Blog Tour: The Courtship of Utopia Miner by Linda Gilman

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Spooky Girl Reads, in conjunction with The Killion Group, is proud to present the blog tour for The Courtship of Utopia Miner by Linda Gilman. Read on for exclusive content, a guest post from Linda Gilman, and a giveaway!

About The Courtship of Utopia Miner


LindaGilman_TheCourtshipOfUtopiaMiner_1400pxTitle:
The Courtship of Utopia Miner
Author: Linda Gilman
Series: Gold Rush
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 9th 2015
Publisher: Indie Published
Print Length: 289 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 9781517538941
Digital ISBN: 1517538947

Synopsis:

Utopia Miner is tired of hunting gold and caring for her three adopted fathers. Living in a Rocky Mountain mining camp is holding up her dream of becoming a saloon girl. If only she could learn the essential skills of singing, dancing and kissing, she’d be on her way to a glamorous life. When Utopia discovers she’s the prize in her three fathers’ marrying scheme, she sees benefits in going along with the courting contest. She now has a kissing teacher. And wow, what a teacher. One starter kiss from Lance and her body’s sweating in places it never had before.

Lancelot Jones wants to turn in his life-risking marshal’s badge for a much safer job as a reporter, but the newspaper wants articles as proof of his qualifications. When his editor sends him to a mining camp to get the scoop on a courtship contest, Lance discovers the privilege of covering the story hinges upon chaperoning the bride-to-be. He soon finds himself ensconced in Utopia’s innocent charms and demanding saloon girl lessons. In short order, chaperoning the bride-to-be becomes risky business.

Excerpt

“When you hear me ringing, that’s the signal the next man can cut in for a turn to dance with the Miss Utopia. You’ll each be allowed two dancing cut-ins. Any one breaking the cut-in rule will be tied to a tree wearing nothing but long johns. That fella will stay tied to a tree until morning. Is that clear?”

Lance couldn’t quite hear what Sadie was saying for he was standing near where the musicians were tuning their instruments. He needed to hurry. If the music started he’d have an even harder time getting near Utopia.

The fastest way to the girls from where he presently stood would be to go around the rear of the wagon to the other side. That’s the direction he headed.

“We will go by your suitor numbers,” Sadie stated, “starting with the next gent to court.”

“That’d be me. I’m next,” Travin shouted.

“All right then. Get me and the lady down from here and let’s get this dance started.”

Travin placed his hands at Utopia’s waist and swung her down off the stage. The fiddles struck up a lively tune of Old Suzanna.

Lance finally had circled around to the other side of the stage, but to his dismay, the first notes were struck and that Travin fellow spun the laughing Utopia off in a fast two-step hopping stride. New plan needed.

Figuring the fastest way to reach his objective would be to dance his way through the crowd, he looked around for the closest person to use as a partner. It happened to be Miss Lil, who was dancing with the lad, Mickey Crosby. Lance poked the youngster on his shoulder. “Sorry kid. I have to cut-in.”

“Hey.” Mickey scowled. “I didn’t hear the cow bell.”

More interested in keeping sight of where Utopia had floated off to, Lance went up on his tip-toes, scanning for a glimpse of her auburn hair or that lavender dress. Damnation. Where is she? “Look kid. Go find yourself a new dance partner.”

“Did you hear the cow bell?” Mickey asked a nearby dancer. “That fella says the cow bell rang. Did you hear the bell?”

The lad received several negative nods.

“Look here, mister. No one heard the bell. It’s still my turn.”

“Kid, I don’t have time for your sniveling. I just need Lil for a minute. Stay here and I’ll bring her right back to you.” Lance lifted Lil’s petite frame off the ground and carried her off in a fluid spinning motion, flowing along with the dancing crowd, all the while scanning the bobbing heads for Utopia.

Lil held on tight to her feathers. “In case you don’t know–this is a dance not a foot race. I can say one thing for your way of dancing. At least my sore feet get some rest.”

“I’m not really dancing Miss Lil. I’m trying to catch up to Utopia.”

“So–she’s charmed you, too? Has she?”

“Me? No. I’m her guardian.”

Available now: Amazon

About the Author

Linda Gilman bio pic

Linda Gilman is known for writing humorous western romance novels. Her stories are centered on independent, strong-willed women, and courageous heroes who always protect the innocent without violating their personal code of conduct. It’s the cowboy west readers are so enamored with and a twist of zany plot. From first page to last, her books are loaded with pain-in-your-side laughable moments.

She has a deep love of the American gold rush era and often uses this as an excuse to do book research and travel to ghost towns in the western states.

Born into a city girl life, her parents raised her in St. Louis County. However, Linda has always felt her country girl roots calling her to move west young woman. She currently lives in rural Missouri with her hubby and the oldest of her three sons.

Connect with Linda: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Guest Post from Linda Gilman

Barn Storming: My Wayward Hobby

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BARNS! BARNS! BARNS!

What is it about barns that fascinates me to the point of distraction? I’ll tell you.

When I think about barns and see barns, particularly barns that are near to falling down from weather and lack of upkeep, I think about that structure’s past.

When our country was young and just starting to spread to the west, besides a log or sod house, the next property improvement was a barn. Barns were as much a necessity on a ranch or farm as a source of water for pioneer families.

Barns sheltered animals, equipment, hay, and grain for the animals. In addition, there was another aspect to these
1619180buildings not related to toil or survival. They were sometimes a place for a social gathering. A place to have a barn dance.

Moreover, this is where my historical romance writing can let my imagination fly. I think of these barn dances and can envision a young couple sneaking off to the hayloft to have a first kiss – kissing like the kind that occurs in my debut historical romance, The Courtship of Utopia Miner.

During my barnstorming photo ops, I’ve come across a couple barns in rural Troy, Missouri that are century barns. The owners have kept the family farms for over one hundred years. They’ve restored their barns and preserved not only their family legacy but have kept a past of long ago days from perishing.

I’ve included a few of my barn pictures with this post, but if you’d like to see more, feel free to peruse my Barn Blog!

http://www.lindagilman.com/barn-blog

Tour Schedule

11/9/2015

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Book Adventures

 11/10/2015

 Hart’s Romance Pulse

 11/12/2015

 Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
Babs Book Bistro

 11/13/2015

 Nicole’s Book Musings
A British Bookworm’s Blog

 11/14/2015

 Fresh Fiction

 11/16/2015

 Spooky Girl Reads – You are here!

 11/17/2015

 Yah Gotta Read This
Romancing the Readers
Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions
RoloPoloBookBlog
Romance Junkies

 11/18/2015

 The World As I See It
Naughty Book Eden

 11/19/2015

 Country Gals Sexy Reads

 11/20/2015

 Evermore Books
T&L Book Reviews 

This blog tour made possible by:

KillionGroup_BloggerButton

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Guest Post: One Author’s Journey

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Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows. I was asked to talk a little about my journey as a writer, and if I might have some advice for anyone wanting to get into the business. If you’ve never had a chance to read my work, I hope you click on over to mikephillipsfantasy.com and check it out.

My journey into writing is not what you might expect. Most writers go to college to learn their craft. They earn degrees in English or literature or journalism. They set themselves on a certain course in life, writing as a career being the focus of those efforts. With me, that wasn’t the case. Though I have always loved to read, I pursued advanced degrees in math and science. I never had a thought of writing professionally, no less becoming a novelist.

Eventually, my studies brought me into Industrial Safety and Toxicology. Though I love my work and I get to help people doing it, I found that my creative side needed an outlet. At first, making up short stories was a way to occupy my mind while travelling. Soon enough, the stories would take on a life of their own, strange as it may sound. Like any reader, I wanted to know what happened next. The stories would always be on my mind, bothering me until I finished them. The only way to get a story out of my head was to write it down.

The more I worked, the more I found I enjoyed writing. I started to amass a collection of short stories. Many of them were fantasy and horror, my favorites, but I wrote across all genres because I was doing it solely for my own enjoyment. Then I got the crazy idea to write a novel.

Writing something of that length is a huge undertaking. The typical short story is somewhere around five thousand words, where most novels are over a hundred thousand. Keeping the details of characters, setting and plot straight boggle the mind. It was a challenge I was totally unprepared for. Well, I loved every minute of it. That novel turned out to be long enough for two. It was a crime novel and, unfortunately, not very good. Forever will it remain hidden in the dark recesses of my hard drive, but I learned a lot in the process. The idea for Reign of the Nightmare Prince was already taking shape. This project, I knew, was something special.

Publishing, however, isn’t what most people expect. Working as a safety engineer, my professional contacts are other engineers and business people working in heavy industry. They aren’t writers. None of them have a convenient “in” with a major publisher. Like so many outsiders, my work was often times rejected without even being read. My luck was about the same with agents. Unless you know someone or have some other connection in the publishing business, it’s nearly impossible to get noticed.

So you have to have a thick skin. You have to accept rejection as part of the deal. At times, you wish they wouldn’t have bothered commenting on your work. Editors have written me pages about how bad my writing is. It makes me wonder why. Can my writing possibly be bad enough to end the world as we know it? By some of the comments I’ve received, you might think so. My advice is to ignore the negative comments and believe in what you are doing. Some people are plain mean. Or maybe, you are doing something exceptional and they either don’t understand it or don’t like it for reasons that have nothing at all to do with your writing.

After many disappointments, Reign of the Nightmare Prince was accepted by a respectable boutique publisher. Before we could get it launched, however, they went out of business. That happened two more times before the book finally was published. The book didn’t do very well from a financial standpoint. I fault myself for lack of savvy when it comes to getting my work in front of people. It’s a great story, but I failed to connect with an audience, I failed to get sales.

During all this time I was writing. My work was getting better and better. I came up with my Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal characters and found great success in getting both series of short stories published in various outlets. By then, I probably had fifty credits to my name.

The book now entitled Dawn of Ages was ready to go, but was rejected by my publisher. Shortly thereafter, my third novel, The World Below was rejected also. I got the message. So I started looking for publishers again. After a month of trying, a publisher called Damnation Press and its sister Eternal Press offered to publish both. The World Below was released first and is doing very well. My next novel was Dawn of Ages. With my fourth book, Hazard of Shadows, I’m finally confident enough to totally invest my time with a series and hope to have a third Goblin King book out very soon.

Perseverance may be the most important attribute for writers in the modern age. With Amazon and eBooks competition is fierce. In some ways it’s harder than ever to find with an audience. Unless you somehow get lucky with a runaway hit, you are going to have to do more work promoting your book than writing it. But that can be fun too. Touring with blogs, I’ve met a lot of great people. Readers from all over the world have contacted me about my work. I feel lucky to have gotten to know some of them.

When it comes to writing, people say to write what you know or what interests you the most. That is certainly good advice. The fact of the matter is that material rewards for the majority of writers are few. There are only a handful of writers that support themselves in a reasonably comfortable fashion through their work. Personally, I like material comforts too much to embrace the life of a starving artist. Making money isn’t really the point for me. I enjoy the work. An increasing number of people like what I do. If I can do something I love and that makes other people happy too, well, then that’s really all I can hope for. Like everything else worth doing, writing takes time and hard work. My journey in some ways is just starting to get interesting. Stick with me, dear reader, and let’s see what happens next.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard of Shadows. Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com.