Tag Archives: Historical

Review & Giveaway: Dam Nation by Hays & McFall

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DAM NATION

Bonnie and Clyde #2

by

CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL

Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance

Publisher: Pumpjack Press on Facebook

Date of Publication: March 24, 2018

Number of Pages: 266

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting people back to work. Set to harness the mighty Colorado River for electricity and irrigation, the dam is an engineering marvel and symbol of American can-do spirit.

So, why is someone trying to blow it up?

When an informant on the construction site is murdered, Bonnie and Clyde—spared from their gruesome deaths and forced into a covert life working for the government—are given their second assignment: stop the bomb and protect the thousands of laborers and families in the company town. It’s their most dangerous mission yet: working for a living.

Can the notorious lovers put aside their criminal ways long enough to find out who wants to extinguish the American dream, and hopefully reclaim a shred of redemption along the way?

The thrilling story cuts back and forth between the modern era where a reporter interviews the now-elderly Bonnie Parker, and the dangerous 1930s undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, as they are thrust into a fight to defend the working class against corporate greed.

Dam Nation, a historical thriller with unsettling contemporary parallels, continues the explosive “what-if” series, started in Resurrection Road, about two unlikely heroes fighting to defend the working class during America’s Great Depression.

PRAISE

Crisply written, well-researched, thoroughly entertaining. As in Resurrection Road, Hays and McFall evoke time and place well in this sequel. The story’s politics are fresh and timely. Readers will find Bonnie and Clyde to be great company, and the novel’s framing story (the widowed Bonnie’s 1984 recollections) gives their relationship an extra layer of poignancy. — Kirkus Reviews

“Dam Nation” highlights the real-life turmoil of the 1930s as only Hays and McFall can — shadowy intrigue, plenty of suspects and enough behind-the-scenes and under-the-covers action to keep the narrative sizzling along to the final page. — East Oregonian

A rollicking good read. The real history of the rise of unions and worker rights against the backdrop of a nation recovering from the Great Depression contributes an engrossing, realistic scenario; a vivid read that blends fiction with nonfiction elements in a way that makes the book hard to put down. — Midwest Book Review

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER FOR RESURRECTION ROAD, BOOK ONE IN THE BONNIE AND CLYDE SERIES

https://uw-media.shreveporttimes.com/video/embed/101461998?placement=embed

review

Imagine that Bonnie and Clyde didn’t die in 1934. Imagine that another couple had been ambushed in Sailes and that the real Bonnie and Clyde were recruited – well, maybe blackmailed is a better word – to do bad things in order to protect the good things in America. Book 1 of the Bonnie and Clyde series, Resurrection Road, kicked off that very premise and posed the questions: (1) who are Bonnie and Clyde working for and (2) who is the couple that got killed?

Dam Nation, the sequel, continues the pursuit for those answers since book 1 didn’t even come close to revealing them. Other things that carry over from the first book is the fast paced writing and witty dialogue. There is never a dull moment in these books. Every character is colorful, even if that color might be a little gray, and there is certainly a large cast. Surprisingly, I didn’t need to refer back to remember who was whom since the character names were so different from each other and they were truly unique individuals.

Bonnie and Clyde have always been romanticized as the original ride or die couple, and this book backs that claim up. Not only are the two super hot and heavy at the drop of a hat, but they are fiercely protective of each other. I especially enjoyed how Clyde would say something to the effect of, “Oh, you’re in trouble now” or “she’s the one you should be worried about” when their foes try to belittle Bonnie. It’s hard to dislike the notorious couple when you see their compassion spread outward to their few friends.

This book ties up all the loose ends from the prequel but it ends on a somewhat dissonant note. It makes me wonder if there will be a third book. If there is, I’m reading it.

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

5/16/18 Excerpt Chapter Break Book Blog
5/17/18 Review Forgotten Winds
5/18/18 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
5/19/18 Notable Quotable Bibliotica
5/20/18 Review Missus Gonzo
5/21/18 Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
5/22/18 Notable Quotable Tangled in Text
5/23/18 Review Hall Ways Blog
5/24/18 Guest Post Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
5/25/18 Review Momma on the Rocks

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Dam Nation book release blitz

 
DAM NATION 
BOOK RELEASE BLITZ 
Bonnie and Clyde #2
by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Date of Publication: March 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 266


CLICK TO PURCHASE

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.


The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? 
That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives. 

“A rollicking good read!” — Midwest Book Review 



EXCERPT
WHAT IF?
The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”
“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”
“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”
“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

       





ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 



BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION
COMING TO

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Excerpt 4 & Giveaway: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

BEYOND SCANDAL
AND DESIRE
Sins for All Seasons, Book 1
by
LORRAINE HEATH
  
Genre: Historical / Regency Romance
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: January 30, 2018
Number of Pages: 320

Scroll down for the giveaway!

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . . 

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

PRAISE FOR BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE:
“Heath builds a community of fascinating, intertwined characters that readers will be eager to get to know as they cheer for the driven hero and the spunky, smart heroine.” — Publishers Weekly
“RITA Award–winner Heath’s new Sins for All Seasons series is off to an impressive start with an unforgettable, emotionally charged love story that will dazzle and delight readers with its exquisitely crafted characters, deliciously sensual romance, and impeccably rendered historical setting.” — Booklist/ *STARRED* Review
“For the first book in the Sins for All Seasons series, Heath returns to the world of dark London — a world she understands as well as Dickens. Heath illuminates the city’s underbelly with a powerful romance of healing and redemption. Her talents for drawing readers into the era with her well-drawn, three dimensional characters and realistic dialogue sets her novels apart. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot guarantees it will be placed on your keeper shelf.” — RT Book Reviews/ “Top Pick” Review


Excerpt from Beyond Scandal and Desire

by Lorraine Heath

“Why would someone think I was worth robbing?”

 

“Because you’re dressed in finery like a lady who might be silly enough to walk around London with a thousand quid stuffed in her—” He waved his hand at her as though he thought she might have stashed it in an unmentionable area.

 

“My reticule.”

 

“Well, he’d have not stopped with the taking of it. He’d have given you a thorough search—”

 

She didn’t care to hear where he might have searched. “As I said, I did not walk. Well, except up your steps, and then there was your man to look out for me.”

 

The fury seemed to deflate out of him. “There are men around here who would kill for a thousand quid.”

 

“I suspect there are some who would cheat for it, as well. Did your bricklayer cheat while playing cards with Kipwick?”

 

“No. My people know I don’t tolerate cheating. I’d have let him go. A man who cheats at cards might cheat elsewhere, including in the work he gives me. Besides, my brothers were watching. The problem, Lady Aslyn, is that your fiancé bends his elbow as much as he holds the cards. Guzzling too much drink hampers a man’s judgment, his ability to calculate

the odds of winning.”

 

She feared drinking wasn’t the only problem Kip had. “Since he lost fair and square then, and you’ve offered to sell the items to me, tell me how much I owe you.”

 

“I told you. A pound.”

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

He arched a dark brow over one of those beautiful blue eyes. “Are you calling me a liar?”

 

She angled up her chin. “Yes. I quite believe I am.”

 

His laughter, deep and masculine, circled around her, sent the calming butterflies back into flight. “No one has ever dared call me a liar—at least not to my face.”

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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3 SIGNED COPIES of The Viscount & the Vixen
JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 8, 2018
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1/30/18
Excerpt 1
1/31/18
Review
2/1/18
Author Interview
2/2/18
Review
2/3/18
Excerpt 2
2/4/18
Excerpt 3
2/5/18
Review
2/6/18
Author Interview
2/7/18
Excerpt 4
2/8/18
Review
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Review & Giveaway: Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

HOLDING THE FORT
The Fort Reno Series, Book 1
by
REGINA JENNINGS
  Genre: Historical Western Christian Romance
Date of Publication: December 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 353

Scroll down for the giveaway!

With Miss Bell as the Teacher, Everyone’s Bound to Learn an Interesting Lesson

Dance hall singer Louisa Bell has always lived one step from destitution. When she loses her job at the Cat-Eye Saloon, she has nowhere else to go but to her brother, a cavalry soldier stationed in Indian Territory. But he’s run afoul of his commanding officer. Unsure what she can do to help him and desperate for a job, she doesn’t protest when she’s mistaken for a governess at the fort. How hard can teaching really be?


Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno, especially raising two adolescent daughters alone. If this new governess doesn’t work out, his mother-in-law insists she’ll raise the girls herself–far away from the fort. Miss Bell bears little resemblance to Daniel’s notion of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he finds himself turning a blind eye to her unconventional methods. Louisa has never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough to help her brother and to secure the respectable future she’s sought for so long?

PRAISE FOR HOLDING THE FORT & THE FORT RENO SERIES:
“The first book in Jennings’ new Fort Reno series is a delightful read that helps solidify what a wonderful and imaginative writer Jennings is. She manages to create unique stories with interesting and well-developed characters while combining humor, mystery and a sprinkle of faith.”
–RT Book Reviews

“In this character-driven series launch, Jennings offers a powerful lesson on the freedom of truth and forgiveness wrapped in a delightful story of love against the odds.”
Publishers Weekly

“This series launch is a charming historical romance set in 1880s Fort Reno, OK. . . . Jennings kicks off a new series with a light and enjoyable tale that will delight her fans as well as lovers of historical romance.”
Library Journal

CLICK TO PURCHASE
Ok, I’ll admit it. I begged to review this book because of the cover. I could tell it was a period piece based on the backdrop and wardrobe. But it was the cute blonde in a pink dress with an armful of books that sold it to me.
It wouldn’t take much more to endear this book to me, but the main character, Louisa Bell, stole my heart. Anything could have happened and I would still love this book. A strong, independent woman who taught herself to sing beautifully, be still my heart. She could have easily settled by marrying or by taking on the oldest occupation, but she didn’t. No matter the hardships she has faced, she is still kind (but not a pushover!) and holds tight to people who are important to her.
We meet pretty much every character that existed in the West during Louisa’s journey: Native Americans, cowboys (more drunk than not), farmers, shopkeepers, religious folk, children, and military men. It’s great to see how she adapts to each situation. And while she never outright lies about anything, her talent for deception (or improvisation) finds her a comfortable living situation.
Only one situation in the novel felt heavy, as it was a political one. But it gave a nice inside look at the sort of dealings that took place during this time period. The atmosphere gets tense for a bit, but you never doubt that things will work out for the best. The same could be said for the romantic storyline as well. While Louisa is hiding very big secrets from the Major, you have a feeling that things will sort themselves out.
And that’s the only critique I have of this book. I would have liked something to knock me off balance and kept me flailing around for a bit. Other than that, I admire Jennings clean writing style and descriptions. The dialogue is delivered effortlessly and the characters are interesting and believable. I look forward to reading the next installment. I hope to see more of Caroline and Daisy in the coming books.
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a minor in history. She’s the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, a two-time Golden Quill finalist and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and at First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She lives outside of Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.
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December 18-22 & December 26-30, 2017
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/18/17
Excerpt 1
12/19/17
Review
12/20/17
Notable Quotable
12/21/17
Author Video
12/22/17
Review
12/26/17
Excerpt 2
12/27/17
Notable Quotable
12/28/17
Review
12/29/17
Top Ten List
12/30/17
Review
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Promo & Giveaway: Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms

CHRISTMAS 
IN A COWBOY’S ARMS
with stories by
ROSANNE BITTNER, LINDA BRODAY, MARGARET BROWNLEY, 
LEIGH GREENWOOD, ANNA SCHMIDT, AMY SANDAS
  Genre: Romance Anthology / Western / Historical
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 512

Scroll down for the giveaway!

The Beating Heart of Christmas
In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from these bestselling authors.
Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and―most of all―love.
*Chick-a-Dee Christmas by Rosanne Bittner * The Christmas Stranger by Linda Broday * A Texas Ranger for Christmas by Margaret Brownley * Father Christmas by Leigh Greenwood * A Christmas Baby by Anna Schmidt * A Christmas Reunion by Amy Sandas*

PRAISE FOR CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS: 
“An emotional powerhouse! This classic historical western is destined for the “keeper” shelf.” RT Book Reviews, Top Pick for Rosanne Bittner

“Fun and sensual…great for fans of history, romance, and some good old Texas grit.” Kirkus for Linda Broday

“A great story by a wonderful author.” ― #1 New York Times bestselling author DEBBIE MACOMBER for Margaret Brownley

“Greenwood is a master at westerns.” RT Book Reviews for Leigh Greenwood

“The perfect read.” RT Book Reviews for Anna Schmidt

“A genuine page-turner…electric and absorbing.” Kirkus for Amy Sandas
——–║——–
——–║——–
author story spotlight

ANNA SCHMIDT, AUTHOR OF A CHRISTMAS BABY

Included in Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms Anthology

About A Christmas Baby:

Rico and Louisa come from different worlds. Can their love survive once her family disowns her and can they find peace and reunion through the message of Christmas—and an innocent child?


INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ANNA SCHMIDT


Where did your love of books and reading come from? Mostly my mother who had a seventh-grade education but was an avid reader and one of the smartest people I knew. Both parents put a LOT of focus on the importance of reading—books were always part of our Christmas “loot.”


How does your book relate to your faith? My faith is all about diversity and inclusion—it is no accident that the world is populated by so many different cultures and ethnicities. The key is to find ways to respect, appreciate and engage!!!


How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing? My studies in both history and theater have greatly impacted my writing. When I write, I see the characters on a stage or movie screen—they walk and talk like characters on stage and I am always aware of who else is “in the scene.”


What do your plans for future projects include? This story weaves in with my LAST CHANCE COWBOYS series. Book 3, THE OUTLAW is available now and the final book –THE RANCHER—will be available in early 2018. Rico and Louisa as well as other characters from this story are all part of those novels.


Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Scandinavia—I just had my DNA done and discovered I am 20% Scandinavian!!


What cultural value do you see in books and storytelling? The written word is a gift—stories are gifts that can allow a child to define who he or she truly is. They can also provide a refuge from the troubled times and hope for a better tomorrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America. In addition, she has been a four-time finalist for the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times magazine—an award she has won twice.


The author of over thirty works of historical and contemporary fiction, Anna has worked in the corporate world for two international companies, taught at the college level, and is a popular presenter of hands-on workshops. She splits her time between Wisconsin and Florida, noting that, “I am blessed to have a career that travels well!”




Rosanne Bittner

Website * Facebook 

Twitter * Goodreads



Linda Broday

Website * Facebook 

Twitter * Goodreads

Margaret Brownley

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Twitter * Goodreads



Anna Schmidt

Website * Pinterest 

Twitter Goodreads


Amy Sandas

Website * Facebook 

Twitter * Goodreads

Leigh Greenwood

Website * Goodreads

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December 1-December 10, 2017
Four Winners will each get a prize pack which includes Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms + another book(s) by one of the authors.  Three of the packs will also include a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/1/17
Christmas Memories
12/2/17
Review
12/3/17
Spotlight on Amy
12/4/17
Review
12/5/17
Spotlight on Anna
12/6/17
Spotlight on Linda
12/7/17
Review
12/8/17
Spotlight on Margaret
12/9/17
Spotlight on Rosanne
12/10/17
Review
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Showcase tour: Too Far Down by Mary Connealy


TOO FAR DOWN
Cimarron Legacy Book 3

by
MARY CONNEALY
  Genre: Western Historical Christian Romance
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 322

With Danger Drawing Ever Closer, The Boden Clan Risk Losing Their Ranch Forever

Having returned home to the ranch, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back east and appreciating all that New Mexico Territory offers. Sure, he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys his new job running the mine and, when he’s honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.
Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone, particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who can’t seem to make up his mind about staying in New Mexico.
When a deadly explosion damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them. Melanie is determined to help Cole and the family finally put an end to the danger that’s threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm’s way be more dangerous than anyone expected?



PRAISE FOR TOO FAR DOWN:

“Connealy crafts relatable characters who will inspire readers with their love, loyalty, and fortitude, and the mystery remains intriguing until the end.” Publishers Weekly 
“Recommended for those who enjoy a fast, smart historical-set suspense.” RT Book Reviews

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE  SHOWCASE TOUR:

11/13/17
11/14/17
11/15/17
11/16/17
11/17/17


AND WATCH FOR THE SPECIAL FEATURES TOUR COMING NEXT:

11/27/17
Special Feature
11/27/17
Special Feature
11/28/17
Review
11/28/17
Special Feature
11/29/17
Review
11/29/17
Special Feature
11/30/17
Review
11/30/17
Special Feature
12/1/17
Review
12/1/17
Special Feature
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Excerpt & Giveaway: Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt

BADLANDS
Sawbones, Book 3
by
MELISSA LENHARDT
!!NEW RELEASE!!
  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance
Publisher: Redhook
Date of Publication: June 27, 2017
Number of Pages: 416

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in the conclusion to Melissa Lenhardt’s fast-paced historical series.

Laura’s worst fears have been realized: Kindle has been taken into custody and she is once again on the run. The noose awaits her in New York, but Laura is realizing that there are some things worse than death. Finally running out of places to hide, it may be time for Dr. Catherine Bennett to face her past.
PURCHASE LINKS:
4a231-excerpt

Excerpt from Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt

Chapter One, Part 3

Continued from the Lone Star Book Blog Tours July 5, 2017 stop of the Badlands tour.
A tall man with a hat pulled low walked behind the woman, jostling her and breaking our gaze. A small strip of his white collar showed between his longish dark hair and the navy-blue coat he wore. Buff colored pants were tucked into the top of his cavalry boots, well worn and dusty from the trail. He held a Remington rifle loosely in his right hand and favored his left leg. A stream of smoke trailed behind his head and I knew he held a thin cigar between his teeth.

I dropped the notebook. It was Kindle, come to find me. Rosemond hadn’t been lying about helping me on Kindle’s behalf. I grasped the open window and yelled, “Kindle!”

My voice was barely a whisper, and the man continued on without stopping, down the steps of the platform and into town. I stumbled across the compartment and opened the door on the third try. Ricocheting down the hall on legs I could scarcely feel, I tripped down the stairs and fell onto the platform on my hands and knees. The redheaded woman was next to me, helping me up with strong thin hands. I stripped my arm from her grasp and tried to run in the direction the man went, but stumbled again. Why wouldn’t my legs work?

“Let me help you.” The woman lifted me up, put an arm around my waist and walked me in Kindle’s direction while I craned my neck searching for him. The steel gray sky was thick with the earthy smell of impending rain.

“There.” I pointed at a saloon down the street and the woman dutifully carried me along. We navigated through horses, wagons and pedestrians, drawing our own peculiar interest; an ugly woman holding a carpet bag in one hand and her other arm around a pale, ill woman. I reached for the porch column and pulled myself up the step. I rested my cheek against the coarse wood, hoping for a well-spring of strength to propel me inside the saloon, and into Kindle’s arms.

“You can’t go into a saloon,” the woman said.

I stumbled through the open door and stood for a moment, letting my eyes adjust to the dark. A card game at a table to the right of the door. A bartender polishing a glass behind planks of wood resting on two cracker barrels. A cracked mirror behind him. The jagged reflection of a thin women with disheveled hair and bruises beneath her eyes. My mouth watered as the oaky scent of whisky drifted around me. I followed the sound of a woman’s laughter coming from the back.

“Hey!”

Finding my legs, I made it to the hallway in the back and stripped open the canvas curtain door of the first room. Empty. I moved to the room across the hall, startling two women in various states of undress. I went to the next room and ripped open the curtain. Kindle had his back to me, facing the naked woman on the bed, her hand between her splayed legs. My stomach lurched with nausea. “Kindle?” My voice was barely a whisper.

“She your wife?” the whore said.

The man turned and appraised me. A thin mustache hung limply from his upper lip, framing a cruel mouth and taking no attention away from his pockmarked olive complexion.

“That dope fiend? Hell no.” The man grabbed my arm and threw me out the door and straight into the bartender who lifted me up, and tossed me over his shoulder like I was a bag of leaves. He stalked through the saloon and dropped me on the ground outside in the middle of the only puddle in the street. With shaking arms, I pushed myself into a sitting position, horse piss dripping from my jaw, and looked up into the ugly woman’s face. The sun was behind her head, masking her expression.

“I told you not to go in there.” I took her offered hand. She pulled me up and released me quickly. She flicked the excess urine from her hand, bent down and wiped it on the bottom of her skirt. “Was it him?”

I shook my head.She sighed. “I’m sorry.”The train whistle screamed and the train labored forward toward California. “You’ve missed your train.”

Though my brain was fuzzy with laudanum and I wanted nothing more than to lie down in the middle of the street and sleep, I understood the import of the train leaving without me. I was free of Rosemond and could return to Kindle. I managed to smile. “So I have.”

My happiness was short lived.

“Laura!”

Rosemond in her ridiculous blue dress stalked toward us holding a flour sack, her powdered, pox-scarred face a mask of fury. The ugly woman turned around and stood shoulder to shoulder with me. “Who’s that?”

“My kidnapper.”


Melissa Lenhardt is the author the Jack McBride mystery series, as well as the Laura Elliston historical fiction series. Her debut mystery, STILLWATER, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and SAWBONES, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a “thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new subgenre: the feminist Western” by Lone Star Literary Life. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two sons.

————————————————— 
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 Three Winners 
1stBadlands paperback;       2ndBadlands eBook; 
3rdBadlands audio download via Downpour
June 27-July 6, 2017
(U.S. Only)

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/27
Notable Quotable 1
6/27
Notable Quotable 2
6/28
Review: Blood Oath
6/28
Review: Badlands
6/29
Review: Blood Oath
6/29
Review: Badlands
6/30
Review: Blood Oath
6/30
Review: Badlands
7/1
Review: Blood Oath
7/1
Review: Badlands
7/2
Badlands Excerpt 1
7/3
Bonus Review
7/4
Bonus Review
7/5
Badlands Excerpt 2
7/6
Badlands Excerpt 3
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