Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Week at Romance Vagabonds...

Harlequin Historical Authors will be busy all this week at Romance Vagabonds! There will be competitions, chat, questions and prizes. Medieval Authors set the ball rolling on Monday 14th April...
Do visit!

Picture of the Medieval castles of Lastours, South of France.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Canadian Wild West and the Kate Bridges

I write Westerns. Some of them are set in the American West, but since I live in Canada, a lot of them are set here, with Mounties as the heroes. This is a photo I took when I visited the Yukon, on the road to Alaska.

Last year, I was interviewed by a German magazine called LoveLetter. They wanted me to tell their European readers about Canada’s history and the Mounties. These are some of my notes from that discussion, which were later translated into German.

Dressed in crisp red uniforms with wide brown Stetsons, the Mounties galloped across the prairies and symbolized everything romantic about how Canada’s West was tamed. These were resourceful men, quick to make decisions, respectful, handsome and daring.

Because of the sheer volume of population, America’s West was settled fifty years before Canada’s. The U.S. had sheriffs and marshals, whereas Canada had the North-West Mounted Police. They were formed in 1873 by the government in order to settle the prairies, rid the land of whisky traders, make peace with the Indians, and maintain a lawful border with the States. In 1904, King Edward VII renamed them the Royal Canadian Mounted Police—bestowing the title of ‘royal’ because they fought so bravely in the Boer War for England.

At that time in Canada’s history, anyone from a commonwealth country was allowed to join the Force. Many signed on from the United Kingdom and the United States. Marriage was restricted. These men were expected to lead solitary lives, policing great distances on horseback, months away from home and sacrificing personal lives to serve their country. It was argued that if a Mountie constable had a wife and family, his duties would be diminished in order to protect his own homestead and family. Officers, on the other hand, weren’t so restricted.

The photos you see were taken in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. That's me in front of an actual Mountie cabin that was used during the Klondike Gold Rush. Inside the cabin, check out that ball and chain!

My current novel, out now, Klondike Fever, takes place in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s a reversal of fortune story when the heroine, the richest woman in the Klondike, is robbed on a stagecoach headed to Alaska and chained to a man she used to work for as a servant. He’s a Mountie, disguised as a drifter and alcoholic, working incognito.

In May, I’ve got another Mountie story in the anthology Western Weddings, which I share with fellow authors Charlene Sands and Jillian Hart. If you’ve been following my Gold Rush series, you’ll recognize the heroine, Milly, and her family, the Thornbottoms as they go through the unfortunate circumstance of “Shotgun Vows.”

I hope you enjoy the stories! Feel free to visit my website and drop me a line.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

HH April Release: Klondike Fever by Kate Bridges

Klondike Fever
Sexy Mountie Dylan Wayburn is having a bad day. Disguised as a drifter, he fetches up in the same stagecoach as Lily Cromwell, a beautiful redhead who was once a family servant. She could blow his cover sky-high. Then their stagecoach is held up at gunpoint—because everyone knows that Lily has struck gold. Pretending to be married to search for the gang who've stolen Klondike Lily's fortune leaves Dylan very, very close to the woman he should protect. He'll try and fight the flames of his desire...but how can he ignore the full lips begging to be kissed?

Read excerpt

Klondike Fever

Available as an ebook. Part of e-harlequin's It's raining men promotion.

HH April Release: No Place for a Lady by Louise Allen

No Place For a Lady
Miss Bree Mallory has no time for the pampered aristocracy! She's too taken up with running the best coaching company on the roads. But an accidental meeting with an earl changes everything....Soon, beautiful Bree has established herself in Society. She hopes no one will discover that she once drove the stage coach from London to Newbury...or that she returned unchaperoned with the rakishly attractive Max Dysart, Earl of Penrith.Bree's independence is hard-won: she has no interest in marriage. But Max's kisses are powerfully—passionately—persuasive!

Read the excerpt


No Place For a Lady

HH April Release: A Sinful Alliance by Amanda McCabe

A Sinful Alliance
The baseborn daughter of a courtesan and a lord, Marguerite was forced to fend for herself in the dangerous world of the French nobility—as the king's most feared spy.Sent to the court of King Henry of England, Marguerite found polite words and flattery concealed dark passions. Her only friend was her old enemy, the sensually tempting Nicolai Ostrovsky. And their sinful alliance seemed set to turn her from old loyalties to new desires!

Read the excerpt

HH April Release: The Wanton Bride by Mary Brendan

The Wanton Bride
Mark Hunter managed to vex her at every opportunity—and seemed to enjoy doing so! However, to prevent a family scandal, Emily Beaumont must turn to him for help. Mark was more than happy to be of service to the delectable Miss Beaumont; with her quick wit and determined spirit she always made deliciously diverting company. But Mark soon discovered that Emily truly was in danger....With disgrace just a breath away, Emily ached for Mark's strong arms to comfort her. Yet she held a secret—one that would surely prevent any gentleman from considering her as a suitable bride....

Read the excerpt

HH April Release: More than a Governess by Sarah Mallory

More Than a Governess
Stern and unyielding, Major Damon Collingham was prepared to pay a king’s ransom for someone who could stay the course as governess to his two motherless children. In her straitened circumstances, Miss Juliana Wrenn needed this post and could not allow herself to be intimidated by him—or his colorful reputation. A devil on the battlefield and in the bedroom. Juliana knew what was said about her employer. She would not fall under his spell. But then, those harsh features could sometimes soften to something so much more attractive….

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This is Sarah Mallory's debut novel for Harlequin Historical.

HH April Release: The Knight's Vow by Catherine March

The Knight's Vow
Believing she will never marry, Lady Beatrice has made a dramatic decision—she will take up a convent life. But first she must ask a favor of one of her father’s most handsome knights. Wanting to experience, just once, a man’s strong arms around her, she has turned to Sir Remy St. Leger, intending that they should share a kiss.His startling touch sparks desire deep within her, and all at once Beatrice realizes how much more life—and this man—has to give. Remy wants more, too…. But Beatrice cannot decide whether it is folly to refuse Remy, or folly to love him….

Read the excerpt

Also available as an ebook. Part of e-harlequin's "It's raining men" speacil offer.