Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Cinderella Meets Her Handsome Logger

The third book in my Frontier Matches series, Frontier Cinderella, launched April 17. I wasn’t sure who to match with the crowned prince of the loggers, Harry Yeager. If you’ve followed the series, and the Frontier Bachelors series that preceded it, you may recall that Harry has courted several ladies, and lost them all! For someone so sure of himself, and for a fellow who is such a prime specimen, those losses had to go down hard.

And then Katie Jo McAllister walked onto the scene in Her Frontier Sweethearts. Shy, quiet, and used to making her own way in a man’s world, Katie Jo has admired Harry much in the way we might admire a Renoir painting—gorgeous to look at but far above what we could pay. And then something amazing happens.

Katie Jo McAllister never considered herself a prim and fussy sort of gal. Men are more likely to ask her help in chopping down a tree than taking a turn on the dancefloor. But when Katie Jo stands up with her friend, Ciara O’Rourke, at her wedding, all gussied up, suddenly every man in miles is angling for an introduction. Even the area’s most eligible bachelor, Harry Yeager, who has ignored her for months, comes calling. It’s enough to give even a strong gal a case of the vapors!

After being orphaned young and passed around among relatives, Harry Yeager is determined to start his own family. He has the claim, the cabin, and the income to support a wife and children. In an area with eight bachelors to every unmarried woman, finding the wife has proven problematic. But the sweet-natured Katie Jo McAllister just might be the perfect bride to rule beside him in his little frontier kingdom.

When danger comes calling along with a host of suitors, Katie Jo finds herself turning to Harry for help. But can he see the heart of the woman beneath all her finery, a heart that beats for him alone?

You can find ebook and print at my own bookstore, fine online retailers, and bookstores near you:

My store 


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Bookshop (benefitting local bookstores) 



Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Sneak Peek Time!


Ah, spring! The birds are singing, my garden is sprouting…and after a quiet winter, the pile of pages that will be The Audacious Abduction, the ninth installment in The Ladies of Almack’s series, is starting to grow on my desk.

So what is happening with Annabel and the Ladies now? Well... 

Annabel is in Bath, recovering from the terrifying events in Brighton, when an unexpected visitor brings news of Quin, alive and well but practically a prisoner in his own house. The Lady Patronesses launch a daring, successful rescue, but the captive isn’t necessarily freed. Nor is he the only captive that needs rescuing…

I don’t have the release date yet—that’s in the works with Book View Café—but look for it some time this summer. These later books in the series are running a lot longer than the earlier ones—there are more story threads to weave together and characters and their journeys to choreograph—so the time between releases is longer. I hope you’ll think the waits worth it.

And here’s the sneak peek part: read the first chapter now! You can download it from BookFunnel to your e-reader, or just hop over to my website to read itonline.


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Nineteenth Century Heroines: Making Sure the Ayes Have It

I am always on the lookout for nineteenth century history near me, which can sometimes be challenging in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the wilds where I live. That’s why discovering a house on the National Register of Historic Places less than two miles away was such a thrill, as was learning about the lady behind it.

Washington State had a rocky road to confirming the right of women to vote. Seattle founding father Arthur Denny tried to convince the territorial legislature in 1854, but the measure lost by a narrow margin. The lawmakers rallied, however, and passed another measure some years later, only to have a territorial court shoot it down! Because “woman’s suffrage” was not specifically included in the title of the law, the court reasoned, the male legislators might not have realized what they were approving. Undaunted, they changed the title and passed the measure again. Women voted in Washington Territory beginning in 1883. Unfortunately, another legal challenge upended the law, and fears that the federal government would find women voting so offensive it would never give the territory statehood kept the idea out of the state constitution in 1889. By the turn of the twentieth century, suffragists in Washington State were entirely disheartened.

Enter Emma Smith DeVoe. Born in Roseville, Illinois, in 1848, she had supported woman’s suffrage since the day she heard Susan B. Anthony speak. She was only eight at the time. Since then, she’d campaigned for women’s rights in Dakota Territory (although women couldn’t vote there until 1918), Idaho Territory (where she helped win the right in 1896), and Oregon State (where the first measure lost, with women winning the vote in 1912). She had also helped with campaigns in another 25 territories and states. When she moved to Tacoma with her husband in 1905, she promptly set to work on campaigning in Washington.

There were, apparently, several philosophies among the suffragists. One group held that large rallies and sit-ins were the order of the day. Others, notably in England, went so far as to smash windows on abandoned buildings to draw attention to their cause. The ladylike Emma was certain there was a more effective way. By being good-natured and cheerful, women might persuade their male counterparts one-on-one. Her goal was to have women ask every voter in the state to support the suffrage movement. She also sent out postcards and put up posters. She even published a cook book, with Votes for Women on the back cover. When the National American Woman Suffrage Association met in Seattle in 1909, she organized a “Suffrage Special” train, with notable ladies giving speeches from the rear platform at stops along the way. That same year, Seattle hosted the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, and she set up a Suffrage Day. That was when a group of suffragists climbed Mt. Rainier to raise awareness of the cause.

In 1910, the all-male Washington State legislature voted by nearly two-thirds to extend the vote to women, 10 years before the nation would follow suit. Emma had a little something to do with that too. For her work in the state as well as at the national level, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. She died in 1927, at the age of 79, in her lovely home near me.

And if you’d like to read about a fictional Washington State pioneer, you might want to grab an ebook copy of The Perfect Mail-Order Bride, on sale for the first time this week for only 99 cents.

When a beautiful mail-order bride jilts her groom on the way to meet him, her plainer sister Ada Williamson decides to continue the journey and tell him the truth. Yet one look at Thomas “Scout” Rankin, and the truth never comes out. Thomas can buy anything he wants, including the perfect mail-order bride. But past betrayals left him wary, so he notices Ada is not what she claims. When a stranger tries to take advantage of Ada’s secret, and his, can they discover the truth, about their enemy, about their pasts, and about the love they both yearn to share?

Reading is My Superpower called it “swoony, sweet, and full of heart.” 


Directly from me 


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Apple Books 


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

What's the Point?


I think, at least in the case of this Evening Full Dress from July 1809’s La Belle Assemblée, that the point is (or should I say are) quite apparent, despite the not-very-good quality of my print.


Here’s the original description:

THE ELVIRA DRESS. This dress is composed of yellow crape, with a train about half a yard in length; the front of the skirt forming a deep vandyke (to the point of which is suspended a tassel), and is embroidered round the edge in two shades of brown chenille; the sleeves are formed of several rows of plaits crossed on the arm. To complete the whole of this elegant dress, there is worn with it a jacket of yellow satin, which is formed with three deep vandykes behind and two in front; the bosom square, with three straps across the center, which are fastened with diamond brooches; the points of this jacket, front, back, and shoulder straps, are embroidered at the edges the same as the dress, which is worn over a slip of shite satin, likewise embroidered round the bottom, and the sleeves of which appear below the crape over it, and are finished at the bottom with chenille embroidered in form of a vandyke, with the point turned upwards, the center filled up with a sprig.

So many questions, the primary one being, who was Elvira? 😏  Also, the description as written doesn’t quite match the dress, as I see nothing of the straps fastened with diamond brooches on the bodice of the jacket mentioned in the text.

And missing from the text is a description of the accessories—fan, shoes, gloves, pearl jewelry, and headdress—as depicted…and surely that spectacular jeweled diadem and feathers number deserves a few sentences! 

The description of the large triangular points as "vandykes", by the way, comes from the Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke, who spent most of his career as the leading court painter of King Charles I. He painted a great many portraits of the royal family and nobility...and at the time, lace with deep, indented triangular tongues was highly fashionable, as can be seen in Van Dyke's portrait study of the king (via Wikimedia.)

Looking at the fashion prints from around 1809-1810 in both La Belle Assemblée and Ackermann’s Repository, it is clear that this was a marvelous time to be a modiste: there is such creativity and variability in styles, unlike, say, the early 1820s which were really rather dull. What do you think?