Friday, May 17, 2013

Guest Blogger: Candy Wall

As if the question ‘Wanna pitch to an agent or editor’ isn’t enough.

Hello! A huge thanks to all my wonderful hosts as I run all over cyberspace talking about Agent/Editor Shop at the Musetracks blog.

In this crazy world of easy access to information, it’s also easy to miss huge opportunities, or forget! Because I get so many comments that writers either forgot, or didn’t know Musetracks did pitch sessions, I asked a bunch of fellow writers, bloggers and readers to help me spread the word.

For those of you who don’t me, I’m Candi Wall, one of the authors who co-contribute to the Musetracks blog. Jennifer Bray-Weber, Marie-Claude Bourque, and Stacey Purcell are my super smart co-contributors and goodness knows where I’d be without them!

I’ve been hosting acquiring Agents at Musetracks for almost two years, and only recently, we decided to add editors as our guest. We’ve been lucky to have agents like Melissa Jeglinski, Jessica Alvarez, Mollie Glick, Becky Vinter, Kevan Lyon, Scott Eagan, Lois Winston, Jill Marsal, Michelle Grajkowski, Kimberley Cameron, Emmanuella Alspaugh (now Morgan), Laura Bradford, Jenny Bent, Sara Crowe, Weronika Janczuk and Stan Soper.
Our guest editors thus far have been Rhonda Penders w/ The Wild Rose Press, Jennifer Miller w/ Samhain Publishing, Debby Gilbert w/ Soul Mate Publishing, Beth Walker w/ Secret Cravings Publishing, and the editors at Books To Go Now have booked three dates in the future!

What we offer is a ‘Pitch Day’. I only take 30 pitches, and only the first thirty VIABLE pitches that come in on pitch day will be seen by the agent or editor. And I will warn you, I’m a stickler for following guidelines. If you don’t include exactly what is in the rules… I delete without prejudice. And I delete quite a few. (And yes, I receive plenty of hate mail.)

You can find us here:
Musetracks and there is a sidebar with Agent/Editor Shop dates and attending professionals.

You can find the rules for pitching here:
Musetracks Agent/Editor Shop rules Please read them carefully!

I’ve also created a Yahoo group so writers can sign up to receive Agent/Editor Shop updates. I only send messages with agent/editor attendance updates, reminders of pitch dates, and any information about the contests we run on pitch day. Usually a giveaway or a chance to comment for the Top Pitch Slot. You can request to join here:

Easy as pie! We welcome every stage of writer and at Musetracks, we strive to help other writers, the way we were all helped when we first started out, and the way we are supported today.

Hope to see you all at a pitch day, and if not, feel free to pass the word along to others.

Happy reading and writing!


A little about Candi:

Candi Wall is an author of contemporary romance, and YA.

Her d├ębut novel PRIMITIVE NIGHTS released from Samhain in Jan 2013, and STAY, the first in the Changing Tides series releases from Samhain on Aug 6th 2013.

She’s a mother of four (21,17,12,9), a rescuer of six (4 dogs & 2 cats), proud auntie of too many to count, a soon-to-be grandmother and great-auntie, a retired Cub Scout leader of 16 years, an avid animal lover/protector and ex-animal control officer. Oh yeah, and wife. 

You can find her here:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cool Stuff Give Away!

I've got STUFF! Really fun, cool, Morgan Stuff!

I got an itch this spring and started ordering swag like crazy. Well, crazy within reason. I have a large variety, but the quantities available are small. In the picture above we have:
  • Tote bag
  • Mug
  • Mouse Pad
  • Note Pad
  • Sticky Note Pad
  • Pen
  • Bookmarks
  • An autographed copy of Cowboys Dream Too!
Not pictured is a "Get Some Tonight" temporary tattoo, but you can bet there'll be one or two tossed in the box!

Anyhow, before my husband sees the American Express statement, I need to give some of this STUFF away!

So here's the plan. One week. Ending Monday, April 7 at midnight (Central time), if your comment with email addy is posted in the comments below, your name will go in the hat. Write an excellent post (ie suck-up) and I'll add your name twice. Hubs will be out of town and I'll need something to make me smile, so the funnier the better.

If we get 200 comments, I'll give away ANOTHER complete swag pack. Yes, for 200 unique individual entries, I'll pick a second Ultimate Swag winner.

And if the comments are really good, I'll give away up to three more books with assorted goodies. Smaller swag packs, but hey, if you missed out on the free books in the Goodreads give away in March, here's another chance to score!

One more thing... If you'd like to read the first chapter just look to the right, near the top, and there's a page for Featured Excerpts. Or, you can click here to get there.

Everything sound good? Then let me hear it!

Morgan Q. O'Reilly

PS: I solemnly swear your email will not be used for evil. No random spam, no unannounced newsletters, no selling the list. If you prefer to enter by email, send me a note at: 
Please put "Ultimate Swag Pack" in the subject line!

And for an updated Puppy Pic...
Neo graduated at the top of his Puppy Training Class!
March 2013

Friday, December 28, 2012

Naughty New Year JustRomance.Me Blog Hop

12/30/12 Addendum to my original post: There's a new naughty boy in my life! He's just six weeks old and cute as the dickens. Naughty Neo who loves to nibble on Mommy's toes -- hey stop that kid!  The sharp-toothed little bundle of joy came to live with us just last night. We managed three whole hours of sleep in one go!

Thanks for joining the Naughty New Year Blog Hop! If at anytime you get lost, just return to

I'm at somewhat of a loss about what to blog about. Resolutions? Nah, I don't do them. 

Plans for the New Year? Get my writing room organized at last! For those who haven't followed my adventures this past year, we moved! Into our forever, and ever, amen, home. I don't know why the last dozen boxes are kicking my rear, but they are. I think it's because they're all paperwork. Evil, hated, dreaded paperwork! Does it need to be kept? Shredded? Simply tossed? Oh the decisions!

Pretty much like my latest hero, Brennan Shaughnessy, of the Sexy Shaughnessys in my Open Window Series. It's New Year's Eve and he's taking his number one lady to lunch, making plans for the big night out. He has tickets to the biggest party in town, one where he's also a guest of honor. He also has a room at the hotel where the party is. All he needs is the social worker he's hot for to finally agree to go with him...

Scene from "Changing Directions" 
Book Four of the Open Window series

Brennan held out the folder with tickets and room reservations. He fully expected Whitney to smile and tease him with description of her dress. 

"I'll pick you up at seven. Bring an overnight bag and we'll do the night up right. Room service for breakfast if you like."

Whitney patted her lips with the white linen napkin, her eyes on her bowl of soup rather than him. "Brenn, I've been trying to tell you..." Warm brown eyes filled with sadness finally met his. "I can't. I'm leaving town as soon as we finish lunch."

Brenn sat back in his half of the booth. "What? Why?"

"My father--" she choked and reached for her water glass. "My mother called an hour ago. He had a heart attack. The first flight out I could get leaves at five. From here I'll go back to my apartment to pack and then catch a cab to the airport. I have to go."

Brenn deflated as if he'd been punched in the gut. The wound felt as mortal as if she'd shot him point-blank. "Wh--"

The chime of Whitney's phone announcing a text interrupted and she grabbed for it. "My mother," she said as her eyes scanned the message. "He's at the hospital and stable, but they're talking triple bypass in the morning. Just a sec, let me text Mom my flight details.  I'll get in around two in the afternoon."

Brenn shook his head. "You'll have a long layover somewhere, can't you take a red eye from here? One with less of a layover in Seattle or wherever. You could still catch part of the party."

Whitney hit the final button on her phone and looked up. The aristocratic lines of her face all drooped with sadness like he'd never seen before. He'd seen her upset, angry, depressed, even writhing in ecstasy that he'd given her, but he'd never seen her looking so utterly desolate. "I can't, Brenn. Look, I know tonight is a big deal for you. You should take someone who could relax and enjoy themselves. Someone like..." she looked around the dining room and Brenn knew who she was going to suggest before her eyes lightened, "... there, take your favorite waitress. Didn't you meet her at a similar event last fall? She goes to these things regularly. She'll fit in and be good for your networking. You know you get more clients when she hands out your cards." 

Shaking his head he held back the panic in his heart. "No, that's not fair asking a woman at the last minute. We've planned this for months now." Or rather he had. Fresh back from the double wedding of his twin siblings Cassidy and Cayden, he was ready to pour all his energy into pursuing Whitney. Tonight was to be the launch of his new campaign to get her focused on him as much as she focused on the kids she saved through Social Services. 

"Brenn, I can't believe you! I'm sorry this ruins your plans for tonight, but my parents need me. Mom's a mess and Dad can't pick up the pieces for her this time. I need to be there. Even if I went for a few hours, I just can't pretend nothing is wrong and act like I'm having fun. I'm not wired that way. Look, I know she'd love to go with you. I've seen the way she looks at you. I've seen the way you flirt with her. She's got a piece of your heart no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise."

And that was how he came to find himself asking Blaire to the Chamber of Commerce New Year's bash at the Sheraton. Even that didn't go as planned.

Big green eyes sparkled back at him. "Thanks, but I'm already going. But tell you what, why  not use that spare ticket for my Grandmother? I've been trying to talk her into going, but my dad can't get another ticket. You have a spare. We'll meet you there at eight." Red curls bouncing as she nodded decisively, she set the tray with the bill down in front of him.

"Oh no. I'll pick the two of you up."

Dirty plates in one hand, she plopped the other on her hip. "But if she gets tired early..."

"I'll make sure she gets home safe and sound. Or she can use the room at the hotel and we'll take her out to breakfast before taking her home." Brenn handed back the tray with his credit card on it.

"Oh, okay." Blaire sighed. "Let me go give her a call and see what she says.  She'll have time to take a nap if I call her now. I'll be right back."

Whitney patted the hand he had lying on the table top. "There you go. All set. Now, I have to get home and get packed. I've got work notified. Have fun tonight."

"Call me when you get in?"

The nod she gave him was distracted as she pulled on gloves and settled a kit scarf around her swan-like neck. She was everything a woman should look like. Tall, slender with subtle curves. A model of breeding, raised in a cultured environment. She was polished, sophisticated and dedicated to the children in the system, safe from abuse and neglect. She had goals and drive. She even managed to wear Sorel boots in an elegant manner. Ready for the cold waiting outside, she began to slide from the booth. Brenn got to his feet and offered her a hand. 

"Take care, Brenn. This may very well be good-bye for us." She laid a gloved hand on his cheek. "If Father is so very ill I may move back to be nearby. They need social workers in New York, too. I know how you feel about me. I wish I could return your feelings. Please, find another woman who deserves you more than I do." 

"You're cutting me loose?" The words came out strangled from a throat too tight to speak.

"It's for the best." She rose up and kissed his cheek. "You're a special man. More special than you know. Find the woman just as special as you."


Whitney whirled away, her short brown hair swinging out like carnival ride. Before he could summon the energy to go after her, she was gone and Blaire stood at his elbow.

"I'm so sorry, Brenn," she said quietly. "You didn't deserve that."

Drawing in a deep breath, he bit back the retort he wanted to spew. "Yeah, well..."

"Look on the bright side," she said with forced cheeriness. "You're now taking the two feistiest women in town. We won't let you brood. Grandma says you better have your dancing shoes on."

"I don't suppose I can back out now, can I?"

"Nope, you're not only double-booked for dates, you're one of the award recipients. You have to go." She shoved the tray with the receipts and his credit card into his hand. "Sign the paperwork and I'll bring a cheesecake--on the house--and fresh coffee."

By the time he left, his mood had lifted. How could it not when Blaire led the parade to cheer him up? Everybody in the kitchen made their way out one by one to slap him on the shoulder and sing Blaire's praises until she blushed the way only a red head could, deep red from her creamy cleavage to the roots of her hair. It was so endearing he couldn't help but chuckle, and even, a little, begin to look forward to the evening. Dancing with petite and perky Blaire, Blaire who knew everyone in the business community, with twinkly green eyes and generous, soft, curves that would make a saint cry. Yeah, he had something to look forward to after all.

Win one of these three books by commenting below and following the instructions for chances to win the Grand Prize, a 7" Kindle Fire HD!

Continue on with the hop!!  You have until December 30th to enter by commenting on blogs and registering!  

* Live chat and grand prize drawing at 7PM EST on Dec 30th *

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thanks Boone Brux for Picking Me to Carry Onward!

It's the day after Christmas. Are you hitting the sales? I might later today. Or are you laying around feeling fat enough to hibernate for a month at least? We're celebrating the fact that we're nearly a week beyond Solstice and the sun is coming back! Slowly but surely from here until June the hours of returning daylight will slowly start increasing. And that is truly an awesome thing to celebrate!

My dear friend Boone sent me the list below and asked me to jump in on the day after Christmas, no less. But, hey, I'm game! Be sure to check out her blog for the other authors she invited to play. This Next Big Thing Blog Hop is HUGE. So much to look forward to in the coming year, including a big supply of great new books! I love books and I always want more! So here's what you can look forward to from me:

What is your working title of your book?
~ Changing Directions, but I may change it. We'll see when the book is done.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
~ It's Book Four in the Open Window series featuring those sexy Shaughnessys. It's Brennan's turn to drive me crazy. He's not as cooperative as his sister or brothers.

What genre does your book fall under?
~ Contemporary Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
~ I really have no idea. These characters are all red heads and there is a dismaying lack of red headed actors out there. Particularly really attractive men. I'd love to see more red heads on the big screen!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
~ Brennan must make up his mind, then convince his heroine she really is his fist choice.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
~ The first part of the series was contracted by Lyrical Press. We'll have to see if they like this one when it's done.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
~ Still working on it, so I can't answer that question. Fastest book from concept to publication was That Olde Christmas Magic. From start to pub was about three weeks. That one practically wrote itself like a Christmas miracle!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
~ It will go with the other Shaughnessy books like a double blind dovetail joint.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
~ Brennan has been around since Cassidy's book. So far he's featured in every story. It's his turn. But he's been so indecisive that he's been something of a challenge.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
~ It's set in Alaska! And we'll get a peek at how the other Shaughnessy's are doing: Cassidy and Niall (Til Death Undo Us), Cayden and Candace (Courage to Live), Aiden and Azzette (Weathering the Storm - 2012 royalties go to flood relief!). We'll also see the introduction of at least one of the younger brothers, but whether it's Ethan, Declan or Finn remains a mystery.

Look for more next week. I've asked a few friends to play along by posting the same questions (with answers even!) on their blogs next week. Look for:

J. Morgan

Adriana Kraft

Gail Delaney

Doreen Orsini

Piper Denna

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season and the celebrations are all you wished them to be.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice!

Winter Solstice is one of two very special days in the year to me. Not something I particularly noticed until I moved to Alaska as wee lass. That's when I learned how important the sun is, especially to places on the extreme ends of the earth. By that I mean North and South. 

Alaska is as far north as you can get and still stay in the USA. Barrow is at the very top top of the state. Barrow hasn't seen the sun above the horizon since 1:44PM on November 17, 2012. It won't peek above the horizon again until 1:11PM on January 23, 2013. 67 days without seeing a single ray of shining golden sun. I must give thanks to Carmen Bydalek for this information she posted on the AKRWA blog. Check it out. Lots of interesting facts there!

Here in Anchorage the sun will rise at 10:14 AM and set at 3:42 PM for a total of 5h 27m 40s of possible sunlight. I say possible because clouds could interfere. When we look into the sky to see the sun, we will look due south. 

My brother, an avid fisherman, has his birthday on Dec 22, a day he calls "Salmon Return Day." He insists that the salmon far out at sea can sense that very slight change as the daylight increases by a few seconds. It is then they begin their journey back to the streams of their origin. Just he can catch them and fill his freezer. He likes living in his world. The rest doesn't matter to him.

Although the sun is returning, bare seconds and minutes at a time, we're still in the deep long dark of winter. December, for all its darkness outside is bright with Christmas lights and the excitement of the holidays. The secret to making it through to the end of winter and avoiding cabin fever is to keep busy. Many ski, or take to the back country on snow machines (what the rest of you call snow mobiles. Some villagers call them snow-gos.) or the lakes for ice fishing. Others dig in, take Vitamin D supplements and read while avoiding the influx of the Christmas bills and tax forms hitting the mail boxes. 

But now is not the time for dark contemplation. Today is for celebration! We're done losing light! From here to June we gain it!

Until then, read a Sci-Fi Romance that also celebrates the Solstices. FROZEN may be found at a variety of ebook retailers and is hot enough to keep the long, long nights warm indeed! However you choose to celebrate, I wish you all the best.

Get Some Tonight
Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads  

Links to FROZEN:  Amazon  *  Barnes&Noble  *  Sony eReader  *  YouTube Trailer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Caroline Clemmons Visits The Morgan Diaries

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Mosey on up to the blog. Have we got a dog-gone treat in store for you cowpokes today. We've got the rooting tootingest Western Author sitting a spell with us today. I dun near yipped my kaiyaaa when she agreed to come on The Diaries.

J. Mo, I think you've overdone the Western Channel. Sorry, about that folks. You know how he gets when he gets a burr under his saddle. Great, now, he's got me doing it.

Come on, Morgan O. Let that inner cowgirl out.

Don't think so. Before he goes off and puts his Lone Ranger outfit on again, let me welcome the amazing Caroline Clemmons to our blog.

Caroline: Thanks you for letting me share your blog. Thanks also for the lovely introduction.

J. Morgan: I just finished The Texan's Irish Bride. Let me just say I was floored. You can see your love for the old west shine through with your writing. When did you first discover you wanted to write during that era in American History?

Morgan O: Perhaps, we should begin with what first sparked your love of the genre. For the record, I read The Most Unsuitable Wife and The Most Unsuitable Husband. They seemed like a matched pair, so I read them as such. I was right, they link together nicely.

Caroline: I do love reading and writing about the old west between 1870 and 1895, especially Texas settings. I think my fascination began as a child listening to my father talk about his ancestors coming from Georgia to Texas. When I studied Texas history in school, his stories made what I read come alive. I enjoy history of many eras, but the one just mentioned is by far my favorite.

Morgan O: The details in your books are so rich. How much research do you do for your books?

Caroline: I do a lot of research, even though I've read and written this time period for a decade. Each book requires particular research. For instance, The Texan’s Irish Bride required learning about Irish Travelers, Irish blessings, Irish history, and Central Texas. My daughter and I drove through Lost Maples State Natural Area on a trip from San Antonio. No, it’s not on the way, but it was a lot of fun to see the park first hand. We’d been to Bandera years ago, but went through again and also to Medina. The trip gave me a fresh idea of the land in the story.

J. Morgan: You've got a few series out at the moment. I know this is one of those questions all authors hate, but which one is closest to your heart?

Caroline: The book I’m writing is always my favorite, and currently that’s Bluebonnet Bride, book 3 of the Men of Stone Mountain trilogy. I have to admit that The Most Unsuitable Wife, Book 1 of the Kincaids, is probably my all-time favorite. In 2013, I plan to add another couple of books to the Kincaid series, one about Storm Kincaid and one about the attorney cousin, Gabe Kincaid.

Morgan O: Oh good, I like both Storm and Gabe. But which book presented the most challenges?

Caroline: The most difficult book I've written was Brazos Bride. The three Stone brothers are very close knit, so they look and act alike. Giving them distinct personalities and speech was impossible, but I tried. They develop more in the two following books, High Stakes Bride and Bluebonnet Bride. I’m still writing Bluebonnet Bride, but hope to have it completed soon.

J. Morgan: In Irish Bride, you can really get a feel for the characters, especially Cenora and her family. Do you have anything, or anyone, you draw inspiration from to craft such rich characters?

Morgan O: Also, the settings in your books have an authentic feel to them. Do you base them on actual places?

Caroline: My characters are real to me when I’m writing a book. I see them and hear the sound of their voices. I’m pleased you call them rich because I work very hard to create believable characters for readers, but they are not modeled after anyone. But we are a composite of all our experiences, so I use this bit I've heard and that. For instance, hearing about my neighbor’s dislocated shoulder helped me write a scene in High Stakes Bride where the heroine has dislocated her shoulder falling from a tree. My neighbor’s bull lovingly nudged her into a round hay bale, so the experiences are different, but hearing her helped me make the scene realistic. I prefer writing about  fictional towns near real towns. Occasionally, such as with Lost Maples State Natural Area, I use a real place. Using fictional towns gives me the leeway to create whatever I need for the story. No one can say “That street doesn't go there” or “That building was two streets over.”
J. Morgan: You also dabble in Mystery. Which comes easier to you when writing? Suspense or Westerns?

Caroline: Most of my westerns have mystery in them. I enjoy both mystery and romance, so combining them is perfect. I do enjoy writing contemporary mysteries, but right now I’m concentrating on western romance with mystery included, particularly historical romance.

J. Morgan: Before we allow you to saunter off into the sunset, it's a tradition here on The Diaries to hit you with one off-the-wall question before we let you scurry out the door. If you could be transported back to the Old West for one day, would you rob a stagecoach or…

Morgan O: Strap on the tin star and single handedly ride down desperadoes  Good looking ones in tight chaps of course.

Caroline: I’d love to be a deputy and ride with the sheriff after those desperadoes  which is what I dreamed of when I was a kid. I wanted to ride with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans to rid the west of bank robbers and rustlers. No single-handed captures for me, though. I love reading and writing the Old West, but I’m glad I live now instead of then, aren't you?

Morgan O: Thanks, for stopping by today, but before you ride off into that sunset, we'd love for you to dazzle our readers with an excerpt from one of your books.

CarolineI thought I would give you an excerpt from High Stakes Bride, book 2 of the Men of Stone Mountain trilogy where Alice Price shows up at Zach Stone’s campsite with a dislocated shoulder.

~ Excerpt ~

Zach slipped into the bedroll and waited, pistol in hand. He feigned sleep, wondering what kind of man tarried nearby. Whoever it was could have picked Zach off, so the sidewinder must not have murder on his mind.
Probably up to no good hiding out like that, though, because any Westerner would share his campfire and vittles with anyone who rode into camp. Zach wriggled into a comfortable spot and lay motionless. Anger at recent events helped him remain awake.
The footfalls came so softly he almost missed them. He opened his eyes a slit, but enough to see a thin shadow move toward the fire. About then heavy clouds overhead parted and the moonlight revealed a boy who scooped up a slice of bacon and slid it into his mouth.
The culprit set Zach’s tin plate on the ground near the fire, ladled beans into it, and picked up a fork. He squatted down and balanced the plate on his knees before he commenced eating. Zach noticed he kept his left hand in his pocket the whole time.
Something must be wrong with the thief’s left arm.  Looked too young for it to have been a casualty of the War. Lots of other ways to get hurt out here. Whatever had happened to his left arm, his right one worked well enough. He forked food into his mouth like he hadn’t eaten in a week.
Zach let him shovel beans for a few minutes. Crook or not, anyone that hungry deserved a meal. When the kid stopped eating, Zach couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  It looked as if he used the fork to scratch around on the ground, so he must have eaten his fill. Zach slipped his hand from beneath the cover and cocked the pistol.
“Hold it right there, son. I’d like to know why you’re eating without at least a howdy to the man who provided the food.”
The boy paused, then set the plate down slowly. “I left money here on a rock to pay for it.”
Odd sounding voice, but the kid was probably scared. Zach slipped from his bedroll and stood, but kept his gun pointed at the food robber. “Maybe.”
Zach walked toward the kid, careful to train his gaze so the firelight didn’t dim his eyesight. Sure enough, he spotted a couple of coins on the rock beside his pot of beans, or what remained of them, and his empty plate.
He faced the intruder. “Why not just come into camp earlier instead of sneaking in after you thought I was asleep?”
“I—I was afraid you weren’t friendly.”
Zach thought he also heard the kid mutter what sounded like “...or maybe too friendly.” Must be the wind, he thought, as he neared the boy.
Zach motioned with his free hand. “I don’t begrudge anyone food, but I hate dishonesty and sneaking around. Stand up so I can see you.”
The kid stood, hat low over his face and his good hand clenched.
Zach reached to push the brim back. “What’s your name?”
The kid stepped forward. “None of your business, mister.”
A fistful of sand hit Zach’s face. He heard his assailant run. Mad as the devil, Zach brushed grit from his eyes and set out in pursuit. The kid was fast, he’d give him that, but so was Zach. His longer legs narrowed the distance between them. With a running lunge, he tackled the kid.
“Oof. Let me go.” The lad was all wriggles and kicking feet as he squirmed trying to escape.
Zach wasn’t about to let that happen. They rolled in the dirt. In one move Zach pinned the boy’s good arm. The hat fell aside and a mass of curls spilled around the kid’s face.
His jacket parted and unmistakable curves pushed upward where Zach’s other hand rested. Zach stared in disbelief. Registering his hand pressed against a heavenly mound shocked him and he jerked his paw away.
“Well, I’ll be damned. You’re not a boy.”
The woman glared at him. “Right, and you’re not exactly a feather. Get off me.”
Zach stood and bent to help her but she curled into a ball where she lay. “Ma’am, you okay?”
“Just dandy.” She sat up, moving like a hundred-year-old. She glared at him while holding her stomach with her good hand. The other arm dangled uselessly. “You’ve likely broken the few uninjured bones I had left.”
His temper flared. “Hey, lady, don’t try to put the blame on me. If you’d been honest and come into camp like any other traveler, I’d have shared my food with you.”
“Yeah, well a woman on her own can’t be too careful and I don’t know you or anything about you.”
Zach saw her point. Though most Western men would respect a woman, it wouldn’t help if she ran into one of the exceptions.
“What’s wrong with your arm?”
She glared at him and appeared to debate with herself before she said, “Fell out of a tree. My arm caught in the fork of a branch. Pulled it out of socket and I can’t get it back.”
Well hell. As if he didn’t have enough on his mind. Now that he’d decided not to speak to another woman unrelated to him, this bundle of trouble showed up needing a keeper.
Resigning himself to one more stroke of bad luck, he said, “Take off your coat and come over here to my bedroll.”
The campfire sparked less than her eyes. “I’ll do no such of a thing. Don’t be thinking you can take liberties because I ate your food and I’m injured. I paid for the food.”
Zach exhaled and planted his fists on his hips. “Ma’am, there’s not enough money in Texas to pay me to take liberties with you. If you’ll move to my bedroll and lie down, I’ll put your arm back in place. You’ll likely have to take off your, um, your shirt.”
She looked him up and down as if she weighed him and found him lacking. “I figured you for a rancher. You a doctor then?”
“Ranchers have to know a good bit about patching people.”
She straightened herself and swished past him as if she wore a ball gown instead of a man’s torn britches. Watching the feminine sway of her hips as she sashayed to the other side of the campfire, he wondered how he ever mistook her for male. He followed her and tried not to appreciate her long legs or the way the fabric molded to them like a second skin.
When she reached the blasted bedroll he’d been stuck with, she slid out of her jacket. A grimace of pain flashed across her face as the weight of the light coat slipped down her injured arm. In one graceful move she plopped down on the bedroll.
“You’re sure you can do this?” she asked and looked up at him.
Flickering firelight placed her features in shadow. Moving closer, he figured the poor light played tricks on him, for he couldn't tell the color of her hair. He decided she had light brown or dark blonde curls. Whatever color her eyes were, maybe blue or green, they were big and watched him with suspicion.
“Yes. Sorry, I don’t have any spirits with me to deaden the pain.”
“I never touch alcohol. If you’re sure you can do this, just get on with it.” She unbuttoned her shirt and winced as she slid the injured shoulder and arm free, and then stuck her chin up as if she dared him to make an improper comment or gesture.
He knelt beside her, keenly aware of the differences that proved her womanhood. A chemise of fabric worn so thin as to be almost transparent pulled taut across her breasts. He swallowed and willed himself to ignore the dark circles surrounding the pearly peaks thrusting at the flimsy material. The memory of the lush mound he’d touched briefly wouldn’t leave him. He’d been alone too long and had better concentrate on the job at hand.
“Stretch out and try to relax. I’ll be as gentle as I can, but this will hurt.”
“Hurts already, but I better put my bandana in my mouth so I don’t scream. I’m not a whiner, mind, but wouldn’t want to draw attention if there’s others nearby.” She slipped the cloth knotted around her neck up to her mouth like a gag, then laid down.
She moaned but didn’t fight him. Zach had seen this done numerous times over the years and had performed it twice. He probed her shoulder gently, then rotated her arm to slip it back into place.
He listened for the snick of the bone reseating itself in the socket. When he finished, he massaged the muscles of her upper arm and shoulder. She’d likely be sore for weeks, but the harm she had done wasn’t permanent.
“Have to give it to you, ma’am. You were the quietest patient I’ve ever seen.”
She lay with her face turned away from him. When he leaned over, he realized she’d passed out.


 J. Morgan: And, don't forget to tell our readers where all we can find you on the internet and some buy links. Okay, Morgan, can I put my ranger mask back on now?

Morgan O: Oh, go ahead. Hi-ho Silver!

Here are buy links for High Stakes Bride:

Print or Ebook at Amazon:

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View her BLOG posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and find book reviews, giveaways, interview, and miscellany.

Thanks again for having me as your guest. I’ve enjoyed myself. Yours is a fun place to visit!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Giddy Up! Here comes Paisley Kirkpatrick.

I know by reading my books you might not believe this, but I love a good western. Grew up reading, and watching them. Don't know what happened to me, though. I guess that bite of the radioactive vampire is the reason I write paranormal romance instead of westerns. So when I got the chance to sit down with debut Western Romance author Paisley Kirkpatrick, I jumped at the chance.

Well, I put on my Lone Ranger outfit from the third grade costume contest and jumped on my trusty steed, Mr. Horsey, and headed down to saloon to kick back and pick this amazing author's brain about her new release, Paradise Pines: Night Angel and what inspired her to throw on a pair of chaps and write off into the sunset.

Jmo: Belly on up to the bar and have a shot of rockgut, Paisley. Watch your step, that spittoon looks a bit dodgy.

PK: Evenin'. The place is a bit crowded, isn't it? Let's mosey on over to that quiet table in the back.

Jmo: So, while you wipe that bit of ick off your shoe, tell the readers about Night Angel? Man, this rock gut has a kick to it.

PK: I chose the fictional gold rush community of Paradise Pines to set Night Angel. The story occurs after the boom, when down-and-out miners searched for a way to make money. Instead of returning home, they stayed in towns that sprung up during the gold rush.

Hero Declan Grainger owns a high-class hotel in Paradise Pines. He loses his heart to a high-spirited poker player when she arrives in town searching for a new life. Amalie Renard, who also performs as saloon singer Lily Fox, turns the town upside down with her vibrancy. She is looking for a way to have a stage of her own, not a box to stand on in one of the town's saloons. Declan provides jobs for the townsfolk by building Amalie's music hall while he continues his nightly jaunts through abandoned tunnels anonymously leaving the downtrodden food and supplies. Amalie is puzzled why the Night Angel gives to others, but takes from her. She draws Declan into her scheme to discover the identity of the mysterious man. Declan has enough on his hands finding workers for the building renovation after the town's self-righteous preacher demands his congregation not support the music hall, but goes along with her scheme to protect his identity.

The challenges they face take them from the California Sierra Mountains to the hustle of a booming San Francisco. Could Amalie's lack of trust in herself and Declan steal her dream? If she faces the mistakes she made in her past and relies on a new self-confidence through the love Declan offers, she can have all she desires.

Jmo: What first drew you to the Old West? Even though, you've probably been asked this a thousand times already, who were some of your influences?

PK: I grew up watching the television show Gunsmoke. Gathering in front of the TV on Saturday night became a family ritual. My favorite character was Festus who referred to his earlobe has a hangy-down part of his ear. Ever since then we've always done the same. Isn't it fun to remember those days when life seemed simpler? Heroes were easy to define. Who didn't admire the Long Branch Saloon owner, Miss Kitty? Saturday mornings gave us Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, and so on. We had an array of cowboys to worship. I guess the seed was planted deep because writing about the western hero seemed to always be the right thing for me.

Jmo: Do you mentally cast your books when you're writing? I know I do it while writing, and a lot of other authors do it too. Once we establish you're as crazy as the rest of us, tell us who would be playing who in the Night Angel movie.

PK: I did have a certain hero in mind when I developed Declan Grainger. My hero is a Scot and nobody but Gerard Butler could fill this hero's rather large boots. Honestly, Gerry was my guiding light in developing this character who stole my heart from the beginning.

Jmo: With Paranormal Romance pretty much dominating the Romance world, why do you believe readers still have a love for Westerns?

PK: Westerns seem a staple in most personal libraries. As you know, paranormal is a bit over my head, but since several friends who are great writers work in this category I am reading more of this genre. It's a mystery to me why people choose a particular genre. Personal taste I suppose.

Jmo: A lot of people consider Westerns just Westerns, but they're really closer to Historicals. Even though the genre is deeply ingrained in our society's view of itself, a lot of history has passed since the late 1800's and today. That said, how much research do you put into your books? How hard is it to dig up information about the Old West?

PK: There is an abundance of history and research books with articles about the Old West. I am so fortunate to live where the 1849 gold rush happened. Placerville, which was referred to as Old Diggins and Hangtown, is a showcase for the Victorian style houses, a couple of gold rush saloons, tunnels zigzagging under the town, a gold mine to explore, and a hotel built in 1857. We have an interesting character who drives an old Wells Fargo stagecoach around town at Christmastime. He ties a tree on top and carries passengers through town so they can experience a slice of the past. We also have a re-enactment of a wagon train coming over the mountain from the Lake Tahoe area every summer and for several years the Pony Express rider came through our community.

Jmo: From a personal standpoint, what is the most interesting part about this time in America history? What jumps out and grabs you and refuses to let you go?

PK: It's the adventure of pursuing a dream, finding those shiny gold nuggets at the bottom of a gold pan. Of course, disappointment came with the excitement. More walked away without the riches, but they tried. They took a chance. Isn't that what life should be about? We take a chance with our writing. When we succeed, I'd say it was like finding that first nugget.

Jmo: Every author has their favorite type of character to write. So what is yours? The White Hat? The Black Hat? Or Bob Hope in "The Son of Paleface"? I'm partial to Don Knots in "The Shakiest Gun in the West" myself.

PK: Honorable heroes are my favorite. They have to have grit, but treat a lady with respect and give an honest day's work.

Jmo: I couldn't let you go without asking the ultimate question when it comes to Westerns. John Wayne or Clint Eastwood? Know our friendship hinges on your answer.
PK: Ummmmmmm (rolling eyes) let me think - J Of course, the King I mean the Duke. He should have been called the king of cowboys but I suppose that belong to another cowboy who sang.

Jmo: Paisley, one last question and I promise to unhogtie you from that spittoon. If at this very moment one man could come riding up on a white stallion to ride you off into the sunset, who would it be? Know your marriage hinges on your answer.

PK: Hubby Ken and I have been married almost 44 years, and since it was love at first sight, I would always choose him to ride up on a white stallion. He'd probably prefer walking, but a large horse would be nice.

Jmo: Thanks for stopping in and jawing with me a spell. I hope you have had as much fun as I have. Don't worry. I'm sure that chew juice will come out with a little vinegar and warm water. But, before you take off for the hills, be sure to let our readers know where to find you on the internet and a buy link for Night Angel.

Sweethearts of the West
Scandalous Victorians
Voices from the Heart