Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When the Ocotillo Bloom -- Contest!!!

I'm having a contest to celebrate my new release, When the Ocotillo Bloom, from Champagne Books July 1, 2009. The prize is a sterling silver prickly pear cactus charm which is fitting for this story set in the Big Bend County of west Texas.

"With Central Texas far behind her, the abundance of flora diminished as she drove deeper into West Texas. A sprinkling of wildflowers and prickly pear cactus with their yellow blooms dotted the landscape. But nature no longer dominated.

Beyond the ditches, oil pump jacks and gas compressors stood reign over land ruined by drilling. The ugly equipment was a stark contrast to the beauty of the cactus and the prairie and Chihuahua flax growing in the reddish brown dirt. "

Here is a blurb.

As a result of her divorce, Lynn Devry’s happiness and health have dimmed. But on a ranch in West Texas, she challenges her body and tackles deep-rooted fears to cast aside old habits and find the inner strength she’s longed for.

Seth Williams, divorced ranch owner, harbors a secret desire to reconcile with his ex-wife. When a prickly school teacher is thrust into his life, he learns his happiness lies in the future, not the past.

Set in the midst of the stark beauty of West Texas, When the Ocotillo Bloom charters the journey of Lynn and Seth as they overcome obstacles and find self-renewal—the reward being love.


Go to my website and read the blurb there. What is Seth William's occupation? Email me at linda@lindalaroque.com with the answer. Be sure to put Ocotillo in the subject line. Contest ends at midnight CST July 31st, 2009. The winner will be announced on August 1, 2009.
Good luck! Be sure to leave me a comment here to enter my monthly ebook drawing.
Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~ Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom 7-9, Champagne Books; A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky10-9, The Wild Rose Press.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Author Catherine Stang: Getting Your Story to Unfold

I'm pleased to have Catherine Stang as a guest author this week. Please leave her a comment. Remember each time you comment you are entered into the montly drawing for a PDF copy of one of my books.

Welcome Catherine!

Getting your story to unfold

I often have people ask me “how do you write?” Well, I don’t really have an answer to that. It’s a process that I’m not sure I could break down and explain. Although I have tried.
I remember in the early days of my writing that I went to workshops and conferences and listened to authors tell their method of writing a book. Some had story boards, some outlines or other organized methods. Which I admired, but couldn’t seem to do. I used to worry that I wasn’t a “real writer” because I didn’t work that way.

Then one day I went to a workshop by a famous author who was a favorite of mine. She didn’t have the answer to question of how do you write either. Like me, she wrote the story down and then made changes during the editing process.

Sitting there it hit me that there is no wrong to write. What ever works to get your story out of your head and down on paper is okay. Do what comes natural to you. Writing is an individual process whether you use outline charts, note cards, story boards or just like to write a complete rough draft as it plays out in your head. The main thing is to write. And trust your muse. Good luck!

Speaking of writing… I have a new book out. Dare To Love is the second in my Finding Home Series. (The Bargain is the first book.) Both are available from http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/ I have blurbs and excepts on my website http://www.catherinestang.com/ Also you can follow my Not So Secret Life on my blog http://www.cathystang.blogspot.com/ and discuss writing, reading and books with Dani Harper and I on our blog http://www.thesecretlifeofromancewriters.blogspot.com/

Here’s bit about Dare To Love:

Be careful what you wish for….

Jessica Monroe is up to her neck in problems when her father dies leaving her with a house full of orphans, a widow and her twins, and an ex-madam, plus a horse farm to run. She wants her brother, Caleb, to come home from the war to help her. She should have been careful for what she wished for because Caleb didn’t come back alone. With him is his band of ex-raiders turned mercenary.

Now they expect her to look the other way while they use the edge of her land as a base to commit their crimes. Well, she won’t do it. While trying to help a neighbor fend off the raiders, she ends up bringing home a wounded stranger who appeared out of nowhere to help them. Just her luck, handsome Tyler Beaumont is a marshal intent on bringing down her brother and his outlaw friends.

Finding Home Series, Book 2
Sometimes home is where you least expect it.
Available from http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/

Thanks to Linda for inviting me to blog. Have a great weekend!

Catherine Stang

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two Reviews from Night Owl Romance!

I'm thrilled to receive these two reviews from Night Owl Romance Reviews. I love these two stories but it's so nice to have my opinion validated. Thank you Night Owl Romance!

My Heart Will Find Yours

"The appealing characters and deft use of honest emotions will draw readers into this captivating page-turner. The reader will be drawn to the love Royce had for Pearl and now, understandably, with Texanna. Although the story line is unusual, it still comes across as believable. This is a must read for any western romance lover. "

Reviewer Gail gave My Heart Will Find Yours a 4.5 rating.

You can read the entire review by clicking on the link below.

Investment of the Heart

"Author Linda LaRoque has written a thoroughly enjoyable western romance. She obviously cares for her characters as she has developed them into people with strong, realistic feelings and opinions...The story flows smoothly and moves quickly to a surprising but inevitable conclusion leaving the reader to wonder how these characters fare in the future. That, to me, is a sign of a good author."

Gail gave Investment of the Heart a 4 our of 5 rating.

You can read the entire review by clicking the linking below.

Thank you for stopping by today and Happy Reading! Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.
Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~ A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky10-9, The Wild Rose Press; Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom 7-9, Champagne Books.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recipe - Captain's Cheese Bake - Dip

This recipe came from my good friend Nancy. Here in our area, the Captain Rodney Boucan Glaze has to be ordered either off the internet or from someone in the Dallas area. Hopefully you can find it in your neighborhood.

Captain's Cheese Bake

1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 oz. cream cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 green onions, chopped
6 Ritz crackers, crushed8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use packaged real bacon crumbles)
1/2 cup Captain Rodney's Boucan Glaze

Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and onions in a greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with bacon crumbles and Captain Rodney's Boucan Glaze. Serve with crackers. Enjoy!

If you have difficulty finding Captain 'rodney's Boucan Glaze, a friend said this is a good substitute.
Bronco Bob's Roasted Mango Chipotle Sauce in HEB's specialty bottled sauce section.

I hope you'll leave a comment for the book drawing.


Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~ A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky10-9, The Wild Rose Press; Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom 7-9, Champagne Books.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Short Story - Romance and the Texas Ranger, The Journey Home

This is the short story I wrote for the Saturday night campfire reading at the Texas Mountain Trail Writer's Retreat in April of 2009. It will be published in the Chaos, West of the Pecos, Volume 13, a publication of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers. Enjoy!

Texas Ranger Caleb Johnson slumped atop his horse, swaying to the pace of his sorrel mare. His head bobbed with the gait as he struggled to stay in the saddle and catch a few winks of sleep. It was a ritual he and Red were accustomed to. He’d ridden many miles while asleep and his horse hadn’t tossed him once. Some weeks it was the only sleep he got. Now wasn’t a good time not to be aware of his surroundings. He was alone, wounded, and weak. The pain from his shoulder injury screamed with each movement.

The captain ordered him to stay in camp until he could send him home with an escort. But, Caleb wouldn’t have it. Hell, he was shot, not dead. He’d stolen away in the middle of the night. All he wanted was to get home to Amy. It’d been five years since he’d seen her. Maybe he no longer had a wife. Rangers weren’t good marriage material and she’d not wanted him to join up. They’d had a terrible row. Her blue eyes flashed fire as she screamed, “I won’t be here when you decide to come home.”

Contrite over her scalding words, Amy wrote him faithfully at least once a month. It’d been a year now since he’d heard from her. Every time he thought he’d get home, his division was dispatched to another area and he couldn’t go. He shuddered. Was the tremor from his wound or fear? Something was wrong at home. He could feel it in his bones.

He struggled to stay awake, but fatigue, blood loss, and now with a raging fever, illness won out. His chin hit his chest and darkness clouded his consciousness. Dreams whirled through his mind—Amy on their wedding day, her shiny brown hair piled high on her head, ringlets curling around her face. Eyes spitting fire the day he left, her face red, almost as dark as the freckles that covered her pert nose. Oh, she was a corker. He loved her spit and vinegar.

Red kicked up her heels, sending him forward, jolting him awake. Like a drunk woken by the nudge of a boot, blurry eyed, he glanced around and noticed three Indian braves on the mesa top to the west, a half a mile away.

He wrapped the reins around the saddle horn, pulled his Winchester from its scabbard, and propped the butt on his thigh. He’d show them he was armed. Hell, he was so weak he couldn’t shoot a rabbit. Hopefully they hadn’t seen him swaying in the saddle like a drunk. His knees tightened around Red. She sprinted forward but didn’t break into a full gallop. Don’t let them think you’re afraid and running. They’ll be on you like ants.

War whoops echoed behind him. He raised the rifle with one arm, propping the butt at the juncture of his shoulder, turned and shot wild. A bullet slammed into his chest. He hit the packed earth. Red broke her stride and returned to him, nudging him with her nose and whinnying for him to get up.

Shouts of victory surrounded him. Red’s reins were grabbed by a young brave. She fought against the restriction but the Indian coaxed her forward, gently stroked her muzzle and whispered in her ear. Soon, she quieted and stopped struggling though she snorted and stamped her hooves in agitation at the smell of blood.

Vision fuzzy, Caleb spotted his valued star adorning the shirt of an older brave. Several men poked him with their rifles. He didn’t feel pain, only a roaring in his ears, and a calming sense of peace. The war party rode away in a flurry of triumphant shouts.

Bright light enclosed him. A form stepped out and knelt at his side. Pink lips, accompanied by a pert freckled nose and blue eyes, smiled. She leaned down and kissed him sweetly on the mouth. Her lilac scent filled his nostrils and joy filled his heart.

“It’s time, Caleb. Time for you to come home.” Amy helped him rise and took his hand. “Come, my love.” Together they walked into the light. The End

I hope you enjoyed my story. I've heard of many people who're visited by loved ones who've passed when they're near death. How about you? Leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ebook winner for May 2009

Ebook winner for the month of May is Caffey. Congratulations Caffey. Look through my published novels and short stories and select the one you'd like. Email you choice to me at linda@lindalaroque.com and I'll shoot it right over to you.

June's contest started today so make those comments. I'll try to post more this month so you'll have more opportunities.

Happy Reading!

Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~ A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky10-9, The Wild Rose Press; Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom 7-9, Champagne Books.

Woohoo! Winners announced for Two New Releases Contests!

Thank you all for entering. Stay tuned because I have another book, When the Ocotillo Bloom, being released July 1st with Champagne Books. I'll have a contest to celebrate. I haven't decided on a prize yet. Any ideas? If so, send them to me.

Drum roll please!!! The winner are:

Barb Tulley for My Heart Will Find Yours. Use this link to purchase a copy.

Barb, your prize is this sterling and turquoise pendant.

Julie Robinson is the winner for Investment of the Heart. Use this link to buy a copy.

Julie, you prize is the Yellow Rose of Texas broach.

I'll have your prizes in the mail within the next couple of days.

I'll be posting the monthly ebook winner tonight.

Happy reading!

Linda LaRoque ~ Western Romance with a Twist in Time.
Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom, 7-09, Champagne Books; A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky 10-23-09 from TWRP.