Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #7

Available July 7, 2015
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(Reporter Jeff is having a conversation with Jake Harkner)

“Can you answer one question for me before I leave?” Jeff asked.

“If it doesn’t take a long story.”

“No. I just want to know how you would describe your wife if you could only use one or two words.”

A look of complete adoration and sorrow moved through Jake’s gaze. He smoked quietly, saying nothing at first. “The center of my universe,” he finally answered. “And the air I breathe. No man could ask for better.”

Jeff scribbled the words. “That’s a beautiful way to put it.”

“She’s a beautiful woman – inside and out. I have absolutely no idea how or why she puts up with me.”

“Pardon my forwardness, but I suspect it’s because she feels the same way about you, Jake. You are the air she breathes.”

Jake met Jeff’s gaze. “I had no right ever touching that woman, but I never wanted anything worse in my life than I wanted her the first time I saw her.”


My Love Of Writing …

For my readers … I wrote this close to thirty years ago and thought it might interest you as to how much I love to write and how I managed to write sixty big, historical romances over the past thirty years:

I try so hard to write the best book I can write, and get so frustrated when I realize there are still so many millions of people out there who will never know about my books. I love writing so much, work so hard at it, but true success is always just out of reach. It’s so hard to keep going sometimes, amid the hurry and worry of everyday life; yet I cannot stop, even if I should end up a pauper, I cannot stop, because writing and the West are alive in me. 

I live to write, and my spirit belongs to the West. It will never, never belong anyplace else. Someday the world will know this. I will make a name for my western writing. I will be famous for it. Perhaps God is only waiting for me to know this for sure – to know my destiny and never take it for granted, never think about the money or the fame, only about my destiny – my goals, my purpose for living, which is to WRITE – and to write about the West – only the American West. I desire nothing else, live for nothing else. 

May God help me keep this spirit – keep the West alive in my mind and my heart even when I cannot be there. And may He remind me that I HAVE reached success, if only in the form of writing book after book and staying at the computer and doing what I love. If I can’t reach the whole world, I can at least reach hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of readers and teach them about the great history of the American West, respect it, love it.

Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #6


Available July 7, 2015
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The men inside the jail laughed. “Jake Harkner, kind and thoughtful toward kids, and a ruthless, murderin’ sonofabitch toward everybody else.”

“Something like that,” Jake answered. “You try anything, or hurt Sparky, and you’ll see the ruthless, murdering sonofabitch side of me.”

(Reporter Jeff is watching all of this) Five men against one, (he is thinking). Jeff wondered how he would manage to find his next breath.

“What about the hired gun, Bo?” Jake yelled. “Who is he?”

“Pierce Henry. He’s out in the street somewhere, waiting to shoot your ass if we can’t do it. One way or another, you’ll die today for killin’ Jack, and for what you done to Brad. The kid is hurtin’ real bad, Jake. He might not live.”

“He made his choice,” Jake yelled back. “Now come on out of there unless you’re ready to die. Give it some thought.”

It was then that everything changed. A little boy came running down the street on short little legs. “Gampa! Gampa!”

Jeff froze in terror. My God, it’s Jake’s grandson!

“Jesus Christ!” Jake swore.

After that, all hell broke loose. Jake charged off the boardwalk and literally leaped over a hitching post. He ducked and rolled his way toward his grandson while guns blazed from inside the jail.

Artist Jon Paul - The Art of Romance {Part 1}

I feel so honored that this man designed the covers for OUTLAW HEARTS and DO NOT FORSAKE ME. I've already had a "sneak peek" at the cover for #3 and it's beautiful! Jon Paul is so talented, and soon you will have a chance to win framed prints of my covers when DO NOT FORSAKE ME gets close to publication. His work is so beautiful that you want to hang it on your wall. These prints are valuable so be sure to enter my contest!


     

Why I Write American Western Historical Stories

I recently came across something I hand wrote close to thirty years ago, and it says it all when it comes to why I write American Western Historical stories. I was just doing some musing, after writing a description of how I feel about certain places out west. I thought this would interest my readers.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS: There is a peace here unlike anyone can find anyplace else. It is not just quiet. It is total silence, except when the wind blows, often whipping up in an instant, surging violently down from the peaks ahead of a storm, giving no warning, and diminishing in minutes.



NORTHERN WYOMING: Here, I feel, is home. I have been here, in some other life, some other time frame. Perhaps my soul belongs to Sacajawea, or to a long-forgotten pioneer woman. Whoever has moved into this earthly body to live for whatever years God will grant to me, she came from this place, just as surely as I live and breathe today. Someday I will live here again, if not in the flesh, then in spirit. My bones will be buried here, or my ashes scattered here, and I will at last be home again.




YELLOWSTONE: Who can imagine such vast wilderness? It is too awesome to fully describe. Deep green but scraggly pine against black and gray granite. Live and dead trees side by side. Deep blue skies and puffy clouds. Deep canyons with clear water rivers that rush and roar over rocks and boulders. Green and yellow grass grows along the stream beds where animals graze. Along steep banks lie fallen trees and scattered rocks that have slid from higher lofts. Other rocks rise like organ pipes to the heavens, some hanging seemingly on nothing and looking ready to come crashing down.




MUSINGS: There is a life to this land I never realized when I first came west. What at first I called isolation became something of beauty. What looked lifeless came alive, and each time I come here I know why those who live here love it, as I, too, feel a love for it, feel drawn to it more each time I come here. This is home, this great West, all of it, from the arid deserts of Arizona to the snow-covered peaks of Colorado and the green, rolling hills of Wyoming. There is truly nothing like it in all the world, not one place that can match its beauty, its endless horizons, its thousands of miles of snowy peaks, its delicate ecology. It is wide and wild and beautiful, and it is colorful, full of a unique history unmatched in its rapid growth, its wild and wonderful settlement. It grows on you. I can see why those who came here, whether for gold, to settle, whatever the reason, could never go back east and be the same – or could go back and not return again and again, finally to stay. If I could, I would never, never go home – never.

Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #5



Available July 7, 2015
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Randy’s stomach fell a little watching him strap on the guns. She never quite got over the dread of what each new day could bring. … He tied the holsters to his thighs … and pulled on his leather vest, his badge already pinned to it.

Randy sighed. “I can already see a dark mood setting in, Jake.”

“And I don’t like having to look at Marty Bryant. I want to kill him and I can’t. Maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll give me an excuse.” He opened the bedroom door and started out.

“Jake, don’t you want breakfast?”

“No. I’ll just grab a hunk of bread on the way out and get a cup of coffee down at the jail.”

“Wait,.” Randy walked closer and stood on her tiptoes to kiss him. “I’m telling you, I don’t have a good feeling about this. Lloyd would understand if you want to get him.”

“No. I’ll be all right on my own. And Sparky will be at the jail.”

Their gazes held.

“Jake, don’t lie to me.”

He turned away. “Just stay in the house today, will you? … That means even if you hear shooting. Don’t you dare go running out into the street, you hear me? If you’re needed, someone will come and get you.”

“Jake -“

“Promise me!”

She felt the tears wanting to come. “I promise.” She watched him leave, then closed her eyes and turned away, praying the same prayer she prayed every single morning. “God, be with him.”


Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #4


Available July 7, 2015 
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A rather disgruntled Jake came down the steps. “What do you want? Give us a couple more days and you can come and talk to my wife when things calm down.” 

“It’s not that.” Jeff looked back toward town. “Marshal, when I headed back to town, some men stopped me. They were watching you, and they … made threats … said now there was one more pretty woman in your family. One even said to tell you that Gordy says hello.” 

Jeff watched all the soft side of Jake Harkner the family man turn to something else as Jake looked past him toward town. In one quick moment he’d become the man Jeff saw ride into Guthrie just yesterday. 

“How many?” Jake asked. 

“Three. Do you know who they are?” 

Jake’s demeanor grew even darker. “You bet your ass I know them.”

Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #3


Available July 7, 2015 
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(Reporter Jeff Truebridge is speaking)

“What’s your opinion of Jake, sheriff?”

The hefty man grunted as he took his feet down from the desk. “He’s a mean sonofabitch, and mean is probably an understatement. But he can be a damn good friend once he’s figured out you’re worth it. He’s the kind of man you want to have your back if you’re in trouble, but also the kind of man you don’t want to cross. My advice to you is to tread lightly. Jake doesn’t like people poking into personal affairs or bothering his family.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Sheriff Sparks grunted again as he stood up. “Good luck to you, kid.” He lit some oil lamps as the sun began to set behind the western landscape. “You all right in there, doc?” he asked Brian. (a doctor treating wounded prisoners)

“I’m almost done.”

“I’ll tell you about Harkner,” one of the prisoners yelled to Jeff. “He’s a murderin’ sonofabitch! Killed his own pa, they say!”

(Later, Jeff follows the doctor, Jake’s son-in-law, home)

“You’re married to Jake’s daughter, right?”

“I am. And Jake Harkner is one of the finest men I’ve known, so don’t be thinking I’m going to tell you horror stories about the man.” He turned away. “Not that he doesn’t have any horror stories to tell you himself.”

Jeff kept pursuing him as he walked. “Did he really kill his own father?”

“That’s a very touchy subject for him. I can only tell you he had good reason, but don’t think it doesn’t eat at him. … I’d be very careful asking him about it. You’d better get to know (Jake) pretty good before you even touch that subject.”

(Later in the conversation Brian tells the reporter …)

“…it’s Miranda you’ll need to deal with, not Jake. If he lets you write a book, it will be because Randy says it’s okay. Out there on the trail, he’s in full command. But when it comes to things like this, it’s like I told you, my mother-in-law owns that man. And if you do anything to offend her, you’ll have Jake to answer to.”


Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #2


Available July 7, 2015
Pre-Order!
He met her mouth hungrily, his words spoken amid deep kisses. “If I wasn’t so needful of being inside you right now, I’d be tasting a lot more than your breasts.”

Randy’s smile faded to pleasure as his hands began searching just the right places that he knew awakened her womanly needs. She couldn’t help thinking how nice it was to be married to a man who knew every way there was to please a woman.

“Who do you belong to?” It was a ritualistic question he always asked before making love to her.

“Jake Harkner,” she answered, the words mumbled amid a searching kiss.

“And I’m just claiming what’s mine.”

Randy closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of him, leather and fresh air and … man. She couldn’t think of another word for it. Just man. She took great satisfaction in giving this man who so sorely needed to be loved every enjoyment he wanted.

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EverAfter Romance, the awesome, deal-filled all-romance ebookstore app, has made me their Spotlight Author this week and is offering my Tennessee Bride FREE to all new users. Just download the app and create an account, then the book will be placed in your library, ready to read. 

Here's the links to get the app:

iOS http://bit.ly/12jLGry 


“Extraordinary ... Bittner’s characters spring to life.” —Publishers Weekly

Raised in the hills of Tennessee, Emma Simms dreams of the day she’ll escape her life of poverty to start over in the excitement of Knoxville. But when her mother dies and she’s left with no one but her stepfather, Luke Simms, her dream abruptly becomes a nightmare. Luke plans to send Emma to Knoxville alright—straight to a notorious brothel.

River Joe, the mysterious Cherokee-raised frontiersman, knew from the first time he set eyes on the beautiful Emma that he had to have her as his own. And one glimpse at the handsome, buckskin-clad stranger ignites the flame of dangerous desire in Emma’s heart.

Their passion could consume them both, but their love could very well save her life.