Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Discover the Cotillion Ball Series by @BeckyLower1 #AmericanHistorical #RomanticAmericans

Becky Lower talks of how her link to Native Americans helped her create the hero in The Reluctant Debutante.

My love of history happened while I was in high school. My father finally revealed the long-held family secret that we have Native American blood, which caused his father and his siblings all kinds of torment while they were in school. Instead of being repelled by this tidbit, I was fascinated and decided I would figure out the missing link. Years later, I acted on my goal and started doing genealogical research, but kept coming up short. Everyone had heard the same story but no one could find a Native American connection. My DNA test, many years after that, confirmed that there was no Native American blood in my DNA, nor in my sister’s. I was deflated, obviously, but nonetheless, the melding of Native Americans and whites became a subject of fascination. One of my favorite movies was Dances With Wolves, but I wasn’t entranced by Kevin, but rather Graham Greene, the Native American who befriends him. The hero of The Reluctant Debutante, Joseph Lafontaine, is cast in his mold.

The Reluctant Debutante, Book One Of The Cotillion Ball Series

"This series is a breath of fresh air for a historical romance lover! I loved that the [mid-1800s America] setting for each book takes place in a different city and you can see how the approaching [Civil] war is causing havoc in so many ways. Ginger is very likable, and is a strong woman who knows what she wants." --Rachel, The Reading Cafe

Beautiful Ginger Fitzpatrick wants nothing to do with New York City’s conventional society— after all, she is a bloomer-wearing suffragette who holds a position in her father’s bank! Her mother is determined her willful daughter must go to the popular Cotillion ball and look for a suitable husband during the “season”—and Ginger is given no choice.  But when she meets her brother’s best friend, handsome Joseph Lafontaine, the mysterious man sets Ginger ablaze with a mere glance—and gives her second thoughts about remaining single.

Joseph knows he can never have Ginger. He’s totally unsuitable as a husband for this spirited, cultured woman, for many reasons. He’s from the rough-and-ready Western city of St. Louis, and he’s her brother’s best friend. But there’s one thing he can never overcome: he’s a half-breed Ojibwa, forever tainted in the eyes of these high-society whites from the East. Despite the budding love between them, her family will never accept him.

Joseph returns to St. Louis, and months later, Ginger follows with her father to attend to banking business there. Through a twist of Fate, a deadly accident brings Joseph and Ginger together once more, and this time, neither will allow another separation. Can they find happiness together despite their different backgrounds?

Buy Links

 Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the United States in search of great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it in America on a covered wagon headed west or in Regency England. Her Cotillion Ball Series features the nine children from an upscale New York family prior to and during the Civil War. Her first Regency, A Regency Yuletide, received the Crowned Heart and has been nominated for the prestigious RONE award from InD’Tale Magazine. A regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After section, her books have been featured in the column on nine separate occasions. Becky loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com

Check out more posts on my blogs about American Historical Romances or #RomanticAmericans on Twitter. XOXO Patricia

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Author Heather Osborne Discusses Why She Chose Her Book Settings #RomanticAmericans #Historical Romance @hosborneauthor

From the Author...
I love American historical novels because they give us a chance to delve into the small nuances of my home country’s history. Despite being relatively ‘new’ in terms of historical significance, America provides a rich backdrop full of interesting people and conflicts.

The Soldier’s Secret stemmed from an article I read about women dressing as men to go fight in the American Civil War. I admired their strength and courage to do something against the societal norms of the time. The Civil War was the bloodiest war in America’s history, pitting countrymen against countrymen for five long years. Families were destroyed, cities burned, and many advances made in terms of combat. And these women put themselves into that conflict, for various reasons. I wanted to pay homage to that with The Soldier’s Secret.

Bitter Bonds was a result of a secondary storyline in my Rae Hatting Mysteries series novel, Misfortune. I’ve always been fascinated with the perceived opulence of the Old South, as well as the uniqueness of Louisiana compared to the rest of the other states. For me, it was a chance to explore that era, but still, add in my own twists. I’m working on a sequel to this novel, which will take place twenty years later during the American Civil War, titled Divided Destiny.

Bitter Bonds

Lively, sensual, and dark… marvelous characters to fall in love with, and an evil antagonist who becomes positively fearsome at times.

Brutally torn between duty and his heart, Henri Du Cormier never expected to be completely enraptured with Adrienne Beaumont, the sister of his betrothed. As the new owner of St. Esprit, Henri knows he must work his way into a tight-knit society, and spurning his fiancée will do the complete opposite. However, there are hidden secrets, black magic, and voodoo entwined like poisonous vines into the Louisiana plantation. Will Henri end up cursing himself in life and love?

Adrienne Beaumont is anything but ordinary in a world of demure, Southern belles. Desiring little more than to be rid of a vengeful older sister, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the mysterious Henri Du Cormier. As their lives grow increasingly entangled, will Adrienne give in to the burgeoning attraction, or will fate play another card?

The Soldier’s Secret

A well-told tale of devotion, courage and … lively and realistic to the time period and the characters bring the action to life from the drawing room of a wealthy family of the North to the blood and mayhem of the battlefield.

A picture of pure shock and curiosity, Emma placed her empty glass down, “Surely, you are not suggesting I dress as a man and enlist in the Union Army!”
“That is precisely what I am suggesting.”

In an era when women are adornments, Northerner Emma Mansfield finds it challenging to fit the mold. It becomes an impossible task when her country is torn apart by civil war. Knowing she must act, Emma finds herself in the midst of danger and intrigue when she takes up the guise of a young artillery soldier for the Union Army. Desperately trying to find out if her two brothers are alive, Emma must maintain her anonymity as she fights for survival.

Meet the Author:

Heather Osborne, an author of crime and historical novels, was born and raised in California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Victimology. In 2009, she met her husband and moved to Scotland. Along with her novels and short stories, Heather also has written and directed several plays. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing (of course!), and theatre, as well as caring for her young son. Among her published titles are: The Soldier’s Secret, a historical romance set during the American Civil War; Bitter Bonds, a tale of black magic in the deep South in the 1840s, and the Rae Hatting Mysteries series.

Visit Heather at her website: www.heatherosborneauthor.com

Thursday, September 13, 2018

#EasyBreakfastRecipe: Scrambled Eggs with Broccoli & Cheese

You'll need:
1 package (10 oz) frozen broccoli in cheese flavored sauce
2 teaspoons butter or margarine
6 eggs, slightly beaten

Cook broccoli in cheese sauce as directed on package. Melt butter over medium heat in 10-inch non-stick skillet. Add eggs; cook and stir just until eggs begin to set. Add broccoli with cheese sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Letter for Randall by Nicole Strycharz #Edwardian #RomanticAmericans #FallReads

From the Author...
I decided to set The Maybrook Trilogy in the Edwardian era because the series was contrived as a gift to my mother. I asked her in late December one year. “What kind of Valentine’s Day themed story would you like?”
 She said. “Write me an Edwardian Valentine set in America.”
I’m a big history buff, and since this was one of my all-time favorite periods, I ran with it. A ton of research, but loads of inspiration later, I had A Valentine for August, book one. The rest of the story flowed from there. The town I built, that was supposed to be for one simple little story, came alive and the characters continued to whisper to me. Especially after my mother, also an artist, decided to create a hand-drawn map of the town.
The Edwardian times were full of invention, progress, rebellion, a little Victorian nostalgia, and at the same time, grit. I wanted to incorporate as much of it as possible. I used history for the stage and created a few cameo appearances from historical figures that were as icons for the times. 
The prequel, better read as book one, is set years prior to book one, in 1881. This late-Victorian setting was equally fun because I’m in love with the post-civil war world.  

A Letter for Randal (The Maybrook Trilogy Prequel)

Part of a five-star review on Amazon and Goodreads: I will say this for every book of this trilogy + prequel; even if you've never been a fan of historical fiction but you love romance, you love strong women who find their equals in love, if you love good storytelling with well-developed characters that are vibrant in nature and wonderfully relatable, then you'll adore this trilogy.

Fall 1881 

Lieutenant Randal Dexter has been on the hunt for a Rapist plaguing one curious block in Washington D.C. for years now. The deviant known as 'The Lady's Shadow' has been avoiding arrest and taunting Randal. The victims are too destroyed by the permanent damage done to their lives to be of aid in his investigations. With the assassination of President Garfield, the newly founded police department is too overwhelmed with avenging his death to bother with the case. It's up to Lieutenant Dexter to find the guilty party but with little to no support and more victims stacking up, his chances of success are low. 

As he pursues the villain he is also facing a promotion to Captain but none of those affairs take up his time like the art of wooing one Miss Noreen McCoy. He has been in mad love with the young socialite and though she perceives him as nothing more than a friend, he has not the motivation to give up. However, when tragedy strikes and he is the only one to come to her rescue; winning her heart is only second to mending it. 

Noreen McCoy is living within a barred cage so tightly molded that even the slightest flutter of her clipped wings leads to a hard fall. Her mother and father see her as nothing but a bargaining tool; a burden they must cultivate. All decisions are made for her, when to eat, how much, when to sleep, how to speak, what to think, who to socialize with and how to dress. Even her appearance offends them. The only hope she keeps burning in her soul is for her beloved fiancĂ©. He is her only chance at true and unbridled happiness …that and the beautiful yet anonymous love letters she finds in her postbox almost daily. 

Yet, when her life takes a dramatic turn for the worst, the one person who cares is the one she has been keeping at a distance and her chance at a fresh start from the terror can only be found in the little town of Maybrook, Pennsylvania… where the apples are said to be magic.

** Though this is a Prequel, it can be read before or after Book One 'A Valentine for August' 

This book does contain some violence and mature sexual content best suited for ages 18 years and up.

Book Links:

(Prequel) A Letter for Randal: https://amzn.to/2q1ZwMM
Book One- A Valentine for August: https://amzn.to/2JfQc0L
Book Two- A Passion for Henrietta: https://amzn.to/2Iqg5d9
Book Three- A Song for Giselle: https://amzn.to/2GSHZRQ

About the Author

Nicole has been writing historical romance for over ten years. Her passion for history fuels the creativity for her novels and she finds the tools there to create a compelling plot.

However, she's evolved into writing contemporary romance as well, with more modern stories to come."The Divorce" was nominated in the 2016 Indie Book Awards! "The Divorce" also won second place in the 2016 Best Cover Design in 'Urban Literature Magazine.'

Nicole lives in Virginia with her three children and their amazing Grandparents. She is always reading or working on the next book between mommyhood adventures.

Social Media Links:

Saturday, September 1, 2018

#CharacterInterview Meet Aaron and Lia from Not Through Loving You

Today I'm featuring two of my favorite characters. Aaron and Lia from NOT THROUGH LOVING YOU

What do you do for a living?
 Aaron: I’m a pediatrician/neonatologist and medical director of the nursery at Lafayette Falls Medical Center.
 Lia: My family has a music studio in Nashville. I write country songs and I sing some, too.

Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
 Lia: Yes. Our story is so romantic, we needed to be in a romance. 
 Aaron: Sometimes, it wasn’t all that romantic, especially the first chapter when someone shows up at a bachelor party unexpected.
 Lia: I’m the one who ended up with nightmares of blow-up dolls.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?
 Lia: I have a pink knit tank and shorts sleep set that has Sweet Dreams written across it. Aaron has a thing for it.
 Aaron: I do.
 Lia: He sleeps in boxer shorts.

What do you like most about where you live?
Aaron: I live in a large log home on a beautiful tract of land and I like that it is out in the country. When I first saw it, I thought it would be the perfect place to raise a family.
 Lia: It is beautiful and one of my favorite places is the fairy tree house that was built by the previous owners. Aaron and I have a really good time in that tree house.

What sound or noise do you love?
 Aaron: I love the sound my baby son makes when he’s taking his bottle and I love to hear Lia sing.
 Lia: I’m definitely not Adele, but Aaron likes my voice.

What other professions would you like to try?
 Aaron: I’ve always been an athlete and I had hoped to play pro baseball, but an injury ended that dream in college. Then I decided to follow my mother’s footsteps into medicine.
Lia: I love music. I don’t know. I might like to have a bookstore.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
 Aaron: When you have a preemie, you are up all night and day.
 Lia: True.

What is your most prized possession?
 Lia: My antique gold necklace bought by the outlaw Cole Younger for his mistress in 1870. I love outlaws and the Old West. Cole is my favorite. I wear the necklace a lot. See. Isn’t it beautiful?
 Aaron: I still don’t really understand that…

What are you proudest of?

Lia: Our baby. John Aaron is not our biological baby but he’s our son. I’m proud of Aaron, who has always been there for Baby John, helping him to survive.
 Aaron: I’m proud to have Lia and the baby in my life. It was a long time coming.

Do you like the way the book ended?
 Lia: I do. The ending includes a love song I wrote for Aaron called “Not Through Loving You,” and I think that’s perfect.
 Aaron: It is.

In the Southern town of Lafayette Falls, a new life brings together a woman with everything to lose and a doctor with everything to prove.

When a sickly infant is surrendered at the Lafayette Falls Medical Center, and orphaned soon after, pediatrician Aaron Kendall arranges to adopt him. After a painful divorce, the busy baby doc is about to realize his own dream of becoming a father when the baby’s beautiful estranged aunt turns up. She doesn't exactly approve of the Kendall bachelor pad complete with Aaron's cranky dad and wacky brother, forcing Aaron to form a risky alliance with her.

Country singer-songwriter Lia Montgomery barely knew her half-sister, but she's determined her tiny nephew goes to a good home. If only she fit the bill herself, but her stressful life on the road is no place for a baby. Yet despite her misgivings, as she gets to know Aaron, she realizes the smart and sexy doctor is everything a child could want in a dad and more unsettling, everything she's ever hoped for in a man. After all she's put him through, is it too late to form a family and maybe put a song in the good doctor's heart?
Buy Links:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Super Easy #FreezeandKeep Lemon Dessert #Recipe #GreatforSingleServings

This is a super easy recipe for making a lemon dessert. You can use a graham cracker crust to make a lemon pie with the recipe. The reason I like this dessert is that you can keep it frozen for whenever you want a quick dessert. It is especially handy for single servings.

You'll need three ingredients.

1 container of whipped cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of lemon luice. (3/4 cup if you like strong lemon flavor)

Plus 1 graham cracker crust or my choice, graham cracker crumbs

Mix together in large mixing bowl. Sometimes I use my mixer on low a couple of minutes.

Pour the mix into a graham cracker pie crust and chill. I prefer to use a plastic container with graham cracker crumbs covering the bottom. I pour the mix in and then I sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on the top. I put the lid on the container and stick it in the freezer. Whenever I want a dessert, I just open up the container and put a scoop in a dessert dish.  The graham cracker crumbs work really well compared to a pie crust. I like this method much better than the pie crust which was always hard to cut when it was frozen and it never thawed out as fast as the pie filling. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Patriot Trilogy by CD Gerard #RevolutionaryWar #RomanticAmericans #Sagas @girlwiththeboo1

From the author...
What could be more exciting than creating a new country?  Within these individuals that came to the shores of America, and ultimately sought independence, was a deep passion to bring human freedom to all people.  They passionately risked everything; their possessions, their loved ones, and even their own lives to do what they believed was right for themselves and for others.   I find writing about this period exhilarating and fascinating because it was a time of great conflict and change, not just a political level, but on a human one. 


 “Lots of history, very interesting character development, well researched.’~Maria Gero

The Patriot Trilogy One and Two highlights Sarah Carrington, a young woman who comes to America from England on the eve of the American Revolution. 

The Spy From Across the Sea  Book One

Sarah vows to stay out of the coming fight for independence, but at the urging of her boyfriend Nathan Hale and others, she begins intelligence work for the Patriots, getting important information that protects the rebels from the British Army. As the conflicts between loyalist and rebel rises, the passions between Nathan and Sarah heat up, sending her into a tailspin, pushing her into the arms of Dudley Livingston, a converted Redcoat, and her employer, Patriot organizer Thomas Lawrence. 

Washington’s Wild Rose  Book Two

Sarah is living in New York City in 1776, where she becomes a vital part of George Washington’s intelligence team as he struggles to keep the Patriot vision alive as the British army takes over.  Sarah finds Nathan Hale again, joining him on his ill-fated mission to gather intelligence for Washington, and ultimately witnesses his famous demise. The Patriot Trilogy highlights a young woman who dreams of a better future in a new country and fights to make that happen.

Buy Links:
The Spy from Across the Sea: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N357258/

C.D. Gerard was born in Coventry, Connecticut, the birthplace of Patriot Nathan Hale, and was raised in Los Angeles.  She has a master's degree in literature and taught literature and composition.

Her first love as a child was poetry. She won the Ina Coolbrith prize for poetry in 2006. After leaving California to move to Minnesota after the recession in 2009, she decided to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Her first novel "Because You're the First" was published in 2012.

She also wrote two sequels to Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" titled "Mrs. Dashwood Returns" and "The Daughters of Delaford" under the pen name Lucia Edgerton.

Cyndee lives with her husband of 25 years and her daughter in the Twin Cities. She is an avid reader of classic and historical fiction and history. She creates jewelry and draws and paints.

Author website link: www.girlwiththebook.com
Follow her on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/girlwiththeboo1

If you have a sweet to spicy American Historical Romance you would like to have featured on Romantic Americans, contact me~Patricia 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

History at a Glance: Spanish Moss

The beauty of Spanish moss floating from tree limbs has long been associated with the Old South. Spanish moss is a plant and not actually moss. A plant that thrives on water and air, it grows well in subtropical climates, especially on live oaks and cypress trees.

Spanish moss can be found from Natchez to New Orleans, an area that was once claimed by French so it is no surprise that French explorers are the ones who partly responsible for the name “Spanish moss.” The Native American tribes called Spanish moss “Tree Hair.” The French explorers called it “Spanish Beard” after the long beards worn by the Spanish explorers. Not to be outdone, the Spanish called it “French Hair.” The French outlasted the Spanish in the South and the name “Spanish Beard” stuck and eventually became Spanish moss.

Spanish moss was found to be useful by the American colonists. They mixed it with mud to make mortar when they were building their homes. They harvested it, dried it, and used it for several purposes: tinder for the fireplace, ropes, and wove it into fabric for clothes. They also made mattresses filled with Spanish moss as the airy moss was found to stay cool on hot nights.

 I recently made a trip to Natchez where I photographed crepe myrtles covered in Spanish moss. Such a pretty sight!