Hank Halsey believes he’s found the perfect logging crew—complete with cooks—until he discovers Kelda Neilson would rather swing an axe than flip eggs. As he sets out to prove women belong in the kitchen, he’s the one in danger of getting burned.
Strong and stubborn, Kelda Nielsen grew up falling trees, and resents any man who believes she’s not capable, until Hank. He treats her like a lady and has her questioning what that means.
As Kelda and Hank’s attraction builds, she hires a cook so she can sneak out and work in the woods. But will her deceit ruin her chance at love or will hardheaded Hank realize it’s more than his love that puts a sparkle in Kelda’s eye?
Kelda stood by the door, a man’s black wool coat buttoned up to her neck and a wool scarf wrapped around her head. Her flushed cheeks shone in the lantern light. Her gaze met his solid and unflappable.
To appease Karl, Hank said as he pulled on his coat, “If Kelda isn’t back in here in fifteen minutes you can come looking for us.”
The door hadn’t fully closed when Dag’s voice cleared the threshold, “I don’t know what you’re worrying about. No man is going to think of Kelda in the way you’re talking.”
Kelda’s shoulders drooped proving she’d heard her brother’s comment. She walked around the corner of the cookhouse to a fallen log at the backside of the building. Hank wanted to catch up to her and wrap an arm around her shoulders. She was a fine woman. Any man would be dang lucky to have her for a wife. He stood in front of her as she sat on the log, her face pointed toward the men’s logging boots on her feet.
Hank crouched in front of Kelda, tipping her face up to read her emotions. “Your brother sees you only as his sister. You’re a woman any man would be lucky to marry.”
Tears glistened in her eyes. “I’m the size and body of a man. Men want a small delicate woman.” She wiped at the tears and her hands clutched his. “Don’t make Far keep me out of the woods. It’s all I have to make me happy.”
Pleading in her eyes and voice sucker punched Hank. “Why would you want to work alongside men in the woods? Women belong in the home.”
“I don’t care to work inside. I love the outdoors and the labor of logging. Don’t keep me out of the woods. It’s the one thing I can do well.”
The strong grip of her fingers on his proved her strength. He had no doubt she was a skilled woodsman…woman. He pried her fingers from his hands and held them between his palms. “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you in the woods. It isn’t proper for a woman to work like that. And what if you prove too weak to handle a job and someone else gets hurt?”
“Ooooo!” Her hands ripped from his grasp and rammed him in the chest. He started tipping backwards and grabbed the first thing in reach—Kelda’s arms.
He fell back into the snow dragging Kelda on top of him.
The surprise in her eyes quickly turned to interest as she gazed down into his face. Her body sprawled across Hank, pressing him into the snow. Even with the heavy clothing, her curves were evident as her relaxed body molded over his.
Hank pushed the scarf back from her face and stared into amazing eyes that glistened from the moonlight bouncing off the snow. Her gaze searched his. The rise and fall of her chest quickened. She licked her lips…
He held her head in his hands. Inch by inch, Hank drew her lips closer, wondering if the heat and passion he’d witnessed in her eyes would be in her kiss.
The male voice broke through the insanity of his actions. Hank rolled, rose to his feet, and pulled Kelda up with him.
How did you start your writing career?
My writing career started with a community education writing class where the instructor not only taught us how to write but how to believe in ourselves. I took the confidence she infused in me and while visiting my children’s school on an assembly day, I found the story teller interesting and sat down afterward and interviewed him. I went home, wrote up an article about the visit to the school and the man, and called the local newspaper. The editor at the paper said, “We already have someone scheduled to interview the story teller and take photos at another school tomorrow.” My response, “I’ve already written the story.” Editor, “Is the story good?” Without missing a beat I said, “Yes.” He snickered and told me to bring it to him within the hour. I hurried into town, asked for the editor, and handed the story over to him. He had a bemused look on his face as he took the paper from my unbelievably steady hand. I stood there as he read the story. My insides were jelly when he finally raised his head and looked at me. “You’re right, this is good. We’ll use it.” My heart was pounding as I smiled and thank him. Two days later he called and that started my two year stint as a human interest reporter for that paper. I moved on to the larger, next town over newspaper, and then put all my writing efforts into writing novels.
Tell us about your current release.
Tell us about your current release.
Logger in Petticoats is the fifth book of my Halsey brothers series set in
NE Oregon in the late 1800’s. Hank is the second
oldest brother. He’s tired of always being there for everyone and not doing
what he really wants. This book is Hank spreading his wings and finding love.
My next release, Spirit of the Sky, comes out in May and it’s the third book of my Nez Perce spirit trilogy. The spirit trilogy is set among the Nez Perce or Nimiipuu as they call themselves. The first book is set before the whiteman appears in their land, the second book takes place after they arrive and two treaties have been presented to them, the third book takes place as the Nez Perce are traveling to avoid being put on a reservation. The main character in each book are sibling Nez Perce spirits who watch over the
. Lake Nimiipuu
Blurb for Spirit of the Sky
To save her from oppression, he must save her whole tribe. To give her his heart, he must desert his career…
When the US Army forces the Nimiipuu from their land, Sa-qan, the eagle spirit entrusted with watching over her tribe, steps in to save her mortal niece. Challenging the restrictions of the spirit world, Sa-qan assumes human form and finds an unexpected ally in a handsome cavalry officer.
Certain she is a captive, Lt. Wade Watts, a Civil War veteran, tries to help the blonde woman he finds sheltering a Nez Perce child. While her intelligent eyes reveal she understands his language, she refuses his help. But when Wade is wounded, it is the beautiful Sa-qan who tends him. Wade wishes to stop the killing—Sa-qan will do anything to save her people.
Can their differences save her tribe? Or will their love spell the end of the Nimiipuu?
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
My high school English teacher showed me my writing was worth having others hear when she read my story about Joan of Arc burning at the stake and not a sound was heard in the room when she finished reading. That’s when I realized the power of words and that I wanted to tell stories.
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
Yes, Nicole McCaffrey. When I first joined RWA(Romance Writers of America) I entered my first stories in their contests. Nicole was a judge for one of the contests I entered. When the other judges just rewrote my sentences and didn’t tell me why, she explained what I was doing wrong and encouraged the things I did right. She put her e-mail on my contest entry, I wrote to thank her for her help, and now thirteen years later, we’re still critique partners and good friends.
Who is your favorite author?
I can’t pick a favorite. I read many genres and have more than one favorite in each one. But I can say if there are strong characters in the story, I don’t care who the author is I love the book.
What was your first sale as an author?
My first sale was actually a children’s story to a parenting magazine. (This was before the newspaper stint). My first novel sale was to The Wild Rose Press and it was the first book of my Halsey series, Marshal in Petticoats.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I write during the day. After a couple hours in the morning answering e-mails and taking care of promo, I work on writing. And usually spend 4-5 hours a day writing.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing for me is revisions. I don’t like to fix holes in clothes or sew on buttons. I’d rather start from scratch and make a whole garment. I’m the same way with my writing. I dislike having to fix things, but I KNOW that has to be done to make a good book.
Where do you research for your books?
Everywhere. I use libraries, books, movies, internet, in person trips, museums, historical societies. Wherever I can find the information I need to make my book feel real. The greatest compliment I received was when someone who lived in an area I set a book asked when I’d visited. It happened to be a book where I hadn’t had the chance to visit but I used everything I could find on the area including a botanist to help me get the details right.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Learn craft and be willing to take criticism. And most of all get a critique partner who tells you what needs fixed and pumps up what you do well. A completely negative CP is not good for you, but you also want one who can find the things that enhance your work and doesn’t just say it’s good. No one writes a perfect story.
Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Hard. Rewarding. Fun.
What one word best describes you?
Do you have a Website or Blog?
My website is http://www.patyjager.net
My blog is http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You can find all my books at ebook sites and check out my blog or website for free reads and my monthly website contest.
Thank you for having me here, Laurie!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Growing up in the Northeast corner of
, riding horses
and reading were my favorite pastimes. Many hours were spent roaming the Oregon Wallowa Mountains on my horse Junebug and making up
stories in my head. I read anything I could get my hands on from the school and
local library. Many of my school lunch hours I could be found reading the
thickest books I borrowed from the library. Usually Victoria Holt and Phyllis
My love of books and positive feedback from instructors gave me the incentive to try my hand at writing. I dabbled with children's books and was told I wrote to adult. Then tried my hand at murder mysteries when a personal experience had me facing anger issues. I enjoyed the red herrings involved in writing mysteries.
After reading LaVyrle Spencer's "Hummingbird" I knew I had to write historical romance. I entered a love scene from my first manuscript in a RWA (Romance Writers of America) contest and was a finalist. The placing solidified my decision to write romance.
While honing my writing skills my husband and I raised four children. We are now empty nesters and loving it! Instead of grumbling kids, we now cater to two dogs, two horses, a mini horse, a donkey, and thirty mother cows and currently ranch 350 acres. You can learn more about my ranching in the April/May edition of Farm and Ranch magazine in 2011. I was a month long diarist for the magazine and my good friend photo/journalist Danita Cahill took the photographs.
Along with writing I also teach writing workshops online, at writers meetings and at writing conferences. I enjoy helping others learn the draft of writing. And especially enjoy going in the classrooms with other members of the local writing group to promote the 4th Grade Picture Book contest and help the children learn how to write and illustrate a good story. I also spend a good part of my summer traveling around the state judging 4-H and open class county fair textile and foods exhibits. A perk from being a 4-H leader for over twenty years and a 4-H program assistant for nearly ten.
Thanks for Looking!