Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

excerpt from Aztec Moon (tentative title)

This week-end, I finished editing a romance that is scheduled to be out in August. It will be the fifth in the Arizona historicals and has some previous characters returning. In Rose's Gift, Ollie Oliver is presented as a tough man; but there, he shows his softer side as he courts Rose. Not so much here as he's worried about the man he regards as a son. Connie and Del Sicilla have been in my short story and other books.  

This will also introduce a new old-timer, Jeremiah, the patriarch of the Taggerts, a family that has often operated on the edge of the law-- or further over. Jeremiah proved so interesting to me that he got a point of view (that made for three with the hero and heroine each having one). I do like writing these tough old galoots ;). Of course, nowadays, they are not all that old to me.

As a work, for which I'll be doing one more edit, this might change some before it reaches actual publication. The title is my biggest question mark. There will be three books about the Taggert brothers (first time I've done a brother series), and although they share characters with the first books, they do have a new family at their center-- and in that sense, are a series of their own. I'd love to have three titles that work together. Aztec Moon was to be the first (this one) but the second didn't have something that fit with it. The third, coming together but yet to be written, doesn't have a title. So title is still in flux for this first of the Taggert romances. I might yet get some brilliant insight that pulls all three together.


     The store had been left unlocked, and they walked in only to see Sicilla leaning against a counter and an older balding man beside him. A trap?
     “Jeremiah Taggert meet Ollie Oliver.”
     “Do I know you?” Jeremiah asked as he moved forward. He hadn’t checked the load in his gun. He hoped that wasn’t a fatal mistake.
     “Not direct,” Oliver said. “We might’ve crossed paths a time or two.”
     “Don’t keep me guessing.”
     “Would you gentlemen like some coffee?” a woman’s voice asked from the other side of the store. Jeremiah turned to see a beautiful woman standing at the door to what must have been a back room, perhaps even living quarters.
     “That would be very nice,” he said putting on his most mannerly voice. He needed to figure out what the hell this deal was.
     A few moments later, they were all seated at the table with coffee. “This is my wife, Mr. Taggert,” Del said. “I already told Connie who you were.”
     “How do you do, Mrs. Sicilla.”
     “Please, Connie.”
     He smiled. She was not only beautiful but had the way about her that ladies had. He always appreciated a beautiful lady. “So why did you invite Mr. Oliver to join us?” he asked then turning back to Sicilla.
     “This here is Sam Ryker’s mother.”
     Jeremiah managed to avoid a double take. “I take it you mean figuratively, he said taking another look at the older man. He had a tough look about him, and he had not missed the way he was wearing his gun tied down. Interesting situation.
     “It ain’t figurative, you sidewinder,” Oliver snarled.
     “All right, gentlemen, may we start over?” Connie put out her hands for peace. “I think we are facing a mutual problem. I would like it if you would give Mr. Taggert an opportunity to speak his piece.” She gave Oliver that look which caused him to subside, but his eyes remained cold as he watched Jeremiah.
     Jeremiah considered what he should say. Only the truth would do. “I made a mistake. A big one. I accepted a deal from someone who came to my ranch out of Vernal. He wanted Sam Ryker dead.” At the angry grunt from Oliver, he put out his hands, palms up. “I said it was a mistake. Ryker had been a gunman and outlaw. I thought he still was.” A minor lie. He actually had had no idea what the man had been today. He hadn’t cared.
     “Save the smooth talk,” Oliver said. “We know about the agreement. Why are you here now? To finish it? And where the hell is your other son?”
     This was a sharp old-timer, maybe as sharp as he was. Jeremiah smiled, admiringly, even though he realized this was still a delicate situation. “That is where my problem begins. Asa, along with two of my men, went north to kill Ryker.”

 image from CanStock

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

nature is beautiful but also has its risks

 The places where I set Where Dreams Go are all those where I've been and spent time. Even today some of these places have dangers especially when crossing rock slides.


    When they reached the slide, he studied it tensely, trying to decide if there'd been more rock fall since they'd come across two days earlier. From all he could remember, there was no good way around this point. If it was a big storm coming, the situation wouldn't get better.
    "Look at the loose rock," he said, pointing out the bad spots. "When we go across, take it easy on your horse. In fact..." He dismounted. "You ride Joe across."
    "But why?"
    "I trust him more than your mare."
    "Quit butting me, Martha," he snapped, reaching up and lifting her from her mare. "Trust me."
    She shook her head angrily. "I don't have much choice."
    "You're right about that." He helped her up into Joe's saddle. "Let Joe pick the footing."
    "Aren't you going to lead?"
    He shook his head, not wanting to explain that the first animal across would be safest. If more rock was going to be dislodged by their passage, he didn't want her behind him.
    Mounted on Martha's mare, he was glad he'd made the change, as the horse seemed determined to trip her way across the rock. They were two-thirds of the way across when he saw the mountain start to move above him.
    "Ride," he yelled at Martha, slapping Joe on the rump. There was no point in taking their time now. The faster they got across the better. Joe moved with all the agility for which Adam had purchased him, carrying her onto solid ground.
    When the ground slid out from under his own horse, Adam jumped, trying to free the horse and himself to make it to the safety. Hitting hard, he felt something give painfully in his left shoulder as he began sliding with the rock, tumbling down the hill. Somewhere in the distance, he heard Martha scream, but he could do nothing except reach out, trying to grab onto something solid, something that would stop his downward momentum. Rock, moving faster than he was, bounced off him painfully; until one struck him in the head. A savage jolt of pain was the last he knew.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

all the reasons

Romances are about attraction but also overcoming obstacles. Some of them come from outside the couple. For others, it can be the very nature of their personalities and goals which become the greatest obstacles. How can two different people bind themselves together in a way that will last a lifetime? Here's one of the discussions where the couple, from Where Dreams Go, are wrestling this through:


   "Good morning," he said as he dismounted.
   "What are you doing out riding?" she asked, leaning on the hoe. “Seems to me you promised to take it easy for a few days.”
   "It’s been a few days. A few days too many," he said, taking the hoe from her and kissing her soundly on the lips. "And this is day one in the new plan," he told her as he walked her back to the cabin.
   "New plan?"
   "I’ve thought this through. You had a lot of reasons why we shouldn’t be together.”
   “Well, obviously I’ve thought better of that as we are together,” she reminded him, putting her arms around his waist and pulling him to a stop.
   “Yes, but you haven’t set a date to marry me. Today we start on one of those questions that you say are going to stand between us. We work our way through those things and," he kissed her nose, "in a week or less, we can start making wedding plans."
   She shook her head. "I can't believe you. Things can't be worked out that fast.”
   “Sure they can. We take them one a day. Are there more than seven doubts?"
    “I never counted them up, but I don’t see how we can really dispose of these kind of things in any set number of days."
   “Don’t you believe your god created this earth in six days?” He started her walking again.
   “The Bible says so.”
   “You think your obstacles are bigger than creating an earth.”
   She giggled. “Well, maybe not, but you are definitely not a god.”
   “I’ll give you that. How about though you give my plan a chance, and if it fails, we move onto plan two.”
   "There’s a second plan?" she asked as he pushed her up the steps.
   "Yeah, but you don't get to find out what it is unless the first one fails--which it won’t."
   "You are pretty confident,” she said with amusement. “All right, how do we begin?"
   "I’ll finish hoeing your garden while you pack us a picnic lunch; then we go for a ride into the hills."
   "You shouldn’t be riding far."
   "I won't. We'll just head up the river a ways, find a big pool and picnic there."
   "What happens then?" she asked, with a smile.
   "I ply you with all the reasons we should get married right away, and you argue with me about everything that stands between us. Then... Well, I guess you'll have to wait to see what happens then."
   "It sounds risky."
   "It will be. I promise,” he said, heading back to finish that hoeing.
   “Don’t cut off any of my herbs,” she warned.
   He grinned. “Not a chance. Uh what does that one look like that you put in that herbal tea you fed me last week?”
   “Adam!” she remonstrated.
   “Just joking.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

bromances in Where Dreams Go

Romances are about relationships-- bottom-line. But that does not just mean between a man and a woman. Also important in these books are friend and familial connections. This excerpt reveals two pivotal relationships-- Adam with an older friend and the one approaching, whose needs will play havoc with Adam's relationship with the love of his life.

 Where Dreams Go, which follows Round the Bend, is available for pre-release orders and will be available June 21 at $2.99 (price lasts until August 1 when it goes to its regular price $3.99).


    Adam sat glumly on St. Louis' porch, staring out across the valley, his thoughts not printable.
    "Ya thinkin' of headin' out?" St. Louis asked as he came to sit beside him.
    "What makes you say that? You want me to go?"
    St. Louis smiled. "It ain't that. You’re welcome to stay as long as ya want. In the last week, you chopped up more firewood for me than was good for you. I got nigh unto two winter's supply now."
    "I needed the exercise."
    "It hurtin’ ya?"
    Adam rotated his shoulder. “Not to speak of."
    "You want to talk about it?"
    “It’s fine.”
    “Didn’t mean yore arm. I meant what was driving ya to split all that wood with a banged up shoulder.”
    "There's nothing to talk about," Adam said, getting up and pacing restlessly the length of the porch.
    "You never been a liar, Adam. Leastwise not a good one."
    "Look, I--" Adam stopped as he saw a rider heading toward them. "You expecting company?" he asked St. Louis as he watched the figure grow larger.
    "Nope, but I never expect company. It just finds me."
     As the rider grew closer, Adam smiled, humorlessly. "I think this is my company."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

excerpt from Where Dreams Go

 Mt Hood from East Side of Cascades

Where Dreams Go is my first book that we're making available as a pre-order. What pre-orders enable is a reader who knows they will want a book to click on the pre-order button. It will then arrive at your device on the promised date. In this case, that will be June 21st. That is when you are charged for it. What it does for the writer is let them know the book will be out the exact date they want-- something that is iffy when it is submitted without this feature. 

As we did with Round the Bend, the eBook for Where Dreams Go will have an opening price of $2.99 which will last until August 1st, when it goes to its regular price of $3.99. 

Book 2 in the Oregon historicals follows the family from Round the Bend into a new love story as well as more of what it was like when the pioneers reached their destination. These settlers not only had to build a new community, work out the politics of what that would be, but also adapt to the people who were already there.


    Late morning found them higher in the mountains and crossing the divide that separated the two river basins. "Pretty, isn't it?" he commented, pointing to the north. Looming seemingly almost above them was Mount Hood. Even in late summer, its slopes were covered with white, although patches of rock were visible.
    "It’s as though we're under its wing," she said staring at it.
    "Almost. The Clackamas drains off the slopes of Hood. The Indians have a legend about the mountain."
    She smiled. "And you know it, of course."
    "So happens I do."
    "I guessed you would."
    “Woulda made me look bad to bring it up if I hadn’t wouldn’t it?” 
    Her laughter joined his. “So?”
    "Saghalie, the chief of the gods, had two sons, Wyeast and Klickitat. These two sons visited the Columbia River and saw it was beautiful. A good place to make their homes, but like a lot of gods and humans, they decided it should be divided up, but couldn’t figure out a fair way. That led to a fight.    
    "Saghalie, disgusted with their squabbling, put a stop to it. He said, ‘You two idiots can’t work this out; so I will.’ He shot an arrow far to the west and another to the east, then said, 'Each of you go in a different direction, find your arrow, and settle where it is.'
    "Wyeast went west where he found his arrow in the Willamette Valley and was the forefather of the Multnomah tribe. Klickitat went east and found his arrow in Yakima country and became the father of the Klickitats. Since these sons still couldn't agree and bickered over everything, Saghalie, who wanted a little peace, raised up the Cascade Mountains between them; and so they could still visit each other, he put an arched stone bridge across the Columbia."
    "Having had children, I can understand that solution," she quipped.
    "Do you want to hear the rest of this or not?”
    "Ooops, sorry."