I Got Caught!

The month of May is designated as National Get Caught Reading month!!

What a fantastic holiday month for readers and writers! I’ve been an avid reader since I could first make out words in the Dick and Jane primary readers. The image below is me when a story captivates me!

Image courtesy of Pexels

So, in honor of this fabulous month, I’m going to list some great books I’ve read recently!

Noemie’s Journey by Victoria Saccenti

Here is my review:

What I liked most about this book was the honest way the author portrayed the racial prejudice in the southern part of the United States in the 60s. Noemie Bellerose is a girl of mixed race and until her family moves to North Carolina, she has no idea that she is considered an outcast because of her race. With a mother of color and white father, she finds that she is not accepted in either community. But, the torture doesn’t end there. With the death of her mother, her father becomes an abusive alcoholic and does not hold back on the punches in his rages. He blames Noemie’s little brother, Gerry, for their mother’s death and often takes his rage out on the young boy. Noemie is a girl-driven. Driven to make a better life for her and her little brother, driven to get an education, and driven to look out for her father, even despite his abuse. But, when Richard Winters rides his Harley Davidson Chopper into the small North Carolina town, looking for refuge and escape from a heartache so big it forced him to run, things begin to change for Noemie. But, not just for Noemie, for Richard too. With a steel lock around his heart, he is sure nothing can get through, but Noemie does. The racial prejudice is horrific. The abuse Noemie suffers at the hands of her father and others in the small-town is horrific, but the love she finds with Richard is redeeming. I loved this story. I have to admit that I was almost ready to put the book down by the third chapter, as it got off to a slow start. But into the fourth chapter, I was hooked and couldn’t stop until I reached a satisfying conclusion. Steamy romance, racial prejudice, everlasting friendships, and steely determination drive this story.

If this sounds like your cup-of-tea, you won’t be disappointed!

End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2) by Mae Clair

My Review:

I have loved every Mae Clair book that I’ve read and this one is no exception! The way she intertwines the past and present to build the entire story is fantastic! When the empathic Jillian Cley crosses paths with Dante DeLuca who communicates with spirits in the other world, things are bound to get interesting. And they do. Jillian struggles to control her sensitivities and has a service dog, a Husky, who helps to ground her. There are a lot of characters in this story. But, I never had trouble keeping up with who was who and the role each played, even as the author switched back and forth between present day and the late seventeen-hundreds. As the reason for the curse is revealed, the plot gets thickened with a grave-robber and the release of monsters who had been held in the infamous Hode’s Hill cemetery. There are nail-biting scenes and I couldn’t put the book down. I had many late nights until I finished it. Suspenseful, engaging, compelling, other-worldly, and gripping are words I’d use to describe this story. My hat is off to this author for successfully writing in two different time periods effectively! This is a GREAT read if you love suspense, paranormal happenings, and relatable characters! I highly recommend it!

The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday

My review:

I fell in love with Clay Colby’s character in Broday’s Men of Legend Series when he was introduced in book two as a ranch hand. Even then, I wanted him to have a happy ending and to know more of his story. In this book, Linda Broday did more than give Clay a happy ending. She gave him an unforgettable story! A character also introduced in the Men of Legend Series, Talley Shannon was a fugitive. Along with several other women, they hid in a canyon and existed with the help of Luke Legend. They had escaped from a torturous insane asylum. Both Clay and Tally have deep wounds and scars and their journey to redemption is not an easy one. Broday keeps the reader on the edge of their seats as they follow along with bated breath, hoping and praying that the two will finally break through the walls of their hearts to be united as one. If you love the 1800s time period, plenty of action, tension, conflict and steamy romance, you will love this first book of the Mail Order Bride series!

I read two poetry books in April and loved them both! You don’t have to be a lover of poetry to enjoy these two intimate compilations.

Just her Poetry Seasons of a Soul by D.L. Finn

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poetry. The author covers every subject from nature to the deepest part of the human psyche and soul. While I loved all of the poems, a few stood out to me personally like, “Splendor” where the beauty and aliveness of a spring day are expressed in flowing descriptive phrases. “The Journey” is deeply profound portraying the metaphor of life to that of a tiny bird struggling to ride out a storm. This author’s musings from the back of a Harley particularly captivated me. I went along for the ride! But, the section of the book, “The Emotions – Darkness and Light,” is hands-down my favorite section of the book. Each poem expresses life’s journey and the varying aspects of the dance. If you love well-written poetry that touches on every aspect of life and living, you will enjoy this book of poetry from D.L. Finn!

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by Miriam Hurdle

My Review:

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book!

And finally, a book that really opened my eyes to some of the unforgiving views about sexuality in the middle east.

The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name by Fiza Pathan

My Review:

The collection of short stories in this book from India-born author Fiza Pithan deals with a most delicate subject matter. Not only does it encompass stories of transgender people, but lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and asexual people. Two things about these stories struck me. #1 is that this author writes so well in a language that is not her native tongue. I commend her for the well-written stories. I did not spot even one typo throughout the book. The second thing I want to commend her for is the honesty and eye-opening reality of how people are tormented, tortured, ostracized and even killed in Mid-Eastern countries for their sexual preferences and/or differences. Reading these stories makes me truly glad I live in America. If you are looking for stories that, although are fiction, shed a light of truth on these issues, you will enjoy each of these!

Hopefully, you saw something here that caught your eye! It is quite a variety of genres, but I love reading all types of books.

So, grab one and let’s make May a month for memorable stories!

I’d love to know what I caught you reading! I just started on the first book of the Billy Battles trilogy by Ron Yates (Finding Billy Battles.)

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Outlaw Mail Order Bride Series @LBroday

Linda Broday has released the first book in her new series!

The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride released January 29 and readers are loving it! I’ll let Linda tell you about it in her own words.

Three Fun Facts About The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride

By Linda Broday

I’m so excited about this new release and launch of a new four-book series called Outlaw Mail Order Brides. I’ve always wanted to write stories about outlaws. I believe there were good ones (those who killed because they had little choice) and bad ones (who killed for sport and because they liked it.) There’s a clear difference.

The American Frontier was comprised with millions upon millions of acres of land with only a few hundred lawmen to keep order which led to men finding what justice they could for themselves. The result was usually who had the fastest gun.

The lines were often blurred between lawmen and outlaws with men switching back and forth to suit the situation. There are plenty of examples in history such as Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Pat Garrett, to name a few who were both. It just depended on the job that needed doing.

That’s where Clay Colby and this town of outlaws find themselves. They’ve killed but always because they had little choice except now they want to marry and settle down, raise a family. To do that, they needed wives so Clay begins writing Tally Shannon, a woman who escaped a lunatic asylum after her stepmother put her in there to get rid of her.

This series is a bleed-over from my Men of Legend with the Legend brothers making guest appearances. Luke Legenc gets the most time since he starts a private bride service for men and women living in the shadows. They send him their letters and he hand-delivers them.

Here are some fun facts about this story:

1. Tattoo removal is possible. It’s thought to have begun in ancient Egypt when slaves either bought their freedom or were given it. Medicine men developed a way to remove their tattoo with chemicals. It’s not without pain though and it did leave a scar. The smaller ones worked best. Tally Shannon has a small diamond-shaped tattoo on her cheek, put there to identify her as a patient in the Creedmore Lunatic Asylum, and the town doctor is successful at removing it. She’ll do anything to reclaim herself. No one owns her.

2. Prior to World War II, there was little oversight of mental asylums and families with money could pay to have them take a member that was unruly, uncooperative, or just plain too much trouble. Here are a few actual reasons for admission from 1864 to 1889: Immoral Life, Laziness, Deranged Masturbation, Novel Reading, Bad Habits and Political Excitement, Greediness, Business Nerves. Anything could be used for an excuse. Tally’s stepmother claimed that she preyed upon children and handed the supervisor a bag of money, telling him to make Tally’s life a living hell. That’s exactly what he did.

3. Children were also put in the asylum and one was a little blind girl named Violet. When she arrives unexpectedly with Tally, Clay is shocked at first then deeply touched and starts teaching her how to get around without help. He and the men rig up walking trails with ropes that take her from one part of town to the other. He had also once seen a blind man walking with a long piece of wood in front of him, tapping for obstructions in his path so Clay makes Violet one and teaches her how to use it. The girl finds a measure of independence which sometimes leads to trouble. He just wants her to have a good life and he loves her as though she was his own child. She becomes the darling of the town with everyone watching out for her safety.

PURCHASE LINK

Back Cover Copy

When the West was wild
And man’s law favored the few
These extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.

Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride’s expected arrival. He’s fought long and hard to drag Devil’s Crossing out of lawlessness…so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he’s heartbroken. There’s no woman in the world who’d stand by him now.

But Tally Shannon is no ordinary woman.

After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn’t mind that Clay’s home is dang near burned to the ground—not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it’s only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling…and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride—and the family they built together—to his very last breath.

PURCHASE LINK!

Book #2 of this series comes out in three months (April 30) –SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. It’s about Clay’s friend Jack Bowdre and Nora Kane and is quite an exciting adventure. I hope you’re not scared of snakes!

Author, Linda Broday

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance books and short stories. I’m a Texas girl through and through and reside in the panhandle on ancient land that carries the voices of those who lived and died on the wind. If I close my eyes and get still I can often hear them whispering in my ear.

My love of history and the Old West was born from watching TV westerns and visiting museums and libraries. I’ve always been an avid reader and books opened up entirely new exciting worlds that seemed limited only by my imagination.

Cowboys have always fascinated me so it’s no wonder that I love to write about them, their ladies, and the struggles they endure in trying to carve out a small place to call home. Western romance is my passion and I feel truly blessed. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points in my stories. I sincerely hope readers enjoy what I strive to bring to life on the printed page.

I’m a mother, grandmother, and now a great grandmother. In my family, I’m the storyteller and the one who records our history. I come from a long line of poor but prideful people. That’s okay. I’m happy with that. This is my legacy.

Linda Broday’s Social Media

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Website

Jan’s Top Ten Books for 2018

I love to look back over the many books I’ve read throughout the year and put together a list of what, in my humble opinion, is the best of the best.

This year I read 37 books and let me tell you, it was no easy task coming up with only ten to put on this list.

I narrowed it down to the books that lingered with me long after the last word. I hope you enjoy my list and will find at least one new read to pick up!

As you can see, most of these authors are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. It’s a great place to look for great books to read!

I have linked each box to the book on Amazon for your shopping convenience!

Gunsmoke and Lace – New Release! Linda Broday

I am sure everyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows Linda Broday is my sister. But, I can tell you in ALL honesty that even if she wasn’t my sister, I’d want to tell you about this collection of short stories!

If you’d like to read the BLURB, click HERE

Gunsmoke and Lace

I figured the best way to tell you about it is to post my 5 star review here.

***

Linda Broday is well-known for the historical romance novels she’s been publishing for two decades. And, now she’s put together a collection of short stories set in the same historical time-period (1800s), in Texas.

The first two stories in the collection carry the same theme. Widows trying to carve out a living in a land that is harsh and unforgiving. Both are desperate, lonely and determined to survive. But that is where the similarities end.

In the first story, a young woman left alone with an infant to care for saves her sanity by tying notes to a scrawny tree. She needs to matter. She needs to let someone know she lived. Imagine her surprise when she finds a note tied to the tree that isn’t hers. With no one for miles around, she is baffled. I won’t spoil this story by telling you who has tied the notes or what happens. I’ll just say that she mattered more than she could imagine.

In the second story, the widow is completely alone with the nearest neighbor six miles away. Angry that her husband died, she has nowhere to go. While she desperately tries to survive the silence and loneliness, she is forced to ward off the unwanted attention of an evil suitor intent on having her. When a man stumbles onto her property carrying his saddle, gun hanging low on his hip, she doesn’t know whether to shoot or hide. I love the plot in this story. The backstory and history make it believable and real.

With the third story, it takes a completely different turn with a bounty hunter just one kill away from gaining his dream, and two small children seeking justice and revenge. The way the story weaves them together is heartwarming and satisfying.

The fourth and final story in this collection brings about a bit of humor when one man short on brains attempts various schemes to hold onto his land that the bank is closing in on. With the help of his lifetime friend, Logan, Wade achieves his goal but in the most unexpected way.

If you like variety, action, romance, and characters that come to life, you’ll love these short stories.

Available in both eBook and Print.

PURCHASE LINK

About Linda Broday:

Linda-outside-200x300

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance.  She has been a “writer in training” her whole life. Many nights long after the house grew dark and everyone else was asleep, she’d lie beneath the covers and read by flashlight until she either reached the end of her book or her eyes got too heavy to see the words.

Cowboys have always fascinated her so it’s no wonder that she loves to write about them and their ladies and the struggles they endure in trying to carve out a small place to call home. It took some awfully tough men and women to settle this great country of ours.

Western romance is her passion. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points in her stories. She strives to bring characters to life on the printed page.

For more, visit Linda’s Website: https://www.lindabroday.com/

For all of her books, visit her Amazon Author Central Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Broday/e/B001JRXWB2/

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Jan’s TOP TEN Books 2017

JAN'S TOP TENBOOK LIST20171 (1)

#1

For_You_To_See_The_Stars   PURCHASE LINK

Hands down, this book easily takes the #1 spot this year. This is Foster’s first print publication. It is classic storytelling at its best. Foster writes with an uncommon depth of emotion, humor, empathy, and clarity.  Adding another dimension to this collection of short stories, Foster, a seasoned songwriter/musician, recorded a music CD which accompanies the book. Together, they make an unforgettable read/listen!

#2 

Heart_Of_A_Texas_CowboyMarryTexasOutlaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURCHASE LINK Heart of a Texas Cowboy

PURCHASE LINK To Marry a Texas Outlaw

Yes, I know there are two books sitting in this spot, but I couldn’t find a way to separate them. This “Men of Legend” series was amazing from beginning to end, and it just happens that parts two and three were both released this year. “Some Legends are born and some are made” describes this series perfectly about a father, Stoker Legend and three sons, Sam, Houston, and Luke. Houston struggles to deal with the death of his bride-to-be in “The Heart of a Texas Cowboy.” I won’t tell you what happens, but a woman and baby girl manage to melt the ice that froze his heart. In “To Marry a Texas Outlaw,” Luke Weston is determined to clear the murder pinned on him and finally be able to step up and claim his birthright, the Legend name. But, he didn’t bargain for the spirited woman who would set his plans awry. In each book of this series, you’ll find lots of old west action, honor, and romance.

#3

Empty Chairs    PURCHASE LINK

This true story from Stacey Danson (aka Suzanne Burke) touched me on such a deep level. It is a tale of horrific child abuse and how one young girl took matters into her own hands and hit the streets of Sydney, Austrailia. The dangers that lurked on the streets were less frightening than what she faced at home, or as she referred to it in the book, “hell central.” This book has 390 reviews on Amazon. That alone is a testimony to the power of this deeply personal story.

#4

May_Lilacs   PURCHASE LINK

The number four is an Angel number and nothing could be more appropriate for this amazing book. The author worked for many years as a psychic detective, assisting with some of the most gruesome cases you can imagine. But, her “near-death” experience as she relates it in this book is extraordinary. I can promise that this book WILL change the way you view death.

#5 

Love The Beat Goes On  PURCHASE LINK

I have read a lot of new-age books over the years and got something good from each of them, but this book by Lynda Filler is extraordinary. Her honesty about the journey from receiving a death sentence for an incurable disease to healing in a rainstorm while a Shaman beat on his drum is not just compelling, but astounding. I loved every fragment of this story.

#6

Circumstances of Childhood final front  PURCHASE LINK

There seems to be a somewhat common thread running through my book selections this year. This story from John W. Howell incorporates a ghost as one of the main characters, and he weaves it all together perfectly. The ending of the story is done in true Howell fashion with an unpredictable and “thriller” conclusion.

#7

letting_go_into_perfect_love    PURCHASE LINK

 

This was the first book I read in 2017 and the uplifting story never left me. The author shares deep personal accounts of heartbreak, discovery, and inspiration. How she chose to rise above the many years of abuse to find self-love is encouraging as well as empowering.

#8

Slivers_Of_Life  PURCHASE LINK

Slivers of Life could not be a more appropriate title for this compilation of short stories from Author, Beem Weeks. Each is like a slice of pie from the whole or pages ripped from someone’s book. I thought I had found my favorite story with “Medal Detector,” but the next chapter, “Forget Me (Not Fade Away)” had me in tears. Emotion drips from the exquisite way Beem weaves his words together to create the stories, and he is a master at ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ If you are a lover of emotionally driven ‘too-human’ stories, this book is for you. It’s easy to read, but the stories linger long after you’ve turned the last page.

#9

Sweet Temptation  PURCHASE LINK

I have read all the books in Sarah Stuart’s Royal Command Series, and until I read Sweet Temptation, my favorite of the series was the first book, Dangerous Liaisons.
Michael Marsh, the Diamond Superstar has millions of fans across the globe, but he’s lonely. When his wife, Lizzie, was murdered in front of him, his world shattered. He didn’t believe he could ever love again. That is until detective Evie Taylor, walked into his office. The author weaves a tangled web of deceit, powerful illusions, and cyberstalkers. Action from start to finish.

#10

This Second Chance eBook Cover  PURCHASE LINK

Again, this story stays with the paranormal thread from my year’s reading. Rachael finally has a chance at happiness with a man who adores her, but strange phenomena continue to occur. Little does she know there is an Angel, the ghost of her ex-husband and an evildwel that are hard at work in the background. The author takes the reader on quite a journey as it all unfolds.

BONUS STORY:

Tempest In Texas  PURCHASE LINK

You read the title correctly. This is a Screenplay by Larry Landgraf adapted from his novel, Into Autumn, A Story of Survival, and it deserves to be on the big screen! We all hear apocalyptic stories – about what could happen if and when our social and economic infrastructures collapse, but Larry Landgraf takes us inside that “what if” world with real people, in what could be real life circumstances.

Trust me when I say it was difficult choosing from so many great books to create this TOP TEN. A lot of the authors listed here are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, a place where authors are supported, promoted and lifted up. 

Book #3 of the Men of Legend Series @LBroday

MarryTexasOutlaw

TO BE RELEASED NOVEMBER 7TH!

Leave a comment on the author’s blog for a chance to win a copy. 

TO MARRY A TEXAS OUTLAW

I read this book chapter by chapter when my sister was writing it and I couldn’t wait to sit down and read it all the way through. Luke Weston was my favorite of the Legend brothers from the beginning of this series. I’ve always had a soft spot for the outlaws. 🙂

My heart aches as Luke searches for freedom – freedom from constantly looking over his shoulder, wearing a target on his back, and freedom to claim the Legend name and everything it stands for.

When Josie Morgan interrupts his search, he gets more than he bargains for. You’ll find lots of adventure, romance, surprises, heartache and gunfights in this last book of the MEN OF LEGEND series.

So, hop on over to Linda Broday’s blog and leave a comment to win a copy, OR pre-order from Amazon and get ready to hold on for a wild sexy ride with the outlaw, Luke Weston (Legend.)

Follow Linda:

TWITTER        FACEBOOK       WEBSITE

Knight On The Texas Plains – Linda Broday

Knight On The Texas Plains has come full circle for USA Today and NY Times Bestselling author, Linda Broday.

Her first published book is being re-released by Sourcebooks Casablanca and is receiving early RAVE reviews!

Knight

Romantic Times 4 ½ Stars TOP PICK!

“The instant a sweet baby girl, an abused woman, a stray dog, and a reluctant hero meet, readers are drawn into a tender and tough love story that touches many emotions and will have them believing in the healing power of love. Beauty and warmth spring from the pages as the quiet strength and grace of the characters capture readers’ heart and bring that deep sigh they crave.”

Publishers Weekly loved the story!

In Broday’s strong first Texas Heroes historical romance, a marriage of necessity develops into genuine love in 19th-century Texas. Duel McClain has little to live for until he wins a baby girl in a poker game. The same night, a bloodied, bruised, frantic woman, Jessie Foltry, rushes into his camp and begs for help. Duel pledges his protection and offers to take her back home to his family’s ranch in Tranquility if she’ll help raise his unexpected daughter. Once settled, she admits to having killed her abusive husband. To help keep her past a secret, Jessie and Duel stage a quickie marriage, but hiding her crime gets more complicated when Duel’s younger brother, Texas Ranger, Luke, comes looking for the fugitive husband-killer. Broday has a knack for capturing the hesitations of both Duel and Jessie and unfurling a twisting plot without resorting to melodrama. Through carefully deployed flashbacks, she slowly exposes the horrors of Jessie’s marriage, culminating in a truly grisly image of depravity without overwhelming the tender love story. Fans of historical romances will be pleased.

AND Linda is having a GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS! Here is the link: GOODREADS CONTEST

Knight_Bookcover  PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON!

EXCERPT:

Duel McClain lifted the whiskey glass and let the fiery elixir slide down his throat. The burning path brought an odd sort of relief, momentarily dulling the permanent ache in his belly. The dealer slapped three cards in front of him. Duel took his time picking them up. A baby, whimpering at the men’s feet, unraveled the tightly knit threads of his composure. How could he concentrate with that?

A glance at the first card revealed an ace of spades. He stuck it between the eight of hearts and the two of clubs in his hand. Then he turned over an eight of diamonds. A pair might take the hefty pot in the middle of the table—that is, if he cared enough to try. Shielding his last card from the curious eyes of his opponents, he lifted it slowly. An ace of clubs.

His blood turned to ice.

Aces and eights—the deadman’s hand.

A resigned calm welled up. If lady luck rode with Duel tonight, the only space he’d take up would be on Boot Hill.

Something brushed the leg of his trousers. An animal must have sneaked under the swinging batwing doors and beneath the table. The baby’s sniffling grew louder. Tiny hands gripped his leg getting his attention. What in blue blazes? He leaned down. The baby had crawled to him and now tugged, trying to pull itself upright. Thin and dirty, the child stared up at him and he fought against the protective urge that rose at the sight of tears glistening in the kid’s big brown eyes.

“Up the bet, mister, or fold.”

The dealer broke his trance. Duel pitched two bits onto the pile. He just wanted to get this over with and leave. One by one each opponent around the table tossed down their cards in defeat until just two remained in the game—him and the stranger. The baby gurgled and played with the fringe running the length of Duel’s leg.

He shifted in his seat, feeling as if a gang of horse thieves had staked him out in a red-ant bed. If he had a lick of sense he’d fold and get the hell out. Deadman’s hand be damned.

A smug expression drifted across the face of the babe’s father when Duel closed up his cards, intending to lay them down.

Revulsion made Duel ache to smash the stranger’s jaw. Instead, he reached into his pocket for six bits—all that he possessed. He hesitated for only a split second, glancing down at the filthy child who deserved more out of life than the sorry-assed father it had gotten. Then he shifted his gaze, savoring the look of surprise on his opponent’s face when he placed his bet.

The sour-faced weasel had been ready to reach for the pot, sure he’d won. His face colored. He was reduced to turning each of his pockets inside out for more coins. None came to light.

“Whatcha gonna do, Will? Either come up with more or Duel here wins.” The dealer’s impatience grew.

“Hold your horses.” The man named Will leaned down. “Gal, where’d you go? Git your useless hide over here to your pa. Don’t know why I didn’t drown you when you was born.”

So, the child was a girl. Duel reached down and drew her up.

The weasel snatched the girl by one fragile arm. “Tryin’ to steal my daughter?”

Ignoring the question and the loud wails that came from the child, Duel leaned forward to scoop up his winnings.

“Not so fast, mister.” Will sat the baby in the middle of the table. “I’m puttin’ up this here brat. She’s worth six bits, I reckon. You win an’ you got yourself a young’un.”

“I won’t gamble with a man’s flesh and blood,” Duel said.

The dealer frowned. “The bet’s proper, I say. Let’s get on with it. Show your cards, Will.”

Tears ran down the baby girl’s face leaving white trails amid the filth. For a split second, Duel wished he held more than the lousy two pair, wished he could alter the hands of fate. But he’d never been able to change it before. What made him think he could now? He’d spent a lifetime making choices, and most had turned out wrong.

“Quit your sniveling, you brat,” Will snapped at the child as he flipped his cards face up. Two pair also. Kings and deuces.

Quiet calm washed over Duel. He gave the group a wintry smile and revealed his hand.

“Aces n’ eights. Beats your pair, Will. Done in by the Deadman’s hand.” The dealer straightened his silk vest and poured himself a generous drink.

Duel stuffed the coins from the pot into his pockets. What on God’s earth did a man like him need with a babe? The girl had stuck a thumb in her mouth and sucked noisily on it between whimpers. He’d sooner grow wings and fly than take on the responsibility for another human being. The best thing would be to saunter out the door.

“Ain’t you forgettin’ something, mister?” Will’s nasty snarl whipped the stale air like a thin, razor-sharp piece of leather.

Much as he sympathized with the babe’s lot, he couldn’t accept her. “Take her home to her maw. Don’t have any need for a kid.”

Will grabbed his daughter’s sparse hair and pulled her small face next to his own. Ignoring her sharp cries, he yelled, “Ain’t got no maw. See there, Marley Rose. Ain’t no one wants you. You’re about as worthless as one of them Confederate greenbacks. Ain’t never goin’ to be any good for nothin’. Any o’ you cowpokes wanna buy a snot-nosed brat? Sell her cheap.”

Duel found himself reaching for the scared, helpless babe. “Changed my mind. Believe I’ll take what I won.” Tiny hands clung tightly to the neck of his collarless shirt as he strode for the door before he could backtrack.

Pre-Order KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS and be ready for a tale that you won’t soon forget!

 

 

 

 

#Writing Journey

I am often asked the question, “When did you first start writing?”

To the best of my memory, I was around eight when I wrote my first string of words that made sense. I had an alcoholic uncle whom I adored. He lived with us off and on throughout my growing up years and occasionally he’d twist off, so Mom would make him move out. During one of those episodes,  I was worried about him, so I wrote a gospel song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus.

But, before that, I can remember loving anything written. I loved the Dick and Jane books in first grade. I loved fairy tales. I loved reading and devoured books of all kinds. In fifth grade, I checked out the Grimm’s Book of Fairy Tales so many times they had to make a new library card.

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Ah, the smell of libraries. I still love them. I never outgrew my love for reading. It was my entertainment, education, and adventure. And it still is!

Fast forward many years where I found myself in a serious songwriting vibe. My late husband, Rick, was a singer/songwriter and several years after we’d married, he pulled his vintage Martin D35 out from under the bed and returned to writing and playing the music he loved.

I wanted desperately to join him. I loved singing harmony with him, but I wanted to play. We had a second-hand/antique store, and some guy stopped in one day and sold Rick an old banjo. He took the instrument apart and put a guitar neck on it to create a Gitjo. And it was on that instrument I learned my first chords.

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When he saw  I was dead serious about learning, he bought me a 3/4 size Applause guitar for my birthday. I was fifty years old. So, NEVER let anyone tell you are too old to learn something new!

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And it took off from there. I played on that little guitar every day and we wrote songs every day. When I’d get home from my day job, I’d hurry to put supper on the table so that we could toss around ideas, chords, melodies, and lyrics. It was an exciting part of life for me. We booked gigs and I got to play and sing on stage with him.  We built a recording studio so that we could record our songs, and we published our own music.

But, now those are simply fading memories with pictures and CDs to prove it all happened. And I moved on after his death, in another direction of writing.

Compelled to tell our story (his and mine) I began to write books.  And, I decided that I would continue to promote our music by releasing a music CD with each book that matched the time period of the story.

The first book, Flowers and Stone, was a HUGE learning curve for me. I am often tempted to pull it down and rework it and I may some day.

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Set in 1970, this is the beginning of an epic love story with a musical twist as Luke Stone and Darlina Flowers (our fictitious names) travel the roads of Texas with Luke’s band. It is real and raw with a devastating conclusion.

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The second book in the series, The Convict and the Rose, is not only the story of Luke’s determination to survive many years behind prison bars, but Darlina’s own struggle to survive in a prison of her own where the bars were invisible. It is inspiring with a lesson in turning a negative situation into a positive one. This book garnered my first writing competition award – First Place in the Biographical Fiction Category from the Texas Association of Authors!

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Ah, the reunion. Finally,  Luke and Darlina earn a chance to build the life they’ve always dreamed of. But, the struggles are real and the price of love is high.  Home At Last won two First-Place writing awards.

    Jan Sikes CD

Then, all too soon, it’s over. Twenty-five years seemed like nothing. But, this is not a book about death. Instead, it is a book about living and wringing the most out of every moment – ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

I never stopped learning as I moved through this writing journey. I always strived to make each book better than the one before, while continuing to tell this true story. Thank God for my older sister, Linda Broday, who helped guide me along the way. I took classes. I learned about POV and head-hopping, sentence structure, show-don’t-tell, and passive voice vs. active voice. And guess what! I’m still learning and still striving to be better.

I released one more book, a beautiful expression of poetry and art. It is a combination of poems from both Rick and myself and pieces of his amazing artwork accompany them.  Discovery is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook.

Is my writing journey over now that I’ve told this story? Oh goodness, NO! I’m almost done with my first fiction novel, which I’ve entitled When Two Worlds Collide. It has been so much fun to create and live vicariously through these fictitious characters. I’m fully invested in them and their story as it unfolds in my imagination.

I also write for two magazines. Buddy Magazine is the Original Texas Music Magazine for which I interview artists, review CDs and feature innovative, creative, and talented musicians. The Oklahoma Farm and Ranch Magazine has a music section and I have the honor and privilege of filling it each month.

Will I ever stop writing? No. I don’t think so. 🙂

For more, visit my Website

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I am a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB where I sit on the Board of Directors

I am a huge fan of The Texas Musicians Museum, where I also am a board member.

The Texas Author’s Institute of History is a place where Texas literary works are preserved and I am a board member of that organization as well.

 

 

Release Day!

There is nothing more exciting to an author than the day a new book releases to the world. And, today is that day for Linda Broday!

heart of a texas cowboy

Three Brothers. One Oath.
No Compromises.
The MEN of LEGEND

The Cowboy
One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met-a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband-or any man-after the heartache she’s endured. Yet when her troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

Praise for Forever His Texas Bride:

“Broday’s Westerns always captivate.” -RT Book Reviews 4 stars

“Poignant, dramatic and packed with action and mystery.” —Addicted to Romance for Forever His Texas Bride

These Legend men are bigger than life! If you love historical western romance, you’ll love each book of this Legend series!!

See all of Linda Broday’s books here!

eBook Bargain .99!!

I love supporting other authors and helping spread the word about promotions they have going on. So, today I’m supporting an amazing author of Western Historical Romance, who also happens to be my sister! I love all of the characters who make up the Men of Legend series.

They are blood. They are brothers.

They are LEGENDS…

Stoker Legend — Tough patriarch who runs the huge Lone Star Ranch and keeps his sons in line.

Houston — The one most like his father. He only wants to be a rancher.

Sam — A Texas Ranger who has no desire for ranch life.

Luke — An outlaw who never knew who his father’s name until his mother lay on her deathbed. 

Linda Broday’s first book in the Men of Legend series, To Love A Texas Ranger is filled with plenty of action and adventure. Unforgettable characters like rugged Texas Ranger, Sam Legend, and beautiful Sierra Hunt will steal your heart and set you on the course to follow this three-book series. And, it is only 99 cents!

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BLURB: 

Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?

Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her-his life, his badge, his very soul-knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.

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Here is what one reader had to say: “Linda Broday’s books are intriguing yet easy to read. She paints vivid pictures with words while maintaining historical accuracy. Her writing is richly romantic and vividly entertaining. I highly recommend any and all of her books. She is my favorite western romance author.”

Pick up To Love A Texas Ranger at the ridiculously low price of .99!!