Sunday Spotlight on Lily and the Gambler #free @Smashwords thru 7/31

Sunday’s Spotlight is on my Western historical, Lily and the Gambler, currently free at Smashwords thru July 31.

This story was inspired by a vacation my husband and I took through California’s Gold Country. I fell in love with the old gold mining towns, esp. Grass Valley, which I found especially interesting due to its strong ties to Cornwall. I decided I needed a Cornish heroine and an American hero, in the mold of James Garner’s Maverick.

Columbia gold rush town

California Columbia carriage in a real old Western Gold Rush Town in USA

Another trip followed where I did research, including mine tours and visits to museums. At one point, my husband threatened divorce if I dragged him through another mining museum! The curse of living with a writer.

Lily and the GamblerBlurb:

Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society’s rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton ‘King’ Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.

King believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

Only Lady Luck knows for sure…

Excerpt:

Lily smiled at him. “That was quite a trick. Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.”

Lily promo graphic

Available at Amazon Kindle, BN/Nook, Kobo and #free at Smashwords thru July 31.

Flames of Desire Blog Hop #ValentinesDay #giveaway

Flames of Desire banner

Welcome to the Flames of Desire
Valentine’s Day Blog Hop, from Feb. 5th – 11th!

The Grand Prize Is A Kindle Fire HD 7”!

Winners Need To Be In The US or Canada to Win Items That Need to Be Shipped, But Anyone Can Win an E-Book.

All the prizes on the hop page except the books for the winner’s Kindle will given away daily!

The Power and Appeal of Romance

Romance is the most popular of all fiction genres. Women today are stressed out by modern life. Romance novels are about female empowerment. By the end of the book, the heroine has overcome all obstacles and she even gets the guy. Some men say they don’t like romance because “the woman wins”. I prefer to think that both people win when they form a loving, committed relationship.

Novels help people escape from their problems, even helping them deal with the emotional, even the physical, pain of their lives. When my mother died some year’s ago, I was devastated. For several weeks afterward, it seemed like the only time I wasn’t crying was when I was reading. (Unless I was crying over something that happened in the book.) Reading can be a form of inexpensive stress relief.

Happy sensual weddingRomance also affirms values like love, commitment, bonding and family. The books often end with a proposal, a wedding, or the birth of a child. When you come right down to it, romance is about the survival of the species!

Yet romance gets no respect in the literary world. The books are criticized for being unrealistic. Is it unrealistic to think that young men and women are going to fall in love and marry? If so, we’d better add Homo Sapiens to the endangered species list.

Hoppers get extra entries towards the grand prize by doing the following things:

Follow each blog
Like and follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Leave a comment with your email address

Comment Example:
Name: Jane Doe
Email: [email protected]
Comment: Great post!
Twitter: Followed
Facebook: Followed
Blog: Followed
Country you live in: US

Callie

My new love, Miss Callie.

My prizes are:

$10 Amazon gift card

2 e-book copies of Lily and the Gambler

To win one of my prizes, leave a comment below with your name and email address.

promised graphic

Available at Amazon Kindle, BN/Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.

Add to your TBR list at Goodreads.

To keep hopping follow the link below.
http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Enjoy the hop!

Linda