We have our six-guns out and firin’ in the air ‘round the campfire today! Ms. Kaki Warner is sittin’ down with a mug of Cookie’s coffee and two of her heroes from the Runaway Bride series, Declan Brodie and Angus Wallace, Lord Ashby! Yessiree, a real live dyed in the wool Scottish aristocrat! Don’t know whether to curtsey or faint dead away, ‘cause these men are all man and as temptin’ as honey to a bear cub!

The good times they don’t stop there folks!! Kaki is givin’ away a copy of her newest release in this series, BRIDE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY!!  All ya have to do is leave a comment and I’ll toss yer name in Cookie’s Stetson. I’ll pull the winning name out (with caution cause who knows what else is in that Stetson) with the first ray of sunlight tomorrow morning.

Doggone Cookie has his disclaimer, can’t keep the old coot quiet. Due to postage costs the giveaway is only available for residents of the U.S. and Canada.

Now that Cookie’s had his say let’s get to what y’all are here for!!

Honest, hard-working widower, age thirty-three, seeks sturdy English-speaking
woman to help with mountain ranch and four children.  Drinkers, whores, and
gamblers need not apply.  Not very romantic, but after one disastrous
marriage, widowed Edwina Ladoux isn’t looking for romance.  What she wants is
safety for herself and her half-sister, and a way out of the war torn South, even if she has to offer herself up as a mail order bride to a stranger a thousand miles away in the Colorado Rockies.  But she hadn’t reckoned on Declan Brodie.

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS:  HEARTBREAK CREEK is the first in a series where we meet four women, Edwina, Maddie, Lucinda and Pru; all very different, but all trying to escape troubled pasts and looking for hope and a future in the West.

The first book in the series is Edwina Ladoux and Declan Brodie’s story. Some of the greatest stories are those where people from completely different worlds who should never be in the same room end up married and much to their mutual astonishment attracted to each other and eventually in love.  And what worlds could be more different than a sassy Southern belle with no domestic skills or ability to tend children with one disastrous marriage to her name, marrying a stoic Colorado rancher who needs a wife to tend his home and care for his children and who also suffered from a disastrous end to his marriage?

Edwina is a fun heroine. She’s completely out of her element, but determined to do her best and find her place among Declan and his four children, and in Heartbreak Creek. Her loyalty to her sister Pru and her new family is endearing.  Though initially a bit overwhelmed by her new husband and challenged by his children, she plucks up and shows Declan and herself just how much she belongs in his world and life. And when an unexpected obstacle arrives threatening her new life, Edwina learns just how much fight she has in her to hold on to the love she’s found with Declan and the Brodie children.

I have to say, I love Kaki’s heroes. They’re real men. They’re tough, and they grunt, give monosyllabic answers, and they don’t wax eloquent, they show they care and protect their own and Declan is a man’s man. But what makes Declan such a believable hero and a lovable hero is the tenderness he shows, and the vulnerability he lets Ed (as he calls Edwina, which is just too cute) see once he realizes he can trust her with it.

HEARTBREAK CREEK is the perfect place for the two worlds of Edwina and Declan to collide and find the healing and acceptance needed to build a new life and mend their hearts.

After only three letters and one visit during her six-year marriage to a
Scottish Cavalry Officer, Maddie Wallace decides to build a life without him.
Accepting an assignment from a London periodical to photograph the West from
a female perspective, she sails from England, determined to build a new life
as an independent woman.

After an injury ends his military career, Angus Wallace returns home to find his wife gone, his family decimated by fever, and himself next in line to an earldom. His
new mission is clear–find his wife and sire heirs. His search
takes him across an ocean and half a continent, but he finally
tracks her to Heartbreak Creek, Colorado. There his biggest
challenge awaits–to convince his headstrong wife to return
home as his viscountess.

KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: In COLORADO DAWN, Kaki takes two different people from the same world and drops them in a new world where they can sort through misunderstandings and past hurts and find a common ground. Maddie and Angus are married, but strangers. They shared passion, but need love. And both desire independence, but are bound to each other.

Maddie was a favorite of the women heading to Colorado. I looked forward to her story, and it exceeded my expectations. She’s easy to love with a soft heart, spirited personality, and unwavering devotion to her new friends. She’s the kind of person you want as a friend whether you’re a Southern belle with insecurities, a woman soured on life and men, an old man scorned by others, or a Scottish Lord and former soldier carrying wounds both external and internal. I liked how Maddie didn’t let Ash (Angus’ nickname) walk all over her, but neither was she so bitter that she became cruel and uncaring. She heard him out concerning his reasons for past actions, and hurts he never intended to cause.  She simply wanted him to accept her, her photography, her life in Colorado, and to be allowed the freedom to choose her own path. It was refreshing to see a heroine act like a real woman finding herself in an awkward and confusing situation, and deciding which road to take.

I absolutely hate to give away spoilers and I hope this isn’t considered one: But a scene where Maddie is showing Ash the ins and outs of photography is one of my favorite scenes in any book.

Angus Wallace, Lord Ashby (Ash), is a different kind of hero in a Western, the tip off to this being his title. But like so many that came West, he fits in with all the misfits. He blusters and pontificates a good bit, but Ash stole my heart the minute he arrived in Heartbreak Creek. As a former cavalryman of the highest order and Scottish pier, he expects complete obedience, but doesn’t get it from his wife or her friends.  Like Declan, Ash is strong man needing a woman who could accept what he perceives as his weaknesses. But he’s also a man torn between family loyalty and responsibility and the freedom he desires to go his own way.

It takes thousands of miles and many heartbreaks for these two strong headed, passionate individuals to find what they want, need and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get it.

This series rates high on the “keep forever” shelf.

I really enjoyed how these books had secondary characters that almost served as the conscience to the heroes and heroines. Their methods are sometimes subtle and sometimes akin to bringing a cast iron skillet down on a few heads, but their presence keeps the hero and heroine on their toes and evaluating their prejudices and preconceived notions.

All of the supporting characters (including animals) in these stories are the best. They do their job well, supporting the hero and heroine with humor, encouragement, wisdom, or adding danger and obstacles. And Kaki does a superior job of incorporating many cultures and people who converge at Heartbreak Creek.

Kaki writes with a skill that takes the reader from gritty and raw to laughing out loud like an idiot, usually with dry humor or even a bit of slapstick fun, and then sighing with a lump in the throat at a moment of tenderness between the hero and heroine, or even between sisters and friends.

She doesn’t waste time with her people beating around the bush with issues best solved over a cup of coffee, but gets everything out in the open and then places real issues and obstacles in their way to a happily ever after.

The bond shared by Edwina, Maddie, Lucinda and Pru keeps the women, and the reader, grounded as only the dearest of friends can. And I look forward to continuing the journey of these women in BRIDE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY (Just released June 5th)!!!

I’ve been anxious to read Lucinda’s story as her past has been the most shrouded in mystery. She can be an abrasive character, but showing glimpses of a heart needing tenderness, and I look forward to learning about her past, and what formed her into the woman she is when she meets Edwina, Pru and Maddie.

Sorry I don’t have insights to share for this story, only to say I just started it and…WHOOEEE!  But Kaki was kind enough to share an excerpt that certainly has me grabbin’ the book from Cookie’s hands and sendin’ him off as Night Watch so I can get some readin’ in.  So if y’all have read the first two in the series, I’m sure your nose is buried in this one, too. If not, what are ya waitin’ for folks, an engraved invite, get all three and get ta readin’ ya won’t be sorry!

And read to the end for a bit of news about upcoming releases by Kaki Warner!

Snatched from unspeakable abuse at the age of twelve and given a new identity as the ward of a Manhattan society widow, Margaret Hamilton thinks the safety and security she craves is at last within her reach.  But as she exchanges wedding vows with a ruthless and charismatic railroad mogul, a shocking revelation sends her fleeing her own wedding…with a valise full of railroad stock certificates.

Now calling herself Lucinda Hathaway, she follows the rails west, desperate to make a new start.  But her pursuers are not far behind—one man who wants vengeance—one who wants to silence her about events long in the past—and a third who only wants the truth.  But the truth is too ugly to share, so Lucinda keeps running…all the way to Heartbreak Creek, Colorado where she finds three other women struggling to start new lives. Deciding she’s finally found the home and family she so desperately needs, she puts her ill-gotten railroad shares to use, determined to make their crusty little town a place they can all call home.

But it’s never that easy, and as her pursuers close in on her, Lucinda finds that her new start comes with a higher price, but a greater reward, than she ever expected.





Chapter 1

March, 1870, New York City


It had been written and talked about for weeks.

A fairy tale romance,” the gossip columns called it. “Doyle Kerrigan, dashing railroad mogul brought to bended knee by Margaret Hamilton, ward of Ida Throckmorton, widow of the late Judge Harold Throckmorton.”

Margaret supposed there was a certain make-believe quality to their whirlwind courtship—the penniless nobody plucked from obscurity and thrust into the world of opulence. Who would have guessed that an Irish orphan from Five Points would someday be mistress of a home as grand as Doyle’s new townhouse in the most fashionable area of New York?

Hopefully, no one. The only way to protect herself was to ensure that no one ever found out about her Irish immigrant roots. Especially her fiancé. It was a betrayal on every level—not just of Doyle Kerrigan, but of her homeland, her parents, and especially little Cathleen Donovan. But she would do it. She would do anything to stay alive. She had already proven that.

Margaret studied her reflection in the cheval mirror in her third-floor bedroom at Mrs. Throckmorton’s Sixty-Ninth Street brownstone.

The lilac silk gown Doyle had chosen brought out the green of her eyes. The diamond and amethyst necklace he had given her shimmered against her skin. More gems glittered in the pins securing her blond upsweep. Everything was the finest. Proof of Doyle’s success. At the engagement ball tonight in his lavish new home, when he introduced his unknown but well-connected fiancé to Manhattan’s elite, he would be proclaiming to the world that he had reached the highest level of society that money could buy. And she would finally be safe.

A triumph for the Irish in both of them.

Then why did she feel such a sense of loss?

Irritated that she had let her happy mood slip away, and having almost forty minutes to spare before Doyle came to pick her up, Margaret moved restlessly about the room, finally coming to a stop at the tall window that overlooked the street three floors below.

The day was fading. Smoke from thousands of coal stoves hung in sluggish layers in the still air, adding bands of deeper gray to the overcast sky. The distant oasis of the still-unfinished Central Park project seemed less green, as if painted with a muddied brush, and even the sheep dotting the Sheep Meadow looked dingy. She scarcely remembered what stars looked like.

“So you’re going through with it,” a querulous voice said from the doorway.

Bracing herself for another argument, Margaret turned with a smile. “Yes, ma’am, I am. And you shouldn’t be climbing those stairs on your own. I was just about to come down to you.”

With the hand not gripping the ivory handle of her cane, Mrs. Throckmorton impatiently waved aside the notion that she would need help. “He’s a ruffian and a thug. Do you know the kind of people who will be there tonight?”

Margaret waited, knowing the question didn’t require an answer.

“Jay Gould, that’s who.  And Jim Fisk, and even that Tweed fellow from Tammany Hall. Crooks, all. The Judge would never have countenanced an association with such disreputable types. My word, they’re Democrats!”

Margaret knew that despite her criticisms, her guardian had only her best interests at heart. But she would never understand Margaret’s driving need for the security this marriage would provide. How could she?

Having been insulated by wealth all of her life, Mrs. Throckmorton had little knowledge of the squalor that prevailed in the Irish tenements of the sixth ward. She could never have imagined the kind of depravity that went on behind the closed doors of the house on Mulberry Bend. Yet when Father O’Rourke had appeared on her doorstep fifteen years ago with a frightened, twelve-year-old Irish orphan, Ida Throckmorton had honored her late husband’s debt and taken her in.

But the benign tyrant of this staid brownstone on Sixty-Ninth Street had her rules, so she did—the foremost being no Irish tolerated.

From that moment on, Cathleen Donovan had ceased to exist. Margaret Hamilton had taken her place—a distant relative of some twice-removed cousin of the late Judge. She had been fed, clothed, and patiently tutored in academics and deportment and elocution until all her rough edges had been buffed away and she was able to pass for one of her guardian’s own class.

It hadn’t been that difficult. Most of Margaret’s Irishness had been beaten out of her by Smythe during the two years she had spent at Mrs. Beale’s. And with her blond hair and rosy cheeks she looked more English than Irish.

But sometimes, in that dark hush just before dawn, when the silence was so heavy it pressed like a weight on Margaret’s chest, the ghost of Cathleen Donovan would come calling, bringing with her a confusing mix of good memories and choking terrors that would send Margaret bolting upright in her bed, gasping and clawing at her throat as if Smythe’s hand was still there.

Don’t know about y’all but I’m at the edge of my seat! Literally folks, I’m about ready to fall off the saddle here!! 

Ms. Warner tells me we’ve not seen the last of old Heartbreak Creek.

KAKI WARNER:  I just signed a contract for 3 more books set in Heartbreak Creek, blending the old characters with a bunch of new ones.  And the current brides books will be released in mass market late this fall/winter.  I can’t show you the covers yet, but they’re all the guys.  Sort of like the Wilkins mass market books.

If that don’t get yer blood pumpin’ well maybe ya  oughta go visit the old sawbones.

And after you’ve read this series…Cause I know you’re gonna read this series, pick up the BLOOD ROSE TRILOGY from Kaki Warner! It’s another must read and keep and read again and again series!!



  1. Wow those sound like some great books – Good pick Cookie 🙂
    I wrote them down and am going to go look for them this weekend!

    • Wonderful, Ash!! You will LOVE this series, I just know it! And not to spend your money for you, but you’d love the Blood Rose Trilogy, as well. Thanks for stopping by the campfire!! 🙂

      –Kirsten Lynn

  2. I LOVE Kaki’s books and you are a very insightful reader, do you write as well? As you pointed out, I love the way Kaki takes time to develop her secondary characters–even animals. It really helps me feel grounded in the scene as if I’m really there and vested in the outcome of these people’s lives. You should have tried to finagle an advanced copy out of Kaki, Kristen. I’m so happy Kaki has signed on to do three more!!!

    • Hi Theresa! Welcome to the campfire! Thank you for your kind comments. I am a writer, as well, trying to break into the publishing game. In the meantime, I just keep cranking out the stories for my own amusement, and because the voices won’t leave me alone. 🙂 Kaki, is definitely one of those extremely talented authors who can bring everything together to put the reader right into the world she created. I’m thrilled she signed on for three more in books in Heartbreak Creek, as well! Your name is in the hat, good luck!

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’ll come back soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Kirsten did get a copy, T.,–it just hasn’t arrived yet. I hope she’ll like it as well. And I’m grateful for the kind words, my friend. You’re always so supportive. Can’t wait to see you later this month at the Crested Butte Conference. It’ll be a blast! Thanks for coming by. See you soon.

  3. I love all her books and can’t wait to read Bride of the High Country!!!! I must say that I love bad boys so Hank might be my fav.

    • I loved Hank, too, Doughty! Thanks for stopping by, and I’ve got your name in the Stetson! Hope to see you back soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Hi Doughty. Hank is one of my favorites, too. I like smart guys who like smart ladies. Like, em…Lucinda and Tait. Hope you like them, too. Thanks for coming by and good luck winning a copy of their story.

  4. Kaki,

    I received this comment on my FB page. Thought I’d send it along.

    Donya Oxley Claxton: Okay for some reason the blog just doesn’t want me to post – so here it goes: Amazon sent me a recommendation for these books yesterday. After reading the describtions, I couldn’t wait. I’ve even recommended them to my sister-in-law as our next reads. Loved the blog and now really can’t wait to start reading them.

    • Thanks for posting Donya’s comment here, Kirsten. And my thanks to Donya for the kind words. (And not to worry, Donya–it’s that math question that gets you. I’ve already missed one–but I’m more about words than numbers, right? At least that’s the excuse I give. As far as math goes, I’m definitely NOT smarter than a fifth grader.) Good luck.

  5. Kaki’s books are fabulous! Throw my name in Cookie’s hat!
    Lookin’ forward to those new books in the series too!

    • Hi Diane! Your sure right about Kaki’s books! Your name is in the hat! Great to have you ’round the campfire! Good luck, and I hope you’ll stop by again!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Hi Patty!! Welcome to the campfire! Grab a mug of coffee and make yourself at home! This series is a must read, and I know you’ll love each story! Dropped your name in the hat! Good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  6. I loved all of the books and am anxious to read Bride….
    I really like your web page and wallpaper!

    • Hi Janet! Welcome, and glad you like the homestead!! This is a great series! Your name is in the Stetson! Good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Kirsten has done a wonderful job with her website, hasn’t she, Janet? Or maybe it’s the guys in tight jeans. Hmmm. Either way, thanks for coming by, and especially thanks for reading my books. Good luck.

  7. wow they a re great books i would love to read and blog on them on the net i love the blurb and then the color of t he book cover are eye catcher the brides book wow she stand out and then the color of t he blue one is stand out great books good luck with them going to the top of t he list

    • Hi Desiree!! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I got your name in the hat! Good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Thanks Desiree. You have a great name–in fact I used it in one of my books (CHASING THE SUN). It was my grandmother’s name, too, although we shortened it to Daisy. I love my covers, too, although I’m always a bit surprised to see how the art department depicts my characters. Thanks for dropping by, and good luck.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Maureen! I was glad to hear the series was continuing, as well! Your name is in the hat! Good luck, and hope to see you back at the campfire soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  8. I appreciate that, Maureen, and I’m delighted that you’re enjoying my books. I know Lucinda was a bit abrasive in the first two, but hopefully after reading her story, you’ll like her better. I know I did. HA! Good luck.

  9. I have read all of the Blood Rose trilogy and Heartbreak Creek. I have loved them all! And even three more books to come out too? That’s awesome!!

    • Mindy, thanks so much for stopping by and giving a shout out to both series! I have your name in the hat! Good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  10. I have been hooked on Kaki’s books every since her first series. I love Kaki’s books she is an awesome writer. I can’t wait to get this next book in the series. Hey Kaki I an stalking you again!!!

    • Hi Quilt Lady, so glad you stopped by! We encourage the stalking of authors here. 🙂 Your name is in the Stetson! Good luck to you!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  11. I would love to have her book. My friend have Kaki warner books and she recommend to me, but until now i still haven’t read it yet. This series look amazing, i want read it!!

  12. All right, I confess: I’ve had several of Kaki’s Warner’s books on my TBR list for quite some time now, and I still haven’t worked my way to them. I even have samples downloaded to my Kindle! After reading your reviews, Kirsten, I believe I’m going to have to move at least this series right up to the top. (Pieces of Sky came highly recommended to me. Now I’ve got a decision to make. I don’t do well with menus. :-\ )

    • Hi Kathleen!! So sorry to add stress to your life, but let me relieve it, either series is outstanding so just click and enjoy!! Thanks so much for coming by!! Cookie will be round to refill your mug! Your name’s in the old Stetson! Good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • LOL Kathleen. I’m a menu hopper too. How about this: start with the first book in either trilogy, then go from there. You may not like them (God forbid). But if you start in the middle, it might be confusing. Or not. Anyway, thanks for coming by and good luck–in whatever you decide.

  13. How fabulous! Thanks for the intro to Kaki’s series–I’ve got a couple on the TBR, and look forward to catching up!

  14. Hi! I love your blog design as well! I discovered Kaki’s books late last year, and not only did she make me fall in love with historical fiction again (ahem, and Brady), but she inspired me to start writing my own. I just hope, Kaki, that with all the emotion that seems to be dripping from this book, there is still plenty of humor. With you, somehow I believe there will be. Can’t wait to meet Tait (can he measure up to Brady?) Glad to meet you, Kirsten!

    • Hi Christina! It’s great meeting you, too! Welcome to the homestead; glad you like it. That’s such a compliment for Kaki that she inspired you to start writing. I’ll be forever grateful to the authors who inspired me to get back to my roots and write Western romance.

      I agree Brady is a tough act to follow! :o) Your name’s in the hat and best of luck with the contest and in your writing!

      –Kirsten Arnold

    • Tell you what, Christina. If you don’t laugh at the condom scene, then I really missed the mark. Let me know. And Kirsten’s right–it’s a huge compliment knowing that I might have inspired you to write. So go do it. And good luck.

  15. Another author I’ll have to add to my list. I should either stop reading your reviews, or quit my job to read full time 🙂

    • I’d quit and read, Alison! :o) Definitely add Kaki’s books to your list! Her stories and characters are fabulous. I know you’d love them! Your name is added to Cookie’s hat, good luck!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  16. I’d go for option 2, Alison. Being retired is fabulous. Although I still don’t have much time to read, and my husband says he’s never been so busy. Sounds like we’re doing it wrong, doesn’t it? Hmmm. At any rate, thanks so much for coming by and good luck adding this book to your TBR pile.

  17. Love history, sequels and period pieces. After reading reviews, this is another author I shall add to my list:)

    • Hi Pamela, Thanks so much for stopping by, and I’m so glad you found the reviews helpful! I think you’ll really enjoy Kaki’s books for sure if you’re a lover of history and sequels!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  18. Hi Pamela,

    Glad you visited and hope you’ll give my books a try. Kirsten did a wonderful job of summing them up, didn’t she? Good luck on winning a copy of BOTHC.

Leave a Reply to Kaki Warner Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

× nine = 9