Boy Howdy, Folks, the boys scoured the territory and they done brought back one of the first authors kind enough to brave the campfire, Cheryl Pierson!  My heart is beatin’ like a horse hooked to a runaway stage at the fine U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner, hero from her book FIRE EYES, taggin’ along with Cheryl today. Why I almost spilt coffee all over when he turned those dark eyes on me!  Good thing Kaed likes his coffee shakin’ not stirred! *looks away wiping drool from chin hopin’ he didn’t see*

But Cheryl didn’t stop there! Just like Santey Claus hisself, she opened her carpetbag and pulled out a special treat sharin’ all about FIRE EYES what inspired the current release and what we can look forward to in the future, and an excerpt of FIRE EYES that’ll put the fire in your eyes!! So keep on readin’ to the end!

AND Cheryl is givin’ away a copy of FIRE EYES to one lucky commenter today! All ya havta do is leave a comment and you can choose between an ebook or paperback! I’ll be drawin’ the name before that darned ol’ rooster crows on the morrow, and announce the winner back at the campfire!

As always Cookie has a doggone disclaimer –Paperback is only available to U.S. residents!  But ebook is available for any commenter, so don’t be shy, leave a comment and jaw a bit with Cheryl, me and Kaed!  *bats eyes at the good Marshal*

Renegades… Lawmen… Love’s healing power… Wounded by sadistic renegades who rule the borderlands, U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner understands he faces certain death. Then Fate and a war party of Choctaw Indians intervene, delivering him instead to an angel with the skill to heal him. Jessica Monroe has already lost a husband and a brother to the outlaws who tortured Marshal Turner. As the rugged lawman lies bleeding on her bed, she faces a difficult decision. Can she afford to gamble with her heart one last time? For when Kaed recovers, he is sworn to join in the battle to wipe out the renegade gang—once, and for all. When vengeance is done, will Kaed keep riding? Or will he return to claim his future with the beautiful woman the Choctaw call Fire Eyes?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:   I read FIRE EYES in January 2011, under its original publisher and cover (which is probably a good thing since I’m not sure I would have made it past this hot cover, I mean I’ve been sitting here staring for the past half hour).  But seriously, I fell in love, with Kaed, with Jessica, with baby Lexi, and the other Marshals, and with Cheryl’s style of writing.  As you’ve probably noticed I like gritty Western romances. That’s how I write Westerns and how I like reading Westerns, and Cheryl provides just enough grit to make it real mixed with enough sweet and tender to capture your heart.

I had been writing for only months and finished a couple romantic suspense manuscripts, and though I loved them, there was something missing. Three authors and three stories inspired me and showed me where my heart was these were Stacey Kayne’s, MOUNTAIN WILD; Ellen O’Connell’s, EYES OF SILVER, EYES OF GOLD and Cheryl Pierson’s, FIRE EYES. I decided then and there that’s where my voice was, where my roots were…the West. And I wanted to bring the same raw emotion stirred in me when reading FIRE EYES, and write characters like Kaed and Jessica with whom readers have a real gut attachment.

So, I’m not going to give any further information about the story than the blurb and what Cheryl provided, because anymore would just be giving away the story, and not giving it justice…plus after you read the excerpt Cheryl provided no other words will be needed. There will be fire across your keyboard, you’ll be typing so fast to snatch up a copy.

But Kaed and Jessica will be in your hearts just as soon as you meet them on the page. Their connection is so intense and just what each needs it’s hard to believe they meet for the first time under such horrible conditions and haven’t known each other all their lives.  And even as Jessica is healing Kaed they are healing each other.  Neither expects life to be easy, why should it start being easy now, but they trust they can face what the world hurls their way together.

Jessica’s spirit is what captures your attention, just like it captures Kaed and even the notice of the Choctaw Chief. Not just that she’s strong and feisty, but her spirit for healing and providing a balm just by being present.  Her calming presence provides solace in a story with evil and darkness threatening any peace.  There’s something very comforting when Jessica is around, and believe me Kaed is a man who needs solace and peace as relief from his inner and outer wounds. Cheryl provided a heroine who’s real in her sorrow and strength, but just as real in her unearthly talent to heal Kaed’s broken heart, as well as his broken bones.

Kaed…let me pause to catch my breath.  Kaed is strong, sure, hardheaded and not a man to find yourself on his bad side, or at the working end of his revolver.  He’s also sweet, tender, funny, and hotter than a fire in July.  I love a hero who uses their strength and character to build up others encouraging them to find their own strength and honor and that’s what Kaed does so well, not just with Jessica, but with the other Marshals.  He’s a hero who deserves the respect he receives without us having to be told we should respect him. From page one; you just admire Kaed…a natural hero.

I’m thrilled Cheryl  re-released FIRE EYES giving us the expanded version and the opportunity to see the whole story things that I read that brought me even closer to Kaed and Jessica and revealed more about what motivates them and made them into the people they are when Kaed is dropped, literally, at her door.  And scenes that if I would have known they existed the first time, I would have demanded their inclusion.  So, even if you’ve read the first version, I highly, highly, highly recommend you pick up this version


Fire Eyes is always going to be the “book of my heart”—most special to me for several reasons.  By the end of my writing career, it may not be said that it’s my best work, but it will always remain the most memorable, because it was my first one.

I know e-books are the wave of the future, but I’m old fashioned.  I love to hold a real book in my hands and read from paper.  And when that first box of print books arrived at my doorstep, I was elated.  I can’t tell you how long I sat and fondled the books as I took them out of the box.  BEAUTIFUL! My husband wondered if I was going to “rub the paint off” the covers. But there is nothing to compare with receiving your first box of YOUR OWN BOOK and opening it up—the smell, the feel , the excitement of finally bringing your story to life for others to enjoy.

Writing Fire Eyes happened by accident.  I had written a much longer “saga” type novel, Brandon’s Gold, and had queried for it.  I received several letters of interest back from agents, finally settling on one that I thought would be a good fit for me and for my book.  His first question to me was, “Do you have anything shorter?”  Through other responses received from my queries, I knew that Brandon’s Gold was far too long for a first novel; far too long to be commercially viable, so I wasn’t surprised.

I had already started working on another novel after finishing Brandon’s Gold.  But halfway through that second novel, the idea for Fire Eyes occurred to me.  I set my WIP aside and started writing Fire Eyes instead.

The story of Marshal Kaed Turner and Jessica Monroe unfolded quickly, but as I wrote it, I couldn’t keep from developing subplots that I feared would eventually make it too long, as well.  Finally, I gave myself permission to just write the story and get it polished enough to send it out.

Eventually, Fire Eyes was contracted through The Wild Rose Press.  I had a wonderful editor there, Helen Andrew, who literally made my dream come true.  We worked on that manuscript and cut and edited until I sometimes wanted to cry. She really explained in detail why certain things couldn’t stand and had to go or be changed.  But the end result was wonderful, and it couldn’t have happened without her. A lot of very hard work had gone into that story, not just from my perspective, but also from many other people who were involved in one way or another.

Fire Eyes was a 2010 Epic Award Finalist, and received many wonderful reviews, including a 4 star review from Romantic Times Magazine.  It also received the “Reviewers Top Pick” award from PNR reviewer Karen M. Nutt.

Three years later, in April of this year, I asked for my rights back to Fire Eyes. I loved that story, but I wanted to put it out the way I had written it in the beginning. It was a great story, even with the edits, to be brought out in the TWRP romance line. But part of what ‘had to go’ for the TWRP guidelines was important to the story, in my mind. There were company guidelines to be followed when Helen and I had worked so hard three years ago to make it ‘fit’, and neither of us could change that. So we’d worked together to find a way to take out the parts that made it more “western” than “romance” and still came out with a fine story.

But I wanted to put it back together again, like I’d intended. I submitted the story to another small publisher who has an imprint for westerns and western romances, WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER.  I was able to re-edit the book and add in much of what I’d had to take out or rewrite in the first version. It was released again, May 15, just three years shy of my first release date, with a brand new Jimmy Thomas cowboy cover and lots of renewed interest.

The e-book version is available now at Amazon, Lulu, Monkeybars, Barnes and Noble, Sony and Apple, as well as many other e-book retailers.

Here are the links for Smashwords and Amazon:



The print version is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among other retailers.  I’m very happy about breathing new life into this wonderful story. I’ve ordered my print copies, and I’m sure I’ll sit on the floor and ‘rub the paint off’ again when they arrive. And I’ll be grateful that I’ve had two chances to get my story out there—another thrill, a second time around!

Future plans for Fire Eyes? Evidently, many of my secondary characters in that story have piqued interest and requests for those characters to have their own stories.  One of the younger deputy  marshals, Travis Morgan, intrigued me so much I felt the same way! He needs his own story…and he’s going to get it. In Fire Eyes, Travis has been mentored by Kaed Turner, the main character of the story. He’s learned a lot during the time he’s been riding with Kaed, but he’s still relatively young and pretty arrogant.

The more I thought about Travis, the more I wondered about where he’d come from and why he’d decided to become a U.S. Federal Deputy Marshal in the first place—it was a thankless job; dangerous, and not well-paying. Why would he do it? And what would ever make him give it up, once it became the way of life he was familiar with?

A WOMAN, OF COURSE! And one that he never suspects will steal his heart. That’s what will be coming up in the sequel to Fire Eyes. I’ve also written another book, Gabriel’s Law, that I’m still looking for a publisher for, that has Travis as a character as a young boy, so we can see where he came from and gain a bit of insight into his character and the man he becomes later on.

I will keep you posted on the follow up book to Fire Eyes as well as Gabriel’s Law.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today to read. Please don’t forget to comment! I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Fire Eyes:


THE SET UP:  Marshal Kaed Turner has been deposited on widow Jessica Monroe’s front porch by a band of Choctaw Indians with orders from the chieftain:  “Do not let him die.” But can she save him?  He’s been severely beaten by a band of renegades that run the borderlands between Arkansas and Indian Territory. The last man they brought to her doorstep died.  What will become of Marshal Turner?  Can she save him?


The bath could be put off no longer. Kaed lay quietly, watching Jessica’s nervousness.

“Jessi.” When she looked at him, his bones liquefied. She wanted him. All question of how the night would end were answered as their eyes met and held over an achingly sweet moment.

Jessica sank her teeth into her lower lip, her fingers moving to the tiny row of buttons at the front of her day dress. She slowly began to work them open. “Kaed, would you, um, I mean, well, I need to get my bath now.”

“I suppose that means I need to at least turn my head.” His mouth was dry. It was hot in the cabin all of a sudden.

“Uh-huh.” She kept right on unbuttoning the buttons, caught in his gaze. “And close your eyes.”

Yeah, well it wouldn’t matter if he did. He’d still see the picture she burned in his mind as she stood there opening those buttonholes.

Her fingers hesitated at the button just above the rich swell of her breasts. Kaed wet his lips, not turning his head or closing his eyes.

“Kaed?” Her voice was a husky whisper. That made him close his eyes. The sound of his name on her lips had him imagining doing all the things that a man did with a woman. All the things that were soon to come.

God. The heat was unbearable.

“Huh?” He slitted his still-swollen eyes open and saw she had released that button and moved down to the next one. He gritted his teeth.

“Turn…your…head.” A teasing smile played about her mouth, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking, what he was imagining.

Turning away would be a good thing right about now. If he could only persuade his neck to cooperate.

“Yeah. Okay.” He turned his face toward the window. Sort of.

“I’m trusting you.”

Kaed sighed, frustrated. “I know.” It was the one thing she might’ve said that would have kept him true to his word, that part about trusting. He couldn’t betray that. “I’ve gotta move slow. Hurts.”

“Don’t—” The dress whispered to the floor.

“I won’t,” he gritted, the words bitter in his mouth.  

OH MY! I wonder what happens after that bath?

Thanks for having me today!  Please leave a comment.  I love to hear from readers and other writers! For all my books and short stories, go to:

Cheryl’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

 WHOO-EEE!! *wipes sweat from brow*  Don’t know about y’all but I need a long soak in a tub full of ice and more sarsaparilla than the law allows after that excerpt!  “Cookie! Doggonit! Get me a dozen fans and a cool drink!”  

I’ll leave y’all to comment for a chance to win, or to rush on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of FIRE EYES before ya melt dead away! I’ve gotta go find a cold mountain lake to sit in! “Cookie!…


My buttons are about burstin’, folks! It took a bit to get things back in order after Cookie’s big shindig last week, but the boys sure made it up by roundin’ up Ellen O’Connell and her slew of swoon worthy heroes! Why I’m about fixed to have a fit of apoplexy with Cord Bennett, Matt Slade and Gaetan all takin’ up room ‘round the fire! Either these men are hot, or I’m gonna have to switch to a cold drink! Ms. O’Connell sure does know how to pick ‘em to ride the river with.

To add sugar to yer coffee, Ellen is offerin’ up a giveaway of one ebook (either Kindle, ePub, or pdf format) of each of her releases!! Slap me and call me Aunt Mable that means three of y’all will be sashaying off with one of these fine heroes, though just a bit of friendly advice don’t get too close they’re each attached to a woman who knows how to hold onto her man. Just leave a comment and I’ll put yer name in the hat!

Let me introduce y’all, ‘cause these are men with stories ya definitely want to hear! Ellen kindly provided a bit of what inspired her to write, so don’t miss that after the book list! It’s always a treat to hear what drove others to put their stories and heart onto paper.

In 1885 Colorado, Anne Wells, unmarried at 28, is the disgrace of her rigidly proper family. Cord Bennett is the feared black sheep of the Bennett clan. When these two misfits are found alone together, her father’s fury leads to violence, and Cord’s family is quick to blame him. Can Anne and Cord use the freedom of being condemned for sins they didn’t commit to make a life together? Or will their disapproving, interfering families tear them apart?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  So I bought EYES OF SILVER, EYES OF GOLD because Amazon recommended it in July 2010, and then it sat in my Kindle for months as I finished a manuscript of my own.  Then with a few days off my day job for Thanksgiving I was determined to get through some of my TBR pile.  I grabbed a cup of coffee, settled on the couch, and opened the Kindle to EYES, and promptly forgot the coffee, the lumpy couch and everything else but Cord and Anne and their amazing story.  I read EYES straight through only stopping for a few necessities, and at times just to take a break from the strong emotions this story of two people from two different worlds who the world doesn’t understand, yet they completely understand the other stirred.

Cord is stoic and resigned to what he believes is his place in the world, and to the negative attitudes and fear he constantly endures. That is until Anne enters his life. Watching him not only come to the place where he accepts Anne’s love, but accepts that he deserves her love was both heart rendering and heartwarming.  He’s not the romantic hero who quotes sonnets (thank goodness), but his love and respect for Anne shines through every time he turns to her for her opinion or protects her from any threat, or simply kisses the daylights out of her.

Anne is a heroine I really compare all other heroines (including my own) to since reading EYES.  She is smart and strong, but she listens to Cord and accepts he knows more about some situations than she does.  She doesn’t cower under his sometimes harsh personality, but works beside him, learns and grows under the pride and respect he shows her.  And Anne will fight just as hard to protect Cord in her determination to make others see the man she knows.

Their families…well most of the time I just wanted to go down the line and shake, slap or both each member of their family and don’t even get me started on Anne’s father.

But I don’t want you to think this is just one long drama. There are plenty of lighthearted moments just like in any life to keep hope alive in the dark moments.


Sarah Hammond is the overprotected daughter of passionate Massachusetts abolitionists. Matt Slade is the orphaned son of hardscrabble Texas settlers. Sarah knows about every Civil War battle from studying newspaper accounts. Matt fought in the bloodiest of them under Generals Longstreet and Lee. If Matt and Sarah ever crossed paths, it should have been for an unremarkable moment. He would tip his hat. She would nod and pass on by.
Except as survivors of a Comanche attack, Matt and Sarah spend far more than a moment together. They come to know each other, depend on each other, and love each other. The vicious revenge of Sarah’s humiliated, jilted fiancé allows him to say, “I destroyed them.” Did he? Or when Matt and Sarah meet again years later, can they put their lives and their love back together?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  After I finished EYES OF SILVER, EYES OF GOLD, I was determined to read whatever Ellen O’Connell published. I didn’t have to wait too long because in December that year, SING MY NAME was released.  I instantly bought it, and then let it sit in my Kindle. Mainly because after reading EYES I knew I wanted to read this when I’d have recovery time, because the blurb even warned of years of separation. I knew heartache was on the horizon and if I got half as attached to these characters as Cord and Anne…well I didn’t want to have to explain to my boss why I was crying over fictional characters.

While on vacation over Christmas, I opened up the book, met Matt and Sarah, and it’s a good thing my family didn’t have plans for that day because I was knee deep in trouble in Texas, and the tide was rising fast.  Goodness this is such a great story; I don’t even know where to begin. The blurb really tells the story, but it’s the deep emotion and struggles these characters go through that transforms it from a great story you enjoy, into a great story that stays in your heart.

When we first meet Sarah and Matt both are in very different circumstances, and both are looking for a lot better than the circumstances they’re in.  After the Comanche attack and as they struggle to survive they both mature and in the desert find what they’ve been looking for in each other.

I won’t give away the circumstances that lead to their separation, but I will say I absolutely LOVED Sarah’s grit and determination and her steadfastness to the man she loved no matter what others said. She is a heroine worth admiring on so many levels.

And Matt is definitely a hero worthy of Sarah’s steadfast heart.  If you don’t walk away half in love with this hero than you need to check for a pulse.  He’s been through more than any man should before the Comanche’s attack and then things just get worse.  But he is so honorable and there is such a sweetness about him you so want Sarah to hold on tight, and I think that’s why I like her so much because she does.

Like, EYES, SING MY NAME is so well balanced between the laughter and the tears it’s what makes it so real.


After escaping robbers intent on murder, Katherine Grant says, “I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Before long I’ll be dancing on the coals.” The highwaymen were the frying pan; the handsome young Apache who saved her from them was the fire; and the coals? Gaetan.

Rage against the enemies of his people has consumed Gaetan from boyhood. The only use he ever found for any white was to test the sharpness of his knife. Forced by his brother to endure Katherine’s company, Gaetan tries to deny what he sees — the white woman has a man’s temper and a lion’s courage. She has an Apache heart.

In spite of hate, distrust and fear, surviving in the rugged country of southern Arizona and northern Mexico forges a strange bond between Katherine and Gaetan. When the bond turns to love, can they admit it? Can they bear the consequences?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:   Keeping right on track Ellen O’Connell’s most recent release DANCING ON COALS  gives us another great pairing between a hero and heroine who shouldn’t even be in the same region let alone together, but by the end of the story you can’t imagine one without the other.

This story was a bit different in that the hero, Gaetan, doesn’t speak for a good many pages. I mean nothing folks.  Until, like Katherine you don’t know whether to thank him or shoot him.  But, like Katherine, you know exactly what Gaetan is feeling, which is mainly frustration at being stuck with a white woman. And it was a great way of pulling us into Katherine’s point of view, because I found myself going through her emotions of needing Gaetan, and her attraction to him, but at the same time the irritation of being treated like a nuisance and having to blindly follow.

Katherine is an interesting heroine. She’s very capable, in fact extremely capable, but smart enough to know she needs Gaetan to survive, so we don’t have any of those annoying attempted escapes that can occur in stories, only to have a heroine run blindly into a situation endangering everyone. Not to say Katherine doesn’t have troubles, but they’re believable and sympathetic.  She’s also smart enough to learn about those around her, and to accept friendship when it is offered.  And her internal struggles against Gaetan are hilarious as she goes between gratefulness and attraction to really wanting to slap him upside the head with the skillet. Again, Ellen O’Connell, gives us a heroine we can not only root for, but one we wished we actually knew and could sit down and visit with.

It’d take a strong man to capture Katherine’s heart, so it’s a good thing she visits the West so she could meet Gaetan.  Gaetan seems to do everything possible to get rid of the unwanted white woman, even as he does everything possible to keep her safe and with him.  I enjoyed his journey as love became stronger than hate in his heart.  It was also sweet to watch as a man who seemed to take care of everyone else finally found a woman to take care of him.

The bond these two form connects them whether they want to be, or not, and eventually binds their hearts.  I think that’s what made this story special is to watch Gaetan and Katherine’s relationship grow from needing each other to survive a desperate situation, to acknowledging their mutual respect for the other and eventually their love it was truly a realistic and captivating progression.

I have always found the history of the Apache extremely interesting and DANCING ON COALS breathed life into this time period by dropping two characters we can care about into the sad events of this history.

There are some stories you read and love and read again, but in between times you might forget certain scenes or the emotions stirred by the story and characters fade. This is not the case with any of Ellen O’Connell’s books. Just reading or hearing the title slams all those feelings right to the heart and the scenes play before me like I just read “the end.”  Her characters are real to the point I hate calling them characters, but they live and breathe every time I enter their world. Really folks Ellen should have warning labels on these books “May cause spontaneous throat tightening or smiling (as you think of a certain scene) and spontaneous sighing (every time one of the heroes crosses your mid). Symptoms last years after finishing story.”

I love how Ellen takes two people from completely different worlds, who should never end up together, and the world tells them they shouldn’t be together, but they fight together and for each other and prove just how right their love is. Her heroes are rugged and real and her heroines are determined to hold onto them against all odds. And I love that with each story you can walk away feeling good about both the hero and heroine and thrilled that each got their HEA, because doggonit they sure do have to fight for it.  :o)

I asked Ellen what inspired her to write. Please read her answer below.

Ellen O’Connell: As to what inspired me to write my romances:

A writer’s blog I follow has the following quote from Toni Morrison in its banner:

“If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Long before I read that quote, I knew the feeling. I like to read romance. There are many romances on my (now digital) keeper shelf. But the fact is I often found myself wishing for more romances in general and westerns in particular that skipped the domineering, manipulative and sexually expert hero on the great black stallion and featured a strong, quiet guy on a chestnut gelding. Eventually my longing for a book like that evolved to the point I decided to write it. I wanted my story to be realistic, not just as to setting and level of knowledge and attitudes of the time, but as to human emotions and character. I wanted a hero and heroine who got to know each other over time and who developed a strong relationship in spite of, or maybe with the help of, adversity. I wanted to be able to believe those two people suited each other so well they would love each other through children, hard times, good times and when hair turned gray and wrinkles appeared. So I wrote Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold for myself, because I wanted a story like that, and because I could see two misfits like Cord Bennett and Anne Wells Bennett coming to that kind of love.

In April of 2010 when Eyes was released, I didn’t believe there was much of an audience for a western historical romance, much less one reviewers often describe as “gritty.” Readers proved me wrong, and the success of Eyes inspired me to write Sing My Name and Dancing on Coals, stories I hope readers will find quite different from Eyes but equally believable.

This is Kirsten again: I can hardly wait to see what Ellen O’Connell has in her hat for us next!  If she keeps churin’ out stories and people like those in EYES OF SILVER, EYES OF GOLD, SING MY NAME,  and DANCING ON COALS y’all can bet the ranch I’ll be snatchin’ my copy right off the get go!


WHOO-EEE folks!! This is Cookie here, yep the myth the legend at your service! Kirsten’s off for a couple days doin’ some cotton pickin’ history thingamajig and with a bunch of those seafarin’ types, so I’m turnin’ this trail into my own fandango!!

So talk to ol’ Cookie folks! What do y’all like about Western romances?  What’s yer favorite place in the West (Hint: Wyomin’) Just funnin’ with ya!  What is it about us cowboys that really butter yer biscuits?  Just jaw for a bit about the West, old and new, and I’m spendin’ the boss lady’s hard earned coin to giveaway a free e-book (commenter’s choice from any past Roundups) to one of y’all.

Don’t leave ol’ Cookie alone ’round the campfire (’cause honest it’s a bit lonely without the boss lady) Come on in and sit a spell. Let’s talk Colts, Cowboys, Beeves, Spurs, Chaps and yer favorite trails West!




WHOO-EEE!!!  It is another blazen hot day here on the trail and all ‘cause Ms. Linda Broday came ridin’ up to the campfire with two heart seizin’ cowboys, and two stories that are guaranteed to touch the ol’ ticker (and if they don’t well I’d head to the nearest sawbones and make sure alls workin’ proper in that area)! WHEW! The fire just got a whole lot hotter with Duel and Luke takin’ up space!

To sweeten whatever that is in Cookie’s pot, Ms. Broday is givin’ away one ebook (Kindle only) copy of KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAIN and THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING!!!  That means two commenters have a chance at takin’ home a cowboy today! Just leave a comment and before I break a tooth on Cookie’s biscuits tomorrow mornin’ I’ll draw two names.

Be sure to read the inspirations for these stories, as touching as the stories themselves!

A man who’s lost everything that matters…a child no one wants…and a woman with trouble to spare.

Duel McClain sees no reason to keep taking up space on this earth until a poker game changes everything and he leaves the saloon with a baby in his arms, a baby he’d won. He hasn’t a clue what to do with the child. He only knows he’ll protect the little girl with his life if need be. Thinking his life can’t get more complicated, he gets another shock when a woman stumbles into the light of his campfire.

Jessie Foltry is running for her life. She’s hungry and afraid but the man and his child pose little threat. Trusting Duel is the easy part…living without her knight on the Texas plains will be next to impossible.

But is the price too high to become a family?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  Three lost and broken individuals find healing with each other and form a complete family. Warmth spreads through my chest just thinking of this story and the people Linda Broday brought into my home and left in my heart. Duel McClain *Huge Sigh* is truly a knight in buckskin.  A man trying to avoid anything involving his heart can’t stop a heart the size of Texas from rescuing a sweet little girl and a shattered woman. I mean really I don’t know how many times I felt my mouth stretch in a smile at his interactions with his family and little Marley, or just want to cry at his gentle spirit and healing ways with Jessie. But there’s no mistaking this gentle giant leaves a Texas sized boot print on the backside of anyone who threatens his family.

And Jesse, talk about a heroine you can root for even as your heart breaks for her past. And boy does this woman have a lot to overcome from a past so steeped in horror and pain it would take a man like Duel to show her the world isn’t only made of darkness as she brings light to his world, as well. I loved watching her bloom under Duel’s tenderness and both of them find joy in little Marley (who if you just don’t love to death…well you need to get off my trail).  Jessie easily became one of my favorite heroines. For all she’d been through and the abuse she took, she could have easily been bitter and hard, but instead instantly cares and coddles Marley and aches for the love of kindhearted Duel.

A secondary character who snatches your heart will be Duel’s father, and equally goodhearted man who longs for his children to find happiness and peace. There are plenty of lighthearted moments, and the town of Tranquility and the people come to life in vivid color under Ms. Broday’s skilled pen, but I’ll warn you have tissue nearby there are some moments that steal your breath, and cause your eyes to leak.


Another secondary character who I could have loved if Duel hadn’t already stolen my heart was Luke McClain, and it just so happens…


Luke McClain thought the worst of his problems was losing his job as a Texas Ranger. That’s before he runs into a bullet and finds  himself staring into the beautiful eyes of Glory Day. She’s the kind of woman who can make a man forget everything…except finding the way to her heart. Calling on her is the answer to a dream, but leaving her is next to dying.

Glory has had more trouble in her life than most women her age. With her mother ill and her father in prison, she’s all that stands between her sisters and starvation. Then to top everything off she had to go and shoot Luke. Bringing him home and patching him up is the least she can do. She just never expected to find heaven in his arms.

But the real question is…can the meddlesome cowboy be tamed?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: Two people deep in shadows of struggles they’re trying to hide, find in each other the vision that might lead them to their deepest desires. Okay, Luke is not a calming, gentle force like his brother, Duel.  Luke is a teasing, smart-mouthed rogue more likely to stir a fire than douse the flame, and he keeps Glory caught between wanting to kiss him and shoot him. So she does both! But I’ve always loved teasing, smart-mouthed rogues so I of course I love Luke McClain and his Texas sized mouth and ego. Because you always know beneath all that swagger is a man who’s struggling with a big hurt and a heart in need of a strong love and a lesson in true strength.

Glory Day can meet Luke flame for flame, but her fire doesn’t stem from teasing or self-assurance, her drive is contrived of preservation, hers and her family.  Her burdens are about to top out, and then she faces the loss of her eyesight, making all her struggles that much heavier. Glory is a heroine who grabs your heart. Glory is a young woman who is always told how strong and brave she is, and all she wants is someone who will share her load and stand by her side as she fights her battles. Good thing, Luke McClain comes calling.  (Another tissue alert folks the ending caused Cookie to get a “little smoke in his eye’).

As in KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS, the secondary characters in COWBOY CAME CALLING are priceless. I won’t go into each, but you’re sure to love Glory’s sisters; Quiet, loving Hope with a hidden strength to rival Glory’s, and rowdy, sassy Patience who only wants to be like her oldest sister. As Luke noted the sisters reminded me a lot of the sisters in LITTLE WOMEN (their favorite story).


Both of these stories are just brilliant. You will truly become a part of the story, Linda does such a fabulous job of breathing life into every character and place. The family dynamics both the McClains and the Days are so true to life it’s like sitting in their kitchens, parlors and living rooms and participating in all the antics you’d expect with siblings.



When I growing up, our family lived next door to a Latino couple and they had a little girl who played with me sometimes. I learned that she was won in a poker game by the man who posed as her father. He was a horrible drunk and made her life miserable. She always told me she was going to look for her real parents some day. That was the inspiration for Knight on the Texas Plains. I knew I had to write a story that was similar to hers except I wanted to give her a happy ending.

Then when I wrote The Cowboy Who Came Calling I was struggling with deteriorating eyesight because of a disease I have. It seemed no matter what I did we couldn’t stop the progression. It was a very scary time for me. In the book the heroine Glory Day has to face losing her vision. That wasn’t good for someone who was the sole support of her mother and two sisters. I totally related to Glory and was able to immerse myself in her character. Maybe that’s one reason that book is so strong and won the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Make sure to check out other must read stories by Linda Broday. This lady knows how to write about cowboys and the women who love them, so if you’re lookin’ for a yarn for ‘round the campfire just carry one of these in your saddle bags. But make sure ya start with KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS and THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING!



YEE-HAW!  We’ve rounded up another ace high series by author Celia Yeary!! I love me a great family series and Ms. Yeary serves one up Texas style with the Cameron family. You’re sure to be hooked with the first story and the next two won’t let ya down! So come on ‘round the fire and look these over then head on out grab ‘em up!

And don’t forget to read to the end where Celia provides a gander into the future of these families! It’s a fun look into an author’s crystal ball. The people of Texas better hold onto their ten gallon hats with the new generation!

She wasn’t a fit mother… So said the county judge who hired Buck Cameron to retrieve his little daughter. But when Buck finally locates the pretty mother and child, he finds the claim very hard to believe. Now, he faces a dilemma. Should he obey the order? Or should he defy the judge and rescue Marilee and her child from isolation? She’d been banished… Rejected and abandoned by her father, Marilee Weston used the pain of betrayal to survive. Now, she needs a way out of the forest, where she and her daughter had lived for five years. But the towering pines and fear of the unknown imprisoned her. How could she begin a new life for herself and five-year-old daughter? Will the alluring stranger free her, or prove to be even more dangerous?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  TEXAS BLUE is a tender story of a woman who battles her own fears of what she knows can be a heartless world and the man who helps her realize her own strength and just how much fight she has in her. From the very first pages, I admired Marilee. Though extremely young when deserted by her father and left to raise a baby, born from a violent attack, she has pluck. She desires the best for her daughter, Josie, and is determined to see she is raised a happy child, and to look beyond her own fears to see her daughter has what she needs.  And you just can’t find a better hero than Buck Cameron. A man who encourages Marilee to find her strength even though it might cost him her and his heart in the end. Honestly, I got a bit miffed at Marilee ‘cause I’d have snatched Buck up and held on tight, and of course it all works out in the end, but whoo-eee is it ever a ride.



After two years, Jo King’s life as a widow abruptly ends when her husband returns home to Austin. Unable to understand her angry and bitter husband, she accepts a call from the New Mexico Territory to meet her dying birth father whom she knows nothing about. Her plan to escape her husband goes awry when he demands to travel with her.
Dalton King, believing lies his Texas Ranger partner tells him about Jo, seethes with hatred toward his wife. Now he must protect Jo from his partner’s twisted mind, while sorting out the truth. Jo’s bravery and loyalty convince him she’s innocent. But can they regain the love and respect they once shared?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  TEXAS PROMISE was my favorite of the stories. It was the first one I read, and I read it in two nights (only because I had to work).  Then I read it again after reading TEXAS BLUE and it was more fun, but a bit heartbreaking,  to watch the children from TEXAS BLUE grow, and the darling, precocious girl and the boy who asked “if he could keep her” married.  But Dalton isn’t the carefree boy he was.  After being left for dead and struggling back to life and through horrendous pain to make it back to Jo, only to believe she no longer wanted him, he’s turned into a bitter hard man.  Jo, much like her mother Marilee, is a character you instantly like and connect with and cheer on, as a warm, loving woman with an inner strength that has seen her through hard times and heartbreak.  I loved that Jo was still as precocious as the five-year-old who stole Buck’s , and my, heart in TEXAS BLUE. Still a tomboy at heart.

There was just something about Dalton that even at his hardest and meanest I just still loved this character. It was so touching watching these two wonderful people work through all the lies, heartbreak and a dark threat from Jo’s past to find their way back to each other.



At a Governor’s Ball in Austin, Texas, True Lee Cameron meets suave Sam Deleon. Before the night is out, she transforms from the coddled and protected younger sister to a woman in love. Reality crashes down when she accidentally learns her new husband has deceived her. Daring to disobey him, she follows Sam to the oilfields and determines to live wherever he does. Has she made a mistake? Will she give up and return home where she can make her own rules?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  TEXAS TRUE is a fantastic story, sometimes just as gritty as the oilfield, of two people swept away by love and appearances and then have to face the reality of what love really requires when real life intrudes on the dream. Although coddled and protected True Cameron is a young woman I liked from TEXAS PROMISE and continued to admire her in her story.  She comes from a loving family, and wants the same thing for herself. Her determination to follow her husband to the oilfields and push up her sleeves and do what it takes to survive there, to show her husband she could, made her every bit as likable as her sister Jo.  As she takes on more struggles moving to Sam’s ranch, taking on his sister’s children and learning of the secrets that haunt him you really watch True bear up with each new challenge and grow into a strong woman who can stand on her own, even as you hope she and Sam’s love can bear up just as much and bring them to their HEA.  And though at times you’d like to thump Sam upside the head, like Dalton, he’s a hero you hope can get past his inner demons and hold tight to True and their love.

I also found the history in this story extremely fascinating. I didn’t know much of the history of the oilfields in Texas and Celia describes the hard life and hard work on the oilfields so well you can almost smell the black gold and see the shanties, tents, and shacks that made up the “town” where the workers and their families made their homes.


All three stories are balanced between the challenges each faces as they work towards love and the dangers they face from outside forces that threaten to destroy them and tear them apart. The history Celia weaves through made each an enjoyable history lesson, as well, and I felt a connection to Texas and her people.

In each story the characters are so real you’ll just fall in love with them.  The Cameron family ties are portrayed in such a way that although the sisters, Jo and True, don’t share many pages in each of their stories their love and support for the other comes through loud and clear and helps each get through their individual struggles. It is their family bonds and the example of their parents that encourages each woman to accept her worth and not take their worth or love for granted. The secondary characters in each story are vivid and real and help complete the stories without detracting from the man and woman at the heart of each.  Celia Yeary pens such wonderful characters and their stories you just hate to see them end, and for an added treat today Celia provided a look at the future generations of Camerons, Deleones, and Kings, so the stories continue…


Don’t think I’m a little off, but I had so many characters in my Texas books, I made a genealogy chart to keep them straight. I’ve discovered I love to write a series, and it’s much easier to begin a new book when I have ready-made characters in my stories.

Unless I get a serious mental block, I have a list of characters for future novels or novellas:

~*~Lee Cameron King–he appeared in Texas Blue as a small boy who picked his nose and rode imaginary horses around the yard. I’d like to make him an early 20th Century entrepreneur  during the oil boom in Texas–a wildcatter, a risk taker, a rich man with money to make money, a tough businessman who has a big sense of humor. I’d have him run into a real buzz-saw, a serious woman who is investigating oil company monopolies for a New York newspaper.

~*~Jackson Rene Deleon–he was the baby boy in Texas True. I see Jackson grown up and the heir to the great Deleon fortune. At a young age, he becomes the head of an empire consisting of ranching in Texas, gold and silver mines in Colorado, and shipping lines out of Houston. I’d have him meet a titled British lady whom he must convince to marry him and live in South Texas on the ranch–the headquarters for the Texas Star Corporation his father formed.

~*~Lacy Deleon–she was the little niece of Sam Deleon in Texas True, born in the Flats in Austin, a prostitution area where she and her little brother, Antonio, were born and lived. When True Cameron married Sam Deleon, she found the small girl and boy and brought them home, causing a huge problem. But True was determined to raise them as their own children. Lacy, now grown into a proper young lady, discovers her lurid birthplace and challenges the local government to do something. She would meet a brash, young attorney/senator and entice him to help her.

~*~Antonio Deleon–Lacy’s little wild brother in Texas True. He was a hellion as a kid, although lovable and good-hearted. But he didn’t understand the word “no.” I see him grown and sowing too many wild oats and getting in trouble. I’d like him to meet a strong-willed female rancher who challenges him to straighten up and learn to be a man.

~*~Laura Lynn Paxton–Jo King’s half-niece in Texas Promise .  Beauty Laura Lynn has a horrible past she knows little about but sets out to find the burial place of her prostitution mother in New Mexico. In doing so, she hires a strong rough tracker to help her.

~*~Alexander King–son of Dalton and Jo King in Texas Promise. I have high hopes for the darling child. Just look at his name. He has it all–handsome, rich, smart, educated, adored by the entire family…and he takes it all for granted. Until…what? His story will require much thought.


What? Ya say ya’d love to read one of Celia’s stories, but ya just don’t have time for one of those full-length jobbers.  Well prepare to be just as happy as cat with cream, cause Ms. Yeary has solved your problem! She’s published some Dime Store Novels for 99cents each!! Why ya can’t get a cup of Cookie’s coffee for that! And while they’re shorter stories her characters and stories are just as tip of the star as her full-length books!

But really folks I’d give the Cameron series five thumbs up if I had that many thumbs, ya just won’t be sorry layin’ your money down cause this is one series you’re gonna read and read again.




Sometimes on the trail ya find a story that lassoes your heart and pulls tight. Characters ya cheer on and embrace like long lost pards and a message that keeps gnawin’ on ya long after the campfire has turned to embers. SAVING HOPE by Margaret Daley was one of those stories for me, and I was plum thrilled when she agreed to let me pass the tale ‘round the fire.

Since Cookie and me get all riled about crimes against our young folk and I’d like to share the message of SAVING HOPE, we decided we’d give one lucky commenter an ebook copy of SAVING HOPE.  So, leave a comment and tomorrow at first light I’ll pull a name from the hat.

When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt’s daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped.     

Now it’s personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves.


Today’s feature not only includes a fantastic modern day tough, tender, law-dealing,  cowboy, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan, and a brave, intelligent, caring heroine, Kate Winslow, but the message of this book is so dynamic I just had to feature it even though it is contemporary and not historical.  Margaret Daley tackles the crime of human trafficking in a powerful story with characters readers come to care deeply about, and a story that pulls you in completely (even to places you don’t want to go).

I would say this book has two heroines, as once you meet Rose Garland you can’t help but love this teenager who has endured the worst humans can dish out, but still finds the will to fight against those who would drag her back to a life of sexual slavery.  I found myself verbally cheering Rose on and encouraging her to fight, and wanting to fight for her.

Ranger Wyatt Sheridan is what a hero should be. He’s determined to see justice in rescuing victims of these crimes, and punishment meted out for those dealing in humans.  His personal struggles only make him a stronger character especially his relationship with his daughter and keeping his family safe and intact from the horrors he witnesses daily.

Kate Winslow’s driving desires to see the girls in her care overcome their tragic pasts and succeed and prosper…to find hope really inspired me.  Her willingness to get in the trenches and do whatever it takes to save as many girls as she can, and her interaction and how she truly gets to know each girl made her a heroine who makes you take stock of what you would do in her situation and how hard would you fight.

But I don’t want to give the impression this is a dark and dreary story you’ll never recover from. What makes SAVING HOPE such a great read is it’s a story of forgiveness not just of forgiving others but ourselves so we can face the future and live the full life God wants for us. It’s a story of faith. Faith in our family, our friends, and in a faithful Heavenly Father. And it’s a story of hope. Of holding onto hope when it seems most out of reach, and of giving hope to others when they can’t reach it on their own.

SAVING HOPE is one of those books when it ends it leaves you with the memories of a great story, but with a challenge of:  What can I do?

Please read the message from Margaret Daley about why she wrote SAVING HOPE. It’s so important we become educated about this crime against humanity.  And keep your eyes peeled for book two from THE MEN OF THE TEXAS RANGERS series!

*You can read an excerpt here: SAVING HOPE EXCERPT



Why I Wrote Saving Hope: Human Trafficking

It is estimated that 293,000 American youths are at risk of becoming involved in sex trafficking. We aren’t talking about just 16-18 year olds but younger children, too. The average age is 12-13 years old.

The FBI says this problem is growing in the United States with pimps on social media sites to lure more youths. Most of these teens are runaways or throwaway kids, often children that have been abused or kicked out of their families. Some teens are targeted and kidnapped or their parents sell them to a trafficker. Anyway you look at it, these youths are trapped in a horrific situation with little means of getting out. They become victimized, not just girls but boys, too.

1. We need to recognized the problem.

Human trafficking exist in the United States, not just other parts of the world.

2. We need to see these youths as victims.

These are not criminals to be prosecuted and pass laws to protect our children against this situation and predators.

3. We need to train law enforcement to deal with these youths as victims.

We must give law enforcement the tools and resources to identify the children victimized and ways to connect them to a place that will help them.

4. We need places to give these youths a refuge and a second chance.

We need safe havens–places like Children of the Night have (http://www.childrenof the night.com).

Organizations are beginning to see we need to do something. The Salvation Army is heavily involved in educating the public about the problem. There are organizations that are set up to offer help to children involved in child trafficking–ECPAT and Children of the Night. Also many churches are getting involved. If you suspect a child or situation, please report it to the Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (open 24/7) at the toll free number 1-888-373-7888.

The above are the reasons I wrote Saving Hope. I taught high school students for twenty-seven years. I never wanted them to become a victim of a human trafficker. I wanted to do something about the problem, to warn them of what can happen if they aren’t careful, but at the same time give the reader an entertaining story that they will remember after they finish the book. I hope people become involved in Kate, Wyatt and Rose’s stories.


The boys and I are fairly burstin’ at the seams about today’s featured author Peggy L. Henderson and her Yellowstone Romance Series! Why Cookie almost fell in the dutch oven of beans at a series of stories takin’ place in our old stompin’ grounds!

And yippee ki yay, we’re dancin’ a jig cause y’all are winners today! Today and tomorrow (April 18 and April 19 on Amazon) you can upload YELLOWSTONE HEART SONG for FREE!! We’re shootin’ are six guns in the air!! And don’t y’all forget National Park Week, April 21-29!!


Nurse and avid backpacker Aimee Donovan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She encounters a patient who tells her he can send her two hundred years into the past to spend three months in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness at the dawn of the mountain man era.  The only requirement: she cannot tell anyone that she’s from the future.

How did a white woman suddenly appear in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness? Trapper Daniel Osborne’s first instinct is to protect this mysterious and unconventional woman from the harsh realities of his mountains. While he fights his growing attraction to her, he is left frustrated by her lies and secrecy.

Daniel shows Aimee a side of Yellowstone she’s never experienced. She is torn between her feelings for him, and exposing a secret that will destroy everything he holds as truth.  As her three months come to an end, she is faced with a dilemma: return to her own time, or stay with the man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. When the decision is made for her, both their lives will be changed forever.






City boy Chase Russell is on the fast track to self-destruction. A star athlete, he gets into trouble with drugs and alcohol. Fulfilling a community service sentence in Yellowstone National Park is the last thing he wants to do. After a night of drinking in the park, he wakes up to find his new friends gone, and everything around him has changed.

Sarah Osborne grew up in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness. She can hunt and track right alongside the most experienced men. When some Indians drop a near-dead man off on her doorstep, she doesn’t know what to think. He’s convinced he’s from the future, and wants to find a way home.

Chase has no idea how he ended up time traveling to the past. He doesn’t know the first thing about surviving without modern conveniences. Finding your own food means a quick trip to the nearest fast food joint, not hunting and foraging for it. Time and again, his will is tested to stay alive in this untamed land. Is his growing love for a brave woman who shows him what it truly means to be a man strong enough to keep him in the past, or is he still determined to return to the ease and comforts of the future?



A tender, heartfelt love story . . .

A man willing to risk everything, including his life and all he’s worked for, to free the woman he loves from an impossible situation.

Kyle Russell has worked with prominent men, led scouting expeditions through the Yellowstone country, and irritated more than a few Indian braves, but he will never duplicate his father’s legendary accomplishments.  Captured by a group of Crow warriors, his plans of escape are derailed when a lone white woman is brought into camp.

Kate Ellen Devereaux is on the run. Her guardian is dead, and she is lost in the Yellowstone wilderness.  Found by an Indian war party, she is brought into their camp and thrown at the feet of a white captive.  If he has plans of escape, she won’t be left behind.

Kyle’s father may be a legend in the territory, but he never had to deal with an eastern lady full of secrets, a woman who disrupts Kyle’s plans to see the Yellowstone area turned into a national park.  Convincing her that they are destined to be together may be a greater challenge than gaining support for the park movement. Kate can’t afford to show interest in any man, regardless of her growing attraction to her backwoods rescuer. Will her ultimate reason for rejecting him spell doom for their growing love, and the national park idea, or can Kyle find a way to rescue both?


Danica Jensen dreams of a man she knows she can never have. After one brief encounter five years ago, her heart was lost to him forever, and she’s never given up hope of seeing him again. Raised by a bitter father, she’s learned to be strong and resourceful on her own. When a pleasure trip to the newly created Yellowstone National Park turns into a battle for survival, her inner strength is tested like never before.

A woman like Danica doesn’t interest Josh Osborne. He’d be crazy to get involved with a bossy, strong-willed white woman. His mixed heritage has always made people weary of him. He prefers to be on his own, and his role as protector of the national park’s game allows for no attachments.

Danica’s dream of ever winning Josh’s heart shatters after a cruel twist of fate changes her life forever. Suddenly forced together, they must confront their deepest secrets. Josh can’t deny his growing respect and admiration for this brave woman, but will the bond they’ve forged be powerful enough to turn his feelings into love? When an unforeseen danger threatens their lives, Josh must protect more than the wild inhabitants of the park.


KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  This is such a fresh and exciting series.  I only recently discovered Peggy Henderson and her fabulous series, so I have only read YELLOWSTONE HEART SONG, but I am hooked!!  Of course, she had this Wyoming girl at Yellowstone. But really, I found the time period, early 1800s during an era when only a few trappers and adventurers ever laid eyes on this wonderland extremely original. The time travel aspect is wonderful and Aimee’s reaction was realistic in thinking she could handle everything since she had been to the park many times in the 21st Century, only to find early 19th Century Yellowstone is a someplace altogether different.  Daniel is a wonderful hero who learns while he might know about surviving in the wilderness; he’s clueless when it comes to the stubborn woman who dropped into his life. Their journey of learning about each other and how to survive the love they develop is as tough as the land and tender as a love song. I don’t want to say too much because Daniel and Aimee’s story is such a joy to discover on your own.

The amount of information regarding the area is amazing, and you’ll find yourself learning even as you’re entertained.  It’s easy to tell this series is written by an author who loves the area and knows what she’s talking about.

When I first started this story, I thought  “This is a good story, I like this.” Then BAM!! It reeled me in like a bass on a hook.

So move swiftly and don’t spare the horses to take advantage of the freebie offer on Amazon of YELLOWSTONE HEART SONG. And you might-as-well get the rest of the series, cause once you read Daniel and Aimee’s you’ll be dangling from the line with me for more.


Yellowstone Heart Song was born on a lone stretch of Interstate 5, heading home from a trip to Yellowstone National Park in 2009. Driving through the Utah desert every year on a thousand mile (one way) road trip to the park, the mind has a lot of time to wander. Although the published story has some changes in it, the original concept remains the same as it took shape in my mind. I’ve never thought about writing a book of any sort, but I had been reading romance, especially western and early American historical, for many years, so this story came as a complete surprise to me. I didn’t think much of it over the months, but it always stuck with me in the back of my mind.

The following year, on another trip to Wonderland, I took greater notice of all the places in the park that were part of that story in my head. The day after we got home, I sat down to write. It just wouldn’t let me go. I told no one what I was doing. The thought of letting anyone else see what I wrote was laughable. A year later, I had a finished story. Now what? I checked around the internet. I wanted someone to read it, just to let me know what they thought, but never did I have publishing in mind. I found some RWA contests, and entered one. My scores were decent that first time around to my surprise, and I tweaked the story based on each judge’s comments. I entered another contest, and finaled! How shocking was that! My harshest judge said, “find a critique partner.” So I searched the internet again. And I struck gold when Carol Spradling answered my query. She tore through my manuscript with a loaded red pen and fine tooth comb. Months later, she asked me when I would pursue publishing. What?!?! I basically ignored her. She wanted to know what I would write next. Huh??? Okay, I thought. I love Yellowstone, I can’t think of anything else to write, and I loved the interaction with Carol, so why not write a sequel? That’s how Yellowstone Redemption came to be. Carol hated my new hero as much as she loved Daniel in the first book. I told her to trust me, Chase would end up just fine. After I completely surprised her with the ending in that book, I was gung ho to write another. I knew right away I could never duplicate a story like the one in Book 2, and decided to write a hero who was just a nice guy, trying to solve an impossible problem for his leading lady. Yellowstone Awakening was a few chapters from completion before Carol put the brakes on me, and told me I need to get something published. Her experiences with her publisher scared me away from that idea, until my husband suggested I self-publish. So, that’s what I ended up pursuing, and I published Yellowstone Heart Song on January 2nd, 2012. The reader response has been overwhelming, to say the least.

By now, it became obvious that this was turning into a series, and I wrote a couple of characters into Book 3, who would be my main characters for the fourth book, Yellowstone Dawn, which releases today! The series has evolved from one stand alone book, to me taking factual events from Yellowstone’s history, and weaving them into my stories. Yellowstone Redemption contains a scene that was inspired by John Colter’s legendary escape from the Blackfoot Indians. Yellowstone Awakening is a fictional account (with true facts sprinkled in) of the creation of the nation’s first national park, and Yellowstone Dawn deals with some of the problems the park encountered in its infancy. The final book I am writing in the series, Yellowstone Deception, will deal with a more current issue the park has faced.

I’ve enjoyed my journey as a writer so far, and hope to bring the old west, the mountain men, and the Rocky Mountains to life in future books I plan to write.



WHOO-EEE!! We have roped us another ace-high author! Me and the boys are tickled plum to death to feature Stacey Kayne’s Wild Series in this week’s Western Roundup!! I’m havin’ to beat back Cookie with a stick!  Stacey even threw a free ebook, reader’s choice, into the pot for one lucky commenter!!

So let’s get through the ballyhoo first. To enter for the ebook you must leave a comment (about the books, author, cowboys, the west, or any combination) and a good email (in the section to leave your name and e-mail). I’ll stick my hand in my hat (I learned my lesson about usin’ Cookie’s) tomorrow morning at first light and pull out a winner!

Now let’s get to those wild cowboys and the wild women who love ‘em!

No smooth-talking man is going to outwit her!

With the deed to her land and kid brother to protect, Mustanger Skylar Daines shouldn’t have tangled with the likes of Tucker Morgan. His stolen kiss scatters her senses, and quicker than a whirling dust devil, they’re wed!

What had started as a joke is now Tucker’s worst nightmare. He’s keen to fix the marital slip-up–then he tells Skylar the deed she holds belongs to him, and him alone.

Perhaps Skylar shouldn’t be so fast to have their marriage annulled. She’s not about to be swindled out of the one thing she yearns for most–a home.

First they’ll have to beat her father’s murderer to Wyoming. Hearing the killer is after his ranch, Tucker teams up with a woman who has no trouble taking control of his mustangs–or his desire.

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  MUSTANG WILD is fun, intense, sensual, and just plain entertaining. Stacey Kayne takes you right on the trail herding mustangs in the Old West with villains and nature plotting against Skylar and Tucker at every turn and their siblings not doing a whole lot to help out the situation (other than adding humor for the reader and grief to Skylar and Tucker).

Skylar is such a great heroine. She’s tough, determined, honorable and her desire to settle down and provide a home for her and her brother will hit you in the heart. I love how she proves her skill training mustangs to Tucker, and she doesn’t rub it in how good she is, she just does her job and does it better than most. It was tender to watch her shift from tough cowgirl to tender mother figure for her brother and soft woman with Tucker (when she didn’t want to shoot him).

Tucker is so charming it should be illegal, and although his natural instinct is to protect Skylar he respects her skills and comes to admire her for more than just her talent with horses. He’s a bit of the irresponsible brother, but once he sets his mind to making Skylar his hold onto your hats he’s all business and determined to win. Readers will be as helpless as Skylar to resist all that charisma when this devastatingly good looking cowboy turns it on.

The trail to Wyoming in dangerous, but the real danger is these two stubborn people losing their hearts!

A promise from his past threatens what Chance values most…his freedom

Cora Mae Tindale isn’t looking to stir up trouble—she just needs a safe place to hide while she plans out her future. Having escaped the marriage trap set by her conniving mother, she’s arrived in the wilds of Wyoming searching for the stepbrother who promised to always protect her. She hadn’t counted on the boy from her childhood becoming a war-hardened rancher with heart-stopping looks that could tempt a saint.

Plagued by horse thieves and marriage-minded females, the last thing Chance Morgan needs is a woman on his ranch. But Cora Mae is more than just a pretty face—she’s part of his past; a reminder of the guilt and broken promises he’s spent too many years trying to forget. A distracting array of curls and curves, she hardly resembles the mischievous spitfire from his youth, but her eyes hold the shadows of a painful past, and a passion she struggles to conceal. Cora Mae’s indifference entices Chance in a way that blatant flirtation never could. He yearns to discover the truth she hides, but will uncovering her secrets expose his own?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: Chance is a tough, gruff, stubborn cowboy who values his independence above everything, so you know he’s going to fall hard for sweet Cora Mae. He might growl around a bit, but moments with his nephew, Skylar and Cora Mae give us a look at the real man who’s loyal to a fault and sweet when he needs to be.

Cora Mae can’t out ride most men, like Skylar, and she can’t out shoot and out survive most anyone, like Maggie. But she has just the right kind of grit to escape her mother and track her stepbrother to the wilds of Wyoming. And since Chance needs all the sweetness and gentleness he can get Cora Mae is the perfect match for him. But don’t worry, she’s no pushover and has no problem telling him exactly where he can ride his horse when he needs a good slap on the back of the head, too.

MAVERICK WILD keeps the fun and romance going that Tucker and Skylar started in MUSTANG WILD, but adds a new suspense as Chance and Cora Mae face cattle thieves, a manipulative mother/stepmother and a cunning widow. These two have their work cut out for each other as they find their way back to where they belong…with each other.

In the midst of a range war, Garret Daines is dead-set on keeping his ranch from       greedy local cattle barons. An attempt on his life during a winter storm lands him in the healing hands of a mountain recluse. He can hardly believe the youthful beauty he discovers hidden beneath her mountain woman attire or the passion unleashed by her tender touch.

When “Mad Mag” pulls the handsome rancher from the snow she has no idea he’ll be the man to thaw her wounded heart. But Maggie is hiding a mess of secrets in her mountain sanctuary, none of which she’s willing to share. Murderous cattlemen threaten their fragile bond and Maggie has   to face the fears of her past or risk losing her hope for the future. Garret will defend his wild woman at any cost, but can he convince her their love is worth the risk?

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  I know I shouldn’t play favorites in the series, but doggonit it’s my blog! MOUNTAIN WILD melted me like butter.  In fact, I’ll go one better, Garret and Maggie are still two of my favorite characters ever.

When we first meet Garret he’s Skylar’s cocky little brother, but even then he’s a charmer. And whoa doggies, when brother grows up he grows up in all the right ways. He’s strong and steady and so sweet and funny you can’t help but love him. His determination to make his own way and earn the respect of his family keeps you pulling for him. Unlike Tucker and Chance, Garret wants love, marriage, family (and has since MAVERICK WILD) and it made him a stronger hero for desiring those things and fighting to show Maggie how much better they were together.

Maggie just touched my heart from the start, even under all her animal skins and floppy hat. I already liked this character from MAVERICK WILD, but the more you get to know her the more you see how wounded and desperate she is for tenderness and sweetness (things Garret excels at), and how much she would like to be a part of Garret’s world, but fears giving up her freedom and the rejection she might face. It doesn’t take long, for the reader or Garret, to see her mountain shrew act, is just that, a show to protect her heart.

Like MUSTANG WILD and MAVERICK WILD, MOUNTAIN WILD has enough suspense and action to keep you enthralled, but at the end it’s the romantic tension that will keep you turning pages and then cursing yourself for reading it too fast.

Seriously folks, this is a must read series. Tucker, Skylar, Chance, Cora Mae, Garret, and Maggie will capture your heart. With each book you’ll change your mind about who your favorite cowboy is and then change it back again depending on who’s talking. I have rarely read a book where the heroine didn’t at some point annoy me, or I wished the cowboy would ride off into the sunset alone. Well, with the Wild Series I found three women who I cheered for all the way and was ecstatic when they lassoed their man. And Stacey Kayne does a magnificent job of giving each character a very distinct and real voice. Once you meet her people, she could remove all tags and a reader would know without hesitation who is speaking, or acting a certain way.

Stacey Kayne masterfully pulls together people and places so you almost feel like the gang is welcoming into their home and personally sharing their love stories. When you’re done reading you’ll be surprised you haven’t been in Wyoming sitting before a roaring fire and chatting with the Morgans and Daineses. This is a “put high on the keeper shelf” series ‘cause you will want to visit this clan over and over.



If you’re begging for more Stacey Kayne after you’ve read the Wild series, and you will be, here are two more fabulous stories filled with heart stopping cowboys and their brave women worthy of their own feature, but hey I’ve got chores.


YEEEE-HAW!!! Y’all will wanna turn that nag around and head over to the campfire today for sure.  Today, I’m featuring books by Cheryl Pierson and Elizabeth Lane two authors who know their cowboys and what makes a story ace-high.

To make this a regular hog killin’ time, Cheryl Pierson offered to giveaway a copy of all her stories mentioned today!! So Cookie will be hoppin’ tonight pulling FOUR names out of the hat!

Now let’s get all the ballyhoo taken care of before we get to the fun.  Leave a good e-mail address (where required) for a chance to win. **E-copies only of all prizes for foreign winners.** The first name out of the hat wins a copy of TIME PLAINS DRIFTER (autographed print copy or e-book choice for U.S. winner, e-book for foreign winner).  The other three winners will receive an e-book copy of one of Cheryl Pierson’s short stories featured!

Since my trusty nag, wordpress, gave me the slow roll this mornin’ I’m gonna extend the contest and won’t draw the winner ’til first light tomorrow.  So commence to commentin’!

Now let’s get on to the good stuff! (Remember bold print is official blurb my comments trail behind)

Trapped in Indian Territory in 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to 2010. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d’Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers: he is, after all, an Angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni’s life and her soul from the Dark One – but can their love survive?

If you enjoy time travel stories read TIME PLAINS DRIFTER! If you’ve never read a time travel book, or don’t think you want to…READ TIME PLAINS DRIFTER! The time travel is the most realistic explanation for time travel I’ve read and then you add in the paranormal elements tied to Rafe, and really Cheryl Pierson lassoed it all together so beautifully you just have to read it. Rafe d’Angelico is rugged, tortured, and swoon worthy (I actually swooned… more than once) the perfect old West lawman. Jenni, from present day Oklahoma, is gutsy and determined enough to hold her own in 1895 Indian Territory. The only thing I can say against Jenni is she gets Rafe, and here I was reading up on time travel methods. The secondary characters are legendary, and if Rafe and Jenni weren’t such a fantastic hero and heroine the others could steal the show. Heart pounding action scenes and love scenes, good versus evil (and did I mention a swoon worthy hero) make TIME PLAINS DRIFTER a must read!

Time Plains Drifter (Amazon)                  Time Plains Drifter (Nook)

Don’t forget to check out Cheryl’s other fabulous stories available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords! Westerns, Western Romance, and Contemporary you won’t be disappointed in any of this author’s works. I couldn’t choose just one so below are three of my favorites from her short story collection. But JASON’S ANGEL gets a special tip of my hat. This story could have been five hundred pages and I’d still want more. 









San Francisco Lawman Flynn O’Rourke swore he’d bring his sister’s killer to justice.  So when suspect Aaron Cragun is identified, Flynn will do anything, even rent a boat and sail to Cragun’s remote home to find him.  But Flynn doesn’t anticipate the storm that wrecks his boat, the injury that erases his memory…or the beautiful woman who rescues him. 

Sweet Sylvie is loving and kind—and Aaron Cragun’s daughter.  As Flynn’s memory returns, will the lawman keep his vow or allow himself to fall for the one woman forbidden to him? 

THE LAWMAN’S VOW is MAGIC from the setting to the hero and heroine and the secondary characters. Elizabeth Lane brings readers a story to grab a cup of coffee or tea and get swept away. Flynn O’Rourke is kind, generous, but don’t worry he’s still tough enough to take on the bad guys. Oh, and did I mention he smolders (literally I smelled smoke and realized it was my Kindle).  His interactions with Sylvie and her young brother are so tender you’re sure to melt. I was a bit worried when I read the blurb that Sylvie might be a bit flighty or annoying in her innocence, but Elizabeth Lane did a wonderful job of making Sylvie loving and innocent, but also an intelligent young woman whose strength is in her heart and her determination to protect those she loves. You end up rooting for these two to overcome all that stands between them and find their happily ever after.  THE LAWMAN’s VOW is a bit different in that it’s not a shoot ‘em up Western, but this is a story you’re sure to enjoy!

The Lawman’s Vow (Amazon)                The Lawman’s Vow (Nook)

Below are three of my favorites from Elizabeth Lane’s vast selection. You can find Elizabeth’s books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or e-Harlequin. I have to give special mention to CHRISTMAS MOON. I read this story in December and the characters are still with me. Winter, spring, summer, fall,  I would recommend this book anytime. My only warning is once you start reading you won’t stop.








Saddle up readers for the first Wednesday Western Round-Up!  Every Wednesday I’ll be featuring two or three Westerns (current releases or classics) that I’d recommend for any trail! And this week Cookie will be stickin’ his hand back in the hat for a special giveaway, so read to the end to see how to get your name in the hat!

Now, don’t misunderstand I’m not a professional reviewer, but if I had saddles to give away I’d give each of these authors FIVE.  My comments appear after the official book blurb. Enough of my jawin’ here’s the good stuff!


Two men. One woman. A land that demanded courage–or death…                            

He was a man etched by the desert’s howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and ways of staying alive. She was a woman raising a young son on her own on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apache warrior are caught in a drama of love, war, and honor.

I had to start with one from the master of Westerns, Louis L’Amour. And HONDO? Big SIGH! I’d not only say this is one of my favorite Westerns, but one of my favorite Western romances.  The book blurb describes Hondo to a T. He enters the pages carved from the land he travels. A true man of the West. And his dog Sam is just as weather beatin’ and as much a loner as the man he follows. Angie Lowe is a strong woman alone and raising her son in a harsh land after her husband runs-off. She’s a self-sufficient Western woman and isn’t looking for a man to save her, but doggonit it sure is nice when a man tough enough to do the job comes along. :o)  And after the kiss Hondo plants on her as he’s leaving, you bet your boots he crossed her mind long after his horse disappeared into the distance. He did his share of thinking about her, too. Which was really one of the most poignant things about this book is how through everything they cross each others minds (and hearts).

Of course, in true L’Amour fashion there’s plenty of action, fistfights, gunfights and a battle between the U.S. Army and the Apaches.  But for me it was made all the better for the personal stories of survival for both Hondo and Angie and the love story woven throughout.

Oh! And the scenes with Hondo and Angie’s son are priceless!

All right, I’m going to list a few Louis L’Amour books I would recommend.  This isn’t even a grain of sand in the desert that is Louis L’Amour’s collection.  So post your favorite!


HONDO (Buy through Amazon)              HONDO (Buy through Barnes & Noble)



Eleanor Lacey’s husband is as dead as their sexless marriage. While she waits for the law to decide if she’s widowed or divorced, she leaves scandal in Connecticut behind and flees to Texas to begin anew. But she needs money—fast. What better way to earn her grubstake, than by cooking meals for the richest rancher in the state?

Cyrus Burke works hard for every penny he makes and prides himself on knowing where to cut costs. He doesn’t want a wife cluttering up his life. His housekeepers are good enough—round the clock employees tending his sexual appetite, too. Mrs. Lacey applies for the position and looks like a promising candidate. Delicious in fact, as smooth and creamy as a tasty tart.

When Eleanor and Cyrus come together, it’s a recipe for hot love—take one wickedly willful widow and one arrogantly masterful man, add a dash of decadent desire, a pinch of sizzling naughty, and turn up the fire.

Gem is an author who never disappoints, and A PINCH OF NAUGHTY is no exception. Cyrus is a hawt cowboy hero, but he’s also intelligent and earned everything the hard way. His strength of will is what earns the respect of others (or terrifies them).  And when he’s not imposing his will, he’s charming your bloomers off. Eleanor is the perfect Eastern born heroine to light a fire under Cyrus’ boots. She’s every bit as intelligent, stubborn, determined and not afraid of earning her own way. Like Angie, in HONDO, Eleanor doesn’t need a man to save her, but she’s not a fool who won’t accept some help when it comes in the form of a tall drink of water cowboy. :o)  Oh, and just so you know, the love scenes are hotter than Eleanor’s oven!

Don’t forget Gem’s Eclipse Series! They’re all treasures for sure. I have to give a special hoot and holler for PERFECT STRANGERS. A fabulous story from beginning to end with characters you won’t forget.

Others in the Eclipse Heat Series: QUINCY’S WOMAN and FIVE CARD STUD with BREED TRUE and WOLF’S TENDER coming soon.

PINCH OF NAUGHTY (Buy through Ellora’s Cave)    PINCH OF NAUGHTY (Buy through Amazon)   PINCH OF NAUGHTY (Buy through Barnes and Noble)