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Forever After Released Early

My third story, Paradise Pines Series: Forever After was released October 1, 2013.

Image

Abandoned by her sisters, her father in jail, Marinda Benjamin takes on the care of her ailing mother the best way possible — working for an unscrupulous man with the power to crush her.  Forced to spy on a decent man, Marinda’s honesty saves her virtue and revenge restores her self-respect.

When Ethan Braddock discovers his brother’s poker pot cleaning his private office, he jumps to the right conclusion — she’s there to spy for his nemesis. Ethan can’t help but find her irresistible. In spite of what his heart tells him, his brain reserves judgment on her character. Until he unravels the mystery of her connection to Danforth, trust is the one thing he can’t allow himself. For that, she’ll have to prove herself.

Marinda Benjamin won’t marry until she finds the forever after kind of love. Has the man she’s dreamed of loving been beside her all along?

EXCERPT:

Fulton County, Illinois, August 1850

“I’ll bet this little lady against whatever you’ve got in your hand.”

A sudden hush stifled all the noise in the Hidey Hole Saloon. Master against novice. Who would win? Then quiet snickers began to echo off the wood walls. The regulars of the saloon moved in for a closer look.

Marinda Benjamin stared around at all the patrons who just witnessed her humiliation by Danforth’s claim. She latched onto the back of her employer’s chair to steady her crumbling nerves. Jonas Danforth had bet her, body and soul, in a card game.

Fancy women dressed in garish attire crowded around the poker table. Some stared at her with pity while a few sneered in obvious enjoyment of seeing another Benjamin sister fall from grace.

She wracked her brain for a way of preventing the ridiculous bet, but she knew Danforth held all the cards. Yet she had to stop this travesty. “Enough!” She stepped up beside his chair. “You can’t do–”

The menace in Danforth’s glare as he looked at her stopped her from saying more.

A malicious sneer marred his face. “As long as I hold the loan on your house, you’ll do as I say. Is that clear?”

She wanted to run, but her feet refused to move. She wanted to speak her piece, as she always did, but now was not the time. So instead, she held her head high. She refused to allow Jonas Danforth to see her frustration. He had broken her father’s spirit. He would not break hers.

The town’s mischief-maker sat across from Danforth. Patrick Braddock glanced her way. “She looks like she might be worth five twenty-dollar gold eagles and I could use a servant. I call your bet. Let’s see what ya got.”

The knot in her stomach tightened.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Pines-Forever-After-ebook/dp/B00FK8BWAO/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380819605&sr=1-4&keywords=Paisley+Kirkpatrick

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/paradise-pines-forever-after-epub/

Civil War Facts

By Paisley Kirkpatrick

With all the re-enactments over the past couple of days I thought it would be fun to check out these facts:

The first aircraft carrier was a boat designed especially for hauling balloons.

The first flares for marksmen shooting at night were calcium lights developed by a Major Edge, of Berdan’s Sharpshooters, a famous Federal regiment.

The first economic warfare was used by the North in massive counterfeiting of Confederate currency.  Union printers flooded the South with this bogus money, its only defect being its superiority to the genuine article; printers went so far as to duplicate five-cent notes of Confederate towns and business enterprises, as a spur to inflation.

Despite the modern developments spawned by the war, thousands of men went into the early fighting in body armor, assured by newspaper advertisements that iron breastplates would shield them from death. Heavy casualties attested to the tragic inefficiency of the gear.

Many of the inventions pouring into the warring capitals bordered on lunacy, but some forecast the future.

A federal balloonist went aloft with grenades and bombs, with the bottom of his wicker carriage shielded against ground fire by an iron plate. And one inventor tried in vain to interest the US in a rocket-driven torpedo which behaved like a guided missile in its tests.

Both Union and Confederate inventors turned out weird forked-barrel cannon, designed to fire two shots simultaneously, joined by chains, so that enemy troops would be mowed down if they stood in a convenient place.

Confederates built a steam-powered cannon of mammoth size which flung balls from a hopper without benefit of gunpowder, but too many shots merely trickled from the barrel.

The Federal armies were offered a miraculous water-walking device which would make military bridges a thing of the past–each soldier would wear tiny canoes on his feet, and drive himself over the water with a small paddle.

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis author of Gray Fox

Music During the Civil War

By Paisley Kirkpatrick

Music can be a peacemaker of sorts. At least during the Civil Way it had a way of bonding the conflicting troops.

Before the fall of Atlanta, the brass band of Major Arthur Shoaff’s battalion of the Georgia Sharpshooters gave their expert cornettist to the cause. Each evening after supper, the musician went to the front lines and played for the Confederates along the entrenchments. When firing was heavy, he didn’t to appear.

Across the lines, Federal pickets would shout, ”Hey, Johnny! We want that corner player.”

”He would play, but he’s afraid you’ll spoil his horn.”

”We’ll hold fire. ”

”All right, Yanks.”

The cornettist would then mount the works and play solos from operas, and sing tunes like Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming, and I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls in a fine tenor voice.

Colonel James Cooper Nisbet, who was on hand, never forgot the scene:  ”How the Yanks would applaud! They had a good cornet player who would alternate with our man.”

Once the concert was over, firing would resume.

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis author of Gray Fox.

Early Entertainers and Theaters of the West

By Paisley Kirkpatrick

Everyone likes to be entertained.  The arrival of a theatrical troupe or a famous personality has always been exciting, and the early days of the West were no exception.  Entertainers were always a welcome sight, especially in the mining towns and camps of the Mother Lode where the audience was mostly masculine.  The miners wanted pleasing performers, and they were happy to reward them.

The early entertainers were a hardy group.   They traveled long, uncomfortable miles over rugged mountains, dangerous trails, and arid deserts to see the glitter of gold and to achieve fame.

Once the actors and actresses reached their destination, they often had to perform under primitive conditions.  There were no dressing rooms or sanitary facilities.  Many times their stage would be the floor of a blacksmith’s shop with a wagon canvas for a curtain.  They would appear in a tent, schoolroom, or a saloon.  The orchestra was usually a flute, violin, and guitar played by musicians who had never read a note.

They offered medicine shows, drama, and variety.  There were special rooms with cheap decorations, where the patrons could meet an actress for a price.  Many times a miner would pay $100 for a seat and toss more gold on the floor when the show was over.

In Virginia City, the Queen of the Comstock, the first theater, opened in 1860.  It was called the Howard Street Theater and ladies were not admitted.  Business was good so Maguire’s Opera House opened its doors in 1863.  It was an opulent establishment.  The auditorium was carpeted, ornate crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, spectators were seated upon gilt chairs and there were velvet railings for the boxes.  The enthusiastic audiences were wealthy, but not necessarily elite.  They came for entertainment and had the money to pay for it.  The shows ranged from Adah Isaacs Menken in the “Mezeppa” to minstrels and dog fights.

Taken from Women of the Sierra by Anne Seagraves

Paradise Pines Series: Marriage Bargain Released

MARRIAGE BARGAIN, the second book in my Paradise Pines Series, was released March 21, 2013

Marriage Bargain is set on the dusty trail of a wagon train traveling from St. Joseph, Missouri, to the California gold rush area at Placerville, California, in 1849. Betrayal and embarrassment drives Darrah Benjamin to run away from home to take a tutoring job in San Francisco. Darrah finds her journey a pathway to love and forgiveness when an arranged marriage to the wagon scout becomes much more than a convenience. Chase challenges her determination to keep their marriage in name only with his promise — she’ll give him her heart and invite him to her bed before they arrive at their destination. Darrah has an immediate attraction to the rogue, but holds her emotions tight because she doesn’t want her heart broken again.

Charles Danforth, a scout known as Chase, leads a wagon train of emigrants west through plains plundered by murderers. As an undercover agent of President Polk, he has sworn to stop the massacres.  Darrah’s inadvertent comment gives him the clue he needs to achieve his assignment. His Sioux blood brother helps Chase end the killings, but almost ruins Chase’s chance of winning Darrah’s heart when he takes matters in his own hands to demonstrate the depth of love Chase has for his wife.

 

EXCERPT:

Footsteps crunched on the rocks a few minutes later. He spun around and froze on the spot. The drowned rat? At least he thought the young woman walking toward him was the drowned rat. Her appearance was a far cry from the woman he’d saved during the storm. Unable to pull his gaze away from the gentle sway of her hips and the firm round breasts pressing against her crisp white bodice, he shook his head trying to clear his thoughts. Light filtered through the branches giving her an ethereal appearance, and touching on pouting lips begging to be kissed. All logical reason vanished. His reaction staggered him as his mounting desire for the woman coursed through him. She was everything he’d remembered and more. She was a liar.

He dropped the last of his gear alongside Cappy’s wagon as she stopped in front of him.   “What’s your game, lady?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Cut the act, Rose. You know very well we’ve met before. Or maybe you were such a good actress I actually believed you were in trouble during the thunderstorm.”

Her eyes grew wide as saucers. Her hand pressed against her bosom as she gasped. “You can’t be the man who rescued me.”

Cappy cleared his throat. “What’s going on here? Who is Rose?”

“I didn’t tell you a lie, Captain. My name is Darrah Rose Benjamin. It’s true your friend pulled me off my runaway horse. I was cold, wet, and tired. He suggested I remove my clothes before he kissed me, and then he had the nerve to invite me under his fur.” She glared at him. “Under the circumstances I chose not to tell him my full name.”

“What’s she talking about?” Cappy’s voice cracked with anger. “I raised you better.”

Chase shrugged. “It didn’t happen exactly as she says, Cappy. I may have misjudged the lady.    She was such a fetching little thing I couldn’t resist kissing her. Besides, she needed thawing out.”

“Wipe that damned grin off your face, boy. You get into town and find a Justice of the Peace. There’s goin’ to be a wedding tomorrow.”

“Hold on a minute.” Darrah grabbed Cappy’s arm. “If this man is the scout you want me to marry, I won’t do it. He obviously doesn’t trust me or believe in bathing.” She stalked toward the clearing where she’d tethered her horses.

Watching her march across camp, Chase wished he’d handled the situation better. Cappy’s glare shot daggers at him. He’d been a fool for stomping on her pride. Damn, but she’s far too high-strung and beautiful for her own good.

“Why’d you hurt her feelings and how will you fix the mess you made?” Cappy asked.

He set his attention on the old man. “Me?”

“You’re the one who acted an ass.”

“Wait one damned minute. I told you this was a foolhardy idea in the first place. I only agreed I would talk to the girl, nothing else.” His gaze slid over the gentle sway of her hips. He remembered the soft touch of her lips and the seductive way she looked with her hair in ringlets around her shoulders when she dried her hair by the fire.

“You can’t let her walk out of our lives.”

Chase took off his hat and raked his fingers through the tangled mess. “You’re a stubborn old man. It’s not so simple. I was close to being drunk the night of the storm. When lightning struck the ground in front of her horse, I thought I was hallucinating. Her screams brought me to my senses so I went after her. While I had her on the horse with me, she wriggled that little bottom of hers against my crotch until I was nearly out of my mind. Once I got her settled in camp, I went after her horses. It gave me a chance to cool off. She looked so damned desirable dripping wet I couldn’t think straight. When she stole away from camp early the next morning, I figured I was done with her.”

“You didn’t cool off enough, boy.”

“Dammit, Cappy, I’m not proud of my actions.”

“Talk to her. What if she hooks up with someone else? If she attempts the trek on her own as she’s threatened, she could die. I couldn’t bear the weight of another death.”

He didn’t have room in his life for a woman and he sure as hell didn’t have time to babysit. At this point he wasn’t ready to tip his hand and let her know his true identity.

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/paradise-pines-the-marriage-bargain-epub/ 

 

Strange Facts From the Civil War

The first aircraft carrier was a boat designed especially for hauling balloons.

The first flares for marksmen shooting at night were calcium lights developed by a Major Edge, of Berdan’s Sharpshooters, a famous Federal regiment.

The first economic warfare was used by the North in massive counterfeiting of Confederate currency.  Union printers flooded the South with this bogus money, its only defect being its superiority to the genuine article; printers went so far as to duplicate five-cent notes of Confederate towns and business enterprises, as a spur to inflation.

Despite the modern developments spawned by the war, thousands of men went into the early fighting in body armor, assured by newspaper advertisements that iron breastplates would shield them from death. Heavy casualties attested to the tragic inefficiency of the gear.

Many of the inventions pouring into the warring capitals bordered on lunacy, but some forecast the future.

Simeon Draper of New York proposed to scoffing ordnance officers a balloon shell like those used by Japan against the American Northwest in World War II. A federal balloonist went aloft with grenades and bombs, with the bottom of his wicker carriage shielded against ground fire by an iron plate. And one inventor tried in vain to interest the US in a rocket-driven torpedo which behaved like a guided missile in its tests.

Both Union and Confederate inventors turned out weird forked-barrel cannon, designed to fire two shots simultaneously, joined by chains, so that enemy troops would be mowed down if they stood in a convenient place.

Confederates built a steam-powered cannon of mammoth size which flung balls from a hopper without benefit of gunpowder, but too many shots merely trickled from the barrel.

The Federal armies were offered a miraculous water-walking device which would make military bridges a thing of the past–each soldier would wear tiny canoes on his feet, and drive himself over the water with a small paddle.

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis author of Gray Fox.

Music Bonded During Civil War

Music can be a peacemaker of sorts. At least during the Civil Way it had a way of bonding the conflicting troops.

Before the fall of Atlanta, the brass band of Major Arthur Shoaff’s battalion of the Georgia Sharpshooters gave their expert cornettist to the cause. Each evening after supper, the musician went to the front lines and played for the Confederates along the entrenchments. When firing was heavy, he didn’t to appear.

Across the lines, Federal pickets would shout, ”Hey, Johnny! We want that corner player.”

”He would play, but he’s afraid you’ll spoil his horn.”

”We’ll hold fire. ”

”All right, Yanks.”

The cornettist would then mount the works and play solos from operas, and sing tunes like Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming, and I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls in a fine tenor voice.

Colonel James Cooper Nisbet, who was on hand, never forgot the scene:  ”How the Yanks would applaud! They had a good cornet player who would alternate with our man.”

Once the concert was over, firing would resume.

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis author of Gray Fox.

 

 

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