Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Blog Tour: Petticoat Ball by Shanna Hatfield

Petticoat-Ball-Blog-Tour-graphic

Welcome to the

PB TitleBlog Tour!

A celebration of two new sweet historical romances by Shanna Hatfield
The fifth book in the Pendleton Petticoats series has led me down the road of researching the Umatilla Indian Reservation during the early years of the 20th century. One of the best resources I've found for gleaning the details I need is through a collection of photographs from Lee Moorhouse.
Moorhouse was a photographer and an Indian agent for the Umatilla Indian Reservation. From 1888 to 1916, he produced more than 9,000 images documenting urban, rural, and Native American life in the Columbia Basin, particularly in Umatilla County, Oregon, where the reservation is located. Born in Marion County, Iowa, as a child Moorhouse traveled along the Oregon Trail to Walla Walla, Washington with his family in the 1860s. He worked as a miner, surveyor, rancher, businessman, civic leader, real estate operator and insurance salesman during his lifetime. In addition to acting as an Indian agent from 1879 to 1883, he served as Assistant Adjutant General of the Third Brigade of the Oregon State Militia. Unlike most amateur photographers of the time, Moorhouse worked with and mastered the cumbersome and finicky equipment of professionals, including gelatin dry glass plate negatives, large cameras, and a tripod. Many of his photographs exhibit a keen eye and deep appreciation for his subject matter that went far beyond the amateur. His photographs of the Cayuse, Walla Walla and Umatilla tribes are not only of historical significance, but also incredibly crisp and beautiful. Moorhouse owned an extensive collection of Native American "curios" including baskets, weapons, regalia, bags and horse trappings--from a variety of tribal cultures. He exhibited the collection at local fairs and used it to adorn people who came to sit for portraits. Like so many photographs from that era, the posed portraits aren't considered accurate ethnographic documents. However, the images taken on the reservation are important records of tribal clothing and dwellings. Moorhouse collected so much more than images with his photographs since he commonly inscribed the name of the subject on his negatives. This information has played an important role in identifying members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from his collection.
The "Cayuse Twins" (Al-om-pum and Tox-e-lax) became a signature piece for Moorhouse when he took their photos in 1898. He sold more than 150,000 copies of their images.
This is "Dr. Whirlwind," one of Moorhouse's favorite subjects. From information I gathered, I believe his name was David Young Chief. As a young man, he carried dispatches for Colonels Wright and Steptoe during the Indian uprisings for 1855-56. He also served as a scout during the Sheepeater Campaign of 1879. Check out the embellishments on his gun.
The details Moorhouse captured are just amazing, like the traditional dress of Chief Ka-lit-in of the Cayuse Tribe.
These are the children of Parson Motanic. You can see the girls wear the traditional wing style dresses. Their father was a successful farmer and at one time owned one of the largest properties on the reservation, raising both wheat and livestock. I think the girl on the far left and the one standing next to her look like they are full of sass and fun.
Parson became an ardent Presbyterian and served as an elder at the reservation church for many years. He was often seen driving around Pendleton in his Hudson automobile.
This is Ku-massag, also known as Agnes Davis. She appears in several of Moorhouse's photographs. Here, she wears traditional dress, including a woven hat Moorhouse often used as a studio prop.
 
And here she is in a studio pose. Isn't she stunning? Look at that beautiful skin! I, for one, am so glad Moorhouse decided to pursue photography as a passion, if not a career. Thanks to his diligent efforts (and the University of Oregon libraries), the world can get such a wonderful glimpse into a way of life that is no more.
PB-Releases Thimbles and Thistles CoverThe second book in the Baker City Brides series releases Thursday, April 9! Thimbles and Thistles takes readers back to Baker City as spring arrives and love is in the air. You can reserve your Kindle copy here: http://amzn.com/B00TCV6BFG 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. flourish thinLacy 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..."   flourish thin Aundy CoverIt 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. PB-Party 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:
10 a.m. - Julie Lence
10:30 - Kathleen Ball
12:30 - Kristin Holt
1 p.m. - Karen Witemeyer
1:30 - Kayla Thomas
  Petticoat-Ball-Facebook-Party-Invitation 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   PB-Prizes Prizes To enter the drawing for a $50 American Express gift card, autographed books, digital books, chocolates, and original western artwork, fill out this form. http://tinyurl.com/petticoatballprizes   PB-Author-BioShanna Hatfield 2A 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. Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter *****
Resources: Grafe, Steven L. Peoples of the Plateau: The Indian Photographs of Lee Moorhouse, 1898-1915. University of Oklahoma Press, 2005. Photographs: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon For a quick overview of Moorhouse's work, you can also find many images on Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Release: Pigsty Princess by Nancy Brandt



I am pleased to host fellow Clean Reads author Nancy S. Brandt and her new release! Nancy is a stay-at-home mother of two children, a daughter, 25, who is an appointment's clerk at an orthopedic clinic and an editor and book reviewer; and a son, 12, who studies karate, and wants to be either an historian or an artist. Nancy's husband, Steven, is also an author and an adjunct professor of computer science at Louisiana State University.

In about sixth grade, an English teacher gave an assignment to write a descriptive essay. Nancy's was all about a wonderful cave filled with diamonds, emeralds and other precious gems. From that experience, she walked into every English class hoping to get to write something, and she learned three things:

1. The difference between stalactite and stalagmite,
2. That fantasy was probably the genre she should concentrate on, and
3. Never end a story with "It was all a dream."

Nancy is a kidney transplant recipient (her husband was her living donor), a thyroid cancer survivor, and an Army veteran. She is currently working on the sequel to Pigsty Princess, called Questionable Queen.

Here's the awesome cover for Nancy's new book, Pigsty Princess!



Back Cover Blurb:

In a country where Elemental Sensitivities determine a person's place in society, Mariana, fourth child of King Jonathan and Queen Alexandria, was born an Insensitive. She is given the made up title of Progenna, because she can't be in line for the throne and therefore, can't be a Princess. All her life, she is reminded that she isn't quite good enough. When her father decides she is to marry Pir Leo Valentine, an eighty-four year old man with a scar across his face that took his eye and only one hand, she runs away from the palace.

Orlando of Talla is a pig farmer and former soldier who served the King until he watched his Sovereign burn an entire harbor town rather than lose a battle. Now he tries to live a quiet life while leading a band a rebels who steal from the nobility to bring prisoners home from that war.

Orlando is also the bastard son of a nobleman, and therefore, he has a Sensitivity, one of Blood that allows him to feel the Sensitivities of others.

He finds the injured Progenna in the forest and immediately realizes that the stories about Mariana aren't true. Ra-ther than being an Insensitive, Mariana may be the most powerful Sensitive in Valborough. 

Excerpt:

Mariana sniffled. “He said I was a commoner, and that I’m not Father’s daughter by blood.”
Ramone sighed and shook his head. “Gossip only. Not even worthy of the servants, and for it to come out of the mouth of a Rieravo and a Presumptive…I am surprised he would suggest that
out loud to you.”
She adjusted herself so she was off her brother’s lap and faced him. “Ramone, what if what Darius said is right? What if Father isn’t…my father? No nobleman will ever want to marry me
if that’s true.”
“First of all, it’s not true, and second, even if it were, Father has claimed you as his daughter. He will take care of you.”
It didn’t make her feel any better.
“You mean he’ll force someone into marrying me.” She got off the loveseat and went over to sit at her mother’s writing desk. Picking up one of the quills, she glanced at her brother in the
mirror.
“It might not be like that,” he said after a moment of silence. “There must be some man who doesn’t care about bonding. Someone who will be content with having only his own magic.”
She spun around to stare at him. “Name one person you have ever heard of, male or female, who was willing to throw away the potential power of their Sensitivities to bond to someone with nothing. What do your history and peerage books say about that?”
He said nothing, but he didn’t meet her eyes.
Mariana nodded. “Just as I thought. I was stupid to think being a Proge…the daughter of the King would be enough. No one with any Sensitivities wants to wed someone they can’t bond with.
I wish Mother and Father would have prepared me for this.”
“What could they have done, Mariana?” He walked over to her and, taking her hands, brought her to her feet. “You are special, one of a kind. You are my beautiful baby sister.”
“But I’m not like the rest of you. Father and Mother are strong Sensitives. By definition, Father is the strongest in thekingdom. You, Liliana, and Ursula have sensitivities in three areas.. Me? You know what the Abilities Master said when I finished my testing.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Do you remember? Father came out of his meeting with Kylan and said, ‘It is as we thought.’ Mother cried.”
He took her in his arms. “She loves you. She was crying because she knew your life would be harder because of this.”
“Was that it?” she asked. “Did Mother cry because I don’t have any Sensitivities or because Father found out about my true parentage? I have to know if I am a Princess in truth or just the
result of some mistake Mother made.”


Nancy can be found at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (nancysbrandt), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

You can purchase Pigsty Princess at Clean Reads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Tour: In The Woods by Nancy Gideon


I am so honored to host fellow Michigander Nancy Gideon! She’s celebrating the release of In the Woods, a horror/mystery/thriller based on the screenplay by Lynn Drzick. Here’s what it’s about:

Hundreds of years ago their battle began . . .

In an age of knights and sorcery, a good king must raise a monster to protect his people from the demon unleashed by a dark-hearted enemy determined to claim his kingdom. But once called forth upon blood-drenched fields, can such evil ever be truly laid to rest?

To a present day community held hostage by fear, a serial killer will soon be the least of its worries after two off-duty firefighters enter a forest and find a grave. What they dig up isn’t a victim or family pet. When they race from the woods, they bring a timeless hell with them . . .

And here’s an excerpt:

And to further entice you, here’s a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Nancy can be found at her Website or Blog, and on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.


In the Woods can be purchased at Amazon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hitting the Big Time

Have you ever had a spotlight shine on you unexpectedly? Or had a microphone handed over to you when you had absolutely nothing to say? Or been called on to speak in a meeting? That’s sort of the feeling I got last month when the gorgeous cover for my novella Searching for Lady Luck won the Crème de la Cover Contest at In D’Tale Magazine. Though I was thrilled to win simply for the recognition, the prize included a quarter page ad for winning the weekly contest, and a full-page ad for winning the monthly contest!

After the initial excitement, I started to panic. How on earth was I going to come up with two ads? I do a little bit of digital image manipulation, but nothing that people are going to look at in a magazine. I felt like I’d walked into the wrong party and everyone was looking at me. Knowing I wouldn't be able to do this alone, I asked my daughter for help, since she took a lot of computer courses in college, and she agreed to work with me.

But then I decided to gift the full page ad to my publisher (you  know, to thank them for putting my books out there) and in return she paid the cover artist to create my ad for me! Today I got the finished product. I am so thrilled, I wanted to share it with you.

What do you think?

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Release and Review: Bringing in the Thieves by Lora Lee

I am so pleased to host my good friend Lora Lee, as she begins a blog tour for her latest book, a cozy mystery called Bringing in the Thieves. I had the pleasure of reading this book when it first released, and I’m so glad I did! I’ll let Lora tell you about how she came up with the story, and then I’ll share my thoughts.

         The truth is I never intended to write a cozy mystery. Honest! I had three contemporary romances published and figured I would stick with that genre. I loved writing romances. Loved reading them, too. But one day in a flurry of free-writing, trying to fill my creativity well when I’d hit a brick wall with a current romance project, a character developed along with a story that wasn’t a romance.  Where in the world did that come from? And what should I do with it? The story flowed easily from my imagination as I played with it. No pressure, no deadline – just writing for fun. I had no plans for the project because it didn’t fit the market I was targeting. But the characters stuck in my mind, so one day I showed it to my critique group. They agreed it wasn’t a romance but told me it sounded like a fit for the cozy mystery genre. That’s all it took to jump start the Joyful Noise Mysteries.
Next thing I knew, Frankie Lou Birmingham McMasters became a preacher’s daughter with a tarnished reputation. One mistake led her to the altar with Ruby Springs’ bad boy while her daddy kept one hand on the shotgun leaning against the pulpit and the other on his Bible as the bride and groom repeated their wedding vows. Protesting was never an option for the couple. Now, Ruby Springs, Texas, had a whole new topic of gossip. The story took off from there and well, it ended with a published cozy mystery, BRINGING IN THE THIEVES, and possible future books, thanks to Bell Bridge Books.
Now, here I am traveling the cyber-highway on a month-long blog tour. If you’d like to learn more about the characters in the Joyful Noise Mysteries—and believe me, there are some quirky ones in Ruby Springs—come along and follow the blog tour. Oh, there’s a nifty giveaway you’ll have the opportunity to win - a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of BRINGING IN THE THIEVES. Don’t miss out on the fun! A little joyful reading will get you through the long winter days. 

Lora Lee

Blurb for Bringing in the Thieves:
Minister’s daughter Frankie Lou McMasters has come back to Ruby Springs, Texas with her daughter, Betsy, eleven years after running off to marry the town bad boy. Her mild notoriety as a bad girl is prime gossip for her childhood enemy, Poppy Fremont, now choir director of Faith Community Church–where Frankie Lou’s daddy, now retired to Florida, was the preacher.
When Frankie Lou comes to the deacons with a request to add a youth choir of at-risk teens she’s been coaching, Poppy throws a fit. A few hours later, Frankie Lou finds her dead in the baptistery pool. And Poppy’s not playing possum.
Frankie Lou sets out to clear her name as the main suspect, and tries to locate the real killer. Could he be sexy Joe Camps, the father of one of her teen singers? In the meantime, her momma shows up from Florida to take charge of Frankie Lou’s life. Bless her heart.

My Thoughts:

Frankie Lou is a struggling single mom, but she's got a truckload of Texas grit. In spite of her own challenges she plans to form a new chorus of young singers from the "wrong" side of town. Having worked with choirs, both at school and at church, I had to sympathize with her right there. But she's hindered by the big-haired, over-accessorized, Mary Kay pink- wearing choir director, who's been an adversary since Frankie's high school days. When the choir director turns up dead, Frankie's already chaotic life gets even more frenzied. Now she's got to prove her innocence. This is a great intro to the series, and I can't wait to read more. I loved reading about all the characters and their antics. The kids in the choir were especially endearing to me, and I hope to learn more about them in the next installment!

Lora Lee’s Bio:
Though author Lora Lee insists the series isn’t about her in any way, shape or form, she does admit to being a real-life P.K. (that’s preacher’s kid, in case you didn’t know.) She was born in Texas and her Southern blood runs deep. Her daddy told her any place below the Mason-Dixon line was part of the South, including the Lone Star State.
Since living in West Michigan most of her married life, she’s lost some of her Texas twang, but once in awhile, a might could and a y’all or two slips into her conversation with her critique partners. They love her, anyway. So does her husband of fifty-plus years and their children. With a current family count of twenty-three, get-togethers often resemble an old time revival when they all gather for fun and food.
Lora Lee is a member of Romance Writer’s of America, Mid-Michigan RWA, Sisters-in-Crime, RWA’s specialty chapter Kiss of Death and is currently published in contemporary romance. She is also a proud graduate of the Grand Rapids Citizens Police Academy.
When not writing or trying to keep up with her ever-growing family, she enjoys reading, music and travel.

Bringing in the Thieves is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and other ebook outlets.


a Rafflecopter giveaway