Get lost in a new mail-order brides story from Cissie Patterson

Matthew Burchard hasn’t been able to save those important to him, time and time again.  After delivering his sister to Freedom, he's ready to find his own freedom in the world. Saving a widow and her son isn’t part of his future plans. He’s ready to finally live a life of no regrets. 

Widow Brenna Jo Wayne is determined to make it on her own, for her son's sake. Marriage isn't in her plans but neither is giving up. Her son’s happiness is all that matters - if only he would stop fighting her every step of the way.  

Unfortunately, jobs are scarce and men are plentiful in Freedom. Is marriage the only way out of her situation? Will she find what her heart is seeking despite her son’s attitude? Return to Freedom, Colorado, in book two of this mail-order bride romance series

Brenna sighed and dismissed them with a curt, “Good day.”
Eddie and Matthew rode away from the homestead toward Charlie’s land. “Thanks for the help.” Matthew said, still smarting from being chastised for his stupidity.
Eddie gave him a wide grin. “Boy, you stepped into a heap of dung right there. I know better than to try to dig you out by your boots until she was good and ready to let you free.” He cackled loudly. “You shoulda’ seen the look on your face as she was letting you have it.”
Matthew gave him a dirty look. Hopefully, that conversation stayed between the three of them. His sister would have his hide if she heard what a donkey’s behind he’d made of himself. But despite the regret he felt, he felt a twinge of something else as he pictured the sparks shooting from Brenna’s brown eyes and the way her chin tilted up in defiance when she was angered. That woman was a force to be reckoned with, and God help him, he longed for a chance to tame her.

Meet Cissie

Born in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Cissie Patterson lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and two children. She is an avid reader of historical western romance and dreams of simpler days gone by. Times were tough, work was hard but community, God and family were the pillars of life.

Cissie spends much of her time in the Pioneer Hearts reader group on Facebook, promoting other fabulous authors of the historical western romance genre. She also maintains the Western Romance Book Babe page on Facebook, letting readers know of any historical western deals she finds. Everybody loves a freebie, right?

Cissie welcomes you to join her on her author journey as each story is a romance to remember. Select that + FOLLOW button on Amazon below my profile pic.  I love being followed. It keeps life exciting!

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cYm74T
Twitter http://twitter.com/cmpatter         
Amazon Author Page  https://amzn.to/2LgYpW5

Find Matthew's Freedom in Under a Mulberry Moon Anthology - https://amzn.to/2zLOAuS

Check out book one in the Journey to Freedom series, Grace’s Hope at http://amzn.to/2CV4BN7

How often to you get lost in a story?
I am always lost in a story. My family has a hard time talking to me when I’m reading because I just don’t hear them. When writing, my head is twelve details ahead of where it should be, thinking about facts I want to weave into my storyline.

What’s your favorite “love” word(s)? 
Strength and support. When I think of love, I think of a man who has quiet strength that will support me and all that I do. I think that’s what readers are looking for as well. A man full of strength and supportive, encouraging, polite -  a woman’s true hero.

Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role? 
Oh, sometimes, there are some very attractive men in books (wiggles eyebrows). Every romance reader needs a book boyfriend or two, or twelve! Our daily heroes aren’t perfect but our book boyfriends give us exactly what we need or dream of.

If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up? 
Well, I do have my day job working in training at a local university. But, if I had my choice, at one point in my life, I wanted to be a concert pianist. I love playing music and singing – loudly!

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? 
I used to write often as a child and have many poems in my possession as well. I never thought anyone would want to read what goes on in my head. Turns out, it might be interesting inside there.

What does it mean to love someone? 
To love someone means to support them, to respect them, to work together toward a common goal. You can’t love someone you are constantly criticizing or belittling. Build each other up, not tear each other down.

What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do? 
I’ve always loved the book and movie, Centennial. I dreamed of living in the old west and that’s what I enjoy reading. I used to dream of time travel and leaving the current world behind. So it only makes sense that I would now write in it.

What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

 If you have a dream, put yourself out there and make it come true. I never in a million years thought I would actually try to write the books in my head. Just do it.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Matthew's Freedom. Don't forget to include your email address!

Who are some real-life heroes you've met?


Through My Lens

Vacay Day #4 & 5

Tim and I highly recommend traveling to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is absolutely gorgeous. Of course, we didn't travel any place that wasn't. June is a great month for a 17-day drive. We began each day with an Ibuprofen to help fight the altitude. We huffed and puffed a couple of times, and definitely took our time going up a path. Going slow helped us enjoy the journey...not just get someplace to say we'd been there.

The Bison encounter was in Yellowstone National Park.

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Have you had a close encounter with a Bison...or other wildlife?


Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with our bestselling Western authors

Today is National Day of the Cowboy and we're celebrating all weekend on Get Lost In A Story. Today we'll explore cowboy culture and introduce you to some books that feature heroes who personify what the cowboy way.

What makes the cowboy culture so appealing. It might have something to do with our affinity and admiration for those who lived by the "Code of the West."

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”
— John Wayne

What was that code and how did it come about?

The lack of codified laws on the frontier made it necessary for pioneers to frame their own guidelines or rules for acceptable behavior. This "code" wasn't written into statues, but it was written on men's (and women's) hearts. The settlers held each other accountable to unwritten rules regarding hospitality, fair play, loyalty, honesty, respect for the land and a solid work ethic. Some men broke the laws of the land, but few violated "the code. Those who did became outcasts.

A version of this code was chronicled in Zane Grey's 1934 novel, The Code Of The West. Over the years, these frontier guidelines were recorded in a variety of ways. The tenents are more or less the same. Here's one version from the Legends of America website:

Now let's meet some characters from the West who practice this code in books written by some of our authors:

Her Bodyguard by E.E. Burke
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The most dangerous man may be the one she hired.
For America “Amy” Langford, investing in the Border Tier Railroad isn’t about chasing riches. The savvy businesswoman is after bigger stakes: influence, respect, success her father didn’t live to see. Rioting settlers and underhanded competitors can’t stop her, but a killer might. 
When a ruggedly handsome drifter comes to her rescue, she trusts her instincts and hires him on the spot as her bodyguard.
Buck O'Connor has put his violent past behind him, but being a wanted man dictates a life of deceit. So what’s one more lie? He becomes Amy’s protector so he can secretly thwart her railroad’s progress to help his cousin avoid financial ruin. A great scheme...until he falls in love.

 Here's an excerpt

“You do seem like a man used to taking charge, but I wouldn’t have guessed cows.”
Buck lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant gesture even though he was anything but. “Oh, I’ve done all kinds of things to keep food in my stomach, like most men.”
“I see.” She nodded. He wondered just how much she did see. “If you’re looking for work, I could find you a position. Tell me what you know how to do.”
“What I know how to do?” he echoed. If he offered to give her a demonstration, she’d probably slap him. On the other hand, flirting with her might deflect further questions. A smile tugged at his lips. “That’s an awful long list. Not sure where to start.”
“Why don’t you start with the truth?”
Surprise splashed him like a bucket of cold water. How had he missed the sharpness in those caramel eyes? She’d ambushed him by looking so delicious. He scrambled for cover behind a suggestive smirk. “Don’t fret, Venus. I won’t exaggerate my skills.”
She drew back, frowning. “You forget yourself, sir.”
No, he’d only forgotten to be careful.
“You said to be honest.”
Still frowning, she cocked her head and took to studying him. As her gaze moved from his face down his body, his skin quivered as if she’d stroked it.
He struggled to maintain the cocky smile. It’d been a long time since he’d been with a woman this beautiful and he was far too susceptible. “So, what do you see?”
The muscles in her face stiffened. “I see a clever man who ought to know better than to try to fool an intelligent woman.”
The heat on his face melted his arrogant smile. Hell’s bells. He hadn’t blushed since he was twelve. “You see more than I thought.”
“Just because you’ve told me very little doesn’t mean I can’t deduce something of your character.”
“My character?” He shook his head. She’d thrown him again. “You sure I have one?”
“Every man has character, good or bad. I think you mean, what do I make of yours?” Her eyes softened, pulling him in. “You haven’t taken advantage in a situation where you clearly have the upper hand. So I assume under your rough exterior beats the heart of a gentleman.”
Buck wanted to laugh, but he couldn’t. She wouldn’t call him a gentleman if she knew half of what he imagined doing with her. Yet, she’d picked up enough to know he wouldn’t act on his fantasies. She’d also put her finger on the very thing he’d taken pride in before war and privation had turned him into an animal. His honor.
“Am I right, Mr. O’Connor?” The openness on her face made her look so young and vulnerable he couldn’t hold back the answer she sought.
“Close enough.”

Between Love & Lies by Jacqui Nelson

Between Love & Lies
Purchase Today
In a town ruled by sin, will he earn her love or her lies?
Sadie Sullivan lost everything when a herd of longhorn cattle bound for Dodge City trampled and destroyed her farm. Now she works in Dodge—one of the most wicked and lawless towns in the West—at the Northern Star Saloon. But her survival in this new world of sin and violence depends on maintaining a lie so deadly it could end her life before the town of Dodge can.
The one man capable of unraveling all of Sadie's secrets is Noah Ballantyne, the Texan cowboy whose herd destroyed her home. Back in town and taking up the role of deputy alongside legendary lawman Bat Masterson, Noah vows he won't leave until he's made things right. But with the saloon’s madam unwilling to release Sadie and a rich cattle baron wanting her as well, the odds aren’t in favor of finding love…or leaving town alive.

Here's an excerpt

Awareness prickled the nape of Noah’s neck as he and Lewis stood in the doorway of the Northern Star Saloon.
“Jesus,” Lewis whispered. “An angel is singing about Texas. I must have died and gone to heaven.”
Sweet Jesus, indeed. He’d never heard a voice as compelling as the one that washed over him now. The husky rawness awakened every nerve in his body. It drew him like a parched man to a watering hole.
His step quickened as he pushed through the crowd in search of the voice’s owner. Cowhands, trail bosses, and wealthy cattle barons pressed shoulder to shoulder, all focused on one thing—the redhead on a raised stage in the far corner.
His redhead.
The air abandoned his lungs in a rush. He blinked, forced himself to take a second look. Nothing had changed. She was still onstage, but oh, had she changed since he’d last seen her. Gone was the tangle of red tresses, replaced by a mass of curls artfully arranged atop her head. Her pretty gingham dress had been swapped for a shiny sapphire creation with a high hem, tight waist, and a plunging neckline.
Equal parts shocked and mesmerized, he watched her chest rise and fall with the words of her song.

“She cried so when I left her,
It like to break my heart,”

Lord, his heart was liable to break right here and now. It missed a beat, tightened as if she’d reached out with her small hand and twisted it. What in the blue devil was she doing dressed like that and in a saloon?
“And if I ever find her
We never more will part.”

He’d found her. Hadn’t even taken a day. But what had happened during their year apart? Dread made his stomach churn as a dozen possible answers, each one more sordid than the last, flashed through his mind.
“She’s the sweetest rose of color
A fellow ever knew,”

The red of her hair shone like a beacon. He’d remembered it perfectly these last twelve months. But her face was different—paler, while the blush of her cheeks was too vivid.

“Her eyes are bright as diamonds,
They sparkle like the dew.”

From this distance, he couldn’t see the color of her eyes, but he didn’t have to. They’d be green as a summer meadow and glittering with tears. Tears he’d caused.

An avalanche of regrets roared in his ears, blocking out all sound. The one person he’d loved was gone, wiped out much like he’d destroyed this woman’s farm. Now there was only her, haunting his dreams, both sleeping and waking. Her memory had called to him in Texas, same as her voice broke through his grief and called to him now.

“We’ll play the banjo gaily,
and we’ll sing the songs of yore,
And the Yellow Rose of Texas
Shall be mine forevermore.”

With that last line, Noah made a promise—to God, to himself and the whole forsaken town of Dodge. He wasn’t leaving until he fixed the wrong he’d done.

Available Now

A Texas Ranger’s daughter has been taken.
Getting her back is all that matters.

They’ve been estranged for months, so Texas Ranger Heath Murray is surprised to be partnered with his dedicated FBI agent wife, Kendall Barlow. It’s the case of Kendall’s career—a career that has divided their marriage, though not their attraction. 

     When their young daughter is kidnapped as a pawn, they have only each other to turn to. Saving her together is their only option. The alternative is unthinkable.

~ ~ ~ Here's an Excerpt ~ ~ ~

Why had he come to the rodeo? He’d gotten up early to feed the horses after a restless night of tossing in his bed alone. But he’d needed to get away from the ranch. Needed to get away from everyone really. Needed to be with people who weren’t worried about him.
    His parents’ house was too far away to visit and be back to work in a couple of days—if he could concentrate on anything. It had been less than a full day. He couldn’t go by himself, and he didn’t want Kendall to think he was pressuring her for an answer. Instead, he reassured his mom that he was okay via text…about every three hours.
    Hell, maybe he should pack up Jupitar and take a trip home to see his mom and dad. The major had looked him in the eye and told him he’d put him on desk duty for six months if he showed up for work sooner than a week.
    But the major didn’t know Heath was sleeping on the couch. Officially…he didn’t have a home at the moment. Maybe that was the real reason he’d come to help at the rodeo. He didn’t want everyone to know he wasn’t with Skylar Dawn and Kendall.
    Dammit, he was a chicken after all. Even his morning ride had lost its appeal.
    “What are you out here for, Heath? Did that bronc throw you a little softer than we thought last week?” the manager of the rodeo asked.
    “Afraid I’ve got some broken ribs, Bobby Joe.”
    “And you’re spending your free time here? Don’t you have a life, kid?” He cupped Heath’s shoulder before he walked off to the next thing he had to do.
    A rhetorical question that shot straight through his heart. He didn’t want to think. His thoughts would only land on Kendall. And who knew how long she’d take. He might not know what to say or when the right time to say it was…but she always needed time to think.
    And he always gave it to her.
    “So what do you say, cowboy? What are you doing after you’re finished?” asked a sweet voice he recognized but didn’t expect to hear.

    Heath dropped the edge of his Stetson to block the sun from his eyes. “Kendall?”

CLOSER TO YOU  By Amanda McIntyre

"To find true love, you have only to travel through time..."

Single, misjudged, and socially sequestered, library curator Lillian White lives vicariously through her beloved books of the bawdy Old West, dreaming of the cowboy that will take her away from her lonely life until the day she discovers a mysterious, antique necklace with the power to tap into her deepest desires and possibly change her life forever.

Sheriff Jake Sloan is Deadwater Gulch's "good son." A man married to the law, his heart secretly yearns for the Magnolia's headmistress, a soiled dove forbidden to him and his perfect reputation, until he saves her life from a ruthless gunman and injured, winds up convalescing in her bed.

Can a librarian with secret fantasies, make it as a bordello madam? And can a sheriff with his career in the balance fall in love with her? Be careful what you wish for...you just might get it.

~*~Here's an excerpt ~*~

"Now, you and I, we had an agreement. They could come into town, late afternoon, between five and six, that’s when your women are allowed to shop for your—” His Adam’s apple bobbled on his unshaven throat. “You know…your womanly things.”
His gaze snapped to hers tilting her world on its axis. Those cool, dark eyes filled with determination held hers in an all-business-and-no-fun look.

Hardly the direction she’d hoped for with this fantasy. 
“Mark my words, Miss Lillian”
“You can call me, Lil, everyone else does.”
He pointed a finger at her nose. “Listen, I want no trouble. You talk to those gals. Remind ‘em of our little agreement. That way the townsfolk get what they want, and y’all get what you want.” He ripped the hat from his head and pushed his long fingers through his wave of thick, black hair. “Damn, it sure is hot in here.”
He was sweet, gorgeous, and Lil had to admit she enjoyed watching him battle between lust and being a gentleman. She was usually the one ill at ease around men, not knowing what to say, how to act. She smiled, touching the gem at the base of her throat. An instant surge of brazen confidence welled inside her.
“Is there anything else you needed, Sheriff?” She laid her carnal suggestion out like a royal flush, finding the more she gave into her fantasy, the more empowered she felt. “Anything I can do for you?” She shifted one shoulder, allowing the robe to slide to the crook of her arm and curled her hand over his broad shoulder. She sensed the all-male strength that lay beneath the soft leathery coat. Thoughts of where else he might be as firm flooded her mind and caused her body to heat.
Lil circled around behind him, trailing her fingers across the width of his back.
She indulged in her fantasy of a man with large shoulders, brimming with masculinity and strength, held in his capable arms, soothed by his velvet touch. She breathed in his scent, the smell of the rugged outdoors mingled with leather and, yes horse, but she was willing to overlook that for the sake of her fantasy.
She arched a brow as she came around to face him. Playfully, she rested her arm on his shoulder, allowing him full view of the magic of her push-up lingerie. She curled her finger around a ringlet of his ebony hair, jutting out just below his ear. His shoulder flinched briefly as he fought for control. Lillian smiled, appreciating the power she seemed to have over him. Only in a dream would she have the audacity to come on like this to a man like him. She ran her fingertip along his chiseled jaw, over his firm, kissable lower lip.

“Miss Lillian.” His tone offered a stern warning. 

Cowboy Treats

Celebrate the weekend with a special prize package:

From E.E. Burke: a signed copy of the anthology Wild Deadwood Tales and her debut novel, Her Bodyguard, along with candles created especially to honor the two Western heroes in those books--Wild Bill and Buck. (I call these romance-scented candles, Old Flames. And boy, do they smell good!)

From Jacqui Nelson: Three eBooks including, Between Love and Lies, Adella's Enemy and The Calling Birds.

From Angi Morgan, a copy of Ranger Guardian

From Amanda McIntyre, eBook Closer to You

Leave a comment and enter the raffle to be eligible to win!

What characteristics do you like best in a cowboy? 

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E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Celebrating Cowboys

Cowboys are as American as apple pie and baseball. This weekend we're celebrating National Day of the Cowboy with tributes to famous cowboys and spotlights on books we've written about cowboys, the Western lifestyle and our unique Western history.

We're also giving away an awesome prize package. Read on to find out more!

Do you know these famous cowboys?

Will Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935)

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was a Native American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world's most famous stars in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Known as "Oklahoma's Favorite Son", Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory. 

On a trip to New York City, Rogers was at Madison Square Garden, on April 27, 1905, when a wild steer broke out of the arena and began to climb into the viewing stands. Rogers roped the steer to the delight of the crowd. The feat got front page attention from the newspapers, giving him valuable publicity and an audience eager to see more. Willie Hammerstein saw his vaudeville act and signed Rogers to appear on the Victoria Roof—which was literally on a rooftop—with his pony. 

He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies, wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of the Progressive Era and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star at the time.  (Source: Wikipedia)

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” ~ Will Rogers

Nat Love (June 1854 – 1921)

Love was born a slave on a Tennessee plantation around 1854. His father was a slave foreman on the plantation's fields, and his mother the manager of its kitchen. Despite slavery-era statutes that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father. When slavery ended, Nat took a job working on a local farm and was noted as having a gift for breaking horses. After some time of working extra odd jobs in the area, he won a horse in a raffle, which he then sold back to the owner for $50. He used the money to leave town and, at the age of 16, headed West. He worked on the Duval Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, where according to his autobiography he fought rustlers and endured inclement weather, and trained himself to become an expert marksman and cowboy. After driving a herd of cattle to the railhead in DeadwoodDakota Territory, he entered a rodeo on the 4th of July in 1876  and won the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle, and bronco riding contests. It was at this rodeo that he claims friends and fans gave him the nickname "Deadwood Dick", a reference to a literary character created by Edward Lytton Wheeler, a dime novelist of the day. (Source: Legends of America)

"Mounted on my favorite horse, my lariat near my hand and my trusty guns in my belt...I felt I could defy the world." ~ The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, 1907.
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Read great stories, help a cowboy

This year a group of bestselling authors came together to write an anthology benefitting the Western Sports Foundation, an organization that provides critical support to athletes participating in Western lifestyle sports.   

If you love cowboys and rodeo, be sure to pick up a copy of this anthology. Every purchase is a donation and goes toward helping cowboys stay strong and keep riding.

Wild Deadwood Tales features 17 short stories set in the quintessential Western town of Deadwood, S.D. 

Included are stories from five GLIAS authors: E.E. Burke, Amanda McIntyre, Angi Morgan, Jacqui Nelson and Liz Selvig.

Here's an excerpt from E.E. from her story, Unexpected Calamity:

The bartender wiped out a glass with his apron and set it in front of her. For some reason, he held the bottle upright instead of pouring. “That’ll be two bits.”
“I’ll pay when I’m finished.” Jane reached for the bottle.
He held it away and narrowed his eyes. “Here, you pay before you drink.” 
If she had anything to pay with, she’d have pulled out the coins. As it was, she was broke. She could always pay later. “How do I know it ain’t bluestone swill?”
“Pay or go elsewhere,” he insisted.
“Don’t you recognize me?” She took off her hat. “Calamity Jane. I’ve been featured in dime books with Deadwood Dick. That’s worth a free drink.”
“Not in here it isn’t.”
“I’ll buy her a drink.” From behind, a man reached out and laid two bits on the bar. She glimpsed his strong, long-fingered hand and neatly trimmed nails, which were almost familiar...
When she spun to look at him, she couldn’t see his face on account of it being so dark inside and him having a wide hat brim pulled low over his eyes. But she could make out the light brown mustache framing his mouth.
A shiver rippled over her skin like an unexpected cold snap.
As he sauntered away, she stared in disbelief at the fine frock coat stretched across his shoulders, the long golden hair hanging from beneath the hat. With his back to her, he dragged out a chair. It looked like he was rejoining a poker game with four others.
 A gambler. Of course, he just reminded her of Wild Bill.
“Hey, mister,” she called out.
He didn’t turn around. Some of the other men glanced up at her but went right back to playing cards.
“Here’s your drink,” the bartender said.
Jane gave her attention to the whiskey long enough to toss it back in one burning gulp, set the glass on the bar and turned to give the stranger her thanks.

He was gone. In fact, there wasn’t even a chair where he’d been sitting.

The celebration continues tomorrow... 

Cowboy Treats

Celebrate the weekend with a special prize package:

From E.E. Burke: a signed copy of the anthology Wild Deadwood Tales and her debut novel, Her Bodyguard, along with candles created especially to honor the two Western heroes in those books--Wild Bill and Buck. (I call these romance-scented candles, Old Flames. And boy, do they smell good!)

From Jacqui Nelson: Three eBooks including, Between Love and Lies, Adella's Enemy and The Calling Birds.

From Angi Morgan: Ranger Guardian

From Amanda McIntyre: Closer to You

Enter to win this special prize package using the Rafflecopter. Don't forget to comment.

Who are some of your favorite cowboy heroes? What makes them so special?

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