Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Great Western Drive: The Best Of The Rest

So, is your To Be Bought List groaning yet? Can you handle more recommendations (and a contest)? Well I sure hope so, because I've got a few more to toss on to the pile! This is what I'm lovingly referring to as my "hodge-podge" post. My first two lists of recommendations had themes (Harlequin Historicals and Maggie Osborne). This one? Let's call it The Best Of The Rest shall we? For your consideration, some excellent westerns published by Berkley, Leisure and ::gasp:: Avon. Yes, Avon, home of all things England, used to publish westerns. Pretty damn good ones too. Here it goes:

A Reason To Live by Maureen McKade (out of print, easy to find used, available as ebook) - Lord how I love this book. And talk about emotional! Heroine is a widow who is suffering from post-traumatic stress because she was a nurse during the Civil War. Fearing that she's going crazy, she makes it her mission to deliver the last words of the young men she watched die to their families. While traveling she meets up with the hero who is desperate for any news about his son, who ran off to join the war effort despite his objections. Heart-wrenching, emotionally draining, and I savored every single word. Full Super Librarian Review Here.


Hope's Captive by Kate Lyon (in print!) - Yes, I know this is quite possibly the Worst Cover In The History Of The Universe. It's dreadful. But honestly, this really is an awesome story. Heroine is a former Kiowa captive, who was rescued by the Cheyenne and is now shunned by white society. When she hears the Cheyenne are being forced on to a squalid reservation she's desperate to get supplies to them. But she's still a woman (no matter if she is a "whore") and she needs a man to travel with her. Enter the hero (who is a white Army guy and not Native American - seriously ignore the awful cover!), who wants to hook up with the Cheyenne because he thinks they kidnapped his son. Wonderful history, great characters, great story. Full Super Librarian Review Here.


Mustang Annie by Rachelle Morgan (out of print, easy to find used) - Ah yes, a mythical Avon western. Four years ago the heroine lost everything she loved. It was then she started living the nomadic life of a horse trainer. The hero tracks her down and hires her to capture a wild (and randy!) mustang who is literally stealing his prized Arabian mares. He hires the legendary Mustang Annie expecting a crone and gets a beautiful, vulnerable woman instead. I read this story when I first moved across country to California, and swallowed it whole in one sitting. Sadly, I never did a full review for it, but you can find a half-assed one here.

You should all know the song and dance by now. Local library, ask librarian about ILL, blah blah blah.

And sadly, that is it for the recommendations! Do you feel bereft? Relieved? Well hang tight. Because tomorrow's post will be all about upcoming historical westerns that yours truly is looking forward to getting her grubby little mitts on.

Contest Alert!


Because she is the coolest, smartest, most awesome duck in the pond, Sybil landed four copies of A Reason To Live by Maureen McKade on a recent shopping excursion. Better still? She's giving me all four copies to give away on my blog! I will draw four winners from random commenters on any of my recommendation posts. (The one you just read, Tuesdays or Wednesdays). Winners will be announced Wednesday, August 26 (contest is open to non-US readers as well).

44 comments:

Marg said...

It's fair to say that I haven't read a lot of westerns. Most recent one that I read was by Linda Lael Miller so now I am trying to go back to the beginning of that series. I enjoyed the fact that the book I read was set just after the turn of the century. Still western but with some interesting developments at a time when lots of things were changing.

Leontine said...

Hi Wendy,
I already said it at Kristie's but love this week you're having together and as a non Western reader I will choose one book at the end of this week that will introduce me to the Wester genre.

Kristie (J) said...

A big hearty HERE HERE!! to the first two. I haven't read the third one but I now I have a reason to check out the UBS's again as I haven't read Mustang Annie

Emily said...

Dang it! I should have waited until the end of the week to track down and buy the recommendations. McKade's book sounds wonderful

Karen J. said...

You know, I haven't been into Westerns in years and had kind of forgotten about them. The last few posts have stirred my interest again. Now that I've read the recommendations through, I'm headed on over to my local public library page to ILL a whole bunch of them to read before school starts back up in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo, a give away!

Between yours and Kristie(J)'s recommendations, my
TBR pile is going to be huge. And I'm already broke
now.

Arani

maered said...

McKade's book looks very interesting. I hate it when war is glossed over by authors.

I haven't read too many Westerns but I have read many of Cheryl St John's. I love her books!

Thanks for the great recs! I'll definitely be on the lookout for these authors.

Joy said...

OK, you may have a convert here. I don't look for Western romance and the plots on the backs sound the same but you've come up with some titles that sound very readable. Count me in on the contest.

Lori said...

Don't enter me, as I have read it. Just agreeing with you. It so totally rocks...

Wendy said...

Marg: I really wish publishers were more open to books set in the early 20th century. I love the Edwardian period in both England and the US. The argument "against" them though is that WWI and the Great Depression were right around the corner, and both of those events were major downers.

Leontine: We're happy that readers seem to be enjoying this week! It's been a lot of work to put together, but also a lot of fun!

Kristie: I really need to reread Mustang Annie. One thing I've noticed with Avon westerns? I tend to read them in ONE sitting. People who know me know that I just do NOT do this. I remember really liking it at the time, and dang, I wish Avon would go back to publishing westerns. They used to publish some really frickin' good ones.

Emily: So you have the McKade already? I literally had no plans to do a giveaway of this title, but Sybil literally stumbled across 4 copies at an outlet mall yesterday. How's that for fate? LOL

Karen: I'm thinking all of these should be fairly easy to come by via ILL. And we're happy that some of the recommendations have caught your eye!

Maered: I loved the way McKade wrote about the war in this book. She doesn't gloss over it, and all the characters are dealing with some sort of aftermath from it.

Arani: Stick around. I've got another giveaway going live on Saturday.

Joy: As you've probably noticed by now - I tend to go for the real "emotional" western romance. Certainly there are "lighter" ones out there, even some humorous ones. But I tend to go for the stories that literally rip my heart out.

Wendy said...

Lori: It does rock! You know how slow of a reader I am - and that book I gulped down in 24 hours. And it only took me that long because I had to go to my stupid job - LOL

LoriK said...

A free book. Better yet, a free Western. Pick me! Pick me!

Seriously, after not reading many Westerns for years I've really gotten into them recently so I'm enjoying all the recs.

AnimeJune said...

Ooh! ooh! I do not have NEARLY enough Westerns on my pile - only an old Jo Goodman I got at a UBS. Your western drive is really getting me interested in the genre!

Andrea said...

I LOVE western Romances, I think it might be my fav genre. So glad that I was able to find a Reason To Live at Fictionwise today! Thanks for reviewing these new to me Authors
Andrea

CathyR said...

Oooo...I don't think I've ever read any westerns, but I have eyed McKade's book several times. It sounds good!

Lynette said...

Wendy, I loved your review of A Reason to Live. That's exactly how I felt when I read the book. The book is full of awesomeness and I was disappointed when I had to return it back to my library earlier this year. Unfortunatly the library system doesn't let you renew books forever! (what's up with that - LOL) Your Super Librarian, you should be able to change that!

Seriously, I just can't talk this book enough everyone needs to go out and read this book.

Samanthadelayed said...

I decided to honor the Great Western Drive and started reading "The Rebel and the Lady" last night. So far I am really enjoying it. Thanks.

azteclady said...

*throwing name in hat while ignoring the clamoring of the TBR mountain*






*thank you*

Mollie said...

Hope's Captive looks really interesting. So glad I discovered Hide-a-book (http://hideabook.com/) -- will definitely need it with that cover!!! Gah!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Wendy!

New to your blog, saw your contest on Lea's blog, so coming by to visit.

I haven't read many western, so I'd like to give one a try.

Thanks for a great contest!

Dottie :)

Wendy said...

LoriK: Glad you're enjoying the recs!

AnimeJune: Yes. You need more westerns :)

Andrea: I'm so bummed the McKade is out of print now, but I'm very happy that it's still available in e-format. Yippee!

Cathy: It is good! Says me :)

Lynette: We librarians are unreasonable like that. We like getting the books back! LOL

Samantha: I hope you keep enjoying it! Minions....I need minions!

AL: This book is full of awesome.

Mollie: I know! That cover is just....beyond words awful. And the worst is that it has NOTHING to do with the story inside. Like I said, the hero is a white guy and the heroine is a scarred former Kiowa captive. Girlfriend does not walk around with half of her clothes falling off!

Dottie: It's an awesome contest. Be sure to swing by and visit Kristie and Sybil as well! Links on my side bar.....

Victoria Janssen said...

Thanks for all the recs!

Amy M said...

I have read only a handful of Western novels. But all of the ones you have listed sound so good! I might have to change my habits!

Thanks so much
Amy M

Shaymless Aymless said...

Woohoo! Free cowboys. I'm so there.

Estella said...

I love westerns. Especially Linda Lael Miller and Stacey Kayne.

RachieG said...

I love western romances...something about a cowboy that can turn my tummy inside out. :) I've been reading a ton of Beth Williamson and Lorelei books this past month!!

rachie2004 AT yahoo (dot) com

Barbara said...

OMG, I'm in love with each and every one of those covers!!! Count me in for this contest!!!

Lyoness2009 said...

Loving western week. I hadn't read any for a while but this week I picked up a western yesterday because of this blog. :)

lyoness2009 AT hotMAIL **dot** cOm

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

I will admit to not reading a lot of westerns.. but I have in the past, and loved them. Infact, the first romance I ever read was a western, and I will never forget it. Thanks for the recommendations, and I hope I win one so I can get back into them!

Thanks!

Taja said...

Kate Lyon's Hope's Captive - I just wanted to chime in as another one to say it's a very good novel. Don't let the cover keep you from reading it. It's great that it's still in print.

Thanks for all the great suggestions. Now I just have to track down the ones still in print. *g*

Wendy, please don't enter my name into the drawing even if it's open to non-US readers. I have A Reason To Live in my tbr pile. No idea why haven't read it yet.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Mustang Annie sounds like a great story my best friend would love! She is a horse trainer too. I will have to point her in that direction.

Thanks
Miranda
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Maija P. said...

I sometimes read westerns. I really like Lorelei James. I have a few Linda Lael Miller books sitting my shelf. I've never read her... I hope she is good!

Wendy said...

I've been trying to respond personally to every comment - but dang, I'm really behind now! Thanks for stopped by everybody!

Barbara: You might be the only person I know who likes that Kate Lyon cover. You're such a clinch cover ho - LOL

Taja: Hope's Captive was a good story, wasn't it?

And to whomever mentioned Beth Williamson - I really need to read her! I've got one of hers lying around here somewhere ::rummage, rummage, rummage:::

Mari said...

I like Linda Lael Miller's books also. Lilly and the Major was one of the first romances I read.
Right now I love Beth Williamson and Bonnie Dee's westerns.

Virginia said...

I have read a few westerns and I do enjoy them. My father used to read them all the time and I think that is why I enjoy them.

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I haven't read westerns in a while.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

joder said...

I read Mustang Annie awhile back and really enjoyed it. Glad to see it on your list.

robynl said...

A Reason to Live sounds so interesting; what a mission to relay all the messages to their families. I love the cover.

please enter me and thanks.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

Virginia C said...

Thank you so much for The Great Western Drive! My heart lives in the Old West. I was raised on the great TV Westerns like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Big Valley & etc. My whole family watched those shows together. My grandfather was a great fan of Zane Grey & Louis L'Lamour. My heartthrob of all time is Sam Elliott, who has no peer as a Western star. I love historial romances set in the Old West of the mid to late 1800's. I often think that I lived in that time period and that is where I experienced the love of my life! I would love to win!
gcwhiskas @ aol.com

Mary G said...

Hi Wendy
Love your blog! I've always loved westerns - read all of Linda Lael Miller's years ago. Usually read contemp Westerns but Kristie J has hypnotized me again. Thanks for the great contest.

Maureen said...

I've only read one of them, Hope's Captive, and it was a great story. I will have to look for the other two.

tetewa said...

Haven't read a Western in awhile, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Kytaira said...

I've just added two emotional reads to my TBB list. Praire Wife and A Reason to Live. Thanks!

lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

Wanda said...

I haven't read a good Western in a long time but can imagine it being a wonderful read when paired with good romance!
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com