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It seems that everyone I know is SUPER busy these days and I’m no exception. I’m excited to have released my newest book, A Dangerous Debut, last month. I’m trying to get the word about that one while also editing my next release and writing the one after that 🙂 I also have to make decisions about cover art for the next book and have indepth discussions with my editor. Very exciting.

Unfortunately, where I am, it’s winter. And we’ve been having a rather grim one this year with VERY little sunshine. As a result, I find I lack motivation. So here’s my question for you – what do you do to boost your motivation when all you want to do is sit around and read?

Research – the Stagecoach



Mr. Andrews and I recently traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and toured the Wells Fargo museum. They had an actual stagecoach there as well as a replica you could climb around in. This was very exciting for me as both of my new series require stagecoach travel. I never gave it much thought, but I didn’t realize quite how crowded it would be to travel by stagecoach. They had a display of a small suitcase that you would be able to bring with you. There wouldn’t be room for anything else. We complain today about how crowded airplane travel is, but at least you get to your destination within a few hours. Depending where you were going, traveling by stagecoach could take you days or weeks! All cramped in this tiny, dusty space. Whew! I do love writing about the past, but I’m happy to be living in the present 🙂 What do you think, would you have liked to travel by stagecoach?

Feature Fiction Friday – Brigid Amos


Check out this fascinating Young Adult Historical Novel by fellow Clean Reads author, Brigid Amos. Tag line: If the West doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger. Doesn’t this sound great?
A little about the book:
Travis Cooper was not meant to be a prospector. Small for his age, he has never been much help on the family farm in Missouri. How could he survive the journey west to take up such backbreaking work? But when he sees a copy of the California Star in the fall of 1848, everything changes. One shining word jumps off the page: GOLD! Now staying alive is a struggle. Keeping his partner from getting himself killed is even harder!

Brigid is giving away an ecopy of West From The Cradle from the retailer of your choice to one random commenter, so let us know what you think in the comments 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:
In the fall of 1848, Travis Cooper walked into Hillerman’s General Store for a quarter keg of nails and walked out with a dream.

When Travis pushed through the heavy wooden door into the well-ordered mercantile, Raymond Hillerman’s hefty frame rose up from behind the counter. The shopkeeper’s fleshy face, fringed by a scraggly red beard, was flushed from bending down and reaching up to stock the shelves. Rotund arms sprouted from an overstuffed plaid shirt and ended in massive hands with fat but dexterous fingers. Hillerman was nearing sixty, but Travis knew that under the aging paunch lay a veritable Samson. Once, when a tornado twirled through their little town of Larksville, Missouri, Raymond Hillerman saved a family of five by lifting up the pieces of their house that had landed on top of the root cellar where they had taken cover.

“What’ll it be?” Hillerman said.

“A quarter keg of nails,” Travis replied. “We’re going to do some repairs on the barn. It’s all chewed up from the winter.”

Hillerman scooped up the nails and poured them onto the scale with a loud clatter. “I hear your pa’s taking a stab at the cattle business.”

“That’s right,” Travis answered. “He and Mr. Ellerbee rode up to the auction in St. Joe yesterday. They’re coming home tonight.”

Hillerman sprinkled the nails into a wooden box, his actions slower than usual, as if he was thinking of something other than nails. “I know,” he said. “Melvin Ellerbee came by last week with some things I asked him to pick up for me the last time he was in St. Joe.” The expression on his face changed, as if he had remembered something that made him jumpy.
Travis paid for the nails and was almost out the door when Hillerman called to him and beckoned for him to come back to the counter. “Come here a second, son. I want to show you something.” Reaching down behind the counter, the shopkeeper pulled out a stack of newspapers. “Melvin Ellerbee brought me these newspapers from St. Joe. It’s this one I wanted you to see.” Hillerman handed Travis the newspaper on the top of the stack.

California Star,” Travis murmured. “This newspaper’s from California?”

“It’s from San Francisco to be precise. That newspaper was sent out this way by the editor, a Mr. Brannan of San Francisco, to recruit new American Californians. Clever fellow, that Brannan. What I wanted you to see was this article by Victor something or other. His name’s French I guess. Here, look!” Hillerman pointed to an article on the front page.

As Travis skimmed the article, one shining word jumped right off the page. “Gold?” he asked, looking up at the shopkeeper for confirmation.

“Gold!” Hillerman said. “They found gold in the American River. I figure there’s more where that came from, and there must be plenty of other rivers and streams out there that have it in them.”

“Those folks are lucky, aren’t they? I’d call that being in the right place at the right time.”
“They’re lucky all right. But so will be those who emigrate out there this spring. It sounds like there’s plenty to go around.”

Travis put the newspaper down and searched Hillerman’s face. “Is that what you’re thinking of doing? Going out there to California?”

Hillerman shrugged his shoulders. “It’s a notion I’ve been tossing around in my head. I got my store here. Don’t know that I’d want to give all this up. Of course, I wouldn’t make the trip on my own. I’d be looking for a partner.”

To read more, you gotta buy the book… 😉
Barnes & Noble:

Here’s a little about Brigid:brigid-amos

Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffinThe StorytellerWilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. Her first novel, A Fence Around Her, was published by Clean Reads in 2016. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the boards of Angels Theatre Company and Women Writing the West. She is also an active member the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

She’d love to stay in touch with you. You can find her here:
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Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of West from the Cradle!

Feature Fiction Friday – Rebekah Lee Jenkins

Rebekah Jenkins

My friend Rebekah, a debut author, is here today to tell us about her five favorite books:

Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maude Montgomery. All the Anne books really but this one in particular. I loved watching Rilla go from a silly teen to a woman. I loved the sweet romance with Ken Ford. I loved Susan, she really is like every woman in small communities who just work hard and their lives were simple at that time but honest and true. Lovely book.

Sewing Seeds in Danny by suffragette Nelly Mc Clung. She is well known in Manitoba. She spoke at the opera house in Souris in the early 1900’s. I loved her message to women. She demanded equal rights and married a man that supported that. She lent some inspiration for my book ‘the night they came for Til’

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy. I love Maeve. Again, she writes about small towns in Ireland. Hmm until I did this interview I didn’t realize just how much small towns were a feature in every book I love!

The Help by Katheryn Stoker. Women overcoming obstacles to succeed, not allowing circumstances to define them… Yes. Definitely a theme is emerging in my favorite novels!
Small towns, strong women. Maybe that should be my catch phrase!

Divine secrets of the Ya Ya sisterhood by Rebecca wells. I love how women need women and the relationships you have as children really sustains you through life I read that book in a day, laying in a hammock eating fuzzy peaches and drinking champagne. I cried my eyes out because we had just moved and I missed my tribe of girls. That book really pointed out what I did not have so that when I got it back I did not take it for granted. No social media then so I felt like an outcast… Anyway. We moved back and my girl tribe is all around me and we are in each other’s life constantly. They are raising babies and I am writing books and we just love each other. You just so need that.

Last but not least. Fanny Flagg. Everything by her. EVERYTHING. I loved fried green tomatoes. Oh I loved that book. So beautiful. And the recipes in the back inspired me to do that in one of mine. I couldn’t get it all together for this book but I totally will. I love how she writes everyday life. Such a great writer. Love her books.

I really hope the Night they Came for Til is a blend of all those books in some way or another! I hope that isn’t an insult to these amazing writers.

​Thanks Bec, now please, tell us about your new book:


“The night they came for Til, they took me too.”

In the tenements of London England, 1904 is a dangerous time to be suffragettes on crusade.

Shannon’s aunt Matilda “Til” Stone, gynecologist, suffragette, and all around tyrant, believes women should have the right to birth control and self determination. After ten years spent at Til’s side, Shannon has trained as a midwife to be her right hand.

“It’s not enough to be on the front line of this battle, Shannon; you must hold the line and advance it forward,” Til reminded Shannon at every opportunity.

After a brutal attack that was meant to destroy their work, Shannon is shipped off to Canada to avoid the scandal around Til’s arrest.

In Oakland Manitoba, Shannon lands in a women’s rights battle that shakes the community and threatens the new hospital.

Busy working as a midwife, Shannon helps the women of the community find their voice while she finds her own.

Faced with a choice to live a normal life as a wife and mother or go back to England and crusade with her aunt, this book explores her choices and how they affect an entire community.

The Night They Came for Til is a historical fiction novel based on true events.

Here’s an excerpt:

I woke up on a ship sailing west with a note from Malcolm, money, clothes, and my doctor’s bag. That was it. The list of what I didn’t have was longer. My eyes slid shut as I tried to block out the thought.
A week and a half at sea and I still couldn’t bring myself to open the note. I was afraid of what it said. My hands shook with terror thinking that Til may be dead. There was no way to manage that thought. The fragile grip holding my sanity would slip; I would be lost.
“Don’t forget we have sisters in this fight, sitting in jail cells, doing hunger strikes, demanding to be treated as equals. If one of us compromises, it hurts the whole crusade. You cannot just be on the front line. You have to hold the line. Hold it and while you’re doing that, figure out a way to advance it forward. There is no stepping back.”Til instructed me.
“The ability to give women a choice to be pregnant or not. They will shake their heads and say this was oppression. Women giving birth to fifteen children, not to mention countless miscarriages. Ridiculous when we have the means to stop it. Contraception is available to rich men and by extension to rich women, but not to the poor? This work has to continue.”
“You have some big enemies, Til.” I heard the fear in my voice, and so did she.
“Listen to me, Shannon. Listen carefully. If you have learned nothing else from me, I want you to learn this. Know this,” she demanded as she leaned forward to make sure I was listening. “If you do the right thing, you will have enemies.”

The Night They Came for Til is available from Amazon and is free with Kindle Unlimited. Try it out today 🙂 I really loved reading it!

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