Old West Romance

Inspiration: Where does it come from?

I’ve been thinking lately about inspiration. Unlike many authors, I don’t have a million book ideas knocking around in my head at any given moment. I generally have only one. Once I get an idea for a story, I become fully immersed in it until I flesh it out in a book. It’s like my brain can only process so much and stubbornly refuses to allow extra stuff in that will be distracting.

Because of my brain’s stingy supply of new ideas, part of me is afraid I’ll eventually run out of them. As I write and complete each new book, however, that fear gradually diminishes. I have written nine historical western romances containing domestic discipline, a rather specific genre, and yet each book has contained a different premise, plot, and character personalities.

The world is full of inspiration. You just have to pay attention. You have to listen, learn, and feel. I’d like to share my inspiration for each book I’ve written. For some of them, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment or experience that inspired me, but for others, it’s very clear.

detail_3605_TheUnbraidingOfAnnaBrown_200x300The Unbraiding of Anna Brown. My first book. Believe it or not, I started this book in 2011 and didn’t finish it until 2015. I was so thrilled when Blushing Books accepted it for publication, and I was even more thrilled when I learned that — wow! — there are other people who want to read my fantasies. Carter, the hero, is a grieving widower who has withdrawn from the world. Anna, the heroine, is a sweet young woman whose kind heart and quiet presence gradually help him awaken from grief.

My inspiration for this story? The western T.V. show Bonanza. If you’re a fan of the show, you know the big joke. Throughout its air on T.V., the four bachelor ranchers meet scores of women, but the women they meet and fall in love with all die. Ben Cartwright, the patriarch, was actually married three times and all three of his wives died. I was thinking of Ben Cartwright when I wrote Carter Barnes (see the name similarity?).

Growing up, watching the strong, old-fashioned cowboys take charge and do good in the world, did all kinds of happy things to my impressionable young heart, so it makes sense that I would have a “thing” for cowboys. I suppose you could say Bonanza is an inspiration for all my books, in a way, since my books all take place in the old west with rugged, untamed men (yum!).

large_3825_submissivesuffragette_500x755The Submissive Suffragette. This is a prequel to Anna Brown, even though I wrote it after. While writing Anna’s story, I came to understand the woman Carter was mourning. Carter’s first wife, Nalin, was sharp, feisty, and different from Anna in just about every way. I felt that Nalin and Carter deserved their own story, which led me to write The Submissive Suffragette.

It was fun to write, and I’ll tell you why. While writing Anna and Carter’s story, I fully formed Carter’s character, and I had to stick with it when I wrote the next book. He was who he was! And that was a gruff, stoic, no-nonsense man. Young, demure Anna fell right in line with that. But pairing him with Nalin was a fun challenge. Imagine a progressive, intelligent woman going toe-to-toe with an old-fashioned cowboy for 130 pages, and you have an idea of what goes on in this book.

large_3663_missymarshall_500x755Missy Meets the Marshal. You’ll notice as you keep reading that a recurring inspiration for my books is other books. This is true for Missy Meets the Marshal, although it might be surprising to discover which book inspired it. Believe it or not, it was inspired by a nonfictional book about how to write westerns, called Write a Western in 30 Days by Nik Morton.

I had grudgingly and unenthusiastically decided I should do some research on the old west, since it was clear by this time that writing westerns was the direction I was going. In this how-to book, I learned that to make a western book feel authentic to the reader, I needed to get more specific and more in tune with the lingo of the old west. For instance, instead of writing that the marshal drew his gun, I could write that the marshal shucked his Smith & Wesson. I learned about some of the gritty details of the wild west, and an action-packed story of villains, bank robbery, and murder formed inside my head. I don’t claim that my books are completely historically accurate (they’re not, as several disgruntled readers have pointed out), but I do try to add as many details as possible to make them believable. Fun fact: Anna and Carter show up in this book, and they are instrumental in helping Missy and Grover find their HEA.

fetchingcharolotterose_fullFetching Charlotte Rose. This book ranked #1 in historical erotica and erotic westerns on Amazon. It also won “Best Sweet Spanking Romance” of 2016. So yes, this book is both erotic and sweet! I can actually pinpoint the exact book that inspired me to write Fetching, and it’s a book by a spanking romance author I’ve never spoken with or had any kind of communication with other than to review a couple of her books. The author is April Hill, and the book that inspired mine is titled Scarlet Fever. In the beginning of this book, the hero (a Canadian Mountie) and heroine (an American journalist) engage in the most hilarious banter. The bratty heroine repeatedly insults the longsuffering hero who has a duty to deport her for not possessing proper papers. She jabs at him for being Canadian, for being a man, for being humorless… all his qualities and personality traits are fair game for this smart-mouthed heroine.

In my book, down-to-earth, practical Max fetches haughty, well-educated Charlotte Rose from the station, and immediately there are fireworks. Thinly veiled insults fly from the travel-weary lady, and events during the buggy ride from the station to town include Charlotte tossing away an apple given to her by Max, reporting that she’s had lemons that were sweeter. It’s so, so fun writing bratty heroines and the moments that lead to their comeuppances!

hislittleredlily_fullHis Little Red Lily. This book dabbles with mild age play. The young heroine is in need of a father figure, and the older, more-experience Jesse fits that role. Charlotte and Max make a significant appearance in this book. Writing Fetching Charlotte Rose and becoming acquainted with its setting and its characters inspired me to write Lily. Other than that, I honestly can’t say where I got my idea for this book. Lily longs to be an entertainer and to sing and dance in Jesse’s saloon. I can’t relate with this at all, as I would rather get indigestion than get up on stage and perform. Still, Lily’s longing for a protective man who will see to her safety isn’t a fantasy unfamiliar to me, so the story flowed naturally.

claimedbythemountainman_fullClaimed by the Mountain Man. Trapper Jack meets Naughty Nettie. I’ve actually already written a post on my inspiration for this book! If interested, you can read about it here. In a nutshell, my inspiration came from a Dolly Parton song. Yes, you heard that right. Country western songs have been pretty helpful to me in writing westerns, actually. Many other country songs have led to writing scenes in my other books. I can give specifics if asked, but this post would be a lot longer if I tried to list them all.

corrallingcallie_fullCorralling Callie. By this point in my western book-writing endeavor, I had written men with the following occupations: rancher, marshal, blacksmith, saloon owner, and trapper. I thought to myself, what other jobs did men have back then? I researched and found out that one of the most dangerous, lucrative careers a man could have in the old west was as a stagecoach driver. I knew I had found my next hero: Jude Johnson. Tough as nails, he has a job to do, and it’s to transport travelers west in one piece — surviving treacherous trails, bad weather, and bandits.

So what happens when a focused man gets a passenger like Callie, a misbehaving orphan with very little understanding of safety and proper behavior? Well, let’s just say there’s some spanking involved. I really fell in love with these two characters, so much so that I was inspired to write a follow-up story with them called Christmas with Callie, which can be found in this anthology.

emmassurrender_new_2.1Emma’s Surrender. I try to pay attention to trends in what people are reading and writing, and one trend I noticed and experienced myself in my own taste was dark romances. All the heroes I had written up to this point were what I would call morally upright. But I got to thinking, what if my hero was a villain? What if he was so evil that he actually murdered the heroine’s father? My mind went down a dark path (fun!). This book took on more D/s themes in addition to DD. It was my first time writing anal punishment, first time writing capture, and first time writing 100 percent from the heroine’s perspective. Before, my books contained chapters from the hero’s point of view, but I intentionally didn’t allow the reader to get inside Nathan’s head in this book. I wanted them to experience all the fear and doubt that Emma felt, without understanding the hero’s motivations until she did.

The plot of this story is based very loosely on real-life historical events. I lived for about six years in a small town in Montana, and in that time I learned some of the history there. During the Civil War, though Montana had no official affiliations, sympathizers of the Union stole gold to support their cause and painted pictures of the victims as evil Confederates, even though most of those people had come upon that gold legally. The sheriff in Virginia City was eventually hung as a result of a series of events that happened around this time. Using these fascinating historical truths, I wrote a strange, but not altogether unlikely, tale where the people who are supposedly good in this book are actually not good at all.

Handling Susannah CoverHandling Susannah. This is my latest release. I plan to write a lot more about my inspiration for it in a separate blog post but, as a preview, I will say I was hugely inspired by one of my author friends, Susannah Shannon—so much so that I gave the heroine her name! This friend of mine has been instrumental in brainstorming sessions. She can come up with hilarious, delightful ideas for stories and plot twists at the drop of a hat, and that was the case with this book. Every western romance writer needs to write a story with the mail-order bride trope, right? It’s practically mandatory. Discussions with Susannah led to shaking up this trope and writing a story about a mail-order groom. And boy was this fun to write!

Thanks for reading about my inspiration! If you’re an author, I’d love to hear what inspires you. Are there similarities, or is your process totally different from mine? Do you have any advice for finding inspiration? Are there events in your life that have led to an influx or drought of ideas? Please share!

If you’re a reader, what kinds of themes do you like to read in your romance books? What would you like to read next? Please share your thoughts, as I’m always looking for new ideas and willing to try new things!

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: Fetch me your hairbrush, young lady

Saturday Spankings

Good morning and welcome to my Saturday Spankings contribution, part of a blog hop where you can get your weekly dose of corporal punishment snippets from multiple authors. Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my book The Submissive Suffragette. It just came out as an audiobook! Check it out. I’ve also provided audio samples on my blog of two audiobooks that are currently in production: Corralling Callie and Emma’s Surrender.

Now, for the snippet. Carter’s about to inflict some tough love. Nalin is suffering deeply from a loss in her life, and her husband isn’t always sure about the best way to help her. It becomes very clear to him what he needs to do, however, after she utters words he can’t bear to hear.

large_3825_submissivesuffragette_500x755“I won’t hear you speak ill of yourself, Nalin. I’ll punish you. Is that what you want right now? To be punished?”

“I want only to die.”

Upon hearing those words, Carter shoved her off his lap onto her feet, a move that startled her after months of nothing but caresses from him. She looked at him with shock, something much different from her dazed expression of late.

“Fetch me your hairbrush, young lady.”

“No, Carter!” she said.

“Go on. Rattle your hocks.”

Tears sprung to her eyes. “No,” she repeated. “I don’t want you to spank me. I want you to hold me.” She moved toward him, but he held her back, stood, and walked past her to the dresser.

“What you want is of little consequence right now.” He picked up the hairbrush. “You just said you want to die. I’m inclined to do the opposite of what you want, since I want you to live.”

He sat on the bed again and observed her sad eyes, which began to spill the tears that had formed. As much as he hated to see her cry, Carter believed her tears were a good sign. She hadn’t cried at all since the day of the loss. She had only stared at him blankly with a glassy expression, which frightened him, but crying before a spanking was a normal response from her.

“You’re getting five extra swats for not fetching this when I asked for it.”

He cracked the flat surface of the hairbrush loudly against his palm to get a sense of what kind of wallop it packed. “Take off your nightdress.”

Nalin’s lower lip quivered. “All the way off? But why?”

“Now you’ve earned five more for questioning me instead of obeying. Don’t give me cause to add more, young lady. You’re already getting a sound spanking before the extras.”

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Listen to a sample of The Submissive Suffragette

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Buy the eBook
AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
KOBO
The Submissive Suffragette (Lone Star Love Book 1)

You can also read the first entire first chapter here.

Have you voted for your favorite spanking romances of 2016? A few of my books have been nominated, and I was also nominated as favorite new spanking romance author. I’d love to get your vote! Click the graphic to be directed to the voting site.

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One more small announcement before I sign off. I have just set up a newsletter where you can sign up to get alerts from me whenever I release a new book. Please subscribe if you’re interested.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Whew! That was a lot, actually. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your hop. Click here to read more spanking snippets from other authors.

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: A spanking isn’t out of the question

large_3825_submissivesuffragette_500x755Good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Spankings blog hop. In my writing, I explore the feelings and thoughts behind the desire and need for spanking. The thing about domestic discipline and spanking is that the person subject to the discipline (usually the wife) doesn’t always know how to express what she needs, nor does she fully understand it herself in order to be able to communicate it effectively. In the scene below, I explore this conundrum. Carter has stopped disciplining Nalin because of her recent insistence that it’s not within a man’s right to discipline his wife, but how it makes her feel when he stops surprises them both. This scene is from my book The Submissive Suffragette, which takes place in the late-1800s when women’s rights were gaining ground. Hope you enjoy.

“I haven’t given you a child, Carter. I’m not a good wife. I haven’t fulfilled my most basic duty as a woman.”

Carter frowned at her. “Nalin, surely you don’t think you’re to blame for our misfortune in starting a family. I certainly don’t think you are.”

She looked past him out the window and spoke in a faraway voice, “I’ve failed at being a wife, and I’ve failed at being a suffragette. I’m a total failure.”

Carter’s temper flared. “Did you hear a word I just said?” he growled. “You haven’t failed at being a wife. Now failing as a suffragette, I wouldn’t know, but I doubt that too.”

Nalin gave her head a quick shake and focused her attention on him. “I heard what you said, Carter, but I don’t believe you. I have failed my duty as your wife. I know this because you said you’ve given up on me, and you won’t even spank me. You’ve always said it’s because you care that you punish me, so what am I to think when you don’t?”

Carter’s head was pounding. He rubbed his temples. “Well, Nalin, don’t think a spanking is out of the question, for one. The more of your nonsensical prattling I’m forced to endure, the more likely it becomes.”

Nalin’s eyes widened, and she looked at him with an expression that closely resembled hope. Carter’s consternation came to an end in that very moment, for she had unknowingly said more to him in that one look than in all her rantings about women’s rights. His wife had a strange new interest that didn’t make much sense to him, but he realized then that one thing was not new or complex, and that was the way she needed to feel his love. He suddenly understood what caused her tears that day.

Carter’s tone softened. “Come sit by me, Nalin love.”

This book is available for $2.99 at all the usual places, or you can read the first chapter on my blog.

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
ALLROMANCE EBOOKS
KOBO
The Submissive Suffragette (Lone Star Love Book 1)

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of your hop! Click here to read spanking excerpts from other authors.

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Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: Overpower and Subdue

It’s time for Saturday Spankings! Here’s my excerpt.

From The Submissive Suffragette

“Stop distracting us from our reading,” Nalin said. “We were just getting to ‘The Subjugation of Women’ by Mr. John Mill before you so rudely interrupted. Weren’t we, Anna?”

“Yes. She’s right, Mr. Barnes,” the girl confirmed, asserting her loyalty to his wife.

Still frowning, Nalin continued to boss him. “Anna made a pie. It’s on the counter. Why don’t you busy yourself with eating it and leave us to our book learning.” She straightened her back and sat down.

“Yes, ma’am!” Carter sauntered to the kitchen, then turned when he arrived at the counter. “Honey, what does ‘subjugation’ mean?”

Nalin let out an annoyed sigh. “It means to overpower and subdue. You should read occasionally. It’s a common word,” she informed him in a clipped, condescending tone.

Carter smirked. “I see. Thanks for explaining that to your ignorant husband, and in such a patient manner too.” He walked back to her.

In less time than it would have taken for her to read the essay’s opening sentence, Carter wrestled Nalin into a belly-down position on the sofa. He clasped her wrists together behind her back in one of his hands and held a fistful of her hair in his other.

“Just so as I understand, does it mean something like this?” Carter asked her, his voice as sweet as honey.

subsuff

Sound interesting? Visit my Amazon Author PageThe Submissive Suffragette will be out this weekend and on sale!

Click here to read more excerpts from Saturday Spanking participants.

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: Insolence over my lap is a very bad idea

Saturday SpankingsHello! Welcome to my contribution to this week’s rendition of Saturday Spankings, the best corporal punishment blog hop on the web. I’m excited to share another excerpt from The Submissive Suffragette, which is slated for release May 10 from Blushing Books.

This is after the spanking. She’s still over his lap.

“I have a request, wife,” Carter said. He continued rubbing her bottom and stroked her back with his other hand. Nalin felt soft and compliant in his lap.

“What is it, husband?” She practically purred.

Carter loved bringing out this submissive side of her as much as he loved facing her fierceness. “I’d like to request that you cook your husband supper when he asks for it.”

“Are you hungry?”

Carter snarled his answer. “I was hungry hours ago when I asked. Now I’m positively wolfish.”

“I’ll cook you something now.” She made a move to get up.

Carter held her in place and gave her a hard swat. “Did I tell you we were finished?”

Nalin yelped and softened back into his lap. “No, sir.”

He continued to rub the sting out. “I have another request. Actually, this isn’t a request. This is a command. You will stop airin’ your lungs every time you get a hankering. It’s offensive, and I don’t enjoy hearing those words coming out of your mouth. Do you agree to stop?”

Nalin didn’t respond for longer than he felt appropriate, so he began spanking her again. “Don’t refuse to answer me, young lady. Insolence over my lap is a very bad idea.”

“Okay,” she cried. “Please stop, I’ll answer.”

He settled his hand on her bottom after a few more sound swats. “Well?”

“It’s not fair that you can swear and I can’t,” she said in a whine.

She has a point, right? If you’d like to read more about this book, including more excerpts, click here and here.

Published books by me you might enjoy:

The Unbraiding of Anna Brown – Hardened widower awakens from grief when met by a sweet, headstrong young lady in need of some old-fashioned discipline.

Missy Meets the Marshal – A troubled woman in need of protection and discipline meets a tough marshal, whose job it is to provide both.

Fetching Charlotte Rose – A proud young woman learns lessons in love and safety when a no-nonsense man sweeps her off of her feet…and over his lap.

His Little Red Lily – Innocent farm girl asks repeatedly to be hired as an entertainer, but the saloon owner has other ideas about where stubborn, disobedient young ladies belong (hint: it’s not on stage).

Thanks for stopping by. Click here to read excerpts by the other Saturday Spanking participants!

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: Am I making myself clear enough, or do I need to take off my belt again?

susan-b-anthony-photoI ran into this photo on the internet recently (credit Greta Page-Mann). It gave me chills, and I thought to myself that it’s one of the few times I would think defacing a headstone is a positive thing. Believe it or not, Susan B. Anthony is a character in my next novel. No, she doesn’t get spanked! However, she does play a role in imparting some wisdom to my hero and heroine.

The Submissive Suffragette is coming out soon – May 10! I wanted to take some time to discuss it because it’s not like anything else I’ve published. Carter from The Unbraiding of Anna Brown is the hero in this book, but it’s the story of him and his first wife Nalin. Anna shows up too, but she’s a teenager at the time.

Those who came to know and love the stern, mature, and gentle Carter in The Unbraiding will see a different side of him – the passionate, immature, and misguided man of his youth. He’s a very imperfect hero in this book, though his core qualities are the same. His loyalty, kindness, and strong sense of morality are all still part of who he is; however, these traits are often overshadowed by his stubbornness and what some might consider harsh punishments of his wife Nalin. Carter is not a man ahead of his time. He possesses plenty of sexist beliefs of most men of his era. He loves his wife deeply, but he is confused and unimpressed with her insistence on women’s rights. This manifests itself in a number of ways, including a punishment for Nalin when she dares to spend money without his permission.

The Submissive Suffragette contains some sensitive topics. One is the effect that barrenness has on a woman’s sense of self-worth, especially in the nineteenth century. A woman who cannot conceive is often thought to be less of a woman, and I explore that in this book. Nalin has difficulty conceiving and, in an effort to feel a sense of worth in a society that places so much importance on childbearing, she seeks out a place in the suffrage movement and its quest to write into law a woman’s right to vote.

Further complicating matters is that Nalin is a submissive. How does a submissive who longs to obey her husband fight for women’s equal rights in society? As you can imagine, these are complex and difficult topics that are not easily solved, especially when met by a husband who firmly believes it is a woman’s duty to submit and obey. The miscarriages that the couple suffer are not for the faint of heart either, so people looking for a light spanking romance will be sorely disappointed if they pick up this book.

Following is the blurb that will give readers more of an idea of what to expect. And after that, an excerpt – finally!

***

It’s the late 1800s, the suffrage movement is gaining ground, and women are beginning to fight against the accepted roles of housewife and mother. Nalin is one of these women. She is a submissive wife to Carter and desperately longs for motherhood, but she struggles to balance her personality and desires with her belief that women should have equal rights to men. She begins defying all the normal conventions–she wears pants instead of skirts to town, she cusses, and she talks back to her husband. Carter’s response is to take his wayward wife over his knee for a sound, bare-bottom spanking.

Carter has always been content with the status quo and is frustrated with Nalin’s constant defiance of all things considered ladylike. To his way of thinking, it’s his duty to lead and her duty to obey. Nalin quickly discovers that his stubborn opinions about the natural order of things won’t be easily changed, although he does come to believe that disciplining his recalcitrant wife is pointless. Her reaction to his declaration, however, surprises them both.

Carter and Nalin both want children but have so far suffered more than one devastating loss. They are both thrilled when Nalin becomes pregnant again. However, in addition to having a child, she also wishes to attend the suffrage convention in Dallas. Carter loves his wife, so despite his initial reservations, he agrees to see her safely to the convention and back. Their adventure takes a few twists and turns along the way. Will this couple safely and successfully navigate their way through these turbulent times and find the happily ever after they both deserve?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains erotic scenes and disciplinary spanking of an adult woman. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.

***

Spanking Excerpt

“Come to me so I can comfort you, Nalin love, or go to bed and cry it out. Those are your two options. I’ll not have you standing there bawling in the kitchen a minute more.”

Nalin couldn’t decide which to do, so she remained in the same place. She felt too unworthy of Carter’s comfort to seek his embrace and too devastated not to. Carter strode to her after a couple minutes. He pushed her back into the bent position over the table, tossed up her skirts, and slapped his palm across her flaming behind.

“No, wait! I’ll go to bed,” she cried.

“Yes, you will. After another spanking.”

The swats rained down at a steady pace during his lecture. “That wasn’t a suggestion, young lady. I gave you an order to come to me or go to bed. You will listen to my words! You will obey when I speak them. And you’ll do so without delay. Disobeying gets you punished. Dawdling also gets you punished. You’re to be especially biddable following a spanking, to show me that you’ve learned something and are of the mind to be obedient going forward. Am I making myself clear enough, or do I need to take off my belt again?”

Saturday SpankingsAs you can see, Carter is not a man to be tested!

Click here to read more excerpts from Saturday Spankings participants. Have a great hop!

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: Bend over the table and lift your skirts

Saturday Spankings

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. For today’s excerpt, I’m grabbing something from my book The Submissive Suffragette, which is a very naughty book–so naughty, in fact, that it has been spending time in Bethany’s Woodshed. It will be released in the next month or so. It’s the story of Carter and Nalin.

“I will always love you. Is that what you need to hear, young lady?”

“Y-yes. Thank you, Carter.” She hiccupped.

He scowled at her. “Say it. Say, ‘My husband will always love me’.”

Nalin did so in a quiet, trembling voice.

“Do you believe it? You will repeat it until you do, even if it takes all night.”

“Yes, sir. I-I believe it.”

“Good. You’re going to need to remember how much I love you during this punishment. Bend over the table and lift your skirts.”

If you like reading about domestic discipline in an old west setting, please check out some of my other books.

hislittleredlilyInnocent farm girl asks repeatedly to be hired as an entertainer, but the saloon owner has other ideas about where stubborn, disobedient young ladies belong (hint: it’s not on stage).

Buy His Little Red Lily on Amazon (Kindle Edition)

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fetchingcharolotterose_fullA proud young woman learns lessons in love and safety when a no-nonsense man sweeps her off of her feet…and over his knee.

Buy Fetching Charlotte Rose on Amazon (Kindle Edition)

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detail_3605_TheUnbraidingOfAnnaBrown_200x300Hardened widower awakens from grief when met by a sweet, headstrong young lady in need of some old-fashioned discipline.

Buy The Unbraiding of Anna Brown (Lone Star Love Book 2) on Amazon (Kindle Edition)

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large_3663_missymarshall_500x755A troubled woman in need of protection and discipline meets a tough marshal, whose job it is to provide both.

Buy Missy Meets the Marshal (Lone Star Love Book 3) on Amazon (Kindle Edition)

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Thanks again for visiting! Enjoy the rest of your hop.

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