11 February 2014

Wild West Welsh Cowboyos!


Yeehaw! It's the Cowboy Casanova Giveaway Hop to celebrate everything we love about hunky romantic cowboys. Thanks to fellow Western romance author Lily Graison for inviting me to join in the fun! Living in the desert Southwest, land of ranches, ropin', and rodeos, I've captured some of the endearing traits of the iconic cowboys we all know and love from the movies and mixed some of that fantasy with reality in my "Welsh-tern" trilogy, Dragon & Hawk.

My "oil painting" rendition of Evan
Evan Jones is an immigrant from Wales who longs to go home. Like many of his countrymen, he
came to America to work in mining. But the boyo hates being underground, and embarks on a series of  adventures that not only nearly get him killed but open his eyes to a world he never expected to appreciate.

What I love best about Evan is he's far from perfect. He's a bit of a dolt, talks too much, isn't above cheatin' at cards, is blind to what's right under his nose, but he has a heart as large as the Western sky. Sometimes he communicates more clearly with his horse than with the women he encounters, but once he's hooked, it's for life. He's fiercely loyal, and loves deeply, soulfully. There is no length he won't go to for those who matter most to him, whether his brothers or the woman who captures his heart.

Excerpt:
    Velvet Ass Rose, Madam of the Diamond Emporium, smiled graciously as she stopped beside
Evan and bussed his cheek. "Good to see you again, Evan. Alton tells me you have a new one for us tonight?"
    She was resplendent in purple velvet and sequins, a red ostrich plume in her hair. Evan liked the way she smelled of rose soap and lavender and crisp sheets. Her thick dark hair was swept up and showed off a lovely ivory neck. A stunner, certain sure, she ran the Diamond Emporium with flair. Evan found beauty and sharp thinking in one package most alluring. He enjoyed her company, even when he'd finished. If he'd had more money, he'd have treated himself that night as well.
    "Madame Rose, may I present my baby brother, Huw?" Evan said proudly. "He's nineteen and the day, a bit behind in learning the ways of romance."
     "Evan!" Huw's red face matched Rose's plume.
   She threw her head back and laughed freely, the sound like a joyous silver bell. "Romance, is it? Well, young friend, welcome to the Diamond Emporium School of Romance."
     "I'm thinkin' you'd choose a suitable, patient teacher for him. He'll need lots of guidance, probably need to repeat a lesson—or two." Evan chuckled, patted Huw's shoulder.
     "I have the perfect schoolmarm for you, honey," Velvet Ass Rose said. "Gentled many a colt, teaching the ins and outs of gait, so to speak. Here now, I'll take you there myself." She turned toward the staircase, signaling for Huw to follow. "Well?" she asked, amused at Huw's open mouthed shyness. "Don't just stand there gawking, sweetie, come!"

     "No doubt he will, Rose," Evan called after them. "No doubt at all!"
***
My Giveaway:
For readers in the US/Canada:  
A paperback edition of Book One, Dragon & Hawk 
~PLUS~
a Western goodie bag of Cowgirl bubble bath, cowboy stickers, and sundry Arizona treats!

OR for readers outside the US: 
A PDF edition of the complete trilogy:  
 Dragon & Hawk, Out of Forgotten Ashes, and Dragon's Legacy

How to win? Post a comment here WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
[leave it in this format so spammers don't get it: MyEmail AT whatever DOT com]
 Fritzgerald The Bastard Cat of Tombstone will bite a name at random.


Don't forget to check out the rest of the Cowboy Casanova Hop!

09 February 2014

Love-Struck Valentine’s Day Hop!

LoveStruckValentine's Day Hop Homepage
Welcome to Jude's spot on the Love-Struck Valentine's Day Hop! It's time to celebrate romance and stories of love, heartbreak, and happy endings. Today's Grand Prize is a Kindle Paperwhite eReader with 43 books provided by all the Hop Authors, so enter at the Hop Homepage. Go do it NOW.


I'll wait...


All right! Welcome back! Let's talk romance. Historians believe that the English word "romance" developed from a vernacular dialect within the French language meaning "verse narrative"—referring to the style of speech, writing, and artistic talents within elite classes. The word was originally an adverb of the Latin origin "Romanicus," meaning "of the Roman style." The connecting notion is that European medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure, not combining the idea of love until late into the seventeenth century.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%28love%29
 Tales of chivalry, action, adventure, and heroism are technically "Romantic", as is music by Beethoven,  Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and others we consider "classical."

For me, writing stories that are Romantic means to include an element of danger and adventure, even in a contemporary setting involving ballroom dancing. My Save The Last Dance series involves two people destined to be together who face more than a few obstacles in their path. Overcoming the fear of ending a bad relationship can involve the possibility of physical danger, whether from an abusive spouse or someone else. "Will they get together?" isn't so much the question as "How in the world will they make it work?" For Maggie Pearce and John Harrison, those few moments of soulful connection are worth braving the obstacles thrown in their way.

Now for Fun Schtuff!
My Giveaway!
US readers: A Giftie pack of Champagne Bath pearls, Champagne Books keychain, a CD of awesome music that inspired my Save The Last Dance series, and other sundry goodies!
OR Outside the US: $10 Amazon.com Gift card 
  All you have to do is post a comment on this blog with your email address. [Leave it in this form so spammers don't get it: My email AT whatever DOT com
A name will drawn at random Saturday February 15th at noon Pacific Time.

But Wait, THERE'S MORE!
love-struck-valentines-day-blog-hop

Your mission is to continue HOPPING to the participating blogs. Most will offer their own prizes just like I did here; all have wonderful stories to share. So hop your buns around the Interwebs and gather what you may. Just click on an author's name to get to their Blog Hop post--and DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY AT JA GARLAND'S HOME PAGE:


Celia Breslin    Pippa Jay   Mimi Sebastian   Cecilia Dominic 
  Isabella Norse   Dani Harper   Rita Bay   Allison Knight   Joyce Proell  Holly Hunt   Ceci Giltenan   Ute Carbone 
Cassiel Knight   Audra Middleton   Angela Kay Austin  Morgan Wyatt  Liz Crowe   Susan Frances      January Bain   Linda Rettstatt   Dani Collins  Kelly Martin  Pauline Creeden 
                      Christina Cole   Graeme Brown






Wishing everyone a romantic and blissful Happy Valentine's Day!
~Jude

07 February 2014

Coming Soon: Bunny Blog Hopping





This coming week I'm participating in a few fun Blog Hops, in which readers can win some fun stuff and great prizes!

First up on February 10:  is It's A Love-Struck Valentine's Day Blog Hop  sponsored by author J.A. Garland and Champagne Books. The Grand Prize for this hop is a Kindle Paperwhite eReader plus 43 ebooks for the participating authors. Each author is also offering prizes on their blogs so be sure to HOP to it and check all of them out starting on February 10.






Then on February 12 I'm moseyin' with the Cowboy Casanova Giveaway Blog Hop with Miz Lily Graison.
We'll be toutin' all the things we love best about cowboys and Western romance, includin' Welsh Cowboyos, so be certain to take a gander back here for some fun! Besides, it's always good to save a horse, ride a cowboy!




February 13 I'll be Hopping over to Liz Fountain's "Lucky 13" blog to share how serendipity has played a big role in my writing so far. I'll admit, I've had some great chances presented to me and I've tried to seize on opportunities as much as possible, especially with composing my Save The Last Dance series.  The first novella of which, A Dangerous Dance, has just received a FIVE HALO rating from Fallen Angels Reviews!  All three novellas are now available from Champagne Books and Amazon.


I'll also be hopping over to Ceci Giltenan's Courage Blog on February 24  to discuss how doing what is right sometimes takes far more courage than following your heart.

Hop along with me this month, won't you?
~Jude