Raeann Blake (Author)

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Archive for the ‘Taming Clay’ Category

Taming Clay Turns 1 Year Old

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on April 26, 2013

Taming Clay

Whoa! It’s been a year? Seriously? I can’t believe that it was one year ago today that I opened the door and stood silently aside as I watched Clay, Hailey, Laine, Shack, and all the others venture out into the big, bad world all alone without me there to protect them. When I wrote all of these stories, including Taming Clay, I never realized that the day would come that I would have to let them go just like a child. Since Taming Clay was the first to leave the nest, it was especially traumatic for me. As long as they were right here with me, I could keep them safe. Nobody could make fun of them or criticize them. Nobody could ridicule their choices or try to make light of the reasons they are the way they are. And I know that there are bullies out there on the playground. I know that there are those who specialize in making sure that the playing field is not level. And I know that there are those who seem to have no purpose in life but to try to dig dirt out from beneath any kind of foundation you try to build. What I didn’t know was whether or not there was anywhere out there where they could find shelter, a place where they would be welcome with open arms and open hearts. But I do now.

I am so grateful for each and every one of the 65,293 people so far who have purchased either a print copy or downloaded a Kindle copy by buying, borrowing, or picking it up for free during a promotion. Thanks to each of you Taming Clay has landed on the Amazon Best Seller list more than once and is consistently listed as one of the top-rated books in the Western Romance genre for Kindle books.

Yes, the bullies are still out there. No the playing field still isn’t level. Who cares? All that matters is that I know that their story touched people. If an artist or an author can touch one person with something they created, something that came from inside of them, then what could be a better definition of success?  Over the past year, Clay and Hailey have received some horrendous reviews that I cried over, some middle of the road reviews that I shrugged my shoulders over, and some really rave reviews that made me dance around the room. I’ve since learned to read the bad and middle of the road ones, take what I can from them if they provide anything to be learned and then let them go. For the rave reviews, I still dance around the room, but I’ve also learned to keep my feet on the ground now… well, most of the time.

It’s been a wild year. There have been many ups and downs, a lot of starts and stops, and a lot of mistakes coupled with a lot of learning. There were many days filled with hope and excitement and a lot of days that were filled with wondering if I should give up. There were days when I thought I wouldn’t have any choice when my health took a drastic path and there were days after that when I didn’t think I wanted to do it anymore. But I am continuing. Josh and Cass in Red Says I Love You will be making that one year mark in a couple of months. For The Seven Brothers of Elko, Jake is patiently waiting for Davis to join them. As for Brinley patiently waiting… ummmm, not so much I think as I listen to her foot tapping in the background accompanied by the occasional “Oh, good grief. Just get on with it.” sigh.

Shush, girl. I’m working on it. So now I should get back to it. I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank each and every one of you and tell you how very much you are appreciated. I am truly blessed to have all of you in my corner.

Happy Birthday to Taming Clay, and Happy Reading!

Raeann

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Girly Books Blog Hop Winners & More

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on January 22, 2013

giftcorralGirly Books Blog Hop Winners

I’ve had so much fun participating in my first blog hop over the last few days. I spent some time jumping around myself to the other participant sites to read about locations around the globe. And I especially enjoy interacting with my readers and new visitors, too. For my part in the hop, I offered some great items from Montana Gift Corral as prizes plus 2 mini-bookmarks for Jake and Davis for each winner. I used Random.org to generate the winners list. Please join me in congratulating the following winners:

  • Celina K – Huckleberry Votive Gift Pack
  • Julie Darden – Gift pack of a Mooseberry Tea Tin, a Wild Huckleberry Boxed Votive, and Mooseberry Jam
  • Laura Horton – Super gift pack of an Inspiration Bear Track Mug, Cowboy Cafe Ground Coffee, and Huckleberry Cocoa Mix

Thanks to everyone for ‘hopping’ by to read about Montana and leaving your comments!

And now for more

Sales are still running high on both Jake and Taming Clay. I’m very proud, very humbled, and very grateful for all of my readers and those who have taken time out of their busy day to write a review or drop me a line to let me know they enjoyed the books. Just a few statistics at the time of this post:

Taming Clay

  • Amazon Reviews: 108 Total, Overall-4.4★,  68-5★, 21-4★
  • Currently is 20th Top Rated in Western Romance

Jake (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book One)

  • Amazon Reviews: 59 Total, Overall 4.7★, 49-5★, 4-4★
  • Currently is 8th Top Rated in Romance Series

About Davis

As most of you know, we are still shooting for a February release for Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two). That is still my hope, but I have to add a caveat. Although Davis is now sitting with the editor and proofreader, there is still work to be done on it by me and that is where the bottleneck is. I’ve had several weeks now of ill health and although I am better, I am far from well yet. I just wanted to let you know that I am working as much as I can at this point, but if we do have to slide the date over into March that it was never our intention and the fault lies with the nut behind the wheel. I just ask that you hang with us as I work through all of this.

Thank you for stopping by. Congratulations to the winners. And happy reading!

~ Raeann

Posted in Books, Taming Clay, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Girly Book Blog Hop – Location, Location, Location

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on January 16, 2013

Cowboys, Cattle, Horses, and Campfires

I admit it. I love Montana and I am convinced that I was born there in a previous life. There is a connection of spirit that I feel every time I cross that state line. My books will often take you there with some of them being either entirely or partially set there. Those settings are usually in and around Bozeman, including a side trip down to the fictitious “Crooked Creek” in Jake. I have to say that some of the books centered in Montana were written prior to my having visited the state. I did some extensive research regarding the environment, etc. Of course, the day did come when I put my foot down and insisted that I simply must visit to ensure that I had everything correct.

2331_1086872179173_1591_nOne somewhat eerie highlight of the very first trip was the discovery (quite by accident) of this establishment. The Seven Brothers of Elko series was actually in process at the time we made the first trip and I was right in the middle of the 5th book. If you have read the first book, you know it’s titled Jake and that Jake gentles and trains horses. Although ‘my’ Jake’s ranch is outside of Elko, Nevada, there is that connection to Montana that I mentioned before. How surreal it was to be driving down 191 from Bozeman to West Yellowstone and about 3 miles south of Big Sky, I swear this sign jumped right up and started waving at me. “Jake’s Horses!” Really??? To me, that coupled with the deep connection I felt to days and events long past was an affirmation that my writing was on track and I needed to keep going. (One of the “guides” wasn’t bad for inspiration, either! Why funny you should ask…yes, yes I did get a quick snapshot. You can find it below!)

Vacation 2009_3 947Few words evoke vivid images of days long gone as the name ‘Montana.’ Montana’s history is as rich and diverse as its topography which is roughly defined by the Continental Divide that runs on an approximate diagonal line through the state from northwest to south-central, splitting it into two distinct eastern and western regions. The fourth largest state and the largest landlocked U.S. state is home to the prairie lands of the Northern Great Plains on the east and the mountainous western region, most of which is geologically and geographically part of the Northern Rocky Mountains. The individual ranges that blend together as part of the Rockies have colorful names that add to the imagery for the perpetually imaginative among us. Names like the Absaroka and Beartooth ranges, the Cabinet Mountains, the Anaconda Mountains, the Missions, the Garnet Range, Sapphire Mountains, and Flint Creek Range bring sights and sound of mountain men and work-hardened cowboys carving out their existence in a hostile and unforgiving environment. To really find Montana, get off the Interstate. Find a quiet (not tourist-heavy) time to drive down and visit one of those ghost towns like Virginia City. Walk around and view the pieces of the past. Then close your eyes and listen. Can you hear them? There’s a big herd bedded down just outside of town in preparation for a big trail drive. The tinny sound of the old piano is playing inside the saloon over there. The laughter flows out past the swinging doors as easily as the beer flows from the taps. The hands from that herd are headed into town for their last chance to spend a little money from their pockets and a little time in the company of the women over there. They won’t have such a rich chance for a while and they don’t want to miss this opportunity. The unlucky ones who had to stay behind are either out watching the herd or gathered around a campfire, fingers wrapped around metal cups that hold hot, strong coffee to help ward off the chill in the air. The sights, sounds, and smells of Montana are all around you with the creaking of saddle leather, the clip-clop of the horse going by, the smell of… a diesel tour bus pulling up. Sigh!

Yes, it can be difficult to find a place where the tourists don’t roam more freely than the antelope. Along with the scenery, people from across the nation flock to Montana for blue-ribbon trout fishing, white powder skiing, hunting and wildlife viewing, the pristine lakes, and numerous national parks. And then you have the artists. Montana is to artists what Hollywood is to aspiring actors. If there is a medium in which any type of art can be crafted, there are artists in Montana who can make it happen. If you are there, don’t miss the “downtown” places around the state. Walk through any downtown street and you’ll find shops that carry a veritable treasure chest of the creations by those artists. You can find everything from paintings to handcrafted home décor, from exquisite jewelry pieces to sculptures fashioned from every imaginable material. Don’t miss the chainsaw sculptures, too.

Vacation 2009_3 909And once you have bought the t-shirts and all of your souvenirs, get out of town. Leave the tourist traps behind, head out on the back roads and set your imagination free if you want to see the real beauty of Montana. Travel Highway 83 up through the Flathead National Forest past Seely Lake and Swan Lake on your way up to Kalispell and Whitefish. You will find stunning and unspoiled majesty there.

If you get the opportunity to visit, don’t drive through it 70 MPH down the Interstate. Slow down. Look around. That’s thousands of years of history right out there on the other side of the window. And if you take the time and open the window to your imagination, you can hear it, you can see it, and you can feel it.

To celebrate Montana, I am giving away a few items that I would want to receive from the Montana Gift Corral, my favorite touristy souvenir shop in downtown Bozeman. Each of the three prizes will include 2 mini-“book cover” bookmarks for Jake and Davis, the first two books in The Seven Brothers of Elko series.

  • Huckleberry Votive Gift Pack
  • Gift pack of a Mooseberry Tea Tin, a Wild Huckleberry Boxed Votive, and Mooseberry Jam
  • Super gift pack of an Inspiration Bear Track Mug, Cowboy Cafe Ground Coffee, and Huckleberry Cocoa Mix

To enter for these prizes, just leave a comment on this post and don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact the winners. (Winners will be drawn at random.)

And if you get ready to take a trip to Montana, Taming Clay and Red Says I Love You are both set there, so drop by for a vist with Clay and Hailey or Josh and Cass. And, even though they’re officially in Nevada, find out how Jake and Brinley wind up in “Crooked Creek” in Jake (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book One). And here’s a little teaser. The whole gang winds up back in Bozeman in Davis: Book Two. If you haven’t read them, pick up your copies today. If you already have yours, snuggle up and visit them again.

Thanks for stopping by to check out The Girly Book Blog Hop! Click Here to enter the blog hop’s Grand Prize and continue “hopping” to other sites for their posts and individual prizes. Scroll down below the”The Ultimate Girly Books Goodie Package” entry form to find the links for all of the participating blogs. Let us take you away to new destinations where it’s all about “Location, Location, Location.”

Happy Reading!

~Raeann

Posted in Books, Just Stuff, Red Says I Love You, Taming Clay, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 77 Comments »

Taming Clay – FREE Dec. 8-9, 2012

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on December 7, 2012

Taming Clay

FREE Dec 8-9,2012

In the spirit of Christmas, I’m giving gifts this month. On December 8th and 9th, the latest edition and newly updated Taming Clay will be FREE for Kindle! And as of the time of this post, Amazon is showing the paperback version on sale for $13.49. Got a reader on your Christmas list who loves long, transformative, real romances that make them laugh and cry? Do they love sexy cowboys and spunky heroines? Then make sure they get a copy of Taming Clay for their Kindle this year.

The Blurb:

Surly didn’t begin to describe Clay Cardell. A lifetime of experience taught him not to love and never to trust, but he desperately needed a business manager. What he got was a spunky, high-tempered woman who tilted his world more than a little off-center. But if he had learned anything in his life, it was to not expect her to stick around. You don’t trust a woman, any woman, to not just disappear.

Hailey Lambert just needed a shot. Montana was a long way from New Mexico and she just needed one chance to prove she could do the job. She was warned that Clay Cardell would not be the easiest man to work for. After their initial meeting she thought they might have understated that just a tad. The fact that her heart did some kind of somersault when she first saw him didn’t really concern her. If she could deal with the man’s attitude, she could certainly deal with some little physical reaction. Right? Well… maybe not.

More Info:

Clay was raised in an environment where he never learned how to trust and he never learned how a relationship with a woman is supposed to work. On the outside, he was a sexy, work-hardened cowboy with a chip on his shoulder. On the inside, he was a naive little boy trying to figure out how to be a man.

Hailey was raised having to fight for everything she wanted to do. She’d fought so long and so hard that she didn’t know how to be any other way. She developed a chip of her own that caused her to flare at the first hint of anyone suggesting she couldn’t do something just because she was a woman.

Sparks fly when these two products of their environments face off against each other. Her perky attitude and sassy mouth were in direct contrast with Clay’s rough demeanor and harsh words.

Can Hailey keep up the fight long enough for Clay to learn how to love and how to trust? Or will those who want them both to fail succeed in keeping them apart?

Notes shared from Kindle readers:

  • I am so glad I found this book.  It is one of the best stories I have had the pleasure to read.  I Loved it!
  • I loved this book! These characters are so flawed it made them seem like real people. This is not your typical harps and flowers instant perfection book but it slowly develops in to a true love story!
  • I want to cuddle in my sleeping bag and read this.
  • I think I yelled at this book more than any other book I have read.

Most popular quote highlighted by Kindle readers:

  • Just as she turned the knob his hand on her arm spun her around and he pulled her into his arms and lowered his lips to hers in a kiss that picked up right where the last one left off.

Current Amazon U.S. Rating:

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • Out of 67 reviews, 41-5★’s and 12-4★’s.
  • Read the reviews!

Just a few of of my favorite quotes from reviewers:

  • Absolutely howled over her temper in private after remaining so calm during interactions with Mr. Yates.
  • The book took me through an emotional roller coaster. I laughed, I cried and some characters I thought should have been shot just because how awful they treated everyone. You will root for Hailey, and pray for Clay.
  • How Ms.Blake was able to pull off this guy being both Hot and Naive and Innocent all at the same time was what made this story so different than a typical Romance Novel. You couldn’t help but love him, while at the same time you wanted to smack him upside the head.
  • Wow….I loved this book from the beginning to the end! It had me crying, laughing and talking to the characters like they could hear me.
  • I laughed and cried and kept the Kleenex nearby, but the characters were wonderful, and I could actually see the Montana sky.
  • I laughed til I cried and cried til I had to laugh at myself for getting so emotional over a book.

Thanks to all of my readers and a special thanks to all of those who took a few minutes out of their busy day to share your thoughts about Taming Clay with all of us!

If you don’t have Taming Clay in your library yet, pick up your copy this weekend. And give your friends an early Christmas gift by telling them that Taming Clay is FREE to download to their own Kindles, Dec. 8-9, 2012.

Happy Reading!

~Raeann

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