Monday, September 30, 2013


 With the internet we can “visit” anywhere. No need for a trip to the library with pads of paper, a handful of pens, and coins for the copy machine. With my own research books plus the internet, I’m usually set. I still love the library, but for pleasure reading. Writing is my business.

For my current work in progress, I have the hero and heroine travel through Texas. I pulled out my map, Texas Almanac, and went to the online Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas. Fortunately, I’ve driven most of the places on my characters’ journey, but they’re on horseback.

I asked author Paty Jager, who has horses, how far my heroine and hero could ride in a day. It depends on the terrain. Great, so I have to determine the lay of the land as well as what towns were around in 1888. There are a lot of hills on this journey to slow them down until they get to the flatter prairie.

I love writing, and research gets me in the mood even more. Making use of the interesting tidbits I’ve learned fulfills me. Hopefully, they will seem organic and not as if I’m teaching a history lesson.

Federal Marshal Storm Kincaid
My hero is Storm Kincaid from my earlier Kincaid series, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND. He is a favorite character for me and I want his book to be especially deserving of him. His heroine is Renata “Rena” Haussmann Dmitriev, a German immigrant whose elderly husband-in-name-only was killed by the men Storm is chasing. 

In the hope of whetting your appetite for the October 30th release of THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP, here is an excerpt of the opening scene. The year is 1888 and the place is the Texas Hill Country west of Austin.

Rena Haussmann Dmitriev
Rena Dmitriev snapped clusters of wild grapes from the vines in the ravine near her home. She popped one of the plump fruit into her mouth. Tart and sweet combined, and worth enduring the stifling August heat to harvest. She intended to gather enough fruit to make jelly for the coming year.
Hooves thundered near and caused her to pause and listen. Visitors? No one came to call on this isolated place, and why the rush? She rose and grabbed her fruit pail and hurried down the sandy gully toward her home.
A gunshot almost paralyzed her with fear. Chickens squawked then more shots sounded. An anguished moo from her milk cow stopped her. Her animals, who would shoot her animals? She dropped her bucket and ran as fast as her heavy skirts allowed.
Abram cried, “Pfeiffersburg!” 
She halted and her chest hitched. Her legs trembled and she needed to sit down.  No, staying here offered no refuge.
Abram and she had chosen Pfeiffersburg as their warning word. Before their families were killed and he rescued her, they’d lived in separate sections of Pfeiffersburg in Bavaria. If Abram shouted that alert, it meant trouble had arrived too serious for her to help.
Quickly, she must hide. And without making a sound. She crept to the ravine’s crevice her husband had artfully concealed. Edging her way through the narrow tunnel, she reached the secret place he had built. Abram had shaped a dead tree stump so it looked as if it had been cut down from the middle of the plum thicket behind their home.
In reality, he’d hollowed the dead wood and set it firmly with concealed holes that offered a view of the house and yard. The stump stuck above the tunnel three feet, with a small platform beneath the dirt floor where she could stand. At her right, a small shelf held a few provisions.
From that ledge, she grabbed the box containing a spare revolver. Her shaking fingers removed the gun, but couldn’t use it. What she saw forced her to hold back a scream. Four rough men battered her elderly husband. She held her breath until her chest threatened to explode.
To remain quiet, she gulped down breaths. Her entire body shook while her heartbeat raced. She wanted to help Abram as he had helped her years ago, but knew her efforts would be futile and only result in her death. Peering from each cleverly disguised hole, she surveyed the yard.
Already the barn burned. Slaughtered chickens lay strewn around the ground. Blood from the head of her lovely milk cow stained the ground red. The stench of blood mingled with smoke. Why? Why would these men kill a poor cow and chickens? And why torture a helpless old man? 
Rena forced herself to study the villains and memorized each horrid man’s features. So confident were they, they’d made no attempt to cover their faces. With another gasp, she realized that meant they intended to leave no one who might identify them.
Poor Abram barely lived, but still the men tortured him.
The largest man with long black hair hit her husband. “Where’s your woman?”
Abram’s gasping words were barely audible, “Pfeiffersburg! I told you, she vent to help her sister.”
A man with red hair kicked Abram’s ribs. “Why do you keep yelling that word?”
He’d grown so weak, Abram’s gasps barely reached her. “Ve are from Pfeiffersburg. I vish I vere dere now.”
The large man grabbed Abram up by his shirt and shook him. “You tell me where she’s hiding or I’ll skin you alive. Fresh laundry means she’s here somewhere. Tell me now, old man.”
Abram held fast to his claim. “I vash clothes because she iss gone. A man alone must do the chores.”
“Then why are women’s clothes hanging to dry? I think you’re lying old man.”
“Nein, I am alone. My woman is gone.”
The man she believed to be the leader peered around. “There’s a woman here or nearby. I want her.”
Another man limped from the house. “Lookee here what I found.” He held up Abram’s chest holding their savings and all that Abram salvaged from Bavaria. No, not her dowry! Abram intended that for her fresh start when he died. Without it, who would marry her? Without it, how would she live?
In the same man’s other hand, he held jewelry.  She recognized the chain and her mother’s locket dangling from his hand—a hand with two fingers missing. That locket and a few other pieces represented all she had left of her mother.
Terror changed to anger. What right had these men to steal and kill? She and Abram hurt no one, minded their own business, and worked hard. Now these four evil men took everything, including her husband’s life.
The three-fingered man yanked a tablecloth from the clothes line and emptied the chest onto the square. He knotted the corners together then wrapped the knotted section with a rope he tied to his saddle.
Poor Abram had lasted longer than she could have imagined for a man near eighty. Sobs shook her body and she pressed a hand to her mouth to prevent an outcry.  With a final shot, Abram’s suffering ended. She thanked God her poor husband was free from those brutal men’s pain and torture.
The large man she believed to be the leader scanned the area. Did he sense her presence? Would her hiding place really fool him? He mounted his horse.
The four set her house on fire, pulled the clothesline down, and rode away. Once again, she’d lost everything. The quilt she’d pieced last winter. Curtains she’d sewn. Furniture she’d polished only yesterday. 
What should she do? She had to bury her husband, but what if the men returned? Afraid to move, she clasped the revolver and waited in case they came back to search for her.
She sent up prayers for Abram’s soul and her own safety. Was it wrong to pray while she held a gun? She lost track of time, weeping to herself in great, gulping sobs. Always she had tried to please her elderly husband to repay him for rescuing her years ago. What was to become of her now with no dowry and no one to help her?
The sound of a horse approaching frightened her more than she thought possible. She shook uncontrollably. Had the evil men returned?  
 A new man rode a huge blue roan and led a second chestnut animal. He leaped from his mount with grace that still spoke of masculinity. Tall and dressed in black, he wore one of the broad hats these Texans favored. Handsome and not much older than her twenty-one years, he appeared fit and strong.
The man wasted no time. After a glance at Abram, the newcomer pulled his bandana over his lower face and nose. The blaze consumed the barn in loud crashes. The cabin walls and roof still stood, but greedy flames licked at the contents. Smoke billowed from the small building.
She feared this man might also be a thief, but he rushed into the house.
“Anyone here? Call out so I can find you.”
A few seconds later, he emerged coughing and gasping for air. He removed the handkerchief from his face and neck and wiped away sweat and ash. With quick motions, he retrieved a sheet from the ground and spread it near Abram’s body.
As if Abram weighed nothing, the large man laid her husband on the linen. Using the care one saved for a living infant, he tucked Abram into the sheet. Och, surely such a gentle, considerate man could not be bad.

The stranger stood and looked where she hid. “You can come out now.” He opened his jacket to display a badge on his waistcoat. “I’m a Federal Marshall chasing the men who did this. My name is Storm Kincaid.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Goodlookin Man copy


However, in an instant—in less than a breath or the bat of an eyelid—the elusive pepper spray hiding somewhere in her purse was all but forgotten. For standing before her—right there before her, not three feet away—was the best-looking, most gorgeous, handsomest man she had ever seen in all her life!

“No, seriously,” she thought out loud with lingering bewilderment at how perfectly stunning the man standing before her was, wearing a worn pair of Levi’s, dusty cowboy boots, and a short-sleeved, plaid-print, snap-up shirt that hung open, revealing a bronzed, perfectly sculpted torso that was simply a mass of muscles. She was so unsettled by the man’s appearance that she wasn’t sure whether she was whispering aloud to herself or her car.

Either way, the man asked, “Beg your pardon, ma’am?”

“Oh…oh, nothing,” Fairlee said as she began rummaging in her purse again. But the man’s presence and appearance had entirely rattled her. As her awe-inspired brain obviously quit sending out instructions to the rest of her body, Fairlee felt her purse slip from her hands—watched in humiliated dismay as its contents tumbled out and scattered over the shoulder of the road.

A GOOD LOOKIN' MAN by Marcia Lynn McClure


Author Marcia Lynn McClure
Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/9/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Do you have or want an E-reader, or are you a die hard paper fan? Whichever you answer, let me tell you about one of my books available in both print from Amazon and and as a download from Amazon and other online sources. I hope you’ll read and enjoy this romance.

I am currently writing the third of the Kincaid series, THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP and will release it in October. Right now, the Kincaid series consists of THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE (book one) and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND (book two). Today, I want to tell you about the latter.

When I was thinking about the plot and naming characters, I wondered what to call this hero. I saw him clearly in my mind as a bit of a rascal, or thought he was, but changing throughout the book. Talk about character arc! I was sitting in church one Sunday and the minister mentioned that Bartholomew and Nathaniel were the same person, but his name changed to show his life’s change when he became a Christian. Aha! Nathaniel Batholomew would be my hero’s name. But he uses a long string of aliases, one of which is Nate Barton, and that’s how he introduces himself to the heroine, Sarah Kincaid.

Satah Kincaid
Sarah is the younger sister of the heroine in THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE. These are stand-alone books (authors always say that) but you will enjoy them more if you read them in order. Sarah is a shy young woman very conscious of appearances and has gone from Texas to St. Louis to her dying mother. Due to her unfortunate childhood, she always acts with propriety to overcome her origin. She needed a strong character arc too. What could possibly cause this proper young schoolteacher to interact with a man she suspects is up to no good? Nothing short of orphans who must be rescued from an evil man following them could effect the change. One snowy day in Memphis, Tennessee, Sarah finds three cold youngsters, one of whom is seriously ill. She enlists Nate to help her get the youngsters safely to her home. She also hires a lovely Irish woman, Fiona, to act as her companion for the rest of the trip.

Book three is Sarah’s brother Storm. I also plan a novella for Nate’s friend Michael “Monk” and Fiona’s daughter. I love this family and the characters surrounding it, so you can be certain I’ll be publishing more books about the Kincaid family and friends.

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND:

That man in black--he'd introduced himself as Nathaniel Barton--had been at the cemetery. He was always around on the boat, too, and now he was here in their hotel in Memphis. He trailed behind her as if he hadn't a care in the world. Surely it was coincidence. Lots of people traveled from St. Louis to Memphis every day.
The porter stopped in front of a room and opened the door. He stood back for her to enter, but not before she saw Mr. Barton at the next door. He even glanced her way and smiled as he nodded his head in greeting.
My stars, he's staying in the very next room to mine.
What kind of hotel would allow a single man on the same floor as a single woman? She fought down panic as she dealt with the porter, then locked the door behind him and slid the bolt. Alone in her room, her imagination ran its course as she paced. Had she strayed into a den of iniquity?
No, that couldn't be. Mrs. Welborn assured her this was a family hotel suitable for a young woman. After all, the Welborns registered here, too. How did Mr. Barton come to be in the very room next to her? It wasn't proper. What would people think? What would they say?
She caught herself. The Welborns were the only people here she knew, and she hardly cared what they thought other than their reports back to the Vermillions and Aunt Lily. Even they could hardly blame her for the hotel's room assignments.
This Mr. Barton could not mean her harm. There'd been ample opportunity on the paddle wheeler had he intended to hurt her. They'd never had a conversation on a personal level. His comments had centered on the trip and the weather, not a hint of anything improper and always with others nearby. Perhaps his constant presence was a coincidence. Just the same, he made her nervous. She felt like a rabbit waiting for the wolf to pounce whenever Mr. Barton was near.
In the midst of her concern, she admitted his presence offered reassurance to her that she was protected from others. Surely he would rush to her aid if she needed assistance. Her instincts proved right regarding Mr. Welborn. Perhaps she should rely on intuition in this instance. She wished she were more decisive, not a victim of warring emotions.
She raised her skirt and checked the little double-shot derringer given her by her brother, Storm. Best to be prepared. The little gun still rested securely in its garter holster on her thigh. Storm had insisted she practice until she was a fair shot. Would she have the courage to use the weapon against a human? She doubted it, but its weight reassured her.
Sarah spied the door connecting her room with the one in which Mr. Barton resided. Rushing to check the lock, she stopped. She must not let him know she suspected him of following her. Very slowly she turned the knob of the connecting door. Locked. She released a heavy sigh.
Curiosity nudged her. Kneeling, she peered through the keyhole. The opening framed him as he pulled a fresh shirt from an open valise on the bed. Shucking his jacket and waistcoat, he took a pistol from his waistband and placed it on the bed beside the satchel. He unbuttoned his shirt.
She knew she should move away but couldn't. Oh, my stars!  He might dress like a riverboat dandy, but this gorgeous man was no weakling. Trouser fabric pulled taut against trim hip muscles when he turned and bent over the things on the bed.
Her mouth went dry as a Texas dust storm. She watched him turn back to face her. He removed his shirt and tossed it behind him on the bed. Then she saw the bandage across his shoulder and another at his waist. She wondered which side of the law he was on when he got those, but thought she knew. The wrong side, of course.
He picked up a fresh shirt and she caught the ripple of muscles across his chest as he slipped the shirt on. His movements were swift and powerful, not the sluggish ambling she had witnessed in public.
Occasionally in summer she had caught glimpses of her brother, her brother-in-law, and the hands at the ranch with their shirts off. Unlike their tanned torsos, Mr. Barton's pale skin made her fingers tingle to touch the brown chest hair that converged in a vee at his belt. She wondered how far below his waist the pelt descended. A pool of warmth gathered at the base of her stomach.
My stars, what disgraceful thoughts.
Where did they come from? They weren’t proper. No, not at all suitable. Being away from home must be having a poor effect on her.
Never before had such scandalous ideas entered her head about any man. She didn’t have these thoughts about Peter Dorfmeyer, and everyone expected her to marry Peter. Mr. Barton was the most attractive man she’d ever seen, but she must get her wayward thoughts under control.
Buttoning his shirt, Mr. Barton stepped from her view. When he returned and glared at the keyhole, she froze. Surely he couldn't know she watched him. She sank further to the floor and sat with her back against the door.
Sarah pressed her hands to heated cheeks, shocked at her own behavior. She was no better than a window peeper. What on earth had come over her?
A sudden thought assailed her. What if he planned to look through the keyhole as she had? Taking a hanky from her cuff, she draped it over the doorknob so it hung across the tiny opening. No, that wouldn’t do. It kept sliding off. She rose and opened her traveling bag and took out a shirtwaist. Hanging it on the knob, she stepped back. Perfect. It looked as if she used the handle for a hook.
She crossed to the vanity. Not taking time to change from her traveling suit into a dress, she contented herself with pushing stray hair back into her chignon and grabbing her shawl. With any luck, she could purchase her train ticket while her neighbor had his dinner.
Sarah walked briskly to the train station. A line greeted her at the ticket window. Oh, well, she loved watching people, so she wouldn't mind the wait. Taking her place in the row, she surveyed the other prospective passengers wandering to and fro. She studied the clothes of other women, compared them to her own black clothing. In her head she made up stories of who they were and where they might be headed.
A young boy bumped with a wham into the man in front of her. The child's hand darted into the man's pocket and out with a flash and secured the lifted wallet under his shirt. Probably no more than seven or eight, the lad wore the dirtiest clothes Sarah had ever seen. His hair might have been blond at one time, but it and his skin had gone a long time without touching soap and water.
"Oh, excuse me, sir." The boy's large blue eyes were the picture of innocence when he gazed up at the man.
Sarah gasped. What should she do? She couldn't bring herself to cause a scene by screaming, but neither could she stand by and let the child rob this man.
"Steady, you little ragamuffin.” The victim placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Slow down and see you're more careful next time.”
"Yes, sir, sorry. I will, sir.” The boy moved swiftly away into the crowd.
Sarah took off after the little thief. He looked over his shoulder and she motioned to him. His eyes widened in alarm and he ran. She gathered her skirts and rushed after him, weaving around groups of people.
When she had almost caught up with the light-fingered boy, she thudded against a solid wall of chest.
Mr. Barton grunted and clutched Sarah's shoulders, then dropped his hands and made a slight bow. "Why, I believe it's Miss Kincaid, is it not? Are you in some sort of distress?"
"No, it was nothing.” She peered over his shoulder but the thief was nowhere in sight. "I thought I saw someone I knew, but I was mistaken.” She felt her cheeks flush again with guilt. Their collision must have jarred his injured chest, but she couldn't ask him about it. How could she explain that knowledge?
"Your traveling companions--Welwoods or Welworths--are they with you?"
"No. The Welborns were tired and planned to have dinner sent to their room.” She thanked heavens for that. Eating with the odious Mr. Welborn soured her stomach. But now this man who, for all appearances, followed her everywhere had neatly trapped her. A shiver of apprehension skittered down her spine, but she stood mesmerized by his tawny eyes.
As if he sensed her fear, he offered a crooked smile and proffered his` arm. "May I escort you back to the hotel?"
"I was..." she stopped. Her nerves jangled with alarm, but she strove to appear calm. She preferred buying her ticket in private. If he hadn't yet learned where she headed, she didn't want him to know her exact destination. "That would be very kind, um, Mr. Barton.”
"Bit cool this evening, isn't it?"
My stars, didn't the man ever talk about anything but the weather? Maybe he was one of those gorgeous physical specimens with the brain of a rock.
She sighed and answered, "Yes, there's a chill in the air. I suppose we're in for more winter.”
What should she do? Panic turned her stomach in knots. She should send him on his way, but didn't know what to say or do. Hating herself for her timidity, she once more flowed with the easiest course and allowed herself to be escorted back to the hotel.


Amazon for print and e-book

Smashwords for e-books 

Also available for Nook, Kobo, and iTunes.

Reviews for THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND include a 4 1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine. This book was also a finalist in the National Readers Choice competition but came in a fraction behind the winner. But it’s impossible to please everyone. Two people have left very mean-spirited reviews on Amazon. If you read this book and enjoyed it, would you please leave a kind review on Amazon?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 23, 2013


by Christy Nicholas

The magic of the land of Ireland is what inspired me to write this book – I think everyone should get a chance to share in that magic, to experience the joy and love of the place and people. 

While there are many stunning, beautiful places in the United States, and specifically in the state I live in of West Virginia, these sites are spread out across this vast land.  The land of Ireland is compact, and these sites are almost on top of each other.  One simple day of sightseeing can give you rocky sea cliffs, white strand beaches, ancient monuments, and charming pubs.  You can chat with friendly locals over a pint, while baaa-ing at the sheep as you wait for them to move out of the road in front of you.

I discovered that most of the guidebooks concentrate on the big places – those places that are overrun with tour busses and gift shops.  While these places are usually popular for a good reason, there are so many other places, off the tourist radar, that are worth exploring.  The advantage being that you might have the place to yourself, as you explore at your own pace, and soak in the history, the culture, and the beauty.  It’s the hidden holy well off to the side of the country road, or the Neolithic shrine on the top of the hill.  Perhaps you enjoy visiting the family pub that’s been owned by 5 generations of the same family, or the hidden valley park with stone circles and waterfalls. 

I have definitely learned there are many places yet left to explore, and I look forward to trying!  I will likely just need to move there to see all the things I want to see. 

Christy will be giving a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.

Christy Nicholas


Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.


The Magical Facet The Fair Folk

Everyone has heard of fairies, of creatures with supernatural powers to curse, to bless, to find gold, or to cause mischief. Literature and art is full of them from Shakespeare to contemporary artists Amy Brown or Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. Western culture, especially in the US, is bred on Disney’s Tinker Bell, children’s books of flower fairies from Victorian artists, and grim tales of the darker side of these Fae folk.

In Ireland, fairies, known as the Sídhe (pronounced shee) or the Good Folk, originate from the Tuatha Dé Danann, the people who immigrated to the island before the Sons of Míl. Supposedly full of powers, the Tuatha Dé Danann could not bear to be near iron, and therefore their superior skills were for naught. Rather than leave the land they loved, they agreed to reside below the earth. For this reason, caves are said to be entrances into their underworld homes. Traces of this legend can be seen in the classic film, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, where Darby is led under a mountain to the Fairy King’s palace. 
Ireland has countless portals, be they hills, hawthorn trees, caves, wells, or other sacred places.

A more Christianized origin of these creatures claim they are angels which fell to Earth before humans resided there. They live beneath the waves or gardens, and while some are evil, others can be helpful as long as they are treated with respect.

While many modern legends show the fairies to be sweet, kind, magical creatures, this is really a Victorian creation. The traditional views in Ireland and Scotland show the Sídhe to be mischievous to the point of cruelty a force to be reckoned with. They are not sought out by the wise. In fact, most of the herb and spell lore of an almost forgotten era is meant to instruct how to keep you from coming to the Folks’ attention.


Author Christy Nicholas
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were.  I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others.  Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write.  Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Find Christy here:

Find Christy’s book here, and at other eBook stores:

  My Review

My husband and I have been to Ireland twice and we yearn to return. When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, I snapped up my chance. I'm so glad I did.

Ms Nicholas has succinctly covered an amazing gamut of Ireland's past and present in easy to read, pleasurable form. I love the photos, as well, because they add to her commentary. I only wish this was available in print. In her words:

"Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come. Join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday."

The Mythical, Magical, Mystcical: Ms Nicholas opens with the myths. She recounted some of my favorite and a couple I didn't know. Are they based on embroidered fact or fiction? She leaves it to the reader to decide. 

My husband and I found the Irish people to be friendly and welcoming. Ms Nicholas had the same experience. Warning: beware when they tell you someplace is just "a wee stretch of the legs" down the road.
But the author shared wonderful stories of her various trips and the delightful people she encountered. This section alone is worth the price of the book!

One can't discuss Ireland without mentioning music. Ah, the Irish must each be a gifted musician.  And she isn't talking "River Dance." No, she means the genuine folk music and dance found throughout the country. Just reading this section brought back happy memories for me.

Photo Opportunities: I'll let you read this section yourself. All I can say is you'll be taking hundreds of photos. This is the greenest, loveliest place on earth.

The author covers foods very well. Traditionally, Irish fare was plain. After all, this country suffered many famines and the population learned to get by on little. An influx of tourists coupled with culinary schools has produced diversity in foods. My husband and I were well fed there. We found it interesting that more than one type potato dish is served at dinner and also that carrots combined with parsnips is ever present. We happen to like them, so that's fine with us. One thing I had to avoid is the black and white "pudding" sausages. I tried them. Blech! 

Ms Nicholas offers practical suggestions for traveling without struggling. She also gives insight into the "hidden" or less traveled sites. These are the places that you won't see on a standard tour--the very places my husband and I long to see. 

I loved this gem of a travel guide. I highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Ireland. In fact, if like most Americans, you are of Irish ancestry, you'll enjoy reading IRELAND: MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, MYSTICAL. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Rocky Road

It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.

                             Rocky Road

About the Author

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school--well, he wasn't my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet--and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.

I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.

Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack
culinary mysteries

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/6/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 16, 2013


my own

My Own Mr. Darcy

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.
My Own Darcy SALE copy


Author Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, GIFTED, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

My Own Tour

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/4/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 13, 2013


By Guest, Kat Flannery

Matty’s story

After I came up with the plot for Matty’s story in HAZARDOUS UNIONS I needed to understand what type of woman she was. Alison and I had done a background on the girl’s family, so I knew she’d grown up educated by her father, a schoolmaster.

I chose to add a bit of lightness to the story because it took place during one of the bloodiest wars in history. Pushed into the serving life, Matty sent all her income home to help her mother tend to her ailing brother. The only form of entertainment was reading. She kept the books her father had given her, and read them multiple times.
Questions surfaced in my mind. What if she loved it so much she often quoted the books causing her to look silly? I used the education she received and created a woman who was a dreamer, and at times sounded a bit crazy while citing William Shakespeare, or Edgar Allen Poe.

For my research I read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet along with some of their other works, and to my surprise I enjoyed them. I knew about both authors and I’d read a few of their pieces in my teens, but I never delved into them as I did while researching for Matty’s story. I must admit I have a new love for literature much like Matty’s, minus the quoting.

Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamilton’s to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.

Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor

Matty by Kat Flannery

Fort Wayne, Michigan
December 1862

What had she done? Matty Becker was going to hell, and there'd be no one to save her. A loud snore echoed from the other room. She peeked around the corner and caught a glimpse of Colonel Black's stocking feet. She'd burn for sure. She glanced at the paper she held and groaned. She was a horrible, devious, scheming letch. Maggie wouldn't be pleased. Maggie wasn't here. Another snore blew into the kitchen and she placed her head onto the table banging her forehead twice. There was no turning back now.
Last night she'd pushed aside her conscience and let fear guide her. For her plan to work, she'd have to throw all sense to the dogs, not that she hadn't done so already by following through with the blasted thing. She couldn't fail now. If her family found out what she'd done they'd never forgive her. Worse yet, if Colonel Black found out she'd be locked behind bars, a fate far better than the one that got her in this mess to begin with.
She placed the paper on the table and went into the bedroom. Colonel Black lay on the bed with his clothes stripped off and tossed about the floor. He'd been out for nine hours and would wake any minute. Matty stood, pushed all thoughts of reason from her mind and removed her dress, corset and pantaloons. Her face heated and the room spun. He rolled over and she jumped into the bed next to him, pretending to sleep. She knew the moment he'd woken. The bed stilled and she couldn't breathe the air was so stiff.
"What the hell?" He sat up and she knew the instant he saw her. "Son of a bitch."
She felt his nudge once, twice and now a shove almost knocking her from the bed.
"Wake the hell up," he growled.
She squeezed her eyes closed and willed strength into her soul so she could face the dark Colonel. She rolled over pretending to wipe the sleep from her eyes.
"Who are you?" He placed his head in his hands. She'd bet he had one heck of a headache.
"Your wife," she said.
"The hell you are." He shot out of bed without grabbing the sheet, and she averted her eyes.
"Please cover yourself." She held up the sheet and he ripped it from her hand. "The marriage license is in the kitchen on the table if you do not believe me."
She watched as he grabbed his head and closed his eyes. The heavy dose of laudanum she'd placed in his drink the night before had done the trick and it wasn't but a mere suggestion they marry that the Colonel jumped to the challenge. Soon they were standing in the dining room in front of a preacher. Words were spoken—words she thought to say with someone she loved, someone who'd wanted her. Her stomach lurched and her mouth watered with the urge to vomit.
"How did this happen?" he asked sitting on the end of the bed.
"Mrs. Worthington sent me to see if you needed anything."
"I was drinking." He looked at her. "I was drunk."
She shrugged.
He stood holding the sheet tight to his midsection.
She couldn't help but notice the rippled stomach and defined muscles on his chest.
"We can annul. I had too much to drink. My head wasn't clear."
She shook her head.
He frowned.
"We have consummated." A lie of course but she was desperate.
His mouth fell open. A moment she knew he'd not remember. After the preacher left, she'd taken him to the bedroom where he passed out before hitting the bed.
"Impossible. I'd remember that."
She shook her head again praying he'd buy the fib.
He pulled on his pants and dress shirt. "I don't even know you. Why in hell would I marry you?"
"My name is Matty Beck—Black. I was employed with the Worthington's. You've come to dinner several times."
His brown eyes lit with recognition. "You're the house maid."
"I married a maid?"
The words stung and she turned from him so he wouldn't see the disappointment upon her face.
"Why would you marry me if I was into the spirits?"
"You seemed fine to me."
He took a step toward her. "Why would you marry me at all when you don't even know me?"
She gripped the blanket on the bed. "You…you said kind words, and I…I believed them.
"How desperate are you to marry a stranger?" he yelled. "You found out who my father is. You want money. You tricked me."
Well, he got the last one right, but the first two irritated her. She was not the kind of person to marry for money. Really, who did he think she was?
"Sorry to disappoint you but I refused my inheritance years ago."
"If you mean to say that I could not find myself a suitable husband because I am a maid, then you're wrong."
"That is exactly what I am saying Miss—"
"The hell it is."
He went into the kitchen picked up the marriage license and stared at it.
Matty dressed quickly and inched into the room. Confusion pulled at his features and she began to feel sorry for him. This was her fault. She'd planned this. Now she had to continue telling the lie she'd told. She glanced outside and shivered. Boldness, be my tongue. Shakespeare's words echoed in her mind. It was worth it. She'd been living in fear for a week. Colonel Black had been her saviour, and she risked a life full of love and happiness for this—a lie in which she'd speak for the rest of her life. She swallowed back the lump in her throat and willed the tears not to fall.
"Why can't I remember?" He glanced at her. "And why in hell would I marry you?"


Author Kat Flannery

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in the novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.