About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Do you believe in love at first sight? Can it happen? More importantly, can it last over the long haul of the ups and downs of a relationship?

Throw in a few obstacles from the very first meeting of the hero/heroine, and the relationship becomes even more intriguing.

In my novella, EVERY GIRL’S DREAM, That's just what happens. EVERY GIRL'S DREAM is the opening story from A WESTERN SAGA (Victory Tales Press), and is now also available as a "dime novel" in the .99 gallery at WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER publishing.

Sheena McTavish, a young Irish girl, has been raped by the son of her father’s employer. Now, with a baby on the way, Sheena is given an unthinkable choice: give her baby to the father’s wealthy family to raise, or travel to New Mexico Territory by stagecoach to live with her aunt and uncle until her child is born. At that point, she will have to place it in a nearby orphanage.

Desperate to buy some time and protect her baby from its father, she chooses to travel west. Alone and afraid, she starts on the journey that will change her life forever. Before Sheena’s stage leaves, she meets handsome Army scout Callen Chandler. The attraction is there, for both of them, even under difficult conditions.

As the story progresses, Sheena must learn to trust again, and Cal begins to realize he doesn’t have to live the solitary existence he’s endured up to now. Being half Comanche has left him with no place in either world—white or Indian. When Sheena comes along, everything changes…for both of them.


I’ll leave you with an excerpt of EVERY GIRL’S DREAM.

Cal is a half-breed U.S. Army scout, who has just rescued Sheena, the heroine, from a Kiowa attack on the stagecoach she was in. They had met briefly the morning before, and as luck would have it, Cal comes upon the stage after the Kiowas have attacked and are getting ready to ride away with Sheena. He tells them he and Sheena are married and the Kiowas reluctantly let him take Sheena, but then…

Cal felt…something. His back tingled as he waited for the stinging burn of a shale arrowhead. He risked a glance backward, and saw the Kiowa leader’s stare heavy upon him.

“Sheena, hold on tight.”

“The baby—”

“I know, sweetheart. We won’t ride hard any longer’n we have to. Lowell’s Ridge is only about four miles away.” A very long four miles.

She nodded in understanding. “I’m sorry, Callen.”

“No call for that.”

“You came for me.”

He smiled at that. There was a small amount of disbelief in her tone, overshadowed by a huge amount of wonder. Who wouldn’t come for her?

“You could be killed because of me,” she said softly, as if she had only just realized it. She laid her hand over his, and in that moment, he wondered if dying for her would be worth the twenty-seven years he’d lived so far.

His heart jumped at her touch, then steadied. But as he risked another glance back, he saw exactly what he’d feared. Two of the braves were mounting up, and they weren’t riding the opposite way. “That still might happen,” he murmured.

He leaned forward, trying to protect Sheena with his body as he slapped the reins against the horse’s side, urging him into a lope, then a full-out run.

The Kiowas were close behind them. There must have been dissension among them. The leader had seemed content to let him take Sheena and ride away. One of the others must have disagreed with that decision.

Cal reached to pull his revolver from his holster.

They were strangely quiet, he thought.

The first bullet cracked from behind them, and Cal reflexively bent lower. The bullet whined past his ear like an angry bee.

Sheena gasped. He fired off a shot and got lucky. One of the warriors screamed in agony and fell from his saddle. But the other rode low, hanging onto the side of his mount. And he kept right on coming.

The next bullet sang over Cal’s head. He concentrated on eating up the miles to Lowell’s Ridge. Riding double was slowing them down considerably. Sheena’s body was tense beneath the shelter of his own. Fragile, but strong. Delicate, but determined. His hand splayed over her stomach, holding her close, cradling her from the jarring of their wild ride.

A whoop from behind them accompanied the crack of a rifle, and this time, the Kiowa warrior’s bullet found its mark. A bolt of fire seared through Cal’s right shoulder, and for a minute, the pain was so strong he almost sawed back on the reins. But at his harsh curse, Sheena glanced up at him, her hand instantly clamping tightly over his. The reins were still wrapped in his fingers, but Sheena kept her hand on his, reminding him to let the horse have his head and continue their flight for freedom.

“Hang on, Cal!”

The pain was so breathtaking he could do nothing but nod his understanding.

“Dammit!” she cursed. That almost made him smile, but the agony in his shoulder surged up and stole his breath again as the horse’s hooves pounded the ground below.

The road was not much more than a trail, and where it narrowed, branches reached out to scrape and snarl in hair and clothing, scratching their faces as they blindly rode toward safety.

As they broke through the brambles and low limbs into the clearing on the other side of the wooded section of road, Cal glimpsed the steeple of the church, then in a moment, the rooftops of houses.
He glanced behind him to see the Kiowa had stopped. He was taking careful, deadly aim with the Winchester he held. “Christ,” Cal muttered. “Keep down, Sheena.”

Be sure to leave a comment with your contact information in order to be registered for the drawing tomorrow evening! For this and all my other work, click here:

Friday, July 26, 2013


Hey everyone, welcome to CHRISTMAS IN JULY here at Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, Victory Tales Press, and Western Trail Blazer!

Here in Oklahoma, it’s been scorching hot, but not as bad as in years past. Every night on the news, we see that it was “only” 98 degrees as we sweltered walking to the mailbox and back, and only 5 years ago it was 108! So we have something to be thankful for, after all.

July is my favorite month of the year—probably because my birthday falls on the 28th and that was preceded by the Independence Day holiday, an occasion for our entire extended family to get together. But in between, there were lazy summer days of laying out on a quilt under the shade of our four elm trees with my best friend, reading books and drinking a pitcher of Kool-aid or lemonade.

So, speaking of reading, here are my “Christmas in July” offerings!My latest release, THE WISHING TREE, was included in the Victory Tales Press “A 2012 Christmas Collection” and is now released as a single-sell .99 short story! Even better? For the Christmas in July event, it will be offered FREE at Amazon today, Sunday, July 28. Here’s the blurb and the link!
~ A very special short contemporary romance setting by bestselling author Cheryl Pierson; a Christmas story enjoyable at any time of the year ~

Pete Cochran, a war veteran with both visible and invisible scars, is mostly a loner, rather than scare children. Then a special woman with a son walks into his life as he works at his father's Christmas tree lot – a woman with problems he can't ignore.

Maria Sanchez and her son Miguel eke out an existence on her part-time earnings, but share an abundance of love, except when terrorized by her drug addict relative. When she meets Pete, she sees him not as a frightening man, but a wounded hero returned from war. Her son seems immediately drawn to the unusual Christmas tree vendor.

Will a special tree – a wishing tree – contain enough magic to fulfill all their Christmas desires?



If you’d like to order the entire anthology, you can find it and all the other books and short stories mentioned below at my author page, here: https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

Other .99 Christmas themed short stories are: Homecoming, Scarlet Ribbons, Meant to Be and A Night for Miracles. Each of these are historical sweet to sensual stories, with a hint of a paranormal twist in them. Purchase them separately, or under one cover in the “A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS” anthology! This anthology is in print and digital format. Here are the blurbs for these stories:

~ A four-story Western collection from award winning author Cheryl Pierson ~

A Night for Miracles ~ Widow Angela Bentley takes in injured Nick Dalton and three orphans on Christmas Eve. Angela determines to keep her distance – until the children drag in a scraggly Christmas tree.

Homecoming ~ A holiday skirmish sends Union officer, Jack Durham, on an unlikely mission for a dying Confederate enemy. Will a miracle be able to heal his heart and reunite him with his beloved?

Meant to Be ~ Robin Mallory is shocked when she is tackled by a man in a Confederate uniform. A flat tire and a coming snowstorm have stranded her in the middle of a re-enactment – or is it?

Scarlet Ribbons ~ Persuaded by a vendor, Miguel Rivera ~ El Diablo ~ makes a foolish purchase—scarlet ribbons. Will they, and a mysterious meeting, set him on a new path?

My two contemporary Christmas short stories are The Wishing Tree, mentioned earlier, and White Christmas. The Wishing Tree is sensual, while White Christmas would be classified as spicy.

All of the VTP Christmas Collection anthologies are available both in print and in digital format, as well, and you can find them all listed on my author page, as well as all these other wonderful short stories and novellas. Don’t let Christmas in July pass you by—stock up now! Christmas is never out of season!

Many of my fellow authors here at PbRJV have some great Christmas bargains as well--you can go here for the entire list. There are lots of "free reads" at this link, too! http://rebeccajvickery.blogspot.com/

STILL not enough reading material? Take a look here, at the WESTERN FICTIONEERS BLOG. There are MANY excellent reads here for only .99, including the first volume of the Wolf Creek series "WOLF CREEK BOOK 1: BLOODY TRAIL" --a full length novel! Scroll down for a full list of great western bargains! Be sure to double check the prices--they should still be marked down, but it's always good to check before you click.

HAPPY READING!!! Don't forget to pick up your FREE copy of THE WISHING TREE!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas in July ~ July 24 - July 31

Once a year is not enough for Christmas and Winter Holiday decorations, movies, books and stories. Please join our authors as we post our Holiday book titles, share recipes & decorating, and discuss movies.

Maybe the fire is a bit much for our snow-people, but we want to get everyone in the mood for our Holiday books! 

And what would Christmas or the Holidays be without gifts?  Here are some presents we hope you will enjoy.
Click on the link beside the titles you want and grab a free read from our authors. 
Christmas Dessert Decadence (recipes): Smashwords 
Give it All You've Got by Linda Swift: PublishingbyRJV 
The Cattlemen's Ball  by Celia Yeary: PublishingbyRJV
Last Assignment by Les Williams: PublishingbyRJV
Death at the Whistling Swan by John D. Nesbitt: PublishingbyRJV
O'Halloran's Hell by Adrian Scott: PublishingbyRJV 
Deirdre by Miriam Newman: Smashwords 
The Trouble With Fishing by Rebecca J. Vickery: Smashwords Use Coupon Code: JD93E

New Additions to Gifts:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Linda Swift: 
Smashwords Use Coupon Code: XU33S [Sat & Sun only]
Let Nothing You Dismay by Linda Swift
Smashwords Use Coupon Code: BD95D [Mon & Tue only]

Please be sure to check within the comments as authors and followers will be adding links to other freebies, participating blogs, and fun links as well. Tell all your friends (and enemies too)! Beat the heat and think "Christmas in July"! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July! What Will You Do?

BY Celia Yeary

Greetings from the Authors who are affiliated with Rebecca J. Vickery and her independent publishing companies:

Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery



Western Trail Blazers



Romance Anthologies



The Fourth of July comes at the right time of the year. Imagine having the holiday in January! It just wouldn't be the same. The hottest part of the year is best. The citizens of the United States can get together with friends, family, and the neighborhood,  cooking out, swimming, partying at the park, and waiting for the evening's finale--fireworks.

My husband and I love the programs on PBS, such as A Capital Fourth. Music is a big part of our celebration. Also, we'll go see the movie The Heat, Sandra Bullock's new comedy. I love Sandra Bullock, and after seeing the new Star Trek movie last week when our grandsons were here, I'm reading for something a little milder...and definitely funny.

So, what will you do on the Fourth of July, 2013? Here are the plans of three of our authors:

From Author Linda Swift: My husband and I have been involved in July 4th activities for the past three days, including a musical stage show celebrating the holiday. And for the first time in several years we have nothing planned for the 4th. So we will stay off the highways, beaches, and out of the parks and just relax at home and watch the fireworks from our porch. And we will be thankful that we live in a free country and remember to be grateful to all the men and women, both military and civilian, who bear the scars or made the ultimate sacrifice to make it possible.
Author of a Civil War saga--THIS TIME FOREVER.

From Author Les Williams: Doing my morning workout-watching Independence Day in the afternoon-Grilling bacon wrap steaks and watching a capitol 4th on PBS. Nothing exciting.

From Author Karen Michelle Nutt: For the 4th: No picnics or long hours at the beach.
We're going to the movies with friends and the family to see the Lone Ranger!
Can't wait!
Author of: WANTED
Please leave a comment for us!
We'd love to know how you and your family will celebrate the Fourth!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY--JULY 25-31. The Rebecca J. Vickery authors will come together and offer free books--please mark it on your calendar, and look for the announcement!

Celia Yeary