Even A Soiled Dove Can Clean Up

Wow, when books talk to you, they really talk to you! At least mine do. I’d been busy working on Highland Barbarian, almost to the half way point when Ginnie started talking to me. You remember Ginnie? She’s one of Lil’s saloon girls from Under a Calico Moon. Well, the lusty brunette has been whispering in my ear for days now, wanting… no demanding that her story be told. Despite what people think, she isn’t a whore, and doesn’t want to be remembered that way just because she happens to like men. Besides, they are more of a ‘means to an end’ for her anyway. She’s been so insistent that I’ve written about 15 thousand words in less than a week. I’m two third’s of the way through this story, and if the pace keeps up, we just may see the first draft before the end of the month. I’m not holding my breath, because the day job often interferes with my writing plans, but it IS definitely possible.

This is Ginnie’s story. She wants everyone to know that even a soiled dove can clean up with the help of one stubborn cowboy.


New Calico Book Coming Soon

Okay, not really soon, but sooner than I thought. I’m already at about 15k into a 50k word novel, and it’s moving along really well.

This one is Ginnie’s story. You may remember Ginnie, she’s one of Lil’s girls. She’s got a lot of spirit, so I figured it was time to find her someone to love. Enter Joe Spencer. Totally smitten and determined to woo her away from the saloon. But can he do it? He’s up for the challenge of trying to sweet talk Ginnie away from her life as a saloon girl, and he’s got less than a week to do it. I’m betting on love, because face it, those Calico people are tough and feisty. They just need a partner to keep them on their toes! Soiled Dove should be ready in a couple of months


Coming Soon-Mail Order Widow

Mail Order Widow is the next novella in my Calico Bride series. The nice thing about the novellas is that they don’t have to be read in any order, they’re just great little reads in between the main trilogy. And yes, I am slowly working on the next novel to finish the trilogy, but with so many other projects on the go, it’s a bit of a slow slog right now. 

Mail Order Bride is available for pre-ordering now, at most online sites. Check the book page out for links to purchase. I’ve been tweeting them whenever I come across a new live link, so if you’re not following me on Twitter, you should be, ’cause that’s the best place to get that info quickly.

Of course, if you’ve read any of my historicals, you know how I like to keep them as real as possible, with historical accuracy and relevant ‘stuff’ thrown in here and there. The one thing that was hugely popular in this era was the mail-order-bride phenomenon. It was a really great way for single men to find and marry single women and populate the new frontier. But that got me thinking. What would happen if one of these women made the trek, got married and then had the rug pulled out from under her by losing that new husband? How could that happen? Well, if your new husband was unexpectedly injured and killed, that would put a damper on everything. How would this new widow cope all alone in a new part of the world, with no knowledge of the people, place or territory?

Here’s the set up for the story:

Travelling across the country to marry a complete stranger is scary enough, but when a freak accident leaves Katie Cavanaugh widowed after only a few short weeks, her world shatters. She moved to Calico to make a new start, not to start over by herself. Forced to confront frontier life on her own, she faces challenges that make her question everything.

Travis Sutherland is the town veterinarian. After a rough first meeting, he has no intention of falling for the town’s new widow, but she’s got the prettiest eyes he’s ever seen and they draw him in like a magnet. Forced to spend time with her after one of her animals becomes sick, he finds himself attracted to Katie after all. Can he convince her to give him a chance?



Writing About Calico

Years ago, I wanted to write a historical romance, but my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t make it believable. Research wasn’t necessarily one of my strong suits, so I sat down to figure out the best way to accomplish a historical, without making too many period mistakes. My solution? A time travel. What better way to show historical times, but through the eyes of a modern twenty-first century woman?

Then I had to settle on a specific time period. I love westerns, always have. I mean really, who doesn’t love a cowboy? I grew up on Gunsmoke, with Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty (le sigh), so I guess, in a way, the old west picked me.

Now that I had my era down, research was fun! I watched a lot of old re-runs of Gunsmoke and Bonanaza, watched movies like Tombstone, and every John Wayne and Clint Eastwood western I could find. Then there was Quigley Down Under, Cat Ballou, Maverick and Young Guns. But I didn’t limit my research to Hollywood. I spent hours at museums, looking at all sorts of frontier items. I’m the worst artist ever, but I made sketches of clothes, furniture and other assorted things that were used in the period.

Next was the most fun of all. Finding my setting. I decided that I wanted to use a real place, not just a made up western town, so I scoured the history books (which means I did an extensive internet search!) and found Calico, California. There was just something about this little town that sparked my imagination, so I took a closer look and fell in love.

Most of the layout of the town is my own creation. I did use some existing/former buildings in my version of Calico, though.



There really was a Marshal’s Office, and Lil’s Saloon exists to this day. If you look inside the interior of her saloon, you’ll see the tablecloths that Jenny O’Farrel gave Lil to use after Riley’s thugs tore up the place.

The old schoolhouse is still there, sitting at the edge of town, just as it did in Amy Mallory’s time (New Prints In Old Calico) as school teacher. This is the second schoolhouse, since the first one was burned down in a fire long ago. It was fun making up a reason for the arson, but in truth, no one really knows how the fire started that destroyed the first schoolhouse.

The backdrop of a real location really helped fuel the ideas for the two Calico novels (New Prints in Old Calico, Under A Calico Moon) and the one novella (Calico Bride). I’ve got another Calico story in the works and I’m sure there will be more short novellas as well because let’s face it, the people of Calico are not finished telling their stories yet.

And me? I’m just happy to share them with you.



Release Day!

 Wahoo! It’s a cold, wintery day (yep, I woke to -20C) but Under a Calico Moon is available today! So far I see live buy links at Kobo and Amazon (go to my book page http://www.ellielynn.ca/book/under-a-calico-moon/ for the updated links) but I’ll update others as I see them come in.

Did I say it was cold? Oh my goodness, yes! And it’s only the beginning of November. We’ve had lots of snow these last few days, and it’s too dang cold for my liking for this time of the year. We don’t usually get this weather until late December/early January. Global Warming my arse!

Anyway, back to Calico. Y’all know how much I love this town and the people in it. And no, not just because  it’s a might warmer than Canada this time of year! This was an exciting story for me to write because not only did I get to return to Calico, but I was able to bring two people together who deserved happiness. And who doesn’t like to see the demise of a real, honest-to-goodness bad guy? But is Austen’s legacy really gone for good? Hmm. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m plotting out a new Calico story, as well as working on another short story in the Calico world.

Off to tweet and post my excitement over the new release. If you see me, say hello!


Coming Soon-Under a Calico Moon

 When everything you love has been taken, sometimes all you have left is revenge.

We are just going through the final editing and formatting stage, so it won’t be long before Under a Calico Moon hits pre-order status. With a release date of November 6, we are well on our way and I’m so excited to share the new artwork, created by Trisha FitzGerald, the same talented artist who did New Prints in Old Calico. I love it!

Recovering from the death of his brother, Chet Bowman is finally finding a sense of normalcy. He’s through hiding from the world on his ranch, and he’s tired of being alone. He’s ready to act on his long-time attraction to Lil Kersey, the sultry saloon owner who runs his favorite watering hole.

While his relationship with Lil blossoms, their courtship comes under fire from the former marshal of Calico, now gone rogue. As Austen Riley ramps up his revenge on the cowboy who thwarted his plans to control Calico, Lil struggles to survive Austen’s unwanted attentions.

When the dust settles after one final gun fight, will Lil and Chet find their happily ever after? Or will Austen’s maniacal revenge tear them apart forever?

In this book, you’ll briefly see Brianna and Sean James, whom you met in Calico Bride. You’ll also get to revisit Amy and Matt, who are still just as much in love as they were when you last met them. You’ll also be introduced to one of Lil’s girls, a feisty saloon gal named Ginnie. Ginnie comes with her own story, which I’m working on now. Not sure if it will be a novella or the next full length, but I’m leaning towards a full length story, since she’s got a lot to say.

But for now, I’m so happy to share Lil and Chet’s rocky road to romance. They both deserve all the happiness they can find. Under A Calico Moon, coming soon to retailers everywhere, from Champagne Books.



Almost Done!

Working diligently on Under a Calico Moon. And it’s paying off, I’m three quarters of the way through now, and it’s really getting exciting! My goal is to finish by the end of the month, so I have two weeks to get another fifteen thousand words in.

Today I shared the shiny new cover with my newsletter subscribers, and I’m dying to post it here, but that won’t be for another week. It’s been really hard keeping it under wraps, so I’m really excited to share.  Here’s the tagline:

An old adversary seeks revenge on a lonely cowboy by ruining his chances for love and happiness.

Life’s been hectic the last few weeks. I’ve moved from our home in High River, and am now living exclusively in our house in Climax, except for a few days a week, when I’m in Calgary with the day job. When I’m there, I’m staying with a friend. I found the expense of maintaining two homes was beginning to be a bit much.

Am I happy about being at home? Oh for sure! I get to spend more time home with Bruce and my furry babies. But since I’ve spent so little time here lately, it’s going to take some time to get used to things and make my writing space my own again. I’ll post pictures once I have an actual dedicated place. Right now, I write at the kitchen table, or in the living room, with a tv tray. Not ideal because if the television is on, it can be distracting, and the chairs in the kitchen are not the most comfortable. Dying to get the basement renovated so that I can have my office built, but that won’t be for a while yet. We just had the roof done in the fall, so another big project has to wait.

In the meantime, I’ve got some gardening to worry about, which you may see me comment on if you follow me on Twitter. I’ve got several pots of potatoes growing, as well as onions, radishes, tomatoes and lettuce. Next year, I’ve got a raised garden to put in, just didn’t have time to get it in this year. My father was an avid gardener so I blame my need for growing my own food squarely on him. Learned a lot from dear old dad. And I’m slowly teaching hubby how to keep an eye on things when I’m not here! He’s a reluctant learner, but he’s doing well.

Anyway, that’s the update.  If you’d like to be the first to hear about new release information, contests and giveaways, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter–link on the right side.  I have it on good authority that my subscribers will be eligible to win a special gift celebrating the release of Calico Moon.

Until next time,