house again if Perrine’s body was found inside.

In her mind, Perrine stared into the depths of the house, hands trembled, freezing cold filled her chest. She had to make a decision. He was getting ready to make a move. Perrine dropped her parcels, turned and raced down the steps.

The skies opened wide and lightning flashed across the sky, turning it an electric white. Perrine crumpled to the street. No one heard the shot. An icy shroud of death enveloped over her.

The front door closed. The lock clicked.

She felt no pain, not even when a boot kicked her sharply in the ribs - twice.

The feet moved away.

A gate squeaked.

A car engine roared to life.

The phone rang. No one answered it tonight.

Her spirit prepared to leave.

Perrine regretted that she’d never shared any information about Julie Ann’s real mother with her daughter, or how her mother had been murdered. She’d tried to protect her baby.

Perrine’s mind dimmed. She prayed to her god to help her keep Julie Ann alive. Her spirit gradually left her body and floated away. Using her fading power, Perrine pulled on the power of the Priestess to allow her to remain on earth, in any form.

Julie Ann would be at risk. Perrine might still be able to protect her. She needed to be there, at least in spirit, for her daughter.

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Beverley Bateman now lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She recently moved from the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada. Instead of vineyards, orchards, lakes, and mountains she has ranches, farmers and a close community. She lives there with her husband and her Bichon-poodle rescue dog. During the cold Alberta winters, she snowbirds to Arizona and does glass fusion, watercolor painting and plays the ukulele besides working on her latest romantic suspense. Hunted, Missing and Targeted are part of her Montana series. She also has her Holly Devine series; A Cruise to Remember, and a Murder to Forget. Don’t Go is her darker romantic suspense.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Prosecution of Lt. Tabor Chandler

Tabor Chandler rescues a young boy from drowning one cold Texas night in 1865, but the act won’t pardon him of the crime that keeps him on the move. So many men are dead—his best friend among them—and he can never forgive himself for his part.

Not even Tabor’s heroic rescue can overcome Elena Lamb’s angry grief over his part in the death of her brother. Her evidence: the battle of Shiloh, where Tabor ordered his men into deadly Union fire. Her prosecution of the Confederate lieutenant rests even when her heart cannot, and she wants him gone.

But mysterious events conspire to keep them together. Attempted robbery and murder, sabotage and the presence of a stalking devil convince Elena that she needs this man she hates…if only for the sake of her family.

Tabor’s presence is a constant reminder of her brother’s death. Can getting to know him change Elena’s verdict and allow her to forgive him? Can he forgive himself and take hold of the love he so desperately wants?

Here’s an excerpt from The Prosecution of Lt. Tabor Chandler:
Tabor studied Elena's profile, taking in the sheen of tears in her dark eyes, the grief that tightened her full lips. Even her throat looked longer and constricted. Her sadness must outweigh his guilt, but witnessing her distress made him feel so much worse.
He wished he could take her hand, kneel right there in the coach and beg her forgiveness. But he knew it would do no good. She would never forgive him, nor could he blame her. It would be better for both of them if he just returned to the top of the coach and left her alone with her grief.
Grief of which my very presence reminds her.
She blinked rapidly and her back stiffened even more. Her lips parted and, gasping, she pressed both hands against the sill of the window.
An instant later, Billy shouted down from his perch, “Riders coming fast!”
Tabor drew his revolver, wishing he hadn’t left the rifle up top. Through the window, he saw three riders racing down a gentle slope to the northwest. All three wore bandanas over the lower parts of their faces, and hats shadowed their eyes. Each man carried a rifle. That and their speed meant they weren’t just casual fellow travelers.
“Get down,” Tabor said. When she didn't immediately respond, he grabbed her arm, dragged her off the seat and pushed her down onto the floor. Ignoring her surprised gasp, he positioned himself so that his body held hers down. He continued to ignore her muffled protests as he awkwardly aimed out the window toward the advancing riders. One of the men raised his rifle, sighting on the coach—no doubt, on Billy.
Tabor didn't hesitate or take time to steady his aim. He needed to let the riders know that the stagecoach was not undefended. He fired.
As he'd expected, the shot went wide, but the report spooked one of the bandits’ horses. That made all three of the riders jerk apart.
But they kept coming.
Billy whistled and shouted to the stagecoach team. The coach lurched into a faster pace. Holding his breath, steadying his aim for a truer shot, Tabor fired again at the nearest bandit. His target jerked, struck in the arm, and veered away. Before the other riders could react, Tabor loosed two more shots. All three riders whipped around and raced back in the direction from which they'd come.
Tabor dropped his head against the rim of the window and let his gun hand slide down onto the seat to his right. “They’re going,” he said.
A muffled protest from below accompanied a sharp jab against his left hip.
“Sorry.” Awkwardly, Tabor pushed himself off Elena and back into his seat. He caught her arm and helped her rise from the floor. The bouncing of the still racing coach made it difficult.
Finally, as she fell into her seat, she jerked free of him. Her dark eyes blazed and her jaw was tight as she spouted, “What do you think you're doing?”
“I didn't want you to get hit by—”
“I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself!” She tugged at her clothing, putting her disheveled cloak and shirt back into some semblance of order even as she bounced in the swaying, jouncing coach. Gradually, the conveyance slowed to a more moderate pace.
With his free hand, Tabor gripped the leather hand strap to his left. “I'm sure you can in most situations but—”
“Really, Lt. Chandler, will you just leave me alone?”
As if her request wasn't worded strongly enough, the glare in her eyes told him it was time to retreat to the top of the coach.
Setting his jaw, he holstered his gun and opened the door. The ground raced past as the coach flew along the damp road. He was tempted to sit back down but decided that she needed a break from him.
He stepped into the opening, half-turned and, reaching up with one hand, grabbed the nearest support for the driver’s box. His heart skipped for a moment as he pulled himself up on top of the coach. As he climbed over to the driver's box, he heard the door shut behind him. He looked at Billy. The younger man lifted one eyebrow.
“That was good shooting,” he said as Tabor sat beside him
“It wasn't easy with a revolver from this bouncing coach.”
“Next time you go down there, take the rifle with you.”
Tabor grimly faced forward. “There won't be a next time.”

Buy Link: Amazon

Teri Thackston is an award-winning, multi-published author in several genres, including western romance. At least a fourth-generation Texas (she’s still researching her ancestry), she’s also descended from at least two patriot soldiers of the Revolutionary War, so history is a big interest for her. Her stories are known for exciting action as well as captivating romance. While storytelling is her first love, she also delves into non-fiction writing, writing articles on topics ranging from how to choose a mother-of-the-bride dress to how to process credit cards for your small business. But she can most often be found creating unique worlds for the characters that whisper in her ear, begging to be brought to life.

Learn more about Teri and her books at and follow her on Facebook.