Tag Archives: Texas

Crime Time ~ Forbidden: Dying For Love ~ The Shame of the Father

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

Forbidden: Dying for Love, Season 1, Episode 1 – The Shame of the Father  

Irving, Texas, 2005.

Amina Said met Joseph Moreno at a Taekwondo class when they were 15, and they soon fell in love. Amina’s father was from Egypt, and he was very strict. He wouldn’t allow Amina or her sister Sarah to go to the mall, wear makeup, and especially date. Her father planned to take the girls to Egypt after they graduated and marry them off to Egyptian men. Oddly, Yaser’s wife, Amina’s mother, was an American woman. But she bowed to Yaser’s wishes, even allowing him to abuse their daughters.  Because of Yaser’s strictness and violent temper, it was too dangerous for the young teens to communicate via cell phone, so they used notebooks to express their love to one another. Amina always left her notebook at school, to keep her father from finding it. The teenagers talked of getting married, and even chose names for their children.

Joseph’s mother and Amina’s great aunt were interviewed on the show and provided details of how the events unfolded.

One day, Amina accidentally brought the notebook home and her father found it in her backpack. He read the notebook and became enraged. She told him that she was writing about an imaginary boyfriend, that it was just her daydreams, and he wasn’t real. He said if he found out he was real, the consequences would be dire. In their culture, girls who behaved against the family rules were killed. He planted a listening device in her car and overheard her talking to her sister about how she couldn’t believe she was dumb enough to take the notebook home, she’d been so careful to keep in in her locker. She came home from school that day and her father had all of her notes and items from her locker spread out on the table. Amina was terrified. She knew her father would kill her. He played the tape he’d gotten from bugging her car.

Joseph stopped hearing from Amina. Weeks, then months went by. He could not reach her by phone. There was no sign of her anywhere. A few months later, Joseph received an email from her. She told him that he’d gone ballistic that night. He beat her up and demanded to know how to find Joseph. She made it clear that her dad was on the hunt for him. Joseph’s mother found the email and, concerned for her son’s life, she didn’t tell him.

Through continued emails from Amina, Joseph’s mother learned that Amina’s father had put her under house arrest. He watched her every move. Joseph’s mother chose to keep the information from him, trying to protect her son. But, but after a while, she could see the life force draining from him. If he couldn’t be with Amina, he was barely surviving. She arranged for them to get together. Joseph bought Amina a pink cape and said that was her coat of armor. Anytime she was afraid, she could put the cape on and know that he was with her, and that they would be together forever.

In 2007, Amina got an acceptance letter from UT. Her father said her husband would decide if she went to college. She said “I don’t have a husband.” Her father said, “You will soon. It’s all been arranged.” He’d found a 47 year old man in Egypt for her to marry. Amina said she wouldn’t do it, she was an American and she would not marry him. Her father grabbed a gun and threatened her with it, while her mother and sister watched in horror. Amina told him to go ahead and kill her, she would rather die than marry the man he’d chosen for her. Her mother and sister begged him to stop, and he finally put the gun down. He told them that if they wanted to be American, that was fine. He gave them money and told his wife, Patricia, to take them to the convenience store and buy them anything they wanted to eat. He said it’s what Americans call the last meal that they give to prisoners on death row.

In the car, Amina begged her mother not to take her back, she said he would kill her. Patricia called her aunt who lived in another state and told her they were coming there, that she was leaving Yaser. Amina texted Joseph and said they were going to Kansas, they were getting away from her father and she and Joseph could finally be together. Patricia and the girls arrived at her aunt’s house, and Amina was thrilled to finally be free of her father. The plan was that Joseph and his mother would come to Kansas and get a place.

That very night, Patricia announced that they were going back to Texas. She said it was the anniversary of her mother’s death and she wanted to go put flowers on her grave. Amina and Sarah begged her not to make them go, but she insisted. She promised they’d come right back. The aunt felt bad that she let them walk out of her house that day, but she didn’t believe it would end the way it did.

Even though Patricia promised they wouldn’t go near the house, she pulled into the neighborhood and told the girls that they were going home to talk to their father. She said that he had forgiven them and everything would be fine. Amina begged her not to. She said, “He’ll kill me.” Her mother made her go. At that point, Amina gave up. She knew her fate was sealed. Joseph and his mother were waiting to hear from Amina, letting them know she was ready for them to join them in Kansas. When Joseph got the call, Amina told him they were back in Texas, that they were going back home. Joseph begged her not to go back. She said, “No, it’s over. I can’t fight him anymore. There’s no way out.” Joseph begged her over and over, but she said she had to go. She said that she wished her father could be in her shoes for one day and see the love they shared. She hung up the phone, with him crying and pleading with her. Then, she went into the house.

On New Year’s Day, 2008, a 9-1-1 call came in:

“Irving 911. What is your emergency?”

“Help, help! My dad shot me, my sister, I’m dying, I’m dying!”

The girl screaming on the phone was Sarah Said. By the time the police found the taxi where the sisters had been shot by their father, they were both dead, and Yaser had fled.

Articles about the case gave a slightly different account. They stated that Patricia and the girls moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and set up an apartment. And that they chose to go back so the girls could finish school, and to put flowers on Patricia’s mother’s grave. The father offered to take the girls to get them something to eat, then shot them to death. The articles also state that in addition to the physical and mental abuse, he sexually abused his daughter.

Police were unable to find him. He’s still at large and was on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for a time.

How disgusting is it that a depraved, evil, coward like that is free after what he did to his beautiful, innocent daughters? Some people think Patricia should have been charged as an accomplice, and I agree. What do you think? Patricia’s aunt claims their mother knew their father was going to kill them. Authorities found no proof of that, but even so, as their mother, it was her duty to protect them, not force them back into the monster’s lair.

 

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.]

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Kara O’Neal ~ New Release on July 10th: The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series

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Please help me welcome author friend Kara O’Neal with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by Kara O’Neal

  1. When I was in second grade, I read “Little Women”. The story enthralled me. I loved the close relationship between the sisters. But this is when I learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t always mean that everyone stays together. It was a sobering moment for a second grader!
  2. Let’s jump a decade to my senior year in high school. One of the many books I read that year had an ending that was highly disappointing. This had happened before, of course, but I was especially irritated by the way this story wrapped up. My sister told me to make up a better ending. Seemed like a good idea. I followed her orders, and thus began my love affair with crafting my own “happily ever afters”! (I credit my sister with my writing career. Alice in The Sheriff’s Gift is based off of her.)
  3. August 22, 1994 – This is the day I met my husband. I knew as soon as I saw him that he was my “happily ever after” guy. (He didn’t think I was his “happily ever after” girl until the next day.)
  4. July 18, 1998 – We got married! We will be married 20 years in a little over a week. Even though I knew he was the one for me right off the bat, I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Marriage is hard, but I’ve discovered that as long as you work to grow together, it absolutely can feel like a “happily ever after”.
  5. The summer of 2000 – I sat down and wrote my first book. The writing was pretty horrible. But, I didn’t let go of it. I couldn’t. I had found the work of my heart, and even if I never saw words of mine published, I was going to keep writing.
  6. November 14, 2000 – Our first child, a daughter, was born on this day. She is going to be a senior in high school this year. My heart can’t take it. Even so, I’m extremely excited to see what she does with her adult life. She is talented, bright, and a sweetheart. She NEVER gives up on anything. She is one of the bravest people I know, which has made her one of my heroes.
  7. November 17, 2002 – Our second child, a son, was born on this day. He is a carbon copy of his father – quiet, kind, talented, and as calm as the day is long. He’s a sturdy rock who is a friend to all. He will be a sophomore this year, and the world is absolutely his oyster. He can draw and sing and act. He does all of this with a kind smile and never a boastful attitude.
  8. September 16, 2006 – Our last child, a son, was born on this day and now our house is filled with laughter because of it. He’ll be in sixth grade this year. He is also very talented – he is a wonderful artist, but he has this sense of humor that keeps us in stitches. I don’t know where he gets it. Here’s a joke he made up when he was in the second grade: “Do you know why there are no male teachers? Because it’s teacher not teachim.”
  9. May of 2013 – I received the communication all writers want to hear. Resplendence Publishing wanted to publish my book. It had taken 13 years, but I finally got it right. Welcome Home, book 1 in the Pike’s Run Series, had been through many revisions. But all that sweat, blood, tears, tears and more tears paid off. And now I can’t stop!!! The Cowboy’s Embrace, book 10, will be released tomorrow, Destiny’s Secrets, book 11, is going through the critique process, and Pierce’s Hero, book 12, is finished and waiting its turn with my critique partners.
  10. November 22, 1998 – My grandpa gave me the best advice on this day. He told me that marriage is 100/100. Not 50/50. He asked me why I would ever only give half of myself to the person who would be my partner in life. It made so much sense. So, ever since then, regardless of what my husband does for me, I give him as much as I possibly can. Is it working? I think so. Am I always successful? NO. It’s hard, of course, but I don’t believe I’m here just to see what others can do for me. My helping hands and loving heart shouldn’t be contingent on what others do for me. I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my grandpa on that day. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving of 1998. He died on Thanksgiving Day that year. His entire family was there. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in January. He was given 6 months. He lived for 11. I think of him every day.

 

Blurb:

Lily Spero is searching for her stolen heritage, for a place in the world that is all her own. Sixteen years ago, she lost her parents and siblings to a villain on a white horse. Since, she’s hungered for family, for that love she’d once known. When she visits the Swinging A Ranch, her past collides with her present, opening wounds long buried and shockingly creating hope where none had been before.

Deacon Tolbert is the foreman and a contributing partner to the Swinging A Ranch. He’s carved a niche in the world all his own, finally feeling worthy of the goodness he’s found for himself. But when Lily Spero arrives, the girl he abandoned years ago, he’s forced to face the most gut-wrenching moment of his life.

Despite the pain, love surprises them and blossoms, bringing hope for the future. But the villain from the past comes to haunt them, to steal what they’re trying to build. Deacon and Lily must brave vile evil in order to stay together, and fight with all they have to keep the promises they made to each other.

Excerpt:

“I thought you were dead.”

Deacon paused in restacking the woodpile outside his home. Lily.

His hand hovered over the cut tree, and it took every ounce of strength he had to remain upright. He swallowed. He should have realized she’d have enough courage to face him. She’d always been like her mother.

When her friend hadn’t shown this morning for her cowboy education, he’d thought the pair had gone home. He’d thought he’d been saved from confronting the worst moment of his life. But here she was. Lily.

He couldn’t tell her to go. And he wouldn’t pretend not to know who she was. Slowly, muscle by muscle, he straightened to full height.

“Or captured,” she continued.

He closed his eyes.

“I thought…no…I tortured myself with images of the ghost coming to get you.”

Ah, God. Pain tightened his chest. He couldn’t turn around.

Some beats passed, accompanied only by the noise of cicadas. “But…now…I fear you abandoned me of your own volition.” Tears thickened her tone. “Did you choose to leave me?”

He had. And the action had haunted him every day.

A groan of frustration came from her. “Are you going to stand there and say nothing? After all these years, after what we went through, you won’t talk to me? You can’t even look at me.” Her voice broke. “Was I that much of a problem? Did I cause you so much trouble I’d become a burden?”

Her questions lashed his skin, making past wounds crack open and run down his flesh. God, how he wished he’d been able to stop the villain on the white horse.

Another sob from her had him clenching his hands into fists. He could face her. He could. With slow movements, he turned.

And the beautiful creature before him proved that sixteen years had passed. His heart constricted that he had caused this beauty so much suffering. Guilt pressed on him, and he couldn’t move, couldn’t make his mouth work to speak.

She was Lily. He could see it. But she’d transformed into a picture of grace and strength he had no business being around. He’d added to her grief and owed her an explanation. If he could find his courage, he would apologize.

Her watery gaze glittered with gut-wrenching pain. Disbelief.

“God,” she choked out. “You’ve changed so much.”

He was a rough cowboy now. One who chose to avoid the sweeter side of life for reasons he refused to explore.

“I should know your face,” she accused, lifting her chin. “You should be as familiar to me as the backs of my hands. We were supposed to be together…to be each other’s family. You promised.”

 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cowboys-embrace-kara-oneal/1128974490?ean=2940161996683

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Embrace-Pikes-Run-Book-ebook/dp/B07F2NHCJB/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530393747&sr=8-2&keywords=kara+o%27neal

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kara_O_Neal_The_Cowboy_s_Embrace?id=MTJiDwAAQBAJ

 

Contact Links and Social Media:

My website: www.karaoneal.com

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

Sadie Michelson from Adrienne Wolfe’s Devil in Texas Shares 10 Memorable Moments

Please help me welcome Adrienne Wolfe with a bit of a twist on the ’10 Moments that Changed My Life’ – Her heroine from Devil in Texas is sharing HER moments…

From Diva to Detective:

10 Memorable Moments in My Wild Western Life

By Sadie Michelson, Pinkerton Agent

As reported to Adrienne deWolfe, Agency Scribe

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Scribe’s Note:  Sadie Michelson is deep undercover, sending this transmission from her latest top-secret location. Per Agent Michelson’s instructions, I have faithfully transcribed her 10 most memorable moments – in the event that she fails to survive.  Be forewarned:  this transcript will self-destruct in 7 minutes . . .

  1. My childhood was what you might call . . . eventful.  It made me an orphan.  But believe me, I’m not complaining.  My twin sister wound up as a little, freckle-faced  ghost with red hair.  At least, I think the chubby-cheeked cherub, who watches over me at night, is Maisy.  (Can 5-year-old ghosts sprout wings?) I’m not an expert on ancestral spooks, like my Pinkerton compatriot, Wilma LeBeau, the Cajun Mambo.  To ward off evil spirits, Wilma makes me wear a gris-gris in her house.   She kind of freaks me out . . .
  2. Around the age of 21, I wrote my first bawdy song, Pansy Primrose, while I was headlining at Dodge City’s infamous Long Branch Saloon.  The ballad is about a virtuous lass, who . . . uh . . . loses her underwear.  Pansy’s tale (tail?) received lots of whoops and hollers from the roostered cowboys when it debuted.  They like to bellow the refrain while I sang:  “Purdy Pansy Primrose, now that she’s full-grown, will jump a randy cowboy like a dog jumps on a bone . . . ” 
  3. About four years later, the notorious gunslinger, William Cassidy (aka “Lucifire”) blazed back into my life.  My wily ex-lover wanted to hook up again.  Little did I know, the scalawag was being chased by Texas Rangers!  I should have told Cass to turn around and ride back to Hades; instead, I did something stupid.  I fell in love.  A girl like me knows better than to mix business with pleasure, but there’s just something about Cass …  Anyway, I set out to lure the law from his trail, and the hothead thought I betrayed him!  He left me choking on his dust!  That’s the thanks I got, for risking my neck . . .375_WEBSITEPROMO_Lucifireadevilwithagun
  4. By the way, Cass isn’t the only one with bragging rights around guns.  My daddy left me his Henry Repeater.  Around about midnight, when things were just heating up  in Dodge, a mob of masked Ku Klux Klansmen tried to lynch Cass’s Cherokee friend.  I never much liked that half-breed (he convinced Cass that I ratted him out to the Rangers.)  However, I have even bigger reasons to hate the Klan.  I threw back my shutter and opened fire on the pigs.  That’s right:  I was the one who got that shootout going to save the half-breed’s life!  Too bad Wyatt Earp had to show up with his tin-star and spoil all my fun . . .
  5. Around about ‘79, I got wind that Daddy was owed back wages.  So I stormed into Allan Pinkerton’s Chicago office and demanded that he fork over my rightful inheritance. Who would have thought that the world’s most famous detective would see something greater in me than a cowtown whore?  Pinkerton offered to hire me on the spot!  (That moment was a real rip-snorter, let me tell you!)  But since I was already a crack shot, and I had no compunction against decking randy cowboys, I figured, what the heck?  I was half-trained to be a detective anyway . . .400_pinkertonbadge_clipped_rev_1
  6. Then came the reality check.  Ugh.  Was God just bored the day he gave me brandy-colored eyes?  Try disguising those when you’re slinking through a sodbuster convention, praying you won’t get recognized!  Once, I did get caught.  I was pawing through a scumbag’s underwear drawer for evidence.  “That’s right!” I wanted to shout, “I’m the waiter, who served you turtle soup last night!”  Fortunately, my Irish temper doesn’t always get the best of me.  And I discovered that railroad spectacles can be  tinted blue . . .
  7. Speaking of losing my temper:  I tend to throw things.  Cass has gotten really good at dodging perfume bottles.  Once, when I was on a strict no-dessert diet (so I could fit into my stage costume) the rotter brought me a strawberry shortcake.  Needless to say, I pitched a diva fit and threw the shortcake at his head!  Undaunted, the rascal coaxed me into a novel way to enjoy cake.  We spent the next 90 minutes scraping whipping cream off the wall and smearing it all over each other’s private parts.  BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
  8. At last count, my elusive lover has racked up six nicknames (including “The Rebel Rutter”) for his Wanted posters.  I only have one alias worth mentioning, but I’m pretty proud of it:   The Devil’s Daughter.  I bet you’re wondering how I earned such an enviable title. I’d dish the details, but  then the Propriety Police would censor Alicia’s blog, and Alicia would rat me out to Wilma, and Wilma would put a Voodoo curse on me . . .  So suffice it to say, Cass gave me the name after spending 10 hours in my bed.  The Rebel Rutter couldn’t sit astride his saddle for a week! (::snicker::)
  9. A couple of months ago, while working undercover in Galveston, I had to jump out of a burning brothel.  That feat definitely ranks among my most memorable moments.  Cass had just blown my cover.  Or at least, that’s what I thought, because a container of Greek Fire crashed through my window.  I escaped – barely – by disguising myself as a tramp and fleeing for the docks.  I let Cass go on thinking I was dead.  It served him right!
  10.   It’s really hard to end with just 10 memorable moments.  I have a whole Pinkerton caseload worth reporting!  How many Victorian ladies do you know, who’ve ended the career of a corrupt state senator?  Or outwitted a criminal mastermind, who uses music to  turn innocents into killers?  But to tell the truth, an even bigger mystery is looming on my horizon.  I’m worried that it might be personal.  I started getting suspicious when I caught Cass and Wilma, whispering behind my back.  Then my boss started changing the subject whenever I walked into the room. I hate to sound paranoid, but my instincts never fail me.  I need to find out what my allies are covering up, and I need to find out fast.  Otherwise, I might not make it out of this border town alive …

(End of Pinkerton Transmission)

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Sadie and Cass star in:

Devil in Texas

By Adrienne deWolfe

Book 1, Lady Law & The Gunslinger

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Book Description

Pinkerton Agent Sadie Michelson poses as a casino singer to investigate a Texas Senator. Before she can cozy up to her quarry, she must get past his bodyguard, William Cassidy, her long-lost lover.

An outlaw seeking redemption, Cass was lured to Texas by the promise of a Ranger badge. But he hasn’t forgotten the sassy siren, who toyed with his heart. When Sadie proposes a truce, Cass suspects she’s hiding something.

With assassins dogging their heels, Cass and Sadie uncover a murder conspiracy in the senate. To stay alive, they must do the one thing they’re dead set against: trust each other.

Purchase on Amazon or wherever ebooks are sold.  Also available in paperback.

Amazon link:  http://amzn.to/2aKZW6j

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About Adrienne deWolfe

Adrienne deWolfe is the #1 bestselling author of action-packed Historical Romance novels, where feisty Heroines buck the conventions and true Heroes must be wickedly funny.  Currently, she is working on the third book in her Lady Law & The Gunslinger Series.  For more information about her sassy ladies and sizzling rogues, visit http://LadyLawandtheGunslinger.com

Join Adrienne’s Romance Club: http://wildtexasnights.com/join-my-romance-club/

Follow Adrienne’s blog:  http://WildTexasNights.com/blog/

Follow Adrienne on Twitter: http://Twitter.com/AdriennedeWolfe

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

ANGELINE – Bride Brigade Two by Caroline Clemmons

I’m happy to welcome Caroline Clemmons with her latest release…

 

Beautiful woman wearing red dress over a train

 

Please help me celebrate the release this month of ANGELINE, Bride Brigade book two, on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited at http://amzn.com/B01CEK3W0S.

Creating this town in which all the women are elderly widows or part of older couples—except for the wealthy young widow, Lydia Jane Harrison—was fun. Many bachelors are threatening to move to Fort Worth or another city so they can meet a wife and start a family. Who can blame them?

Lydia loathes the fact there are no women her age and no children in town. Her friend Sophia Gaston challenges Lydia to do something about the problem because Sophia’s son is threatening to leave. Lydia travels back to Richmond, Virginia to recruit young women of high caliber with a view to marriage. She chooses four but by the time she reaches Tarnation, she has seven young women with her. I love the name of the town, Tarnation, don’t you?

The site of this fictional town near the base of the Palo Pinto Mountains in North Central Texas is an area I love. To people from other locales, these may look like hills. By geological standards, they are mountains. There is something about that area that calls to me. I never tire of driving through the mountains and picturesque small towns like Palo Pinto, Strawn, and Santo. 

This was one of the hardest books I’ve written. I’ve said that before, but this really was the most difficult. Not because of research, but because the hero is the minister of Tarnation. Writing a minister hero without being too “churchy” was a challenge. Not that I have anything against inspirational romances—I read them, but they’re not what I write. My goal is to have the same tone for each of the Bride Brigade books. I’m sure my family is happy I’ve completed and published ANGELINE so I’d quit fretting about it (yes, that’s a nice way of saying complaining).

I have to admit I love the heroine, Angeline Chandler, and the hero, Grady McIntyre. In my opinion, they make the perfect couple. Lydia Harrison gave Angeline a second chance and secretly knew she was right for Grady. This makes a marriage for two of the seven women Lydia brought to Tarnation. 

Here’s the blurb for ANGELINE:

A desperate young woman

A second chance

A life-changing decision.

Angeline Chandler didn’t invite the attack that created her condition but she’s suffering the result. Disowned by her family and left alone and destitute, she gets a second chance when a kind woman rescues her and invites her to travel to Tarnation, Texas with six other young women for the purpose of marriage with a local bachelor. The prospect of marrying one man while carrying another’s child worries Angeline. Who would want her with another man’s baby?

Grady McIntyre is a minister whose wife died soon after their son was born. The woman who has been helping with his toddler has told him she’s too old to continue. When Angeline’s name is suggested as a part-time nanny, he seizes the chance to hire her. Their attraction is instantaneous but Angeline resists. A minister needs a virtuous woman, not a fallen one. Soon they marry and both are happy.

Trouble rears its ugly head until matters come to a crisis. Angeline and Grady must be strong to protect their love and preserve Grady’s ministry.

Here’s an excerpt from ANGELINE:    

The vigor which had been with her on her walk had completely disappeared. In its place a clammy, smothering sensation overwhelmed her. If only she could reach Lydia’s she’d be safe. She hardly remembered taking her fabric and going out the door.

The world spun and she reached out her hand to steady herself but found only air. She gasped for breath, unable to breathe. Her knees turned to rubber and she felt herself sinking.

Firm hands clasped her upper arms. “Miss, may I help you?”

She looked into the kindest hazel eyes she’d ever seen. His blond hair barely showed under his hat. “I don’t know what came over me. I suppose I’m still tired from my journey.”

He looped her arm onto his. “I’m the local pastor, Grady McIntyre. Please allow me to escort you to the Harrison home.”

“Thank you, I’m Angeline Chandler. Frankly, I can use a solid arm to lean on for the walk.” She clasped his forearm as she would a stair banister. For a minister, he was muscular and appeared strong.

“You must be one of the young women who came with Lydia. I couldn’t get away to greet your arrival but I understand there was quite a reception committee.”

She forced a smile. After all, he was gallant enough to help her and deserved a friendly response. “I was awfully tired. I hardly remember anyone except the mercantile owner and the sheriff. Lydia made a point of greeting them.”

“I remember that trip and imagine by then you only wanted a bath and a bed. That’s a tiring ride.”

“Deadly. I’m surprised my teeth didn’t fall out with all the bumps and rattles.”

“Don’t understand how anyone’s brave enough to leave town. Once I arrived, I vowed never to leave.”

She grinned at his attempt to cheer her. “Me, too…

~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you’ll read ANGELINE. If you haven’t read the first Bride Brigade book, JOSEPHINE, won’t you try it, too? There are five more of the Bride Brigade series to come. So far, reviews have been good for both books. I hope you agree. If you do, please post a review.

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Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family time, reading, travel, browsing antiques, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of Happy Is The Bride. She loves to hear from readers at caroline @ carolineclemmons.com

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Dances of the Heart – Andrea Downing

**** Winner of the FREE ecopy of Dances of the Heart is Teressa Mirault. Congratulations, Teressa!

I am pleased to welcome Andrea Downing and her latest, a Wild Rose Press romance. Looks like a great one! Take it away, Andrea…

Hi Alicia, thanks so much for having me here today and helping me share the release of my new book, Dances of the Heart.

Where did you get the idea for your story?  

Strangely enough, the idea for Dances of the Heart came from the Texas Two-step; Texas Two-Step was its original title until I discovered there were numerous books with that title so opted to change it.  It just made me think of writing a story about two couples, mother and daughter/father and son, which took place in Texas.  Quite honestly, I have no idea how it evolved from that.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?   

I’ve never written a contemporary book before; all my work has been historical, and this effort was really rather frightening.  I have no idea why I’m so much more comfortable in the 1800s, but I was once told I was born in the wrong century!  Obviously, in some ways, contemporary’s easier—you don’t have to think that much about language and the way they lived and how they would be dressed and so on, although I did have to have a Texan check my dialog to make sure it sounded right.

What was the most difficult thing about this book in particular? 

As I just mentioned, getting the language correct, making the Texas characters sound ‘Texan.’  I’m from the northeast and have lived most of my life in Britain so, for instance, I never say “I’m fixin’” to do anything!

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

PROMOTION  It is such a time-suck, it isn’t even funny any more.  The book world is swamped now, and it’s difficult to know what to do, what works and so on, to sell books.  I hate it.  I would also like to get rid of waiting time in doctor’s offices.  For some reason, doctors seem to think their time is more valuable than ours.  To give you an example, I had a 3 pm appointment last week and was called to please come in for 1.30 pm because the doctor had a meeting in the afternoon.  So, what happened?  I still wasn’t seen until 3pm…  I have a couple of medical issues at the moment and the amount of time I lose in doctor’s offices doesn’t bear thinking about, although it’s good reading time.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?    

If push comes to shove, I’d rather have a bad review than none at all although, having said that, I, myself, have opted out of reviewing a book I didn’t like rather than give it a bad review.   For me, I’d like to know why people don’t like my work, what annoyed them—I want feedback from readers basically.  If you don’t receive a review at all, you’re left wondering whether the reader just gave up or what the heck happened.  But, for goodness sake, you want a sensible, intelligent review, good or bad.

If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be?  

Oh, I’d love to re-write Loveland and fill it out into a saga.  There is a lot that happens ‘off stage’ in that book, particularly when Lady Alex and Jesse are separated and she is in England, I would love to fill out.  And I would like to finish their story and tell a bit more of it.

What is your favorite quote?    

It comes from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, and readers can find more of his amazing made-up words online.  Here’s my favorite:  Sonder:

“Realize that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own – populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness – an epic story that continues invisibly around like an anthill, sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”    John Koenig

What is your most prized material possession? Why?   

I’m really not attached to material possessions.  I mean, I like having a computer to write and I like to look at photos in our old albums, but if you ask me what I’d grab in a blazing fire, I’m not sure.  If pushed, I guess I’d have to say it’s a portrait I had done for my daughter’s 18th birthday; it’s the two of us sitting by the piano, which is a big part of my daughter’s life.  When I had it done, the young artist, Alastair Adams, was virtually unknown; he has since gone on to become President of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and paint such notables as Tony Blair, whose portrait by Alastair now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery.  I doubt I could afford his work now!  But anyway, the painting captures the two of us and our relationship so well.  I hope it remains in the family for generations.

So I’d like to know from readers here what their most valued possession is, and why; I think I’m going to ask to discount photo albums because so many people say that.  And I’ll choose one person to receive a free digital copy of Dances of the Heart.  Thanks so much for having me, Alicia.  It’s been great to discuss these things with you.

It’s been a pleasure having you, Andrea. I enjoyed the interview…congratulations on the new release!

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Blurb:  Successful, workaholic author Carrie Bennett lives through her writing, but can’t succeed at writing a man into her life. Furthermore, her equally successful but cynical daughter, Paige, proves inconsolable after the death of her fiancé.

Hard-drinking rancher Ray Ryder can find humor in just about anything—except the loss of his oldest son. His younger son, Jake, recently returned from Iraq, now keeps a secret that could shatter his deceased brother’s good name.

On one sultry night in Texas, relationships blossom when the four meet, starting a series of events that move from the dancehalls of Hill Country to the beach parties of East Hampton, and from the penthouses of New York to the backstreets of a Mexican border town. But the hurts of the past are hard to leave behind, especially when old adversaries threaten the fragile ties that bind family to family…and lover to lover.  

 

Excerpt: Ray pointed to his pickup, smirking slightly with the knowledge of what her reaction would probably be.

“You must be joking.”


He could hardly hear the mumbled comment, but it was exactly what he’d been expecting.


She glowered, a brow definitively arched in query.  “What year is this thing?”


He attempted to wipe the amusement away from his face with a hand that rubbed his stubble in a satisfying scrape. “Sorry, I left the Cadillac at home this time.” A raised brow questioned if she took him seriously. “It’s an ’89, and still runs as smooth as the day I got it.”

“Which was, what? Last year?”

Ray shook his head and proceeded to the passenger door. “You have the key, sweetheart,” he said, patiently standing and waiting.

“Listen!” Carrie put her hands out as if to stop any further conversation. “First off, I am not your sweetheart. And second, if by any chance you think you just may have gotten lucky tonight–”

“Whoa, whoa now.” Ray was truly mystified at the turn events were taking. “Not that I wouldn’t be honored and damn well pleased, but I sure as heck wasn’t thinkin’ along those lines…and truth be told, you know, I’m hardly up to it.” He considered this for a second, a fog clearing for a moment’s view of the road. “And I don’t mean I need Viagra either.” He noted her staring at the key as if it might turn into something else. “No, it doesn’t open automatically,” he informed her at last.

She shoved the key into the handle and got the door open, climbed up into the cab and reached across to unlock the door for him. Her gaze ran over the dashboard, uncertainty scrunching her face like a bitter fruit.

Ray folded himself into the passenger seat and slouched back, tipping his hat over his eyes. “Just let me know when you give up. I’ll be right here, darl…” Yeah, better not. He could almost feel her indignation, listening as she squirmed around and adjusted the seat.

“It’ll be a cold day in hell, mister, before I give up!” The key turned and the truck sputtered to life, then died again.

“You ever drive manual before?” he mumbled from under his Stetson, and sensed Carrie eyeing him. “That’s what I thought,” he answered to her lack of response. “Put your foot on the clutch, move her into first, release the brake, and get goin’, slowly releasing the clutch.”

“Who the hell drives stick shift anymore?” she muttered as she followed his terse instructions. The truck lurched forward as she spun it off the grass toward the road.

“Right,” Ray directed, feeling suddenly nauseous with the pitch of the car. Bile rising, he opened the door and spat before yanking it shut again. “Can you get the damn thing into second? Foot on the clutch, move the shift and let’s go if we’re going.”

“Fine! You don’t have to yell at me.”

Ray sat up, shoved his hat back from his eyes and glared at her, reining in his frustration and anger. “I was not yelling at you, but you know dang well we’d be far safer with me drivin’. As it is, I’m gonna need a new transmission.”

The truck staggered again. “I know no such thing.” She bent forward to swipe at the windscreen to clear it. “We haven’t got seatbelts on,” she murmured.

“We’re not going fast enough to need them.”

Carrie ignored his last remark and appeared to concentrate on keeping the truck moving. It sputtered again, and Ray let out a sigh of resignation just as flashing blue lights appeared in the side mirror. She pulled over, and the motor unceremoniously died.

“Damn!” she cursed, reaching down for her bag at Ray’s feet. “Let me get my license.”

©nathandehartphotography-andreadowning copy

Bio:  Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born, instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards and placed in the 2014 International Digital Awards Historical Short contest.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and came out Oct. 8th, 2014, and Dances of the Heart, her first contemporary novel, comes out in February, 2015.

 

Links to Social Media:  WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446229.Andrea_Downing

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Buy Links:  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dances-Heart-Andrea-Downing-ebook/dp/B00S46BGY6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421510959&sr=8-2&keywords=Dances+of+the+Heart

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepub: http://www.amazon.com/Dances-Heart-Andrea-Downing-ebook/dp/B00S46BGY6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421510959&sr=8-2&keywords=Dances+of+the+Heartlishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6060

 

 

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