His Yankee Bride joins another boxed

As most of you know, recently His Jilted Bride was included in a boxed set titled From the Ballroom and Beyond.  But all good things must come to an end, right? And tonight at midnight while that set goes off sale, another titled Romancing the Rogue, which includes His Yankee Bride, will hit the virtual shelves!

To help celebrate, we, the authors in this set, are doing a scavenger hunt with awesome prizes. To see all giveaways and instructions, visit:


Here’s my excerpt, be watching the above link for my question for a chance to win an autographed copy of His Yankee Bride (US only) or the eBook version:


May 1787

John Banks shut his Bible and heaved a heavy sigh. It was days like today when being the youngest son of a baron was not nearly as appealing as being the oldest.

But that was John’s lot in life. He wasn’t the oldest; therefore, he had only three options: he could become a barrister, which he detested the thought of; an officer in the military, which made him shudder to think of; or a vicar. Even common born men had more options than he did. He nearly snorted. Even some criminals had more options than John did. At least they could be transported far away, then… Well, that’s the end of their advantage over John. Truly, once they arrived at wherever they were transported, it could not be a good experience.

“Is something the matter, John?” Edward, Lord Watson, and John’s eldest brother asked, coming into the room where John spent no less than eight hours a day reading his Bible in solitude; Edward’s wife, Regina, and their three-year-old son, Alex, coming in right behind him.

“No. I’m just memorizing Psalms 119.”

Regina’s brown eyebrows furrowed. “Didn’t you say that was the longest chapter in the Bible?”


Edward lifted Alex onto his shoulders and walked to the bookshelves, telling him to pick any book he’d like. While Alex studied the red, green, blue and black spines with gold lettering, Edward said, “Well, I wish you the best of luck with that.”

Regina cleared her throat. Then, lacking the desired result, she cleared it again.

Edward sighed. “All right, Alex, it appears your mama will be the one reading to you. We’d better go look at the storybooks so she doesn’t fall asleep reading you one of these vastly interesting science tomes you love so much.”

Regina smiled and shook her head. She was a good sort; quiet, amiable, humorous at times, and always understanding. She’d make an excellent wife for a vicar. How unfortunate Edward married her first. Not that there was really anything unfortunate about it. Their marriage was arranged, and John was only fourteen at the time of the wedding, far too young to know to be jealous. But ever since he’d gotten to know her, he knew he desired his wife to have the same temperament.

Alex closed his fingers around the spine of the book he wanted and gave it a hearty jerk, leading it to fall from the shelf and smack his father right in the nose. John grinned. The times had been countless when John had wished he could have gotten away with hitting his brother that way.

As if he’d read his mind, Edward shot him a pointed glance.

John threw his hands into the air. “Don’t look at me. I didn’t tell him to drop the book on your face.”

“No, but I’m sure you’ll reward him with a biscuit for his excellent aim later.”

“Can’t blame an uncle for spoiling his favorite nephew, can you?” John asked.

Edward shook his head and lowered Alex to the ground before picking up the fallen book. Regina took it from him and John looked away. Those two had been married almost five years and still looked at each other as if they’d married only a week ago. That was another thing he admired about Regina: she confined her affections for her husband to the bedroom. Not that other ladies didn’t, but that was because most ladies he knew didn’t actually love their husbands. And the few who did had a hard time keeping their hands—and lips—to themselves. He shuddered at the memory of Lord and Lady Craven, who were rumored to have a love match, sharing a close embrace when they thought nobody else was around.

But John had been around, and he’d forever be plagued with the memories of the couple engaging in intimacies better suited for the bedchamber.

“Come along, Alex,” Regina called to her son, holding her hand out for him to hold.

“Is something troubling you, Trouble?” Edward asked, falling into the chair opposite him. “Are you struggling with what to preach about after dinner tonight?”

“No, Edward,” he said with a sigh and a slight smile at his brother’s nickname for him based on all the “trouble” he’d been accused of causing when he was younger. “With all your deplorable habits, I doubt I’ll ever run out of things to preach about.”

“Good. I should hate for it to be said that I’m the kind of older brother who neglects the needs of his younger brother—even his need to practice putting everyone to sleep with his preaching each night.”

John smiled weakly at his jest. Truly, that’s all it was. Edward didn’t say it to be cruel or because he was annoyed with him and his past behavior. But, it didn’t make it any less true. In the time since he’d concluded his studies at Eton—and for as much of his life as he could remember before then, if the truth had to be exposed—he’d been memorizing Bible passages, giving Biblically based advice, and delivering impromptu sermons as part of his ministry training. And why shouldn’t he? Edward always knew he’d grow up to one day be a baron and spent his life looking after others and learning the skills he’d need to be a baron. So why shouldn’t John have spent his life preparing for his future? Because it was maddening; that’s why!

Not to imply that the Lord’s work was maddening, mind you. But the always being honest, always thinking before acting, and the overwhelming pressure that every word you say or action you take could one day be used against you and ruin your entire future was more than any gentleman at the ripe young age of nineteen should be concerned about. But John was, and the pressure was threatening to surround him until the last atom of oxygen in his lungs was squeezed out.

“John, have you considered that a life in the ministry isn’t for you?” Edward’s softly spoken words startled him straight from his woolgathering.

“There isn’t another option.” He glanced out the window. “At least not one I care to pursue.”

Edward nodded. “I can accept that. An officer’s life isn’t for everyone.”

“And neither is a barrister’s,” John added.

“No, it’s not.” Edward ran his hand through his hair. “Have you considered going on a Grand Tour?”

“No. It’s too late for that now anyway. The archbishop said he’d have placement for me in June. That’s not enough time.”

Edward waved him off. “Then go on Tour and have the archbishop assign you to another mentor when you return. There will always be lost souls in need of saving, John. The profession is not on the verge of extinction. It won’t hurt you to delay your life’s work by a few months or even a year.”

John exhaled. Edward didn’t understand.

“I understand more than you might think,” Edward said softly. He grinned. “I seem to remember a conversation we had a few years ago when I reminded you that I, too, was once fourteen. Fortunately, the circumstances of this conversation are vastly different; but I can also tell you that I, too, was once nineteen and felt the weight of the rest of my life and the future of all of you boys pressing down on me. Father had just died, and I didn’t have a choice but to step up and fulfill my role as baron. I’m not saying that your role in life is any less important, but your need to begin is not immediate. Go and have a bit of fun now while you still can.”

John sat motionless as his brother left the room. Then, he picked up his Bible and flipped it open, resigning himself to the fact that living in a metaphorical glass box where he could be observed and made an example of for the rest of his life was what his life was to be. The words blurred in front of him. This couldn’t be it. He was only nineteen! Far too young to live out the rest of his days in a small country village, precisely what would happen as soon as the archbishop found placement for him. He shut his Bible again and set it down on the table in front of him. Perhaps Edward understood better than John thought he did. What would it hurt to spend a little time seeing the world? Then, when he was done, he could return and settle in to a calm serene life as a country vicar and find a meek and mild lady to be his wife.

New book from my friend, Ruth J. Hartman

A good friend of mine, Ruth J Hartman, who I have had the pleasure of not only meeting, shaking hands with and murmuring a few pleasantries, but actually got to sit down and dine with her (more than once) this past May has a new book, A Courtship for Celia, available!


Cecilia Fletcher yearns for true love with the man of her heart. A life of her own away from her demanding mother would be an added benefit. But in order to do that, Cecilia must live a lie, making it necessary to use a false name in order to hide a family secret.

Barrington Radcliff was betrayed by a woman who he thought loved him. Because of that, trust is hard to willingly give. When he meets pretty Cecilia Fleming, his heart wants to give her a chance. Something about her doesn’t ring true, but Barrington allows love to overrule his good judgment.

Can Cecilia and Barrington get past their hurt and secrets long enough to find true love? 

Amazon ~*~ Smashwords


Like Edward Banks (or any of the Banks family for that matter), I tend to go through life without offering many explanations or apologies for my behavior. I’m just not good at social graces! But I do feel I owe all of you loyal readers an apology and an explanation.

First, I really am sorry I’ve been so remiss these past almost six months with my posts. I can’t go into all of it here, but we all have families and friends and we all know and understand that sometimes things that happen with them is beyond our control and has a way of pressing all of us. I am not immune. That said, I have made conscious decision to try to block out some of the external (and internal) distractions and blog more.

Starting with a few updates:

1. Simon and Henrietta’s book, Passions of a Gentleman, is currently on hold.

Why? See above. There has been a constant string of distractions for the past few months and every time I’d make headway, I’d get discouraged when I realized something wasn’t going to work. Why wouldn’t it work? Because I’m an idiot! Everything would have been just fine had I not had Edwina, the new Lady Benedict, see Lord Belgrave (Sebastian) during the final ball at the end of her book. But she did…so that means this entire series has had to run parallel with all the Banks books and everything I do in this latest one MUST match the timeline and events with not one or two, but THIRTEEN other books. This has (at times) made my life a living hell as I’ve had to trash the book and start over more times than I can even keep track of. So I put it aside. I’m really sorry to have to do that, but if it’s going to be a quality book, it needs to be done right. There have been a couple I’ve pushed and rushed just to have them done and keep up with a publishing schedule, and unfortunately, those have tended to be my least favorite books. I don’t want to do that to this one. I don’t deserve it, you as readers don’t deserve that and the characters don’t deserve that, either!

2. So here’s the deal…

After taking some time off from writing altogether to spend time with family and friends and get a bearing on life again, I started a new book. New characters. New timeline and era. New everything. I’m not THAT far into it yet but I’m making progress. And it’s fun. And that’s the most important thing. The books I’ve had the most fun writing are (not surprisingly) reader favorites. Though I’ve broken a few rules here and there, my love for that story and the characters has been most prominent in those books and it shows. That’s what I want to get back to. Not to say I don’t love Simon and Henrietta. I do. But when frustration manifests with a writer, the book sucks. I’m sorry, I hate that term with a passion that consumes my soul, but in this situation, it fits. And frankly, I don’t want a half-assed story.

That confession now out in the open, I WILL write that book if it’s the last thing I do. Furthermore, I will not start any more Regency series until I finish that one. I do owe that to all of you as readers, but I need a break. When I’ve taken breaks in the past and worked on another book or wrote another series before coming back to an idea, it has worked out better for me. It’s just never happened with the final book, usually it’s the first, which is why I’ve spent so long fighting it. But I can’t fight it anymore. I have to stop for a while. But please don’t lose faith in me, the book will come, just maybe not in 2014.

3. Some final words...

As always, I am so very appreciative of all of you who have purchased and read my books. Without awesome readers, such as you, there’d be no reason to write stories. I started writing about Brooke and Andrew, then the other sisters, as a means to cope with some difficult situations I was facing, but I continued because of all of the love and support for the Banks family! I have really enjoyed these past three and a half years and know it wouldn’t have been possible if not for all of you! Thank you all so much!

Her Sudden Groom is (temporarily) FREE!!

In case you’ve ever wondered whatever happened to Alex Banks–the overly-scientific and somewhat nerdy cousin of Brooke, Liberty and Madison, yes, yes, the very one who challenged Andrew to a duel, likened Liberty and Paul’s relationship to a pair of mating hedgehogs he’d observed in the pasture, and the fellow whose name led to Benjamin taking up a sudden interest in talking science so his wife would kiss him–now you can find out for FREE!

For a limited time, Her Sudden Groom will be available free at the following eBook retailers:


Barnes & Noble



Her Sudden Groom



The overly scientific, always respectable, and socially awkward Alexander Banks has just been informed his name resides on a betrothal agreement right above the name of the worst chit in all of England. With a loophole that allows him to marry another without consequence before the thirtieth anniversary of his birth, he has only four weeks to find another woman and make her his wife. Being the logical scientist he is, Alex decides to take his friend’s advice and treat his quest for a bride just like a science experiment…

Caroline Sinclair is still trying to scrape her jaw off the floor after hearing her cousin, Lady Olivia’s, latest announcement when the object of their conversation, Alex Banks, Olivia’s intended, arrives for what Caroline assumes is a bout of drawing room chitchat with his betrothed. But when an experiment is mentioned, Caroline, who cannot resist a science experiment any more than she can deny her lungs air, volunteers to help before she even knows what his latest experiment is!

Coming out of hiding–well, only a little!

Wow, it feels like forever since I made a post and looking at the date of the last one, it just might have been forever.

I’m sorry to do that, but here’s what’s been going on:

1. I’ve been spending more time with family.

Last year at this time, I was working 16 hours a day. Six days a week It was brutal. I got up at 5 and went to bed at 11; worked for almost all of those waking hours except when I was eating or showering. I had hired a college student to help with the kids, clean the house, cook, etc. It was too much. It took a lot out of me and all because I didn’t want my name to be forgotten. I wanted to constantly have a new release so I’d be remembered. Frankly, after running myself ragged and realizing how much I was missing out on with my kids, I vowed this year I wouldn’t do that. I made the promise last December that I’d spend more time this year with my kids, husband and friends and I’ve kept it. Does it mean I took a hit in sales? Absolutely. But you know, money comes and goes, your kids only get older. Then they want nothing to do with you. So, this summer, I cut out a lot of extras: blogging, cut down on social media, etc, in order to be a better mom, wife, and friend.

2. Passions of Gentleman is still in the works.

In January when I first put out Secrets of a Viscount, I’d predicted that Desires would be in May and Passions in November. So far, with my more restricted summer schedule, that looks to be about right.

3. Cover changes.

Change is a funny thing. Some love it, others hate it; some embrace it and others tolerate it. I recently have decided to make a change to some of my covers due to a short list of reasons. This decision was not made easily, but if you’re interested in seeing them before I officially reveal them all here…


I think that’s about it. I do plan to get back onto a more routine schedule of blogging again. I thank you all so much for your support and appreciate your patience during my absence!

Come meet me…for a good cause!

As some of you know, every year I try to do a run/walk or a bike ride for a charitable cause: MS, Arthritis, Diabetes, etc.

This year, I’ll be doing two and I’d like to offer the invitation to all of you who live in or can make arrangements to be in the area of either of these to come out, put on a team shirt and join me!

The first is the Oklahoma BIke-MS ride. This happens on Sept. 20th and 21st. We leave from Chandler, OK (halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City) and ride in a loop each day. This will be the third year I do this ride and I absolutely LOVE it. There are different loops for different skill levels. In the afternoons there is fun music, vendors, and just a great relaxing atmosphere. If this is up your ally and would like to come out and ride with our team, please contact me and I’d be glad to give you all the information you need. We plan to have an awesome time and would love to have you join us!

If you’re interested or would just like to see what it’s all about, here’s a link to the OK MS-150 website.


My second event this year is a walk for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease). While I have no personal ties to MS, I do have a tie to ALS. My maternal grandmother (the one who I dedicated my first book to due to her awesome decorating skills) had ALS. She was a Bossier City (Louisiana) resident, so when I saw that there was a Bossier City/Shreveport walk, I knew I had to go! This walk will be on Saturday, Oct. 18 on the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City, LA.  Again, we’re planning an awesome time–even my mom is getting all excited about this and has suggested hosting a lunch to follow!

If you’re interested and would like more information on joining our team, please feel free to contact me. If you’d like to see what it’s all about, here’s a link.


Another Travel Adventure!

Okay, so I’ll admit I’m behind on my conference/convention travel adventures, and believe me I had just as an eventful trip on the way home FROM RT as I did on the way there. Plus, I had a rather interesting trip to Phoenix a few weeks back. But yesterday I took another adventure and I just have to say, it’s worth sharing!

Most of us have a bucket list, right? Well, if not, go make one! It’ll change how you think about things and when you see an overwhelming list of things you want to do before you cock up your toes, you just might jump out and take a chance when the opportunity presents itself.

One of the things on my bucket list was to ride a train–and I don’t mean the train at the zoo or the “Christmas Train” that many little towns or big cities have. I know, this sounds ridiculous to some, but I don’t live in a huge city. I don’t do subways. I have a car and that’s just how I get around. So when I created my bucket list a few years back, ride a train (a real train with a real destination not just in a loop) was on my list. Therefore, when someone mentioned riding the rails via Amtrak from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, I suspended the reality that I live in where I need to finish a book and jumped on the idea of a train ride. This family and ours booked our tickets and that was it–everything was planned.

Because the train left so early in the morning compared to just how far away we live, we left for “the City” as we all call it in y part of the state the night before, stayed in a hotel and were ready to go!

We thought by staying in a hotel we’d get to the train station at a good time to get a good seat…uh, not so much. We did manage to find eight seats together, but they were facing backwards which was a trip. Luckily, I didn’t get sick, but poor Bob did. Otherwise, the way down there were no real problems other than a slight 15-minute delay and more “sway” than I thought there’d be. Oh and the first time the train made a connection it made me jump.  But that was okay. On the train there was much to do like playing with all the little levers that adjusted the seats and stare out the window and the few small towns and numerous cows we passed.

In Fort Worth we baked like potatoes as we walked around Sundance Square and choked down a lunch that made my stomach clench at first whiff.

Then came the fun…

Wanting to get seats that faced the correct direction this time, we stood on the platform so we’d be the first people on the train at 4:50. And we were. Then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. Around 5:10 they announced they were waiting for another train to come in who was going to bring us 25 passengers and they were “a few minutes away”. Well, that “few minutes” turned into over an hour and our train that as supposed to leave the station at 5:25 didn’t leave until closer to 6:30.

Oh and did I mention that once you get on the train, you can’t get back off? Furthermore, the only eats on a train are “snack bar” that doesn’t even open until after the train starts rolling. (One more thing on the snack bar, they have quite an extensive menu–not. The only thing we vegetarians could eat was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich–one of those frozen Smuckers varieties at that.) Anyway, because everyone was so hungry right off, the line for the snack bar coiled through the car and up the stairs and in the aisle between other passengers. It was long. So despite my nearly inedible lunch, we stayed seated until it’d been about 1:15 minutes since  the train left and when we made it downstairs, there were only about six people ahead of us. That’s manageable.

Back to the adventure….

Had the delay at the station been the only delay, our arrival time would have been 10:23 (an hour late) and everything would have still been fine. But don’t forget Rose Gordon is involved so something weird has to happen to make for a more interesting journey. Well, it does and doesn’t at the same time. Thankfully nothing too serious happened, however…

Just as we’re chugging out of the station in Gainesville, TX the sky grows…dark. At first a little gray, then a strange greenish color that thankfully changed very quickly. Then the lightning started… And not just a single streak. No it spidered and had branches and stretched across the sky.  A moment later there was an announcement that we’re about to be delayed because A. two freight trains are coming southbound on our track and we need to get out of their way and B. the weather is growing unsafe. Simultaneously, Bob and I reach for our iPads and sure enough there is a huge storm up ahead right in the direction our train is going. Oh, and the National Weather Service has put out a severe thunderstorm warning. Splendid. So for about half and hour we sit at a stand still on a “pull out” to wait for the trains to go by and for the weather to pass. Meanwhile, lightning is just lighting up the sky all around. It’s quite lovely actually, but would be even lovelier if I wasn’t stranded in a train in the middle of nowhere with 100+ strangers. Then we start chugging again only to make another stop mid-track because there’s a flash flood warning in effect for where we’re going.

At this point the “fun” of a train ride was over. The novelty had worn off and I was wondering why on earth I ever wanted to put that on my bucket list! I couldn’t even begin to tell you how long it’d been before we started rolling again. I did notice, however, when we passed through Ardmore that it appeared there really had been quite a storm. It was really dark so I can’t be sure, but it looked like one of the cross bars that comes down when the train passes had been blown off and was lying in the middle of the street. Water was everywhere and limbs were down.

By the time we returned to OKC I exhausted and worn out; it was 11:30, more than two hours past when scheduled.

It was a no-brainer decision to stay another night in a hotel. Little did we know, however, it’d be the most expensive hotel IN the city that we went to. But of course that is my luck. It’s also my luck that the guy behind the counter didn’t tell me the price until after he’d swiped my card at which point my jaw hit the desk, but alas, I was too tired to pick it back up and rattle off a retort and instead just dragged myself up the stairs and down the hall to a modest room that probably didn’t even have as many square feet as what I’d paid to use it.

So I must ask… does anyone want to come traveling with me???