Q and A with #paranormal #romance author Jessica Kong

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to a new author who I’ve met. Jessica Kong is a paranormal author specializing in Science fiction settings. Her latest book, A SEACAT’S LOVE was recently released and is already pulling in praise. I asked Jessica to come speak with my readers today and she graciously took time out of her crazy-busy holiday schedule to do so.

For readers who’ve never met you can you tell us a little about yourself, so my readers can get to know you?

Author Jessica KongJessica Kong: My name is Jessica Kong. My writing career began with the publication of the first two books in the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten and A Forgotten Kitten. The themes and story lines of my books are based on my real-life experience in an interracial marriage. I also incorporate experiences my triplets went through growing up, like being treated as outsiders by kids who weren’t minorities or multiracial, or, now that they’re older, being labeled or avoided. My books have a message about not judging others before you get to know them. Also, by making the differences between races more exaggerated, I emphasize how, when you look past the tiny factor of race, we all share the same basic needs, desires, and cultures.

Care to tell us a little about your novel A Seacat’s Love?

Jessica: A Seacat’s Love is a science-fiction action-romance about a grieving government spy and a humanoid feline scientist who meet in the corridors of a secret laboratory during an attempted escape. The first book in the Oceanan Trilogy, it’s an exciting action-adventure with themes of friendship, honor, and trust as well as doing what’s right, not being too quick to judge—and intergalactic love.
Rick McCall is a spy who can’t forgive himself for making the bad choice that led to the death of his wife and unborn daughter. Leonora is a brilliant scientist and high-ranking Seacat Warrior from the planet Oceana who is captured by the human army, imprisoned, and secretly subjected to experiments by government agents. All it takes is one look into her pale blue eyes, when Leonora collides with him during her attempt at freedom, for Rick’s heart to stir and his life to change its course.
When he discovers that Leonora’s claims about the government experimentation are true, Rick sees that he must help her and her colleague, Tigif, escape the planet, at great risk to his life and career. As they try to retrieve the aliens’ ship while avoiding a massive government dragnet, Tigif’s treachery turns out to be more than an obstacle to the growing relationship between these two people of different worlds, and his advances on Leonora become more and more forceful.
Combining the imagination of science fiction, the steamy passion of a romance, the thrills of an action-adventure, and the all-too-human conflict of a drama, A Seacat’s Love will appeal to a wide audience of readers. And fans of the Sea-anan Saga will be thrilled to find out how the parents of the multiracial protagonists they’ve met in books one and two come together.

What inspired the story of A Seacat’s Love?

Jessica: Shortly after my triplets were born, I sat in front of my computer hoping to escape into a world that I had complete control of. As I played my video game, I thought of a scene from a black and white romance movie that I once saw. It was a couple laying on the beach in an intimate embrace as the incoming waves washed over them. While I continued to play, I also recalled my favorite books and movies. Even though the stories were great, there was always something I wished the characters had done differently. This led me to ask the ‘what if’ question. What if the man on the beach was a secret agent and the woman he held in his arms was an alien from another world that he was protecting from his government? What if this alien humanoid evolved from felines? My mind began showing me a storyline heading in a different direction than the movie’s. I found it interesting and fun, so I turned off my computer game and opened up a word document and started typing. My new ‘escape from a chaotic world’ was created.
As I wrote about this blossoming romance, the couple became more real to me. Their story continued to unravel in my head. It began to include family members, best friends, traveling into space, even a timeline. As my triplets grew, I wrote storyline after storyline from that one beach scene, eventually writing my first book ever, “A Seacat’s Love”, a science fiction romance of how that human spy and alien feline met.

You’ve self-published several titles, what made you jump into self-publishing and have you been pleased with the results? Does it live up to your expectation?

Jessica: In the beginning, my plan was to go the traditional route. However, I read how more and more authors were leaving the publishing houses and going solo. The higher royalties and total control over book content was definitely a plus for me, and the reason I decided to go at it alone. For the most part, being self-published is great. The only downside for me is the time I have to spend self-promoting. Time spent on promoting is time away from writing. Then again, if you don’t promote, you don’t sell.

I hear that! Is there anything you haven’t yet achieved in your career—or any specific thing you haven’t written about yet—that you dream of doing some day?

Jessica: I have yet to reach the top bestseller list, have yet to receive 100 reviews, have yet to win any awards. :) I say I have a lot of growing, learning, and improving to do.

What’s on tap next for you? Any new manuscripts in the works, currently?

Jessica: At the present, I am working on the third installment to the Sea-anan Saga called, “A Kitten’s Tale”. :) This is the story about Mathew McCall, Areo’s twin brother. I will show how he is reunited with his childhood friend and relative, Sev, the king of the purebloods. I will also show how he meets Serena, the woman that stirs up deeply suppressed feelings of hatred and betrayal in Mathew towards the race that had tossed his family to the curb like garbage. Their relationship has its ups and downs during their trip to the Sea-anan Empire on board a White Star. I plan to publish this book before next year’s end.

Sounds like you are going to be busy in 2015.  Where can people find out more about you and your works?

Jessica: All my books are on sale at the following locations.

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon UK Author Page

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jessica-a-kong

Books-A-Million.

A Seacat's Love by Jessica A. KongAbout A Seacat’s Love:

In the first book of the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten, readers meet John McCall. The second book, A Forgotten Kitten, features Areo McCall. Both of these intriguing protagonists are children of an intergalactic marriage. Now, fans of the saga will be thrilled to learn the story of how their parents get together.

A Seacat’s Love takes readers back in time to planet Earth, where Rick McCall is committed to living the lonely life of a government spy after losing his wife and unborn daughter due to his own arrogance and poor decisions.

Leonora, one of the top scientists on the planet of Oceana and a high-ranking Seacat Warrior, is a humanoid feline who has come to Earth to study human evolution and find similarities between earthlings and oceanans. But her expedition’s camp is stormed by the human army.

Rick and Leonora first encounter each other at a secret military lab during the cat woman’s attempt to escape her captors. When she collides with Rick in a corridor, Leonora begs for his help, claiming that the government has been experimenting on her, and one look into the frightened feline’s pale-blue eyes is enough to stir the hardened spy’s heart. For Leonora, the spark ignites in her chest after Rick dares to defy his government and his own commanding officer to aid her and her colleague Tigif. She recognizes the nobility in this selfless act of helping strangers—aliens from another world, no less!

Now committed to helping Leonora and Tigif remain safely out of the clutches of a wrongful government and find a way back to their home planet, Rick faces many difficult choices—but he doesn’t want to repeat the past and make another devastatingly wrong decision. His relationship with Leonora grows in fits and starts, constantly undermined by Tigif’s devious plots, and Leonora is threatened by Tigif’s increasingly forceful advances. As they avoid a massive government dragnet, fight off dangerous feline fevers, and try to retrieve the aliens’ ship, heated emotions of jealousy, distrust, and resentment that arise in the confusion put their very lives in jeopardy.

Author Jessica Kong seamlessly blends multiple themes into her Sea-anan Saga and Oceanan Trilogy books, including loyalty, racism, family, and love. In A Seacat’s Love, the theme of multiracial relationships is particularly prominent, where the difference in race between the two protagonists is exaggerated to galactic proportions. As in all of the volumes in the series, this book shows how fundamentally similar we all really are when it comes to our basic needs, desires, and even cultures.

But readers don’t have to be fans of the saga to enjoy A Seacat’s Love. The novel stands on its own as an exciting and exotic science-fiction action-romance. Though it is an adult-content book, it is written in simple language that is easy to read—and even easier to get caught up in. Its cross appeal to science-fiction enthusiasts, romance lovers, action-adventure fans, and anyone who enjoys exploring human nature through the lens of creative imagination makes it attractive to a wide audience.

Thank you for being with us, Jessica! And best wishes on your series, and for your forthcoming books. We will be looking forward to them! Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Jessica Kong, see her website at:

http://www.seaanan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Kong/155150417957328

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/AreoMc

Good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6533956.Jessica_Kong

And you can find all her works at the above links. We hope you enjoyed this conversation, have a lovely day, and as ever, keep reading!

Promises Under the Peach Tree blitz

Joanne Rock Promises Under the Peach Tree blitz

This is my stop during the book blitz for Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 2 till 8 September, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours: http://lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-promises-under-the-peach-tree-by-joanne-rock/

Promises Under the Peach Tree
By Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 2 September 2014

Promises under the Peach TreeBlurb:
The trouble with Heartache

Nina Spencer swore she was done with Heartache, Tennessee, when she left the town—and her sexy ex, Mack—in her rearview mirror. But when her bakery business is rocked by scandal, she needs a place to regroup. What she doesn’t need is Mack Finley reminding her of peach-flavored kisses and the hold he still has on her.

Mack never forgot Nina—not that he didn’t try. Yet between caring for his family and organizing the annual Harvest Fest, he’s overwhelmed and he needs Nina’s help. They can work together without getting swept up in memories and the rush of brand-new passion…right?

You can find Promises Under the Peach Tree on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21489566-promises-under-the-peach-tree

You can buy Promises Under the Peach Tree here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Books A Million
IndieBound
iBooks
romance author Joanne RockAbout The Author:

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance subgenre she didn’t enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories.

Learn more about Joanne’s imaginative Muse by visiting her online:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Instagram
Amazon page
Google +
Tumblr
Youtube
Joanne Rock’s Romance Wiki

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Promises Under the Peach Tree, with one US only and one international prize! These are the prizes you can win:
– Romance and More prize pack, which includes 4 classic blaze title by Joanne Rock, The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, a keepsake vintage Harlequin notebook, sticky-note weekly calendar, lotion and nail polish (US only)
– Paperbacks from The Bookdepository of Shelter Me by Catherine Mann, Someone Like You by Karen Rock and Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock (International)

You can enter the giveaway below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lola's Blog Tours

Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell #Free July 19th and 20th

Free day blitz banner

 

Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell

Winter Angel

by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance

Release date: 25th June 2014

Length: Novella

Blurb:

She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.

Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can’t turn it down. What she couldn’t have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He’s struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn’t been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy’s persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he’s torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn’t go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

 

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download it now for FREE!
Only free 19th & 20th of July

Add to Goodreads

You can also download Summer Demons: the
first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for
99c / 77p.
Excerpt
White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble
of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However, it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s
knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
“Luke?”
The silence that filled the space around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew
ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.” Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good, that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self.
Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However, seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth,
trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes
from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been
shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t
like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting
him through something she knew would hurt him.
 
About the Author
 
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
 
With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.
Connect with Mia:
 
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page or subscribe to Mia’s Newsletter for information on: ARCs, giveaways and new releases
 

 

 

Author Diane Burton’s new release The Chameleon

 

Author Diane Burton

Author Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Her latest release is The Chameleon, a science fiction romance and second in her Outer Rim series.

The Chameleon by Diane BurtonBlurb:

Legally Blond meets Mata Hari

Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years.

 

Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then Jileena’s father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.

 

In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?

 

Excerpt:

“The company belongs in the family,” Jileena said.

“You have to accept that your brother is dead.”

Despite her heartache, she stood in front of her father, hands on her hips, determined to bring this to a head. She’d danced around the subject long enough, dropping hints that he ignored. He may have groomed her older brother to take over, but she wasn’t going down without a fight. “I am family.”

With his trademark stare—one that made competitors back off and employees quake—he pinned her in place. “You don’t have what it takes to replace me.”

His remark sent such an arrow of hurt through her she snapped, “Neither did Konner.” The moment the words left her mouth, she wanted to retract them.

Father slumped back in his chair. The desolation in his expression broke her heart.

Immediately, she dropped to her knees in front of him. “I’m so sorry, Daddy. I shouldn’t have—”

In a gesture she remembered from childhood, he smoothed her hair away from her forehead then tipped up her chin. “What you say is true. He had no stomach for this cutthroat business. And neither do you, thank the Divine One.” He patted her head twice. “You don’t have to worry about that. Now get up. We have work to do. Plans to make.”

“Plans?”

“Baby, I’m sending you to Galeria 7 to check out this discovery.”

“To the Outer Rim?” Jileena’s jaw dropped. While her father had sent her on discreet missions before, he’d never sent her that far from the Central Planets—especially since Konner had died out on the Frontier.

“You will check the site and do your own analysis. Put that geology degree of yours into practice. If, indeed, it is high-grade lambidium, you will negotiate mining rights with the local tribe.”

“M-Me?”

He’d done it again and seemed to enjoy surprising her. He couldn’t mean it. He wasn’t sending her. He had to be teasing. Yet he’d never been intentionally cruel. At least, not to her.

“I certainly can’t send Sindaro. As soon as reporters learn he left for the Rim, rumors would fly and negotiations would fail.”

He was right about that. If secrecy was paramount, Father had to send someone whose presence was innocuous. Someone like his fluff-brained daughter.

“Discretion is imperative. No one will suspect you are going out to the Rim for anything other than a vacation.”

Hope began to trickle through her. He’d never had her negotiate anything as important as mining rights. He was giving her a chance. A chance to prove herself.

 

 

If you’d like to check it out, it’s available at the following:

 

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00K8GDN00

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/436631

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-chameleon-an-outer-rim-novel-book-2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chameleon-diane-burton/1119480831?ean=2940149208616

 

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

 

Connect with Diane Burton online:

 

Blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook: http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

 

 

Books by Diane Burton:

Switched

Switched, Too

Switched Resolution

The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel

The Chameleon: An Outer Rim Novel

One Red Shoe

How I Met My Husband (contributor)

 

Thanks for visiting today, Diane. Good luck with The Chameleon. It sounds intriguing!

My Writing Process

(I think this went live too early, earlier. Sorry folks)

My Writing Process – Blog Tour 
Step one: Acknowledge the person & site that involved you in the blog tour (that’s me).
Thanks, Helena Fairfax for tagging me in this process. Helena Fairfax is a contemporary romance writer and author of The Silk Romance and The Antique Love. You can find out more about Helena’s books and her writing process on her post at http://helenafairfax.com/2014/04/18/my-writing-process-blog-tour/

Step two: Answer these 4 questions about your writing process, at whatever length you wish.
 
1) What am I working on?
I’m about to release my next title, Changeling’s Crown. It’s a lighthearted paranormal romance, revolving around a disgraced faery godmother. :) For fans of my paranormal fantasies,  I’ve been working (slowly) on two follow-ups to Drawing Down the Shades. What with the “slowly” part I can’t say when they’ll be out. I hope to have one of them in my beta readers’ hands by Halloween. *knock on wood* Stay tuned.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to take chances, be somewhat different from what readers might expect. For instance, my disgraced faery godmother. :) I mean we all know faery godmothers from the fairy tales. Do you ever remember them fouling up an assignment? Neither do I. Until now, that is. For the Antique Magic series well, my heroine starts out a skeptic, and really gets into what she does. I’ve only read one other book like that.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always written tales with a magical bent, though I couldn’t really tell you why. I think it’s because I like the work involved in building a world outside the norm. Just setting something in a world that we all instantly recognizes has always seemed boring to me. Tweaking reality is just so much fun!

4) How does my writing process work?

Oh, I get an idea and–depending on the idea–I’ll do a little research or I’ll just start scribbling, I have a good friend (writer Jolene Dawe), who I bounce ideas off when I get stuck (and she bounces stuff off me!), then if necessary, I’ll do more research to fill in the blanks. I build off that until the end, then I’ll let the story or book sit for a week or so, then go back and do my first revision. Fix all the stupid mistakes, fill in with more research if possible.

Thanks for being with me on this journey and thanks, Helena, for including me in the hop.

Three other writers to visit:
Catherine McMaster
Helena Fairfax, of course.
A fine writer S.G. Rogers
and paranormal enthusiast and budding writer Renae Rude.

Redeeming and releasing a rebel with author Cynthia Woolf

Romance author Cynthia Woolf recently released a new historical romance. I asked her to tell us a little about it.

 

Redeemed by a RebelBlurb:
Jake Anderson killed a man defending his fiancée from a brutal attack, but lost her and his freedom in the process. Now he’s on the run, hunted by one of her murderers and tormented by the need for vengeance.Becky Finnegan will do anything to escape her drunken father’s fists, including slave away at their mine. Her only hope is to strike gold and make a new life for herself somewhere far, far away from Deadwood. But then Jake arrives and does the unthinkable…forces her to feel, to hope…and to love.

Jake would give his life to protect Becky, but all he can offer her is a broken heart, a criminal’s life, and a past haunted by failure. How can he save her when he’s already lost himself? When the devil catches up to him, will he destroy everything, or can the beautiful rebel redeem Jake’s lost soul?

CHAPTER 1

 

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

Redeemed by a Rebel is available at: Amazon -
Barnes & Noble –  KoboApple –  Google Play

Author Cynthia Woolf

Author Cynthia Woolf

Bio:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

 

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

 

TITLES AVAILABLE

REDEEMED BY A REBEL

TAME A WILD HEART

TAME A WILD WIND

TAME A WILD BRIDE

TAME A SUMMER HEART

CAPITAL BRIDE

HEIRESS BRIDE

FIERY BRIDE

LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story

 

Find out more about Cynthia and her works on her website: www.cynthiawoolf.com

Cynthia on Twitter @CynthiaWoolf