Tag Archives: western romance

Release Day! – Mistletoe and Moonbeams

Nov 01, 2016

It’s here! The Wild Western Women, Mistletoe Montana box set is here today! It’s available at Amazon and for Kindle Unlimited for the first 90 days, then will be available wherever eBooks are sold. Come to Mistletoe Montana to fall in love with these four connected stories, and to get in the Christmas spirit! And it’s only 99 cents!

wildwesternwomenmistletoemontana_boxset_small

Stories include:

Mistletoe Mistake, by Caroline Clemmons – When he sent for a doctor, he didn’t expect a woman!

Mistletoe Scandal, by Sylvia McDaniel – A city girl, a cowboy, and a dog trapped together in a blizzard discover Christmas wishes can come true.

Mail-Order Merry, by Kirsten Osbourne – He wanted an independent wife, but he wasn’t so sure he wanted her to come with two young children and a nurse!

And, of course, Mistletoe and Moonbeams, by yours truly, Merry Farmer. Here’s a taste of Chapter One to get you started!

 

Mistletoe, Montana – 1890

Randall Sinclair heaved a heavy sigh and climbed out of the crowded stagecoach within seconds of it stopping in Mistletoe, Montana. The other passengers grunted and shifted behind him, as irritated and weary as he was. He should have taken the train, but they’d all stopped running after rumors of snow further down the line.

“Shut the dang door,” one of the stagecoach passengers growled. “It’s cold out there.”

It certainly was that. For miles, days, the only thing the stagecoach passengers had been able to see out the windows was snow and ice. It was a wonder the coach and its team could get through the winter wonderland at all. Randall wasn’t that familiar with Montana, but in the last few weeks while he’d been traveling from town to town, he’d never seen so much snow.

“Here’s your trunk,” the stagecoach driver called down from the top of the coach, unfastening Randall’s huge brush trunk from the rest of the baggage. The driver wore a long, thick, wool coat with a fur-lined hat pulled down over his head and a muffler wound tight around his neck. He grunted as he handed the trunk to Randall. “That thing’s heavy. What have you got in there?”

Randall answered with a wry laugh, setting his trunk on the packed snow of the street. “The weight of the world.”

It was hard to tell through the layers of wool protecting the driver from the cold, but Randall thought he got a strange look for his comment. A second later, the driver shook his head and climbed back into his seat.

“Aren’t you going to stop for a while and take in the sights of Mistletoe?” he asked, confused. They’d at least stopped long enough for the passengers to get out and stretch their legs at every small town before this.

The driver made a low, warning sound, then said, “Nope. Not with the talk of measles in town, and not with those clouds on the horizon looking the way they do.”

Randall raised a hand to shield his eyes from the glare of light on the snow and looked toward the western horizon. He squinted. What he’d thought were mountains now looked more like cold, worrisome clouds. There was a definite bite in the air, and the wind nipped at his exposed cheeks and ears.

The driver snapped the reins over the backs of his horses. With a, “Yee-ah!” the stagecoach lurched and rolled on. Randall figured he’d better move on too, if he knew what was good for himself.

He thrust his gloved hands under his arms and glanced down at his trunk. The words “Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes” were stenciled on the side. They’d been crisp and dark when he’d started out from Chicago two months ago, but they were battered and worn now. A little like him. But no matter how monotonous the traveling had become, no matter how many plaintive telegrams he sent back to his enterprising, demanding father, he couldn’t stop.

Stomping his feet to coax blood back into them and to disperse the ever-present, gnawing frustration in his gut, Randall grabbed his trunk by the handle and hefted it high enough to walk. Not that he knew where he was going. The tiny town of Mistletoe seemed overly quiet, even for all the snow. Several businesses lined the road where the stagecoach had dropped him off, and several houses beyond that. Something that might have been a hotel rested down the way. There was even a church at one end of town. A few wrapped-up people scurried from one building to another, but none of them seemed in a social mood.

“Perfect,” he muttered under his breath. “Just what every traveling salesman wants to see.”

He slogged his way to one side of the street, spirits as low as they’d been in ages. A part of him wanted to just sit down in the snow and give up. This wasn’t the life he’d imagined having, it was the life his father imagined. No, it wasn’t even that. His father imagined him being a successful and powerful business magnate, like him. Randall imagined a simple life with a simple wife and a small business. He didn’t need to be grand, just happy.

At the moment, the only way to happiness was by keeping his father happy, so Randall squared his shoulders, put on a smile of false cheer, and headed for the closest business, a barber’s shop. His frustrated sense of duty was eased by a hair at the sight of a pretty Christmas swag of pine, tied with red ribbon and hanging on the shop’s door.

“Excuse me,” he announced as he walked into the business. A weary-looking man who must have been the barber sat in the barber’s chair, reading a yellowed newspaper. “My name is Randall Sinclair, and I come to you today from the Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes company.”

“Huh?” The barber frowned.

It didn’t bode well, but if there was one thing Randall’s indomitable dad had always told him, it was that only the weak took no for an answer.

“Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes manufactures every sort of brush a savvy businessman like you could want,” he went on, setting his trunk down and preparing to open it to display his wares. “Why, not only do I have shaving brushes and dust-brushes, I have a whole variety of—”

“No!” The barber leapt up out of his chair, shoving the newspaper aside. “No, no, no! I don’t want none of your fancy, overpriced brushes. I buy everything I need from the mercantile, just like any other person in this town. So you just stop right there and git!”

Randall sighed, re-buckling the straps of his trunk. “Oh. Um, all right, sir. Thank you for your time.” So much for not taking no for an answer. But if he was honest with himself, he hated confrontation, and he hated pushing brushes on people who didn’t want or need them. He lifted his trunk and headed back out into the frosty, Montana afternoon. The clouds had drawn closer.

He looked around, searching for any business that might need brushes. Farther down the street was a building that looked like a bathhouse, though it didn’t seem to be doing much business at the moment. He cleared his throat, stood taller, and headed down that way.

“Good day to you, sir,” he announced himself as soon as he walked into the bathhouse to find a stocky man at work scrubbing out a large tub. Perfect. “My name is Randall Sinclair, and I come to you today from the Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes company. We provide a wide range of brushes designed to—”

“No offense, sir, but can’t you see I’m busy?” the man said, turning to Randall with drooping shoulders and tired eyes.

“Well, yes.” Randall hesitated. He could hear his father’s voice in his head, pushing him on…relentlessly. “I think I can help. Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes carries every sort of scrub brush and bath brush that a business like yours could need. If you’d allow me to demonstrate…” He bent to open his trunk.

“If it’s all the same,” the bathhouse owner stopped him with a sigh, “I’d rather not. It’s been a heck of a month here in Mistletoe, and I can’t spare a second to listen to salesmen.”

“It’s…it’s not a long presentation.” At least it wasn’t if Randall did the short version.

The bathhouse owner shook his head. “No can do. I’m up to my elbows in work, what with the measles and all.”

“Measles?” The driver had said something about that.

“Sorry.”

Whether the bathhouse owner meant to be dismissive or not, Randall took the hint. Working hard not to be discouraged, he took up his trunk once more and headed out into the bitterness. The sun was gone entirely. Once more, he searched the town’s main street for any signs of life, any sign of someone who needed a brush. His gaze settled on a newspaper office across the street and down a ways. Figuring he couldn’t do any worse than he had already, he headed over, slipping on snow and ice as he went.

“Good afternoon, sir. My name is Randall Sinclair, and I come to you today from the Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes company,” he said, voice dripping with weariness as he stepped into the small office.

The man at work over the printing press glanced up. “Brushes?”

“Yes.” Smiling had never been so hard. “Mendel’s Marvelous Brushes has every kind of brush you would need to keep your office neat, tidy and in order.” He stopped at the end of his sentence, at a loss for what else to say.

The newspaper man blinked at him. A sympathetic grin pulled at the corners of his mouth. “My friend, you know there’s a measles epidemic raging through town right now, don’t you?”

“I heard something about that, yes.”

“And the weather has been awful.”

Randall glanced over his shoulder out the window. He needed to stay positive, he needed to make the sale. … Or was that his father talking. “It should make for a beautiful Christmas.”

The newspaper man chuckled lightly. “Yes, it should. But it makes for a mighty pitiful market for a traveling salesman in the meantime.” He stepped away from his press and approached Randall. “I’m sorry that I don’t need any brushes. I’m even more sorry that you probably won’t find a single taker in town right now. At least not until the epidemic is over.”

Randall sighed and returned the man’s kindness with as much of his own as he could muster. “Thanks anyhow.” He nodded, then picked up his trunk one more time and headed back out into the cold.

Well, that was it. He was stranded in a frosty town with a measles epidemic, no clue when the next stage would come by, fairly certain the trains wouldn’t stop at all. Not if the ever-increasing clouds were any indication. No one was in the mood to buy brushes. By his father’s standards, he was a complete failure. By his own standards, he was due for a change. He rubbed his gloved hands over his face, warming up his red nose. He needed something else to warm him up, and fast. The only thing he could see that would help with that was the saloon across the way.

“Well, at least I’ll be able to forget my troubles for a while,” he said aloud. And now he was talking to himself.

He picked up his trunk and headed on to the saloon. Something in his life had to change, and soon.

 

Come find out what Randall discovers at the saloon, how he and Miranda weather the blizzard, and celebrate Christmas in Mistletoe Montana. Only 99 cents for four stories from four bestselling authors!

Weekend Excerpt – Tycoon’s Tryst

Aug 13, 2016

Wow! Can you believe that we have less than a week until Tycoon’s Tryst, book 10 in the Culpepper Cowboy series, comes out? (Friday, August 19th!) I had SO much fun writing this story about Sly O’Donnell, Culpepper’s clever businessman who is intent on putting his town on the map, and Rachel Korpanty, someone who has already caused more trouble for Culpepper than even she knows! Here’s a sneak peek….

TycoonsTryst_small

“It’s not much of a walk,” Sly said.

“Too bad,” Rachel mumbled.

She had the feeling he’d heard her when a charming grin broke out on his face. A blush burned hot on her cheeks.

“Nothing in Culpepper is too far from anything else,” he went on.

“You live here?” He didn’t look like he fit in.

“I do.” He laughed as though he knew what she’d been thinking. “I just moved back a few months ago after living elsewhere for a decade. I grew up here.”

“Must be nice,” she said, then clarified, “to be able to move back home after seeing the world.”

“Yeah.” He smiled, drawing her in even more. It would also be nice to have a handsome face and pair of strong arms like that to come home to every night. Yummy.

“I made some money out there in the world,” he went on, “and now I have plans for improvements to the town.”

“Improvements?”

“Bringing in new businesses and the like. That’s what I do,” he added. “I flip towns.”

“Flip towns?” Something about the statement tickled a nerve, and not a particularly good one.

“I consult with town governments and councils and help them see where they can maximize their profits and improve their offerings.”

“Sounds exciting.” And it sounded like he was better at what he did than she could ever hope to be about her own business. Korpanty Enterprises was too close to falling apart for her comfort, and if this bozo who was suing her—suing her!—succeeded in his nefarious plan, she’d be utterly destroyed.

“It’s been interesting,” Sly said. “I’m happy to be able to give back to my community now.”

“That’s nice and noble of you.” She smiled. It was a relief that there were good men in the world. Not like the head of Culpepper Holdings, the jerk who filed the lawsuit. If she ever got her hands on him, she would wrap those hands around his neck.

“You know what else I do that’s noble?” he asked.

“What?” He was bantering with her, and she liked it. A lot.

“I rescue damsels in distress.”

Rachel laughed. She also saw visions of herself being swept out of the top of a tall tower and carried away to a magnificent castle…with a magnificent bed…

“So what do you say?” Sly went on.

“To what?”

He shrugged, suddenly modest. “How about you and I get together later for a rescue supper? The diner where your P.O.S. rental is parked actually serves a mean burger.”

“Sounds wonderful,” she answered, faster than she should have. Having dinner with strangers wasn’t on her agenda. Nothing was on her agenda but reading the riot act to the loser who was on the verge of destroying everything she’d been working for for the last ten years and more. But she supposed she had to eat.

They reached the hotel, and with her suitcase in one hand, Sly still managed to hold the door for him.

“Thank you.” She nodded, giving him a fun, sultry look that she hadn’t even tried to use on anyone since college.

He responded with a flush that said she’d raised his blood-pressure just the way she’d intended to. Man, Sly was hot and noble, and he responded to her flirting just the way she wanted him to. She was a very good girl as far as girls from L.A. with her background went, but she’d definitely consider a little bit of naughtiness with this hunk of man.

“Ah, Mr. O’Donnell. Nice to see you in here today.”

Rachel’s head whipped around at the greeting from the hotel receptionist. Not for her, for Sly. Cracks formed in the edges of her sexy mood.

“Hey, Brian.” Sly nodded to the receptionist. “Do you have a reservation for a Miss Rachel—” He raised his voice at the end of the question.

Rachel swallowed. Mr. O’Donnell. Someone by the last name of O’Donnell was the CEO of Culpepper Holdings. She’d seen the paperwork. “S. O’Donnell.” Her lawyer had mentioned something about that O’Donnell recently having moved back to Culpepper after operating another company, O’Donnell Management, out of San Francisco. Too many dots connected.

She cleared her throat and said in a hoarse voice, “Rachel Korpanty.”

Sly’s grin fell away. His eyes grew wider. The flush on his cheeks burned redder.

“Miss Korpanty, if I could just see your license and the credit card you made your reservation with,” Brian the receptionist said.

Rachel couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. She’d just accepted a dinner invitation from the man who was about to ruin her life.

 

Tycoon’s Tryst will be available on Friday, August 19th at Amazon and for Kindle Unlimited, and will be available at other retailers in three months!

Excerpt Wednesday – Trail of Destiny – First Look

Mar 18, 2015

It’s about time we had a good Excerpt Wednesday, right? It’s been a while. So how about a first look at the next book in the Hot on the Trail series, Trail of Destiny? Come read as young widow, Alice Porter (Emma Sutton’s sister) goes on the adventure of a lifetime while stopped and waiting for Emma and her mother to catch up along the trail….

TrailofDestiny_3D

“How long has it been?” he asked. There was an even chance that his prying would earn him an earful, but maybe that’s what Alice needed to get some of herself back.

She was silent for so long as she worked her way through the basket of laundry that Jarvis didn’t think she would answer.

At last she said, “Harry was killed at Antietam, September of last year.” Her voice shook, but she went on. “It seems like it was a thousand years ago, and it seems like it was last week.”

“Yeah.” He pushed out a breath of relief and brushed his hand back across his hair. “It’s like that when folks die, isn’t it.”

She peeked at him through her pale lashes as she took the last of the shirts from the laundry basket.

“Sometimes I wish that I’d never met him,” she confessed, lowering her eyes. “And sometimes I wish I’d met him much sooner. Either way, we were meant to be together. At least….” She didn’t finish.

Jarvis’s heart thumped in his chest. He shifted his weight, thrusting his hands in his pockets, then walking with her down the line of laundry to the end. When she got there, she finished hanging the last shirt.

“Seems like you and I have a few things in common,” he said.

“Do we?”

He nodded. “It might be nice for the two of us to sit together sometime, talk about things. Strange though it sounds, sometimes it helps to talk about things in order to let them go.”

She lowered her basket and stared at him. He knew what would come next. She would shout at him and accuse him of being callous, and tell him she didn’t want to let her dead husband go.

Instead, she sighed and shook her head, then pushed past him.

“You’re very kind, Jarvis. No one has asked me to talk about Harry, not at all. Not even when we were married.”

“Well that doesn’t sound right.” He followed her toward the fort’s main gate.

“My parents didn’t approved of our marriage, so they didn’t want to hear about it.”

That was a surprise.

“I want to hear about it,” he said.

Alice stopped abruptly inside the gate, spinning to face him. “I appreciate that, but why on earth would any man want to hear a woman go on about another man?”

“Maybe I can help?”

She sighed and squeezed her eyes shut, as though he’d given her a headache. Then she shook her head and put on a smile that felt forced.

“No one has been as kind to me as you’ve been, Jarvis. I’m not used to it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.”

“Flint!”

The sound of his name being called yanked Jarvis’s attention toward the target range. Col. Connor stood with his fists on his hips while his brothers-in-arms lined up in a tight, sniggering row behind him.

“Oh dear,” Alice said, the barest, tiniest hint of humor in her tone.

“Flint, get back over here,” Col. Connor shouted. “You did not receive orders to pester our guests.”

“Yes, sir,” Jarvis called back and turned to go. Before he started off, he said to Alice, “Could we talk sometime? I’d like to.”

“I,” Alice stumbled, flushing as he sidestepped away. “I’m in mourning,” she finished.

“Mourning doesn’t last forever,” Jarvis told her, delaying as long as he could without getting his head chewed off by the colonel. “And after mourning, we could go for a nice, afternoon walk.”

He grinned at his own joke, then left her to think about it as he ran back to target practice. His father could grouse at him all he wanted for what he saw as making a mess of his life, but Jarvis knew that with a little patience, he could make Alice’s life better.

 

Guess what? You can pre-order Trail of Destiny already! It’s on Amazon here or for your Nook reader here or on iBooks here.

Wild Western Women are Coming!

Oct 31, 2014

WWW-Countdown-Tomorrow-600px

Pre-order your copy of Wild Western Women now on Amazon and iBooks!
Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list!

The Wild Western Women Box Set launches tomorrow! To celebrate, I’m bringing you an excerpt from Kristen Osbourne’s Mail Order Misunderstanding, one of the stories in the collection. Enjoy!

When the stage pulled up, he knew immediately the woman coming down was his own sweet Anna. She’d warned him that she was incredibly shy, and she wasn’t certain, once she arrived, if she’d be able to go through with it. He’d decided his plan of action, and every time she seemed to be trying to talk him out of marrying her, he’d just kiss her. It would work beautifully.

WildWesternWomenBoxSet_NewHe caught her eye and walked across the street toward her, so happy to see her in Wiggieville at last. She was a true beauty with her red hair swept atop her head, with a few tendrils falling down out of the knot she had them arranged in. He couldn’t see her eye color from the distance he was at, but he didn’t think he needed to. He knew he’d never seen a woman who was more attractive to him than the one standing beside the stage.

A tall, handsome man stepped walked across the street toward her, his eyes filled with excitement. He was dark with hair that was almost black and the brownest eyes she’d ever seen. When he reached her, he gave her a very familiar look that startled her. “Are you Miss Simmons?” he asked.

She nodded, holding her hand out to shake his. When he took her hand, he gently pulled her toward him, leaning down to press his lips against hers. She was startled and put her hand to her lips as soon as he pulled back. She knew Texas wasn’t as formal as New York, but she’d never expected to be greeted with a kiss, especially not in the middle of the street. What if one of her pupils saw her?

She stepped back, out of his reach, and smiled nervously. “Will you take me to where I’ll be staying please?” She decided not to mention the kiss and give him the dressing down he deserved. He was a school board member after all, and as such he needed to be treated with respect, whether he deserved it or not.

He shrugged. “I’d be happy to. We just need to make one stop first, and then we’ll be able to head out to the ranch.” That stop would, of course, be to the local pastor’s house. He just wasn’t about to admit it and make her more skittish than she already seemed to be.
Julia frowned. The way she’d understood it, she’d be staying close to the schoolhouse, which would be much better for her, but she could walk if she needed to. “All right.” She had no idea what kind of errand he was going to have to run, but she was happy to tag along as long as it didn’t take too long. She was excited to go see the schoolhouse and make sure everything was in order. Teaching had been a lifelong dream, and she was finally almost there.

He took her bags from her and held them in one hand, his hand taking hers and pulling her down the street with the other. He seemed to be a man of few words, but that was all right with Julia. She wasn’t here to become friendly with the man, just to stay with his family during her year of teaching at the local school. If she liked it, maybe she would even sign another contract and come back the following year.

He stopped to put her belongings into an old farm wagon before pulling her along to a house that was just down the street. He went to the door and knocked loudly, smiling down at her, his grin very impish.

“Where exactly are we?” she asked softly. She didn’t want to argue with the man, but something felt wrong about the whole situation. Why was he taking her to someone’s house?

Thomas chuckled and leaned down and kissed her again, without answering her. He couldn’t believe his sweet bride kept asking him where they were. Had she forgotten she’d traveled all the way from Beckham, Massachusetts to marry him?

###

From USA Today Best Selling Author Kirsten Osbourne: Mail Order Misunderstanding

Julia traveled West to be a schoolteacher. Thomas requested a mail order bride. When he arrives at the train station to pick up his bride, Thomas mistakenly thinks Julia is there for him. Julia sees Thomas and thinks he’s there from the school board. She’s married an hour later.

{ Find Kirsten on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. }

Pre-order your copy of Wild Western Women now on Amazon and iBooks!
Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list!

A Pioneer Hearts Exclusive!

Oct 17, 2014

It’s Friday, and usually I post something about writing on Fridays, but today I’m super privileged to be a part of this absolutely wonderful group of writers who are bringing you a deal and a steal!

I’m so happy to announce the first ever Pioneer Hearts 99c Western Romance Event!

pioneerheartssalegraphic1200

This sale includes dozens of books for your Kindle, and a selection for your Nook or iBooks libraries, as well. And you know what else is fun? You can win some pretty snazzy prizes! Yes, that’s right, PRIZES!

Take this opportunity to discover your new favorite author….

imageimage image image image image image ”image”image imageimage image image image image imageimage imageimage image image image image image image imageimage image

Want to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards? Share our sale and follow our authors! You could also win signed books, a beautiful turquoise pendant necklace (voted a favorite by the Pioneer Hearts Readers Group!), and more! See Rafflecopter here and win!

See Nook links here

See iBooks links here