Category Archives: Morgan’s Crossing

Blog on New Title Releases

After many years as a best-selling contemporary author, developmental editor, and writing instructor, it’s a great pleasure to announce the release of my fourth historical novel.

The Harper Ranch Series features sweet, sweeping historical romance with high emotion and realistically-rendered settings in 1880s Montana Territory, including research sources and notes. The series is published by Montana Sky Publishing.

Restless Heart 26 FINAL COVERWhile I’m writing Book Five, Royal Rescue, the new Restless Heart is here! Book Four of the Harper Ranch Series….

Once adversaries, now forced to be partners to bring back her abducted son…

Near the battlefield of Custer’s last stand, a devoted mother, Margaret,  and a free-spirit federal agent, Taylor, must overcome their months-old animosity and mistrust to find Margaret’s three-year-old boy, who was abducted in the wilds of Montana Territory in 1887.  A bitter scoundrel’s revenge, a second chance at love, and a life-changing decision about the future create a memorable romantic adventure not to be missed.

Special  surprise from my friend and colleague…

Debra Holland’s 9th Montana Sky historical romance, Montana Sky Justice, features  an extended cameo of Taylor ten years later as he and the heroine-sheriff of Sweetwater Springs pursue bank robbers. An exciting read!

Redemption RoseBook Three in the Harper Ranch Series

Woman in Victorian dress, London UKSusan Harper, a beautiful spinster with a scandalous past, must find the courage to love again.

From the Wild West to the steamy jungles of Panama and across the American Territories, shipping scion Joseph Rawlins courts the eldest Harper sister, Susan, through correspondence. His letters are fascinating, romantic, and above all safe. While she’s drawn to him, Susan fears the discovery of a past scandal will not only hurt him and ruin her, but also damage her sisters’ reputations and jeopardize the political career of Joseph’s father. A rose plant from Joseph’s match-making mother ironically foreshadows Susan’s inner journey to healing. In the striking conclusion, as wedding preparations begin for a sister, Susan confronts the past and finds it’s not just her who hides secrets that could destroy a family.

Rebel Love SongBook Two in the Harper Ranch Series

What will she do to keep up her secret suffrage writings in the face of government pursuit?

Jessamine Harper, a suffragette like her mother and a ranch hand Rebel Love Song retitled 20 FINALon the family ranch, scours newspapers (a scandal in itself for a Victorian woman) to find victims of cruelty at the hands of husbands, clergy, politics, and unfair work practices. Taylor Temogen, government land agent for Southern Montana Territory, is committed to stopping Jess’s insurgent writings so women will brave the rigors of homestead life to settle the West. Bethesda Janes, a Jewish goldminer, closet cellist, and gifted artist with iron and steel, who loves Jess but feels unworthy, must forgive the sins of his father to find the courage to claim love. What breaks the threads that bind these three in struggle are decency, courage, and abiding love.

And here’s the book that started the whole series:

Rye’s Reprieve, my first historical novel, Book One of the Harper Ranch SeriesRye'sReprieve Retitle 2018 by Hill

A doctor with a secret discovers that truth is the only medicine that will heal the heart

Gifted surgeon Rye Rawlins is trapped by a tragic secret so painful that he denies his profession and buries himself in a gold mine in Montana Territory. But saving people is second nature, whether it’s doctoring a man mauled by a mountain lion or battling a wolf to save a child. Veterinarian and horse rancher Missouri Harper suffers through the worst winter in Montana history to provide for three beautiful sisters and an ailing aunt. Dangerous storms, privation, and wild predators make survival precarious.

Rye comes to Missouri’s aid, putting his life in danger and Missouri in his debt. As they fall in love, his secret and her promise to remain a spinster to protect the land for her family force them to look within to discover the cost of love.

I hope you enjoy the Wild West adventure storylines and find a moment to post a review on Amazon. All the books fall into the category of “sweet” or G-rated historical romance.

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Snuggle & Read in This Cold Weather

One desperate young woman.
A chance meeting.
A life-changing outcome.

You might think that’s the promotional hook for one of my own novels, but you’d be wrong. It’s from Caroline Clemmons’ Amanda’s Rancher, one of eight stories on sale at Amazon and featuring strong heroines, gorgeous heroes–books full of danger, twists, cry-out-loud woe, plenty of romance, and feel-good endings. While the snow swirls and the surf pounds the shore, snuggle up with one of these delightful historical romances, on sale through January, and get lost in the lives of courageous pioneer women. The books are well-written, sweet romances set in Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World locations, Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory.

The Complete List of Engaging Titles

On Sale for Less Than a Buck The Author’s Facebook Page
Loving Matilda Elizabeth Ayers
Hope on the Horizon Cassie Hayes
Amanda’s Rancher Caroline Clemmons
Slater’s Bride Patricia Thayer Wright
Rye’s Reprieve Louella Nelson
Nolan’s Vow Linda Hubalek
Thorpe’s Mail-Order Bride Cindy Woolf
Laced by Love Linda Carroll-Bradd

News Item: All Kindle World books are now in Kindle Unlimited.

For a complete list of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky novels, click here.
For a complete list of other authors’ novels set in Debra’s Kindle World, click here.

Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention my own book on sale, Rye’s Reprieve, and its metamorphosis.

I woke up one chilly morning at four AM with a complete scene whining and begging and crying to be written. I obliged, of course.

Rye's Reprieve (3) Final - CopyWhen the scene was polished, I sent it to best-selling author Debra Holland, for whom I serve as developmental editor for all her fiction. She read the scene on the plane en route to a writers’ conference in New York and meetings with Amazon’s editorial personnel. There, they hashed out the details of launching a new Kindle World based on the many successful Montana Sky novels she’s written, and Rye’s Reprieve came into being on February 8, 2016 in the first KW launch.

The book rose to #5 in Amazon’s Top 100 Historical Romance list and for weeks was in the first two slots for KW Westerns and KW Romance. It gets even better.

Through a private Facebook group, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting the authors who have joined Debra’s Kindle World. We now have a map of one of the town settings, Morgan’s Crossing, where my own Harper Ranch Series is set, and many pages of a “bible” in which we list out titles, characters, date-span, and settings to keep them straight. We often collaborate by including some of the other authors’ (or Debra’s) key characters in our own books. It’s fun, and the readers love the huge “family” we’re building and visiting with in the books.

There are now five pages of our Montana Sky Kindle World book titles on Amazon, and I’m currently working on Book Four of my Harper Ranch Series.

It’s cold outside. Get under your favorite comforter, snuggle up with a cup of tea or cocoa, and enjoy these wonderful historical romances.

Three new opportunities for down-home reading

Rye's Reprieve WR rank 2017-05-08My friend Debra Holland emailed me a couple days ago to say Rye’s Reprieve climbed to #41 on Amazon’s prestigious Top 100 Western Romance ebooks list, lingering among the latest works of leading historical romance authors of the day, including Debra. My historical novel is currently #1 in Kindle World Westerns, #3 in Romances.

I have many of you to thank for buying Rye’s Reprieve and for the more than 75 reviews received to date. Book One in the Harper Ranch series will be on sale for 99 cents for the month of May, a savings of $3. Look for an announcement in eReaderNewsToday on May 15. This is my first historical romance: In 1886 Montana Territory, Rye, a gifted surgeon, hides his healing gifts working as a gold miner. Veterinarian and horse rancher Missouri Harper, the sole support for her three sisters and ailing aunt, must fight her attraction to the handsome miner, whose secrets are cause for hesitation and whose bravery puts her in his debt. http://amzn.com/B01BLWL8X8

Rye's Reprieve (3) Final - Copy  rebel-love-song-final-300dpi  Together on sale for $4.98 through May

Rebel Love Song, Book Two in the Harper Ranch series, will appear on http://www.BooksButterfly.com May 24-26. http://a.co/7XQ5LX2  Intrigue, jealousy, and ambition bring suffragette Jessamine Harper, talented metalsmith Bethesda Janes, and a determined government agent to a dramatic stand-off.  Book Three, Rose of Redemption, launches July 18 and features a third Harper sister, Susan, who expects to remain a spinster because of an earlier serious mistake in judgment, and Rye’s older brother, shipping magnate Joseph Rawlins.

Night Sky Stars Clouds Northern Lights mirrored Sale June 4 – 11

The best-selling Mail-Order Mate will be on sale June 4 through June 11, also at 99 cents, regularly $3.99, and will be advertised on http://www.RobinReads.com. Don’t miss this tale of romance, deception, and danger in the wilds of Alaska. http://a.co/3C9Fsao

Delle Jacobs created the covers of Mail-Order Mate and Rebel Love Song. Erin Dameron-Hill designed the cover of Rye’s Reprieve. The interiors of all three books were designed by Amy Atwell at http://www.AuthorEMS.com.

Best-selling Author Parlays BookBub Ad to Bigger Sales

how-i-sold-more-series

On March 8, 2017, book-promoter BookBub Partners featured a post by guest blogger Glynnis Campbell titled “How I Sold 100x More of My Book Series.”

For my writer friends, this post by the USA Today best-selling author is helpful for planning a promotion campaign to boost sales and add interest for a new-book launch. The article offers tips and, step-by-step, what Glynnis did to gain more mileage from a BookBub upcoming promotion. Here’s a teaser:

“I opted strictly for email blast–style promotions with a good ROI history. These included Bargain Booksy, Choosy Bookworm, Free Kindle Books and Tips, Friday Freebies, Fussy Librarian, Robin Reads, and The eReader Café.”

friday-freebies-newsletter

Glynnis also offered her book and its description and buy links for publication in well-known newsletters such as that by historical author Lauren Royal, who generously features free and on-sale books by other authors as well as recipes, mini-stories, and promotions for her own novels.

RhysReprieve (3) FinalLast year Lauren featured my own Rye’s Reprieve when Amazon put the book on sale. I also had success with eReaderNewsToday and other email-blast entities. See my blog post “Making Ads and Amazon Rankings Work for You.”

So check out this easy-to-read and very helpful article by Glynnis Campbell: https://insights.bookbub.com/how-sold-100x-more-book-series/

For my readers, here is what BookBub is all about:

“BookBub is a free daily email that notifies you about deep discounts on acclaimed ebooks. You choose the types you’d like to get notified about — with categories ranging from mysteries to cookbooks — and we send great deals in those genres to your inbox. BookBub doesn’t actually sell books.”

Also check out eReaderNewsToday, another author-approved free service for book-lovers. To sign up, “Choose your genres, enter your email, and start reading your new books today.”

Authors feel it is prestigious to be selected for a BookBub or an eReaderNews promotion. In Glynnis’s case, she qualified by her status as a best-selling author and the many reviews she had already gained on the novel that BookBub was about to promote. In my case, it was my best-seller status as well as timing: eReaderNews had an opening, and I grabbed it, with very satisfactory results. I’m waiting for the stars to align for a BookBub ad to rocket my books into the arms of new readers.

Collaboration Between Writer Friends

In 2016 we wrote together, did speaking engagements, and supported one another through the loss of a beloved pet.

lou-deb-at-kindle-worlds-panel-rwa-2016

New York Times best-selling author Debra Holland and I spoke on a panel in July 2016 at the Romance Writers of America National Conference. The topic was writing for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. About 100 attendees asked questions about the financial and marketing side of writers developing stories in a famous author’s fictional “world.” In the case of Debra’s Montana Sky Kindle World, authors may have their own characters interact with Debra’s already created and established characters, they may link their World books to other series the authors have created via traditional or independent (self) publishing, and they may spin off new series within Debra’s Montana Sky towns, Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing. Other World creators have their own rules for participation. Amazon must approve World books before they are released.

In my case, as many of you know, I began a new series on a ranch  I created in the mining camp of Morgan’s Crossing. Rye’s Reprieve, set in 1886, features a doctor with a secret and a veterinarian who has come west with her sisters to make the family-owned Harper Ranch flourish. It was my first historical novel and rose in Amazon rankings to #7 in Historical Romance in August. The next in the series, due to release by Amazon December 15, 2016, features a suffragette being tracked by a federal agent and a miner with secret gift and a mysterious past–Rebel Love Song.

Debra and I will do a second panel discussion on Kindle Worlds, with other authors, at the March 24-26, 2017 California Dreamin’ Writers Conference at the Embassy Suites in Brea, CA.

On October 13 we spoke to Professor Karen Felts’ class on Sexuality and Gender at Orange Coast College and fielded questions about romance writing, the writer’s journey, publishing, and the link between imagination and life-experience in writing fiction.

These collaborations emerge from 15 years of working together.  Debra came to me in the late 90’s because she wanted to augment her work counseling stars in Hollywood; she wanted to become a published fiction writer.

I was already teaching writers through classes I developed at UCI Extension, and I was mentoring a women’s writers group on Fridays in my home. I took Debra on as a client.

After a series of one-on-one consults focused on the basics of scene and story design and character development, Debra joined the Friday group. Wild Montana Sky was the result of a prolonged association with this critique group; the book went on to win national awards and Debra spent the next ten years trying to be traditionally published. It was a disappointing ten years.

However, when she self-published Wild Montana Sky on Amazon for Kindle, over the next 11 months the book sold nearly 100,000 copies. Suddenly the big houses who had rejected her were calling to ask her to choose them to publish her Montana Sky series. She turned them down and went with Amazon, publishing several sweet historical novels in the series, self-publishing spin-off novels, collaborating with a sister romance author on a series, and releasing fantasy novels as well as a text on grief and grieving and a chapter in an anthology on self-publishing. For all her titles, visit her Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Holland/e/B004XXKZH8

I remain Debra’s developmental editor, making suggestions on the flow of the narrative in her fiction, on the consistency of characters, on logic, on dates and weather and opening hooks and all the myriad complexity that makes a successful piece of fiction.

In 2015, to help keep each other motivated (because writing is very hard, lonely, draining work even if exciting at times), Debra and I began to write together at my dining room table. We continue to do so. She just completed An Irish Blessing, book 2 of The O’Donnell Sisters Trilogy, related to the Montana Sky novellas. It releases this month. I have been working on book 2 of the Harper Ranch series, Rebel Love Song.

The collaboration goes beyond writing, though.

lou-n-tux-9-18-16-jLast month I had to put down my 18-year-old kitty pal, Tuxedo, who was approaching kidney failure, and Debra, as both friend and a doctor of psychology, was just the right kind of support: loving, expressing condolences, backing off on the writing regimen while I grieved, and checking on me. I was grateful–as I was for all the wonderful notes I received on Facebook from my followers.

I won’t go into details, but I was able to support Debra through a house-move and a personal challenge or two.

When I was ill this summer and unable to write, Debra graciously released me from a pending Montana Sky release date and kept in touch on a friend level.

That’s what we do as friends: encourage, support, guide. Communicate, even on the tough issues. Defend. And above all, create. We create both a friendship and our own rich life,  like close sisters.