This forlorn place is located south of Baker City. It always makes the imaginative, curious part of me wonder who originally lived there and built the outbuildings. Who put up the corral? Why did they live so far from town? (It really is out in the middle of nowhere). Did they have a family? What did they think of the isolated location?
This abandoned homestead inspired Thane Jordan’s ranch in Crumpets and Cowpies, the first book in my Baker City Brides series. In the story, rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate. He quickly discovers he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined. including a niece and nephew he didn’t know existed. The children’s aunt, Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she travels across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon. Imagine being an English Lady, accustomed to a life that was lush, comfortable and entirely pleasant. You’re forced (for the sake of two children) to marry a man you loathe entirely, and give up everything familiar. You travel across an ocean and the vast country of America, only to spend an hour on a bumpy wagon (or buckboard in Jemma’s case) ride to discover your home in the midst of nothing but sagebrush and cattle, dirt and snakes. It would definitely have taken strength, fortitude, and bravery. Here’s a little excerpt from the story:
*** Thane has just taken Jemma for a ride to look over part of the ranch. ***
“Thank you, Thane. I enjoyed it as well. The ranch is truly beautiful. Thank you for showing it to me.”
“I’m sorry it took so long. I meant to take you out last week, but things have been so busy.”
Jemma placed her hand on his arm and looked into his face. “I understand. I know you have many responsibilities to see to and you can’t spend all your time with the children.”
Although he loved Jack and Lily, he didn’t feel a desperate need to be close to them. Rather, it was the beguiling woman standing beside him with her hand burning a hole through his shirtsleeve who captured his thoughts. “I better relieve Sam of the children. I’m sure he has grown tired of Lily asking ‘why’ and Jack wanting to find you or play with the dogs or ride his horse. Thank you for giving him his own horse, by the way. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since the moment you put the reins in his hands.”
“Every rancher needs a good horse. Jack will grow into Nick.” As she recalled Jack’s excitement at having his own horse, she smiled at Thane. “It meant so much to him for you to entrust an animal to his care.” He nodded as she turned back toward the barn door. One of Lily’s doll dresses on the ground caught her attention. When she bent over to pick it up, Thane reached out and brushed his hand over the curve of her rear. She shot upright as if she’d been branded. Fire blasted from her eyes as she spun around and glared at him. “Mr. Jordan, that is completely and absolutely unacceptable. Do I make myself clear?”
“And wipe that smirk off your face!”
“That, I can’t do.” Thane’s wicked smile did little to calm her pounding heart or the breath she drew in with tight, short gasps. He touched his fingers to his hat, strolled out of the barn, then looked back at her with a wink. Frustrated, she stamped her booted feet then marched to the bunkhouse. She wanted to chase after Thane, spin him around, and slap his face – or kiss him until she lost what little sense she had left. ***
Maggie Dalton has no need for a man in her life. Widowed more than ten years, she’s built a successful business and managed quite well on her own in the bustling town of Baker City, Oregon. Aggravated by her inability to block thoughts of the handsome lumber mill owner from her mind, she renews her determination to resist his attempts at friendship. Full of Scottish charm and mischief, Ian MacGregor could claim any available woman in Baker City as his own, except the enchanting dress shop owner who continues to ignore him. Not one to give up on what he wants, Ian vows to win Maggie’s heart or leave the town he’s come to love.
Lacy, Book 5 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, will be available for pre-orders April 9. Be among the first to order the long-awaited story of Grant Hill. Talk about losing at love… eligible banker bachelor Grant needs to find the right girl. Those attending the party will also get a first look at the cover! “Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition…”
It just wouldn’t be a party if there wasn’t a book available for free! Aundy, Book 1 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, will be available for free Kindle downloads April 9. Make sure you grab your copy! If you’ve already read it, tell your friends to download it. If you haven’t met the characters from Pendleton Petticoats, here’s a brief intro: Aundy (Book 1) – One stubborn mail-order bride finds the courage to carry on when she’s widowed before ever truly becoming a wife, but opening her heart to love again may be more than she can bear. Caterina (Book 2) – Frantic to escape a man intent on marrying her, Caterina starts a new life in Pendleton, completely unprepared for the passionate feelings stirred by the town’s deputy sheriff. Ilsa (Book 3) – Tired of relying on others to guide and protect her, Ilsa finally finds the strength and courage to take control of her life. Unfortunately, her independence drives a wedge between her and the man she’s come to love. Marnie (Book 4) – After giving up on her dreams for a future, Marnie finds her hope rekindled by one caring, compassionate man and the orphans who need her.
Dust off your dancing shoes and choose your formal attire for the Petticoat Ball Party on Facebook April 9, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Giveaways and games will make for a splendid event as we celebrate the release of Thimbles and Thistles and the debut of Lacy! The talented and fabulous guest authors joining in the shenanigans include:
Invite your friends to the party, and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift card. Go to the Facebook Party Page, click on the “invite” button, invite your friends, then post how many you invited. One randomly drawn person will win, but you get additional entries for every 25 people you invite! Also, ask your friends when they join the party to share that you invited them on the party wall. Each friend who mentions your name, earns you another entry in the contest! The winner will be announced prior to the start of the party April 9! http://tinyurl.com/petticoatball
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
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