I’m thrilled to announce that WHISPERS IN THE CANYON has received a 5-star review from the Coffee Pot Book Club.

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“I didn’t want to kill him…”

But Russell Travers had already shot one man while he attempted to rob The White’s Station Bank, how many more would he have shot if Adam Donovan had not stopped him? Nevertheless, it does not take anything away from the fact that Adam killed a man, and now he has to break the news to Russell’s ailing father and wayward sister.

The dilapidated state of the Travers’ ranch comes as a surprise to Adam, as does the scrap of the girl who threatens him with a dirty Whitworth rifle. Adam had been led to believe that Jesse was a violent woman, but the reality in front of him, even if she did hold onto that rifle, negated the rumours. Jesse was not what he had expected, and that rifle looked so old and abused that he doubted it could even fire. No, Jesse was not what others said of her.

Jesse had cried when Adam told her that her brother was dead. But they were not tears of grief. They were tears of relief. For years, Jesse had suffered at the hands of her brother. At last, she was free of him, but his death hastened that of her ailing father, and Jesse finds herself all alone in a cold and unforgiving world, with a ranch that was falling down around her.

Adam cannot stand by and do nothing in the face of Jesse’s dire needs. His family rally around Jesse and help her to not only rebuild the ranch but make it profitable. And the more time Adam spends with Jesse, the more his heart tells him that this is the woman he was destined to be with.

Jesse had learnt long ago how futile hope was. She fears that as soon as Adam discovers what had befallen her by the hand of her brother, then he would leave, and she would be all alone again, and that she could not survive…

Whispers in the Canyon by Gifford MacShane is the emotionally evocative story of a young woman who learns how to trust and how to love after years of insufferable abuse at the hands of her brother.

Set during the 19th Century in Arizona, Whisper in the Canyon appalls, impresses and makes a reader swoon at the romance in equal measures. It has everything one could want from a historical romance and then some.

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Adam is instantly drawn to Jesse. He admires her bravery, but he also sees past the gossip and the rumours. He is a man who is confident enough to come to his own conclusions, and he has been taught to listen to his heart. I thought Adam was a wonderful hero. His patience and understanding were precisely what Jesse needed. Adam becomes Jesse’s constant in a confusing and terrifying world. I thought Adam was really rather wonderful.

Jesse is as broken as any soul can be, and yet her strength of character, her determination to rebuild her life, makes her one of the strongest heroines that I have ever encountered. The stigma that Jesse may have come across is tempered by the protective shield that the Donovan household wrap around her. Slowly, but inevitably, Jesse learns to trust her feelings, and to trust Adam. Adam is nothing like her brother, and often Jesse finds the difference staggering and somewhat confusing, as anyone would coming out of a very unhealthy and abusive relationship. Jesse and Adam’s story is a sweet and slow romance, with Adam ever mindful of what she had suffered. It was an enthralling love story that made this book wholly unforgettable and next to impossible to put down. Kudos, Ms MacShane.

Another character that deserves a mention is Katie. While Adam shows Jesse what real love is, his grandmother Katie helps to heal the scars that Adam cannot. I adored Katie, she is this wonderfully knowledgable lady who has a tremendously large heart. She takes Jesse under her wing, and along with Adam and the rest of the Donovans’, helps Jesse to heal. I thought Katie’s portrayal was marvellous.

The historical detailing of this story has to be commended. MacShane has taken considerable care to research the history of this era, and it shows through in her writing. MacShane has captured the very essence of 19th Century Arizona. Brilliantly written and fabulously executed.

Whispers in the Canyon by Gifford MacShane is one of the most compelling and moving historical western romance novels that I have ever read.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.

The Coffee Pot Book Club.

The Liebster Award

I got a big surprise a little while ago, when my blog was nominated for the Liebster Award by Vagabond Velda. I’m really thrilled that she considered my blog.

The Liebster Award is community-based, and qualifying blogs must have fewer than 300 followers. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and bring them to the attention of your readership and the Blogosphere.

Once nominated, you answer 11 questions about yourself or your blog, then give 11 random facts about yourself. The next step is to nominate 11 more qualifying bloggers for the award and create 11 questions for them to answer. Then you must visit each blog you’ve nominated and inform him/her about the award.

So here are the 11 questions from Vagabon Velda, along with my answers:

1.    What is the best time of day for you? Probably around 4 PM. I’m fully awake by then and have gotten all my chores out the way.

2.    Of everything on this planet what drives you bonkers? Cruelty. And willful stupidity: take climate change, for example. So many say “I’m not a scientist … “, yet refuse to listen to what the scientists have to say.

3.    What is your favorite pastime? Aside from writing, singing

4.    Are you living your dream, what is it? My dream is writing (so yes) and getting published (not yet)

5.    Make a list of inspirational moments? I think my biggest inspiration was my maternal grandfather. He was stricken with emphysema in his 40s, spent the last 20 years of his life confined to bed, but seldom complained and never stopped learning.

6.    What is your favorite color? Aubergine (deep plum purple, aka eggplant). Not only love the color but the name of it as well.

7.    Are you city, country or a suburb type of person? I’m a country girl at heart, but the seashore calls as well.

8.    Indoors or Outdoors? Outdoors, though with my Irish heritage, I have to be very careful about the sun.

9.    If you were an animal what would you be and why? A big cat: tiger/leopard/jaguar. I just love their playfulness and that big purrrrrrrrr …

10.    Tell me one thing that you love about yourself? Honesty.

11.    Why do you blog?  Two reasons: to bring to light some of the world’s forgotten history and music, and to introduce people to the manuscripts I’m writing.

Moving on to 11 Random facts about me:

1.      I often get correspondence addressed to “Mr.” MacShane, or even “Mr. Gifford”.

2.      I have fibromyalgia (and it’s a real bitch! Don’t believe everything they say about the drugs.)

3.      I have a fish tank full of Fancy Guppies.

4.      My husband is the Pied Piper of stray cats, and at any given time, we’ll have up to a dozen rescues and fosters. I named one of my cats Potiphar.

5.      I started my creative writing journey in 4th grade by writing stories about TV characters.

6.      I’ve been a New York Yankees fan since I was 6 years old, know some pretty obscure baseball rules, but can’t name more than a handful of active players who aren’t Yankees.

7.      I like poetry and the Oxford comma.

8.      I won’t eat mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, onions, or anything spicy.  I didn’t eat a pizza until I was 24 years old. (And yes, I was born in America.)

9.      I grow my own tomatoes organically.

10.    I dream often and in vivid technicolor.

11.    It angers me when people who profess to be Christian say they don’t want their tax money to pay for programs for the disadvantaged.

And these are the people I’m nominating, each of whom has inspired me in one way or another:

1.   Humanity’s darker side

2.   Jennifer Faulkner

3.   Clover America

4.   Embracing Romance

5.   From Kathleen’s Desk

6.   Jaded Pages

7.   Smart Mouth

8.   The Well-Thumbed Paperback

9.    Annette Bennet Watercolor Art

10.   Simply Silent

11.   The White Haired Shooter

Finally, the eleven questions for my nominees to answer:

1.  Are you a dog-, cat-, or fish-person?

2.  What’s the weirdest name you ever gave a pet?

3.  If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?

4.  Which season do you like best and why?

5.  Do you prefer shoes, boots, or walking barefoot?

6.  What’s the most romantic thing you ever did for someone or they ever did for you?

7.  What’s your favorite book?

8.  If you had to give up one food that you really like, which one would it be?

9.   What currently-living person do you admire most and why?

10.  Can you sum up your character in three words or less?

11.  And just for fun: The New York Yankees were the first pro sports team to assign PERMANENT numbers to its team members‘ jerseys. How many retired numbers do the New York Yankees as of today? (Note: it will probably change before the end of the year!)

Best wishes to all of you!