Sneak Peek of Book Two in The Brittler Sisters Series

Due out this November, the second book in the series finds Dianna encumbered and irritable, but looking forward to the birth of their first child. Having been constantly on the watch for any signs of Tiponi’s vengeful tribesmen for over a year, both Shiye and Dianna are convinced of their safety.

little-rose-final

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Here’s a quick peek of the very first chapter.

Little Rose

Book Two in The Brittler Sisters Series

Chapter One

For My Loved Ones,


I miss you. It’s been a long time since I left Manhattan, and I am anxious for news. Tell me what has happened in your lives. Spare no details in your response, and I will spare none as I tell you what has been happening in mine. 
Dianna paused to run the tip of her fountain pen over her bottom lip as she thought. She sat at the scrub kitchen table. Her ankles crossed beneath her faded brown skirts.
She’d been out of touch with her family for the past year and could only imagine their anxiety for her. It wasn’t as though Dianna had had any choice. It wasn’t easy to mail regular correspondence when you were on the run from murderous natives.
Dianna exhaled violently, her blonde curls blowing away from her face as she did so, and looked around the tiny cabin. It was comprised of one room. The kitchen sat to the left of her. The bed: a few paces away on her right. Between the dining area— where Dianna now sat— and the bed, was a small stone fireplace. Within it sat a char black pot, hung from an iron peg.
It was a small space, but it was home, and it had been for nearly an entire year. The quilt on the bed was handmade and bore a embroidered pattern of leaves across its brown and gray surface.

Dianna heaved another sigh and then smiled as her eyes fell onto the cradle that sat at the end of the bed. It was comprised of sturdy wood and a deep red-brown in color. Shiye, Dianna’s husband, had carved intricate pictures on both the head and footboard. Two crossed feathers, surrounded by a twisting garland of oak leaves, decorated the head. A single feather surrounded by a garland of pine branches sat upon the foot.
“You see?” Shiye had told her, tracing his finger over one of the feathers. “One is for you, one is for me. The other is for our child.”
Her husband’s words seemed to echo to her for a moment, and Dianna sent up a silent prayer for his safe return. Shiye had gone on one of his frequent trips. Hunting and scouting the area for signs of danger. He was likely on his way home now; he’d been gone for several days.
Dianna laid a hand over her stomach to feel the reassuringly warm fumblings of her baby.

“You’ll be as warm blooded as your papa, sweetheart,” she whispered to her belly. Then she stood with a groan and strode over to the window to pull open the shutters. Sweat was beading on her forehead, though the spring night was relatively mild. Stars twinkled on the surface of the nearby river, making it look as though thousands of fireflies lay trapped beneath the rippling water.
She was on the point of turning back to her letter when a movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention, and she stopped, staring hard at the shadows of the surrounding trees. Nothing moved, but Dianna’s spine itched with discomfort.
“Shiye?” she called hesitantly into the night. Her right hand wandered over the back of her waistband and she pulled a small throwing knife from its sheath there. “Who’s there?” she called again. A delicate fawn slipped out of the undergrowth a few feet away and Dianna let out a sigh of relief. Replacing the knife Shiye had given her in its leather scabbard, she turned away from the window and sat back down at the table to continue her letter.
Greyson Crowley and I were not meant to be. I must confess that I was too blinded by the excitement of my journey to note that the man was an obvious drunkard, a liar and a scoundrel. Fortunately for me, we were unable to marry upon my arrival in Cheyenne, and I was still unattached to him upon my discovery of his true nature. 


I spent some time recovering from a head injury inflicted upon me by the wretched man, and it was during this time that I met my new husband. His name is Shiye, and it was he who found me after Greyson Crowley’s drunken antics nearly ended my life. Shiye saved me and aided me in my recovery. Soon after, we were married in Cheyenne. 


I cannot tell you where I am now, for fear of this letter falling into the wrong hands. For Shiye has been falsely accused of a terrible crime by his people and we are, to the best of my knowledge, still being pursued by them. 


I will tell you that I am happy. For not only have I discovered a wonderful and loving husband, I am also with child. I hope someday soon, that we can arrange to meet, so that I might get to see you all. I miss you more than words can say. 
I am so sorry that I lost touch with you over the course of my ventures. I hope you will forgive me. I desire nothing more than to see your smiling faces, and I think of you always. 


Yours forever, 

Dianna

There. That sounded alright. Although there was no guarantee that her family would respond to her letter, Dianna was desperate to make contact with them. She felt horrible about leaving them without any information or means of reaching her, and could only hope that they would find it in their hearts to forgive her and write back quickly.

An ever-present feeling of guilt threatened to overwhelm Dianna for a moment. It swelled inside her like some noxious gas, making it hard to breathe. She flattened her palms against the table, fighting for control.

There came a steady crunch of footsteps outside the cabin and Dianna tensed again, reaching for her knife. The footsteps stopped and Dianna heard a grunt, followed by the thud of something large being tossed to the ground. She smiled, her body relaxed, and she stood quickly to open the front door.
Shiye was bent double, his hands busy in a small bag of supplies at his feet. Next to him, bloody and gutted, lay a string of rabbits, a few featherless birds, his hunting knife and his bow. At the sound of the door opening, he straightened and opened his arms just in time. For Dianna had flown at him with enough force to nearly knock him flat. Without giving him a moment to catch his breath, she kissed him.
Shiye chuckled beneath her lips and his arms encircled her. “I have missed you as well,” he said pleasantly. Dianna clung to him fiercely. Feeling such a powerful wave of happiness that, for a moment, she couldn’t speak. Shiye’s welcome heat radiated into her skin, warming parts of her soul that always grew cold in his absence. Before her pregnancy, Dianna had always gone on these short expeditions with him. Now though, the idea was quite out of the question.
“I expected you back days ago,” she said angrily, pulling away from her husband to confront him with a furious stare. “What happened?” He was only thirty and two to Dianna’s twenty-nine years, but his dark eyes were ringed with an age that only terrible trials can bring. Over the last year or so, this look had lessened slightly. He had grown content and —Dianna hoped— he had begun to forgive himself for the terrifying events in his past that had truly been out of his control.
Shiye’s high brow fell in a look of irritation. “I found signs of passing and tracked them over the mountains. It was likely only a traveler, but I needed to be certain. They were close to us, but they seem to have left the area.”
Dianna felt a distinct sense of unease grow in her belly. The baby squirmed. She lay a protective hand over the wiggling in her stomach and bit her lip. “Are you sure? We haven’t had anyone come this way for a long time, should we…?”
“We’re safe,” Shiye cut her off. His hands came to rest over her’s, and he smiled down at her. “I tracked them a long time, whoever it was headed East, away from Cheyenne. If it were a tracker, they would have headed back to the village to bring the others. Not East.”
Dianna felt her shoulders relax, and she smiled up at Shiye as the baby gave another firm kick to their joined hands. Shiye crouched down in the dirt to press a kiss to Dianna’s belly. “I missed you both,” he whispered, wrapping his hands around Dianna’s lower back and pressing his ear to her stomach. Dianna giggled as she felt the baby jolt once more, pressing against Shiye’s cheek.
“Welcome home,” she whispered.

Little Rose

Now available for Preorder!!

Click HERE to order now!


Watch for Josephine Blake’s Little Rose coming in

November of 2016


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THIS IS THE ONE

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Exclusive Interview with THE AMAZING Linda Lael Miller

I met Linda at the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, WA this year. I was a little starstruck, a little nervous and crazy excited to be in the presence of such a fantastic pillar of Western Romance. I mean, she has written and published over one hundred historical and contemporary novels, she’s phenomenal. And here I am, this awkward little blonde chick swimming through the sea of authors and readers, just trying to poke my head out and catch her attention. I bobbed along for a bit and finally, it was my turn.

I think I might have cried a little.

(Sorry, Linda! 😉

Linda Lael Miller is just as warm and friendly in person as you would imagine from reading her amazing work. She was full of advice, energy and pizzazz!

I fumbled, I stumbled and, to no one’s surprise, I blushed but I finally managed to ask her if she wouldn’t mind taking a moment to answer a few questions for my blog. I couldn’t believe she agreed!!

So, let’s get right down to it and learn a little something extra about a woman who is, for many of us, a heroine herself.

The first thing I did when I sat down to write an interview was ask a fantastic group of individuals (Pioneer Hearts. You read Westerns? Join us.) whose opinions I deeply respect, what sort of questions they would ask Linda if they had the chance.

The first couple questions are from them.

Q #1: With such an extensive list of books, do you ever re-read any of your books from days gone by and wonder where that story came from or wish you could retell the story knowing what you know now? If so, have you ever done so or ever considered it?

Linda said: I never have time to re-read old books, though I sometimes listen on audio—Jack Garrett reads all my Recorded Book versions, and he does such a great job as a narrator!  Sounds a lot like Sam Elliott.  🙂  I’d like to think I’ve grown as a writer over these many years at the keyboard, but I’m all about the book I’m writing now, and the ones I’m planning in the future.

Q #2: Will your books every be on Kindle Unlimited?

Linda said: I don’t know.  These decisions are made by the Amazon people in the case of Kindle, and the process is probably similar with Nook, etc.

Q #3: Where does your inspiration come from? Each one of your books is distinctly different, and I know that is hard to do.

Linda said: My writing is organic, by which I mean, it grows from the characters, situation and setting, but especially the characters.  I see the stories in my mind as I write them, and really get involved.  Often, they show me things I hadn’t expected, which is one of the many reasons I love this job.

Q #4: Will you ever do another vampire series?

Linda said: Probably not.  Publishing, alas, is a business, and the vampire books were embraced by a much smaller audience, however loyal.  My publishers aren’t willing to go there because of lower sales.  I did enjoy writing those stories enormously, but there’s no getting around the economics.  Also, I think there have been so many wonderful books in that genre since that I would have a very hard time coming up with anything original.

Q #5: When will Kate Mckittrick get her story?

Linda said: At this point, I have no plans to write another Mckittrick book, but you never know when inspiration will strike!

 

The following questions were to satisfy my own curiosity!

 

Q #6:  I think it’s absolutely wonderful that you established the Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women Foundation. What inspired you to do that?

Linda said: Well, thank you.  I helped over 50 women while the scholarships were in force.  They are on hiatus at the moment, unfortunately, though I do hope to bring them up.  Again, the problem was economic.  The administration costs were 3 times what the scholarship recipients received, and that just doesn’t make sense.  I looked into forming a foundation, but that involved so many rules, which would negate my purpose of giving women the help they needed—a lap top, gas money, child-care in addition to tuition and books.

Q #7: Tell us about your father. He was a town marshal. Did he inspire any of the characters from your books?

Linda said: My dad will always be my favorite cowboy!  I did draw on his courage, his integrity and his willingness to work hard.

Q #8: Why do you think the West is such a fantastic setting for Romances? What qualities about that setting make it so wonderfully exciting to read?

Linda said: I love the West, partly because I’ve lived in it all my life, except for brief stints in London, Florence and Venice.  I believe it appeals to many readers because of the wide open spaces, the breathtaking scenery, and the courage of those who settled it back in the day.

Q #9: What are some of your favorite reviews from your readers? 

Linda said: The truth?  I rarely read my own reviews.  The really good ones might give me a swelled head, and the bad ones hurt my feelings.

(Linda, that answer inspired me!)

Q #10: What is the very first book you ever published? Where can we get ahold of a copy?

Linda said: My first published book was “Fletcher’s Woman”, and I’m sure it’s in print, therefore available wherever books are sold.

Q #11: Can you tell us your favorite author?

Linda said: I have so MANY favorite authors: Dorothy Dunnett, Taylor Caldwell, and others who wrote big historical sagas I could sink my teeth into.  I also love suspense—I will buy a book by Joy Fielding or Linwood Barclay, to name just two, without even reading the blurb.  🙂  I also read an enormous amount of nonfiction—especially the American Civil War, since I’m in the process of writing a series set in that era.  I love all of David McCullough’s books.  I read a lot of psychology, too, being a student of human nature—what writer isn’t?—and at the moment I’m particularly fascinated by the Enneagram.

Q #12: What is the top item on your grocery list this week?
Linda said:  🙂  Dog and cat food!  I’m a MAJOR animal lover.

Q #13: What is your ideal birthday gift?
Linda said: To receive?  Send over Rob Lowe, please.  🙂

Q #14: What are you working on now? Can we have a sneak peek???
Linda said:  I’m working on “NORTH OF EDEN”, a sprawling story set in the Gettysburg, PA area (mostly) and centering around the famous battle of July 1, 2, and 3, of 1863.  There are some battle scenes, but my story is mostly about the way the ordinary people coped with having a war fought just down the road, or even in their front yard.  In other words, while some of the characters are soldiers, the novel is mainly about women like my heroine, Caroline Hammond, who helped take care of the wounded in the aftermath of the battle.

Q #15: (We’ll round off with this real hard-hitting question. One that everyone is dying to know, I’m sure 😉 Linda, can you tell us what breakfast you would have if you could have anything in the world? And where would you eat it if you could eat it anywhere you wanted to?

Linda said: I’m so boring!  My favorite breakfast is crisp bacon, hash brown potatoes and eggs over-medium, with wheat toast.  I guess if I could choose the place too, I’d pick the White House dining room.  🙂  (Doesn’t matter who’s President.)

That concludes our interview with Linda Lael Miller. 
I’d like to personally thank Linda for joining us today and tell her, yet again, what an absolute delight it was to meet her at the HRR. I hope to see you there next year as well!
 The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. The “First Lady of the West” lives outside Spokane, Washington, where her rescued horses, dogs and cats live the high life.
Published since 1983, Linda was awarded the prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 by the Romance Writers of America. She was recently inducted into the Wild West Heritage Foundation’s Walk of Fame for her dedication to preserving the heritage of the Wild West.
Hallmark Channel is developing a series based on Miller’s Big Sky Country novels published by HQN Books. In addition to writing more contemporary cowboy romances, she is working furiously on a big book Civil War series for Harlequin. When not writing, Linda loves to focus her creativity on a wide variety of art projects.
More information about Linda and her novels is available at http://www.lindalaelmiller.com and on Facebook.