Thursday, January 15, 2015

CRUMPETS AND COWPIES


Release Day!

by Shanna Hatfield


Baker City Brides, Book 1
Detestable! Arrogant! Insufferable!
He’d been called worse…

Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined.
Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she finds herself traveling across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.

Originally, I planned for this book to be a Christmas story about a rough and rowdy rancher who found himself in England during the holiday season. Once I actually sat down and started writing the book, the characters took on a life of their own and I realized the story wasn’t going to be a stand alone Christmas story – but the first installment in a new series!
I chose Baker City as the setting for several reasons.
‹ It fits into the Eastern Oregon region that I enjoy writing about.
‹ It was a major stop on the train route through the area way back when.
‹ It was a booming town during the 1890s (when the series takes place).
‹ Many of the town’s old buildings still stand which makes it awesome for research and visualization.
‹ The Baker County Library has a huge and amazing collection of old photographs that brought the town to life for me.
‹ I like the way “Baker City Brides” sounds and rolls off the tongue.
‹ In the 1890s, Baker City experienced its second gold rush along with the establishment of many successful businesses. (Giving me loads to write about.)
Also, whenever we drive past the area on our way to visit family, we see this place…


It always makes the imaginative, curious part of me wonder who originally lived there and built the outbuildings. Who put up the corral? Why did they live so far from town? (This place is out in the middle of nowhere). Did they have a family? What did they think of the miles and miles of sagebrush and rolling hills?
I used this place as the foundation for Thane Jordan’s ranch, located south of Baker City, out in the middle of rolling hills of sagebrush and dirt.
Imagine being an English Lady, accustomed to a life that was lush and comfortable and entirely pleasant, forced (for the sake of two children) to marry a man you loathe entirely, and give up everything familiar. You travel across an ocean and the vast country of America, only to spend an hour on a bumpy wagon (or buckboard in Jemma’s case) ride to discover your new home out here in the midst of nothing but sagebrush and cattle.
It would definitely have taken strength, fortitude, and bravery.
Here's an excerpt:
***
Thane has just taken Jemma for a ride to look over part of the ranch.
“Thank you, Thane. I enjoyed it as well. The ranch is truly beautiful. Thank you for showing it to me.”
“I’m sorry it took so long. I meant to take you out last week, but things have been so busy.”
Jemma placed her hand on his arm and looked into his face. “I understand. I know you have many responsibilities to see to and you can’t spend all your time with the children.”
Although he loved Jack and Lily, he didn’t feel a desperate need to be close to them. Rather, it was the beguiling woman standing beside him with her hand burning a hole through his shirtsleeve who captured his thoughts.
“I better relieve Sam of the children. I’m sure he has grown tired of Lily asking ‘why’ and Jack wanting to find you or play with the dogs or ride his horse. Thank you for giving him his own horse, by the way. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since the moment you put the reins in his hands.”
“Every rancher needs a good horse. Jack will grow into Nick.”
As she recalled Jack’s excitement at having his own horse, she smiled at Thane. “It meant so much to him for you to entrust an animal to his care.”
He nodded as she turned back toward the barn door. One of Lily’s doll dresses on the ground caught her attention. When she bent over to pick it up, Thane reached out and brushed his hand over the curve of her rear.
She shot upright as if she’d been branded. Fire blasted from her eyes as she spun around and glared at him. “Mr. Jordan, that is completely and absolutely unacceptable. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“And wipe that smirk off your face!”
“That, I can’t do.” Thane’s wicked smile did little to calm her pounding heart or the breath she drew in with tight, short gasps. He touched his fingers to his hat, strolled out of the barn, then looked back at her with a wink.
Frustrated, she stamped her booted feet then marched to the bunkhouse. She wanted to chase after Thane, spin him around, and slap his face – or kiss him until she lost what little sense she had left.

Meet Thane and Jemma

Author Bio:

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
  
Find Shanna’s books at:

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Monday, January 5, 2015

A LONG TRAIL ROLLING


Cover and Excerpt
A Long Trail Rolling
by Lizzi Tremayne
The Long Trail  Book One


Escaping her father's killer, Aleksandra rode the Pony Express—full speed into the middle of the Indian Paiute Wars.

She didn’t expect to become a target, but she is one now!

Seventeen year old Aleksandra, trained in the Cossack arts from infancy by her father, finds herself alone and running to prevent her Pa's killer from obtaining a secret coveted by the Russian Czar, one which could alter the forces of power in Europe. Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860's Utah Territory, she finds herself in even deeper trouble. Her Californio boss Xavier has a strength to match her own, but can they overcome their differences before the ever-increasing odds overtake them?


With this debut Western Historical Adventure, Lizzi Tremayne won the 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award and was a finalist in the 2013 Great Beginnings. A saga of the Old West with a multicultural cast of those who make up America, it would interest readers who enjoy Westerns, horses, American Indians, immigrants, and the Pony Express. It has a capable heroine, strong historical detail, period veterinary treatment and frontier-pushing characters. It compares to the work of Phillipa Gregory, Diana Gabaldon and Jean Auel, with a little Laura Ingalls Wilder thrown in.

this novel is the first in The Long Trail quadrilogy of historical adventure sagas following her characters from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.

Excerpt:
Lookout Pass, she reminded herself as she neared the summit. Glancing north to the distant white tops of the Onaqui Mountains, she swallowed hard as she thought again of her papa and the fossil he'd fossicked for her from its rocky ledges.
The spotted pony broke into a lope over the crest of the hill and began the mile-long descent. Aleksandra's thoughts filled with memories, she was absentmindedly fingering the fossil inside the medicine bag hung about her neck when she felt the first arrow whizz past her head.
Her heart stopped in its tracks and she flung herself to the left side of the Palouse's neck in a Cossack hang, lying flat against his side.
'Yah! Yah! Let's go, Scout!' she shouted, throwing the reins at him.
He needed little urging to run full tilt down the steep and treacherously rocky trail as the yells of Indian warriors echoed through the narrow valley. The arrows came hard and fast from the southwest, screaming like a mad bunch of hornets.
Smart. Her lips curved in the hint of a wry grin.
The Indians had placed themselves between the trail and the setting sun, so Aleksandra couldn't see her attackers in the glimpses she stole,from beneath Scout's neck, of the world whizzing past. With the ground only three feet from her head, the scent of sage filled her nostrils when Scout crashed through a clump of brush. Briefly considering letting go of one of her death-grip holds onto the racing horse to pull a gun from her holster, something akin to suicide, she tightened her lip in a grimace and stayed put, trusting far more in the Palouse's speed and handiness to save them. Knowing her weight hanging off to one side had to put him off his best, she tried to stay out of his way, keeping as still as possible, tucked down on the side of the skidding and leaping beast. Praying the cinch would hold, she sent fervent thanks to the pony selectors for their choice of horses.
How I would love to have my bow and arrows, but I only need to get us through to Doc Faust at Rush—
The Palouse interrupted her musings as he threw up his head and reared, angrily trumpeting and shaking his head for a moment, nearly dropping Aleksandra, then resumed his headlong rush down the hill. When he carried on, she heard whistling sounds with every breath and turned her face forward to see where the noise was coming from.
Then she saw the arrow.

Genre: Western Historical Adventure Fiction with Romantic Elements
Content/Theme(s): Western, horse, native American, Indian, immigrant, Pony Express, veterinary, Utah Territory, Old West
Release Date: 10 January 2015
Launch Party: 14 January 2015, Placerville, California!
See my page for details! LizziTremayne.com
Publisher: Indie, as Blue Mist Publishing
Excerpt and more:   LizziTremayne.com
Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizziTremayneWriter 

Release date: January 10, 2015. Pre-order Kindle copy here:
http://www.amazon.com/Long-Trail-Rolling-Trails-Book-ebook/