Wednesday, October 31, 2018

And the GRAND PRIZE Winner of the Mist O'er the Voyageur Prize Package Is... (BUT, Guess What...!)

I want to shout out a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped me kick off my book release for Mist O'er the Voyageur this month by entering the Rafflecopter for the prize package giveaway. I've been blogging all over the place, introducing the characters, the history, the ideas that sparked the twists and turns of the tale, and it has been a blast! I couldn't wait to wake up this morning and find out who won the giveaway. So now I've spun the rafflecopter, and a name has emerged as the winner. With no further ado...

Joan Arning!

For those of you who entered and did not win, you can still enjoy the story for FREE!

You heard that right. My publisher is offering the Ebook on Kindle for Free this week. So don't miss out, even if you aren't getting this pretty stack of goodies!

This offer could end at any time, so hurry!

Tomorrow, everyone who signed up for my monthly newsletter will be receiving my award-winning short story Ellie Hollis Gets Her Man and updates on future releases. You can still sign up here.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Oop! I forgot to post this week's ebook winner!

It's been such a crazy week! I did a drawing and then forgot to post the winner!
The winner for week #3's ebook drawing of Mist O'er the Voyageur is

Kathleen D. Anderson!

There's still time to enter for the Grand Prize package! Scroll down to the rafflecopter.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Meet My Character Guest: René Dufour from the Novel "Mist O'er the Voyageur"

Today I have an exciting guest on my blog. He's handsome, he's rugged, he's got a story that will intrigue you. In fact, he's a hero. His name is René Dufour, and he's coming to you straight out of my new novel Mist O'er the Voyageur.

Would you like to meet him?

(A broad-shouldered man enters, bronzed and wind-swept in appearance. He removes a red wool cap and pushes back unruly hair almost as black as his beard. Pressing the cap in his hands, he dips his head in greeting. He wears a white muslin shirt and buckskin leggings. A ceinture fléchée, or arrow sash, woven in hues of bright red and blue circles his waist. Dark eyes shadowed by thick brows intrigue me.)

(Ah, we have to keep a bit of the mystery, right?)

Interview with René Dufour:

"Welcome to More Reason to Write, Monsieur, Dufour." (I point to a seat.)

"Please, call me René, or simply Dufour. I do not stand on formality." (He settles in the wooden chair and lays the wool cap on his lap.)

"All right, René. Thank you for traveling down the lake to meet with us today. Was it a long journey?"

"I left my post not many leagues north only two days ago and came directly. My crew awaits at our encampment. Tomorrow we embark further into the west. The weather, it changes quickly now, and soon we must set out our traps."

"You will not be returning to Montreal this year?"

"Once in every three years I must return and give my report to the company. Last year I went to Montreal, so I need not return again for two more years." (Grins) "It was a visit like none I've had before."

"You met someone there, if I understand correctly."

"Oui, Madam. I met a fiery woman who wanted to spit on me." (Chuckles) "We had much to learn about one another."

"I don't want to give too much away to my readers. Let's back up. Tell us about your role as a voyageur."

(A nonchalant shrug from René) "It is the usual role. We voyageurs paddle our canots for hours on end. Sixteen in a day is usual, with a pipe stop once every hour or so. It is dangerous, of course. One cannot always judge the mood of the Great Lakes or the peril of the rivers."

"You are brave men indeed."

"So some say. It is a life many feel called to. Others come to it of necessity. I have been given the chance to rise in the company. Others are not as fortunate. I did not come into my job as clerk until after I had spent several years with the company."

"You refer often to 'the company'."

"Oui, I am employed by the North West Company, though there are others, Hudson's Bay and so on. Now even the Americans have formed a company bent on a quest for furs. There is much competition among the companies, and sometimes much fighting. There are even the unlicensed coureur-du-bois, the independent fur traders who follow no rules, but risk fines and forfeiture if they are caught."

"When did you join the North West Company?"

"I was a young man. I left my mother's home at sixteen and went to sea. After several years I returned and joined the company as an apprentice clerk. I cut my teeth for four years in the Upper Country, and eventually gained my own post at the head of this great lac Supérieur."

"There are many rivers that run into Lake Superior, so I can see the value of such a post. Still, you've moved on."

"Now I am supervisor of a large region of traders."

"And did you come to supervise your brother's post as well?"

(Nods. His expression grows taut.) "Claude was not always easy. More often rebellious, both as a youth and as a man."

"I see. Perhaps we will let the discussion of Claude rest."

"Merci, Madam."

(I raise a brow and a half smile.) "I would rather speak of Brigitte. You met her then, in Montreal, and she plied her way aboard your brigade."

"She came in disguise as a young man and tried very much to fill her oncle's britches as a voyageur. Unfortunately, her femininity was difficult to hide."

"And you discovered her."

"Not immediately." (He strokes his beard.) "Not without much trouble."

"You mean Gervais?"

"Oui, Gervais and many other men, not to mention the weight of the packs, the living conditions... a woman alone in a brigade of men. She was a temptation, even for myself, yet I felt responsible for her."

"You are somewhat older than she."

(He frowns.) "I have not forgotten."

"Perhaps it's best we end our discussion here and let readers of your tale discover more."

"Perhaps so. I have a long journey ahead, and it is time I depart. I hear the song of my voyageurs, and the lake calls me."

"Thank you, again, René. I wish you safety as you paddle your long canoe and a profitable sojourn in the wilderness."

"God is my watchman. Au revoir."

"Au revoir."

If you'd like to know more about René, Claude, Brigitte, and the rest of the voyageurs and men of the north, get your copy of Mist O'er the Voyageur here or try to win a copy using the Rafflecopter or by attending the Facebook event below! 

Visit and enter to win again on Monday, Oct 29 on Linda Yezak's blog.
AND if you like to party with other readers and have opportunities to win this and other NEW historical romance fiction, join me and authors Tamera Lynn Craft and Shannon McNear this Friday afternoon, October 26th at a Colonial Quills Tea Party on Facebook.

Enter the Rafflecopter

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Announcing Winner #2 of a "Mist O'er the Voyageur" Ebook (PSST! There's still time to enter for the next drawing and more!)

I can't tell you how much fun I'm having drawing names to win my three ebook giveaways this month. A week ago today, Mist O'er the Voyageur released, and the reviews are great! (Special thanks to any reader who takes the time to review the books they enjoy. It means a lot to authors.)

Remember, I'm drawing a name every Wednesday this month. Next week I'll have another ebook winner. Then, on October 30th, one entrant is going to win this grand prize package:

Signed Paperback, Watercolor Print "Estuary", Beautiful Journal, Notepad and Mini-Journal, Magnet and Marker Swag
If you didn't get a chance to enter, or if you want to enter again (yes, AGAIN for multiple chances!) you can still do so on any of the following blogs/dates:

Oct. 29: Linda Yezak

AND if you didn't sign up for my monthly newsletter, you might want to catch that. In November I'm sending out another award-winning short story. It's a fun one!

Now without further ado, the Rafflecopter has been figuratively "spun" and here is the name of today's ebook winner:

Gracie Yost

Don't forget to re-enter for the grand prize! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It's RELEASE WEEK! The Story Behind Mist O'er the Voyageur (And the First of THREE winners in the Rafflecopter Drawing!)

Often when a writer releases a new story into the world, they're asked, "What inspired you to write this story? Where did you get this idea?" Someone recently asked me that very thing about Mist O'er the Voyageur my new novel releasing today. Perhaps before I give the answer, I should post the story blurb so you know what it's about if you haven't already heard.

After her aunt's death, Métis woman Brigitte Marchal finds herself alone in Montreal. Uninterested in the convent and desperate to flee a loathsome suitor, she disguises herself as a young man to travel west by voyageurs' brigade in search of her long-absent, fur-trader father. But her inexperience and disguise don't hide her for long.

René Dufour yields to the unwelcome position of shielding Brigitte, but he cannot hide her identity forever. Keeping her safe while meeting his North West Company obligations and honoring his family promises may prove to be more disquieting to his heart than he imagined.

As Brigitte adjusts to the voyageur life on Lake Superior, she struggles to justify the faith she grew up in with the mysticism around her, but greater still is the conflict her heart must settle over who to trust in this rugged, unfamiliar country.

Many years ago, I wrote a novel called The Casket Girl (no longer in print), a novel or romance and adventure set during the French and Indian war. It was the story of a young woman who arrived in New Orleans in the mid-1700s in the manner of the fille du roi or King's Daughters. She wasn't a true king's girl, as they immigrated a big earlier, but her situation was much the same. Her journey took her from France, to Louisianna, up the Mississippi to Fort Kaskaskia, and eventually on to Detroit an then east into fringes of the Appalachian wilderness. (I sigh with sentimentality to remember that story. I'd like to rewrite it someday.)

Who remembers Catrine Lafonte?
As I wrote that book, the seeds of a tale sprouted involving a woman in the wilderness of Canada and the northern United States. At first I thought she might be another immigrant from France, but as I delved further into history, I realized that to write such a story, she must not be European or American. However, she could easily bMétis, as the Métis people were so integral to the fur trade and the settling of the upper Great Lakes region.

About that fur trade... The story idea also tied into a two decades old vacation experience when our family and some friends visited the Fort William Historical Park near Thunder Bay, Ontario. This was a totally unplanned event. Our trailer of camping gear broke down, and we were stuck in Thunder Bay for a weekend. However, stuck proved to be the wrong attitude, because it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous experiences of our vacation. We spent an entire day at the fort. It was a living history experience where we engaged in hands on learning about the past, including the hearty voyageurs, the local Native American culture, and the other fur traders and people of the upper Great Lakes. Story ideas began swirling in my brain.

Slowly the ideas found root in a character -- a woman of both Objibwe and French Canadian descent who I named Brigitte Marchal. I remember a November deer hunting season, sitting patiently in my stand on a snow-covered log in the woods, trying to ignore the biting cold seeping into my spine by creating Brigitte's story in my head. I started carrying a tiny 3x5 notebook to my stand with me along with the nub of a pencil (because ink would freeze) to jot down story and scene ideas.

All those notes and ideas were tucked away for a spell, but eventually Brigitte's tale unfolded and I began to write. The first draft was rough, and I spent several years honing it, while at the same time other stories took precedence. As I published an array of other books, I kept chiseling away at the sculpture that would eventually become Mist O'er the Voyageur.

I also wanted a special home for the book. A different home than my other stories. I don't know why. I guess it was because it was a unique kind of historical adventure, and I thought maybe it had a special future. It wasn't until a year ago that I signed a contract that would birth Brigitte's romantic adventure through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas' Smitten imprint. Then the real work began. But that's a tale for another day.

During the month of October, I'll be drawing 3 names as winners of a Mist O'er the Voyageur e-book. (Check here again on 17th and 24th). 

A GRAND  PRIZE drawing will be held on October 31st for the prizes pictured at the end of the post. Enter using the Rafflecopter! (My apologies, but due to postage constraints, I can only mail physical prizes within the continental U.S.)

But's winner of a MistK O'er the Voyageur e-book is:
Kay M.
Congratulations, Kay!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Continental U.S. Only)
Signed Paperback

Philippians 4:13 Blue Soul Scrips Flex-Cover Journal, Small Floral Notepad and Journal

8x10 Watercolor Print “Estuary” by Northland Artist Viola Labounty
This is the St. Louis River estuary at the head of Lake Superior, the location of a primary setting in Mist O'er the Voyageur.

(Postcards, Refrigerator Magnet, Magnetic Bookmark)

If you can't wait, you can

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Seven Days to Book Launch, and Here's Where the Giveaway Party is Heading

It's kick-off month! No, not football. That was is sooo last month (Go, Pack, Go!). 
Mist O'er the Voyager releases in ONE WEEK!
That's the kick-off I'm talking about. I feel like shouting, "Touch down!"

Okay, enough with the football metaphors. I'm just so excited, I want to celebrate. SO, I'll be hopping around a bunch of blogs this month, talking about the book, historical highlights, my writing process, sharing background. THEN I'll be giving multiple chances to win an e-copy of the novel, AND everyone who enters will have a shot at the Grand Prize which includes a signed paperback copy of Mist O'er the Voyageur, a lovely art print, an inspirational journal, and other swag.


Entering is easy. Just head to the blogs and fill out the Rafflecopter entry form.

Here's where I'll be and when:
Oct. 29: Linda Yezak

I'll draw for the ebooks on the 10th, the 17th, and the 24th, and the Grand Prize drawing will be on the 31st. I'll announce the winners here and in my newsletter, so don't miss it!