Tag: Beth Williamson

#DFRAT Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): Beth Williamson

Posted June 17, 2012 by Holly in Features, Giveaways, Promotions | 12 Comments

Help us welcome Beth Williamson! She’s here to celebrate her latest release as Emma Lang, Endless Heart.

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It’s All in the Bytes

What’s in an e-book? It’s all in the bytes. ☺ As an author and reader, I’m a huge proponent of e-books. I’ve been published with e-books since 2004 – amazing to think I’m almost been 8 years! I feel like a mason who has carefully built my career up one brick at a time, one e-book at a time.

My journey began with lots of rejections, as many do, from the large publishers in New York. I didn’t know much about e-books or small print publishers, but I decided to find out. I paid for an editorial review of my second full-length novel, The Bounty, and after eight years of careful crafting (wince), I found a publisher. Liquid Silver Books published The Bounty in 2004, much to the delight of the author.

I was so excited and did my best to promote myself, stumbling and bumbling around in Yahoo groups and forums. When my first royalty statement came, my stomach was full of butterflies. Could I quit my day job? Could I pay off debt?

Um, no.

Much to my disappointment, my first month’s sales were in the neighborhood of 20 books. It was an eye-opening experience and to be honest, a huge letdown. I mean, where were the throngs of readers to rescue me from my mundane life?

Well, they didn’t know me yet. One small e-book does not a career make.

I kept at it though, and published two more with LSB before I got my first novella contract with Loose ID, then a full-length novel and three novellas. My career continued to grow. However, I realized there was only one thing that was going to allow me to reach my dream of being a full-time author.

Writing every day and really hard work. I found the more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. I pushed my own limits, finding all the things I could accomplish if I simply let my imagination run wild. And run wild it did – I wrote sensual, sexy, erotic and even a bit of kinky stories.

In early 2006, I met Crissy Brashear, who owns Samhain Publishing, along with Sasha Knight who has remained my editor with Samhain since. I republished The Bounty, and its two subsequent books in the Malloy family series, The Prize and The Reward. When I first held The Bounty in print, I rubbed my hand across the shiny cover, breathed in the scent o’ new book, and knew I’d made one giant step on my journey.
Since my meager start in 2004, I’ve published twenty-two novels, eight novellas, and half a dozen short stories. Many of them are in print now and I have three main publishers including Samhain, Kensington and Berkley.

I’m not a Cinderella story by any means. I’m more like just plain Ella, cleaning up the cinders and working my butt off one page at a time. I love what I do and realize that without that first e-book contract, I would not be where I am today. When I found out I had been nominated for a lifetime achievement award in Erotica from Romantic Times twice (2009 and 2010), I could hardly believe it.

Yet here I am, with more than thirty published works, and I smile because it all started with a byte. Digital books are finally arriving as the medium of choice. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Beth Williamson, who also writes as Emma Lang, is an award-winning, bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her books range from sensual to scorching hot. She is a Career Achievement Award Nominee in Erotic Romance by Romantic Times Magazine, in both 2009 and 2010.
Beth has always been a dreamer, never able to escape her imagination. It led her to the craft of writing romance novels. She’s passionate about purple, books, and her family. She has a weakness for shoes and purses, as well as bookstores. Her path in life has taken several right turns, but she’s been with the man of her dreams for more than 20 years.
Beth works full-time and writes romance novels evening, weekends, early mornings and whenever there is a break in the madness. She is compassionate, funny, a bit reserved at times, tenacious and a little quirky. Her cowboys and western romances speak of a bygone era, bringing her readers to an age where men were honest, hard and packing heat. For a change of pace, she also dives into some smokin’ hot contemporaries, bringing you heat, romance and snappy dialogue.
Life might be chaotic, as life usually is, but Beth always keeps a smile on her face, a song in her heart, and a cowboy on her mind. 😉
To learn more about Beth Williamson, please visit www.bethwilliamson.com or send an email to Beth at beth@bethwilliamson.com.

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Beth has offered a copy of Endless Heart to one lucky commenter! Say hi for a chance to win!

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Guest Review: Unbridled by Beth Williamson

Posted August 8, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Unbridled by Beth Williamson

For as long as Alex could remember, life had taken everything from her. Her father abandoned her and her dying mother, only to return upon her mother’s death – with a new wife – to reclaim the family’s Wyoming ranch. Alex’s rage drove her away to Los Angeles to live with a man who could never satisfy her. 

Only after ten years does she come home – and she hits the town with a vengeance, unleashing her pent-up lust on willing cowpoke Connor Matthews. But she’s in for several shocks. It turns out that the ranch is now a resort, that her late father split the estate between Alex and her young half brother, and that Connor – the bucking bronco she wants in her bed – is running the place. 

Now, Alex is torn between accepting both a new family and a lover who can give her everything she needs, or selling out to a smooth-talking neighbor and leaving the last behind her. But only when her life is on the line does she realize what she desires more of all.

All of us know that human experience can bring a wide range of emotional challenges into our lives, all the way from ecstatic joy to deadly depression.  We also understand that often the people who we trust the most can disappoint us the worst.  Perhaps it is safe to say that there is no worse betrayal than that of a parent toward a child, a youngster who is hurting and vulnerable from other circumstance.  So it was with Alex Finley, the heroine of our story, who not only got left with the full responsibility of taking care of her mother who was dying of breast cancer, because her dad was unwilling to face his wife’s illness or his responsibility to keep his vow:  in sickness and in health.  The last month of her mother’s life was horrific and filled with her mother’s  painful pleas that her daughter and friend would put her out of her pain.  What a “trip” for a 16 year old teen.   Now, facing the death, the responsibility of those final funeral arrangements, the burial, the last good-byes–Alex’s dad shows up at the funeral with a girlfriend on his arm, a woman he has met in Denver where he had taken up temporary residence.   Alex’s anger and sense of betrayal knew no bounds, and as soon as the funeral was over, she took off in her mother’s old broken-down Buick, hightailing it for So. California, where she somehow managed to survive and thankfully met an older man who took her under his wing.  It was not a sexual arrangement;  David was for Alex all that her father should have been–providing emotional support, food, shelter, and eventually an education as an accountant.  However, upon David’s untimely death, greedy for his huge estate, his relatives escort Alex off the property with only the car David has given her and money she has managed to save working for him as his accountant for eight years.

So we have a wounded woman, old wounds and new ones added, and she is now returning to Wyoming to the Finley Ranch, the only place she has to go.  Hoping somehow to make peace with her father, she drives straight through only to discover that her dad has been dead for two years, and the home she had hoped to find has now been turned into a “guest” ranch resort.  Alex now is convinced that her dad not only withdrew his support and love 10 years earlier, but has now stolen her home and any hope of recouping some stability and closure in a life that has so-far been a bust.

This novel almost reads like a Greek tragedy where a bad story only gets worse.  It does indeed seem as if this woman is facing the anger of the Fates and her future is bleak indeed.  However, even as she is informed of her father’s will giving her half of the ranch–providing she remains on the ranch for a year–and she discovers that the girlfriend eventually became her stepmother and that she has an 8 year old half brother, there are teeny tiny evidences that her dad did remember her, did remember important things about her, and that there are clues that perhaps she was more important to him than she formerly believed.

This story could be characterized as an all-out assault on the emotions of the reader.  With her usual flair, Ms Williamson has crafted this story with its edgy and flawed characters so that they become real, with the story reading more like a episode in history instead of fiction.  It embraces the fast-paced life of Southern California and expands into the huge open spaces of Big Sky Country and the plains and ridges of Wyoming.  The reader is acutely aware of Alex’s deep hurts almost from the beginning, and I felt as if I was assuming the position of a cheerleader as she passed the town limits of her home town, or rounded the bend and saw the ranch for the first time in 10 years, or found her father’s favorite horse still remembered her, or formed a very tentative bond with Daniel, her half-brother.   There is never any doubt that she needed to relent in her fierce anger and grieving over her abandonment, both physically and emotionally 10 years earlier.  But this story wants us all to face the need to not only forgive those who hurt, who manage to make a complete mess out of situations through their selfish actions or unthinking decisions, but also to forgive ourselves for the actions and decisions that often complicate an already bad set of circumstances.  There is great friendship and loyalty here in the persons of Alex’s two friends who take her in after David’s funeral, who share their love and friendship for her in one night of beautiful menage loving.  There is betrayal and disappointment as Alex faces the flaws in her dad, his failure to love her and her mother enough to wade through the horrors of death with her.  But there are also opportunities for renewal and rebirth and reclaiming one’s heritage, not only as a Finley, but as a person who can love and be loved, who can accept life’s blows and still manage to live triumphantly, not as one who is “under” the circumstances.

I read this book in one sitting.  It claimed me from paragraph one and moved me through this compelling story almost as if I was being pushed and shoved by a huge earth moving machine.  In a culmination of over-the-top writing, a plot that can be successfully expanded and which formed the foundation of a beautiful love story, and characters who are strong enough to stand on their own, Ms Williamson has given her faithful readers a contemporary Western romance that will blow you out of the water.  I just can’t find anything about this book that I didn’t like.  Suffice it to say, that for those who have fallen in love with her American Western historical romances, this novel will be different only in its time frame, but it still bears the mark of the expertise of one of our best romance writers.  You would do yourself a favor to buy and read this book.  

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Gideon by Beth Williamson

Posted June 22, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Gideon (Devils on Horseback #5) by Beth Williamson.

Handing over the reins is hard. Handing over his heart…damn near impossible.
Gideon Blackwood is on the run—from Tanger’s meddling matchmakers. With no intention of following the rest of the Devils down the aisle, he heads for the hills to reassess a life spent leading and caring for others…and runs smack into the business end of a shotgun. At the trigger: a curmudgeonly woman with a broken axle and a load of responsibility.
In Chloe Ruskin’s experience, men take what they want and leave a mess of trouble behind. The safety of two orphans and her granny is at stake, and the last thing she needs is Gideon’s “help”. This time, though, she has no choice but to allow the big cowboy to fix her wagon.
As they work into the night, grudging admiration grows into attraction—and desire. Gideon finds he can’t dig his boot heels in hard enough to avoid falling for the opinionated little female.  When Chloe’s family disappears, her suspicion threatens to destroy any spark of love before it catches fire. Gideon finds himself making promises his pride won’t let him break—even if it costs him the love of the woman who owns the missing half of his soul. 

Throughout my reading “career” and my love affair with books, I have to admit that the American historical romance didn’t rank very high.  Back in the 70’s I encountered a wonderful series of novels that spanned the entire history of America’s beginnings by John Jakes, and that got me started.  Then about 18 months ago I first read work by Beth Williamson and decided that American historical romances had far more going for them than I first realized.  I actually “inhaled” the first four books in this series and was delighted when this fifth book appeared recently.

Perhaps the winning factor in these five books is that Ms Williamson has concentrated her stories during the years immediately following the Civil War, a time that many contemporary readers have little knowledge of and which has really been sort of passed over even in history studies.  It was a hard and dark time in our nation’s history;  it was a time when families were destroyed because of divided loyalties, homes and farms and factories were destroyed and there really was no work;  a time when the nation paid dearly for the damage done to the soldiers who did survive, not an easy task during that particular war where over half a million Americans died on our own soil.  Out of this millieu has come these five men, soldiers of the Confederacy who, when they finally got home, found that their homes and families had been destroyed by Sherman’s March and there was nothing left for them.  Banding together as they had done throughout the War, they styled themselves “Devils on Horseback” with the goal of becoming mercenaries to local law enforcement in the Western territories, most specifically Texas.

Four of the Devils have now found their spouses, some have children, but all have gone down the road of domestic bliss.  Not Gideon.  Somehow he has held himself aloof from the rituals of courtship and marriage, finding female companionship briefly as needed, but concentrating on his business and helping his friends.  He is a man of honor and caring, but he isn’t really in the market for a bride.  And so he runs, hard and fast, as quickly as his horse can carry him, out of the town and down the road to spend some time with one of the other Devils, Nate.  Little did he realize that the Fates had stationed Chloe Ruskin right smack dab in his path and he was about to go on an adventure the like of which he had not encountered for some years.

Gideon is a really nice guy!  But he stands out like a sore thumb in many old Western settings because of his rather elite upbringing and education, and his aristocratic bearing and manner, and his way of dealing with people that is left over from the five years in command as a Confederate Army captain.  All these qualities don’t help him at all in the estimation of Chloe, the daughter of a Virginia dirt farmer, a woman with little formal education, but one whose love for her family supercedes all else.  Her suspicion about the true nature of men in general certainly doesn’t help Gideon at all, as his qualities as a person, his way of addressing her and dealing with her confirm that she is a “low life” in his opinion.  Yet they are thrown together through a set of circumstances that force each to become aware of the deeper qualities and true humanism in the other.  Their situation plays out like a series of “MacGiver” episodes or, if you prefer, a Greek Tragedy.  Yet through it all is Chloe’s determination to do right by her family even if it costs her own life, and no matter how frustrated and irritated Gideon may be, he remains true to his upbringing as a Southern gentleman.

This is really a story about the meeting of two cultures, of how two individuals who seemingly have nothing in common are bound to one another by a common goal to survive and to insure the survival of Chloe’s family.  In that process both Gideon and Chloe are forced to change, and the surprises that pop up throughout the story keep the reader’s interest engaged and the ending was, at least for me, a shock.  Yet all goes to demonstrate the sterling quality and inner strength that Chloe possesses, and how even though Gideon is well and truly sidetracked from his original destination, his sense of honor and need to be who he was pointed him in a different direction when it was all done.

Lovers of Beth Williamson’s stories will like this book and those who enjoy American historical romances will find this a first-rate addition to their libraries.  Williamson brings a wealth of writing experience to this task, and she always encapsulates her stories in superior research and knowledge of the historical time-frame.  I appreciate the fact that even the editing of the narrative is superior to many books I have encountered recently.  Most of all, I like books that not only entertain and, in the case of romance fiction, massage the libido, there is also an educational quality to historical novels that make them a favorite form of reading.  You can’t find one any better than this.  If the reader is willing to encounter characters that don’t necessarily fit “the mold” then you will like Gideon and Chloe and the cast of characters that surround them.

I give this novel a 5 out of 5 rating.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Samhain Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 18, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 9 Comments

Hi there,
It’s a busy week at work for me this week but hopefully when I get home each night, after the kiddles are in bed, I’ll be able to get some good reading time in. Either that or I’m gonna fall flat on my face from exhaustion – I guess we’ll see! lol  I do get Friday off so it’s only a 4 day work week – woohoo!
It was partly a lazy weekend for me and partly a cleaning weekend. I think I should have cleaned til I dropped on Saturday and relaxed on Sunday but I did the opposite. My youngest daughter has a bed that can be raised or lowered and we’ve had it in the lowered position since she got out of her crib. Now that she’s 8 I figured it was about time to raise it. I had no idea how much work I was getting myself into taking that damned bed apart and putting it back together. Damn that was hard! lol And when I took the bed apart I discovered all the toys and books that had mysteriously made their way under the bed all these years. She has no idea how that happened. Hmmm, I wonder! 🙂 Anyway, her room looks great because I couldn’t just stop with the bed but had to go through everything and pack up and donate all of those toys she doesn’t play with any longer. I have no clue how she fit all that crap in her room because it’s really pretty small.lol
Don’t forget to sign up for my Blogiversary giveaway – you have until Friday, the 22nd at 7pm (pacific)
Also, if you like Brenda Jackson I’m giving away 3 copies of her upcoming release, Inseparable. You have until Friday the 22nd at 7pm (pacific) to enter.
My first read for the week was a historical western by Beth Williamson called The Education of Madeline. I read this one for my TBR challenge review which I was a week early in posting! Oops. But it was a really great book and I’m glad I read it. I’m currently waiting for my copy of the next in that series to arrive so that I can dig into it. I don’t read many historical westerns but this one was really great. This was about a “spinster” woman (age 32) who wanted a man to teach her about sex but there was so much more going on in the story. You can read my review here if you’d like. 4 out of 5 (This one also qualifies as a Tracy’s TBR challenge read since I’ve had it so long.)
Next was A Marriage of Inconvenience by Susanna Fraser. This was kind of a love quadrangle. Lucy gets engaged to her cousin Sebastian but when they head to Sebastian’s sisters wedding they meet James and Anna (siblings) who are the neighbors. James and Lucy hit it off as do Sebastian and Anna. What will Sebastian do about his secret engagement to Lucy when he really wants Anna? A really good story that had me wanting more. This was the story of all 4 characters but we find out more about Anna and Sebastian in another book that was written prior to this one. This go up on The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when the review posts. 4 out of 5
Next up was another book for The Book Binge – Navarro’s Promise by Lora Leigh. Book 24 in the series and I thought I’d read everything about the Breeds but Lora Leigh managed to find another way to have the mates mating…or not. It was a pretty good story but I had some issues with the editing as well as the love aspect of it that I felt was a bit lacking, imho. You can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5
Written in Stone by Viviane Brentanos was yet another book I read for The Book Binge (yes I was trying to catch up!). I liked the writing of this story and it was definitely emotional and at times heart wrenching but there was a certain aspect of the book that I just couldn’t fully believe and it really bothered me at the end of the book. A man who feels that his soul mate – this woman he comes upon by chance in a park and they spend time together as just friends – but he’s “on a break” from his partner. You see he’s gay but yet he’s fallen in love with the woman, but he still loves his partner. Can he be happy with a woman for the rest of his live or does he stay with his partner? This was definitely a book that got me thinking. I’ll let you know when my review posts so you can read more. This one had a split rating. Writing: 4.25 out of 5 and the HEA (or not) 3 out of 5
I picked up Victoria’s Got a Secret by HelenKay Dimon while at RT. I like HK’s books and liked the True Vows series that I read last year so I thought I’d give this a shot. I’m so glad I did. This is definitely my favorite of the True Vows series that I’ve read. The story was about Jennifer and Paul who met when they were in square dancing in PE when they were 15 and started going steady. They stayed together for years breaking up and getting back together. This continued until one day they split for what they thought was for good. The story tells about their lives and the issues they had but they never forgot the other. I did wonder about Jennifer’s decisions more than once but hey – you can’t change real life like you do fiction! lol The thing I think I liked most about this book was the writing. In the other books I got more of a feeling that I was just having a story re-told to me but this felt more like a romance novel and I didn’t get the squicky voyeuristic feeling I got with the other books. 4.25 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Regina in the Sun by RG Alexander. This is the story of Regina who is an Unborn (a vampire who was “made”) who heads to a Sanctuary to try and get help for her “family” which is a group of Unborns. She meets her mate, Zander who is a Trueblood (born vamp), at the Sanctuary and their bond is formed almost immediately with the saving of the family taking place in the second part of the book. Because the mating takes place so quickly I found myself not particularly caring about either character and finding out if I thought their mating was a good thing or not. The sex scenes were smoking but in the end the book was just ok for me. 2 out of 5
My last read for the week was Unveiled by Courtney Milan. I talked to Miss Milan at RT and told her that I had bought the book but hadn’t read it yet and she was all that was kind and signed a book plate for me. I wish now that I had read Unveiled prior to meeting her so that I could have gushed about how much I loved the book. Ok, maybe it’s a good thing that I hadn’t read the book yet so I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. The story is about a self-made man, Ash, who is determined to make his brothers’ lives the best they can be. He is trying to take a dukedom from his distant cousin by proving bigamy and ends up falling in love with the daughter of the current duke. This is a really great book. I absolutely loved Ash and wanted to read more about him, even at the end of the book. His love, Margaret, had her moments when I wanted her to act differently but for the most part she was pretty great too and I loved them together. Just a fabulous read. 5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson

Posted April 13, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 7 Comments

Plum Creek, Colorado 1872
 
The Right Man Comes Along 
Madeline Brewster practically owns Plum Creek, Colorado. But at thirty-two, she knows she has missed any chance for happiness. Until she finds a tall, strong, handsome Irishman on the wrong end of the hangman’s noose. Suddenly this unconventional woman comes up with an outrageous idea . . .

Teague O’Neal has rugged cheekbones, tousled black curls, and eyes as blue as the sky, even if he is caked in Colorado mud. The men insist they caught him horse-thieving, and there’s something desperate about him that says he’d do anything for a buck.

Maybe it was pure chance, or maybe it was something more that brought Madeline and Teague together. But one thing’s clear, between a woman who has just about everything she could ever want, and a man who’s lost that and more, they might find something in between worth living for.
Madeline hears about a man being hanged and she doesn’t want the opportunity to see the horse thief in person to pass her by. She immediately heads over to where the man is about to hang and talks both the sheriff and the judge into letting him live temporarily since there’s no definitive evidence to say that he indeed stole the horse. She offers to be in charge of him for 1 month until the owner of the horse can return from a trip he’s on.
But Madeline wants more than a ranch hand. She wants a man to teach her the ways of sex and the huge Irishman is just the guy to do it. Once Teague O’Neal cleans up he’s a good looking man who makes even 6 foot Madeline felt petite. She proposes to Teague that he teach her lessons in “love” and that she will pay him. He’ll do almost anything for a buck but sex? That might be pushing it. That just makes him feel like a whore. The problem is that almost instantly Teague and Madeline feel a connection, a sexual tension between them and they can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other.
But there’s more to Teague than meets the eye. He’s connected to the sheriff as more than just a horse thief and he’s on Madeline’s ranch for more than work. Some of the people of Plum Creek have it in for Madeline and they’re determined to bring her down. When Madeline finds out what’s happening she’s just as determined to not only defend herself but to bring the evil-doers of Plum Creek down instead.
I’ve had this book, as well as others by Ms. Williamson, for quite a while. Why haven’t I read them? I don’t know! lol Western historicals aren’t really my go-to genre but after reading this one I will definitely be reading more from her soon! (I also got my days mixed up and thought today was “post your TBR Challenge review” day. *pssst* that’s not til next week.)
I really liked this story a lot. I love that Madeline was strong enough to stand up for herself and go after what she wanted. She was truly a great character and I loved seeing that – especially because of the time period the book was set in. Then Teague – wow. He was just…lickable. lol He was drawn as this huge man but he really had a good heart under all of that muscle and I very much liked who he was. He had been through some really hard times and had punished himself for deeds that were out of his control for so long it was nice to see him finding a place that he felt comfortable and beating some of his personal demons back.
The “Education” part of the title of this book was muy caliente, let me tell you. Teague gave Madeline lessons about intimacy, sensuality and sex that were smoking hot. I really appreciated that fact that these lessons were interspersed in the story so that they fit so well with Madeline, Teague and everything else that was going on. I didn’t feel like any of the sex scenes were gratuitous.
Overall a really great historical western romance story. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series soon and of course all those other ones I have as well.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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