Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview with Linda LaRoque and Giveaway!

First, let me just say that I am a HUGE fan of Linda LaRoque's work! During this interview with Linda, you'll learn more about her book "A Marshal of Her Own" and of course the wonderful writer behind the fabulous book. So without Delay, let's get started shall we?

Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

My part of the blog tour centers around Women of Controversy .... Ohhhhh yeah baby! You know you love reading about the controversial women.

Women of Controversy in Waco, Texas

My time travel romance, My Heart Will Find Yours, is set in 1880s Waco, Texas. Located on the Brazos River, in its early history, Waco was known as Six-Shooter Junction. Trail drives herded their cattle across the Brazos in Waco and the cowboys usually spent time in the bawdy houses of the Reservation or Two Street as the red-light district was known. Drinking in the multitude of saloons and card games sometimes led to fights, often involving the use of firearms.

When the suspension bridge opened in 1870, and the railroad arrived in 1871, business in Waco thrived. Trail drives repeatedly lost cattle when herding their livestock across the Brazos. It wasn’t uncommon for a man to be caught in the undertow and drown. Cattle bosses were willing to pay the 50 cents per animal to get their cattle across safely.

In her book, A Spirit So Rare, Patricia Ward Wallace broaches the topic of how women forged a path in the early history of Waco. Her chapter on prostitutes is titled Women of Controversy. Since prostitution plays a minor role in my western time travel romance, I’d like to borrow her title and share some of what I learned.

The first noted record of prostitution in Waco is documented in an 1876 city directory. Matilda Davis of 76 N. Fourth St. is listed as a madam with 10 occupants in her house. The women listed their occupation as actress. Waco had no playhouse at the time. In 1879, the city issued the first license for a bawdy house for an annual fee of $200 and a good behavior bond of $500.

Waco officials legalized prostitution within the Reservation in 1889 making Waco the first town in Texas and the second in the United States to condone a controlled red-light district. Madams paid a yearly fee of $12.50 for each bedroom and $10.00 for each bawd. Prostitutes paid an additional $10.00 license fee and paid the city physician $2.00 twice a month for a medical exam. This guaranteed they didn’t ply their trade outside their designated territory and were disease free. The city prohibited drinking within the area. Fines for violators ranged between $50 and $100. With the large number of prostitutes it’s easy to see the city benefited from trade within the Reservation.

Prostitutes were prohibited from being seen on the streets outside the Reservation yet they were allowed to trade with local businesses. No more than two at a time could travel via a city hack to the stores. Usually tradesmen sent clerks to the curb with merchandise. Some store owners required the prostitutes to stop at the back door.

Life was hard for these working girls. Violence abounded in the bordellos as did drug and alcohol use and abuse. Though licensed, the police had little to do with the establishments. The madams disciplined the women in their houses and maintained order among their clientele. On occasion the police were called when robberies or assaults occurred.

Waco’s most famous madam was Mollie Adams. She had worked in another house but in 1890 opened her own three-room operation. By 1893 she had a seven-room establishment. In 1910 she’d obtained enough wealth to commission a house to be built by the same firm that built the First Baptist Church of Waco and the building now the Dr. Pepper Museum. Her home at 408 N. Second St., had indoor plumbing, electric fixtures, two parlors, a dance hall, and a bell system wired to every room. Her portrait, included here, hung over the fireplace. Though wealthy at this point in her life, she died in an indigent home in 1944. Lorna Lane, the madam in Madison Cooper’s epic novel, Sironia, is supposedly modeled after Mollie Adams.

In 1917, the US Government ordered cities with military bases to shut down red light districts to protect the health of America’s soldiers. Not wanting to lose Camp MacArthur and its 36,000 troops, the city shut down the Reservation in August of 1917. It is rumored some bawdy houses managed to continue business through the 1920s.
Wallace, P. W., A Spirit So Rare, pp. 148-156.

Now, let's check out "A Marshal of Her Own" .....

Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.
Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.

Sounds good right? Well check out this excerpt!

Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.
“He needs first aid.”
“He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”
“You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”
“Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”
Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well...well..., what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”
He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”

So Linda, where can we find A Marshal of Her Own and is it a part of a series?

A Marshal of Her Own will be available now at The Wild Rose Press,, Barnes and and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own available at The Wild Rose Press,, and Barnes and and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.

Yesssssssss! I am such a series lover! I hear you have some awesome contests going on connected to the release of your new book. We can't wait to hear the details, so please ... do tell!

My release contest for A Marshal of Her Own began November 9th. I’ll be giving away this vintage rhinestone typewriter pin. To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to verify your email address. If you already receive it, email me at with A Marshal of Her Own contest in the subject line. Contest ends December 15, 2011.

Leave me a comment or ask a question today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.

Also, today’s blog post is part of 2 blog tours—this one for A Marshal of Her Own and starting December 4th, one for Born in Ice. Follow along each day and leave a comment to be entered into the grand prize drawing and learn about my Born in Ice contest.
The Blog Tour schedule will be posted on my blog and website. It will last 25 days and the Grand Prize is a Kindle. Leave a comment each day and your name will be entered 25 times. Pretty good odds, huh?
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Val!

Tomorrow, Dec. 2, I’ll be on Jill James’ blog talking about Courting in the Old West.
Happy Reading and Writing!
Linda LaRoque
Writing Romance With a Twist in Time

Linda's Website
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Linda, I want to thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I love your writing and think you are one of the most talented writers I know. So people, what are you waiting for? Leave a question or comment for Linda for a chance to win your very own copy of A Marshal of Her Own! And don't forget to stop by the other blogs on the tour! Good luck to everyone!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Coming in January ... Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

You guys know I have your back when I find all the "can't miss" books right? Well get ready because Rainshadow Road is coming in January! I know, I can't wait either! Squeeee! OK, OK, calm down for a minute and listen. I've got the blurb! Squeeeee all over again!

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington. She is stunned and blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal: her fiancĂ© Kevin has left her. His new lover is Lucy’s own sister. Lucy's bitterness over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life. Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy's parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to "romance" Lucy and hopefully loosen her up and get her over her anger. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life—even after being broken—can be made into something new and beautiful.

There's MORE! I know, besides holding the book in my hand, how could I possibly have more for you right? Well, I do! Click on this sentence to be taken to an excerpt from the book. I know you guys are going to fall in love with this talented writer as well as her new book. Oh hey, while you're there, subscribe to her newsletter so you can get all the latest and greatest from Lisa!

I am one of "Lisa's Divas" - a group of select fans who share info & content related to Lisa's novels and get sneak peeks & swag in return.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Christmas in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

Fashion designer turned amateur sleuth Maddie Springer can’t wait to spend the holidays with her boyfriend, LAPD Detective Jack Ramirez. It’s their first Christmas together, and Maddie wants it to be perfect. But between her zany family and wacky friends, Maddie’s having a hard time finding alone time with her man. But come Christmas morning, this is one holiday she’ll be sure remember… naughty or nice!

I always love me some Maddie and Jack! I just have to chuckle at this short story. Maddie and Jack have always been my favorite characters and we get a short glimpse into their rather odd Christmas Eve. One unique and colorful character after another interrupts their romantic night alone and poor Maddie and Jack, they just want a night alone. Is that too much to ask for? Well of course it is if Gemma Halliday is writing you as a character in another laugh out loud story. I had to laugh at Mrs. Rosenblatt, she has to be my favorite secondary character of all. If you're looking for zany, mischievous, quirky and fun, look no further. This short story is all that and more,

I've always been a fan of Gemma Halliday's since the first book I read from her. Yes, this is a quick and fun read but if you read some of the other books that involve Maddie and Jack, it makes Christmas in High Heels that much more enjoyable. I highly recommend you buy this book and while you're at it buy one of the previous books with Maddie and Jack and you'll see I'm telling the truth. It makes this book just that much more fun. Great job Ms. Halliday. I know when I pick up one of your books it's going to be a laugh until I cry. It's always a fun time!