Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Behind the Scenes: 2016 Publishing Plans Update

Back in January, I outlined on another blog my 2016 plans for publication. Things didn't go quite as I had thought they would, though. As always, life happened, and shiny things came along and . . .

I stayed on track for the first planned effort. I released a novel, The Zion Trail, on February 19, followed on March 25 with the print edition (yes, there was enough reader demand for a print version). This book features Julia Owen’s first cousin, Elijah “Lije” Marshall, and is the first novel in a trilogy labeled “Promised Valley.”

From there, things got interesting.

Instead of letting me finish and publish Mended by Moonlight and purchase a cover for a story featuring “gloves” so it could appear, other Characters horned in and gummed up my plans by demanding their time in the spotlight. So . . .

Wes and Lonnie Haught got their moment when I released the novella Blood at Haught Springs on May 27. These Characters have no relationship at all to the Owen Family. They live in frontier Texas. This is the first of three works in the “Men of Haught Springs” series. The ebook contains two bonus short stories, Cottonwood Cowboys and No More Strangers.

With Mended by Moonlight still unfinished when the calendar approached July, I chose to publish Faith and the Foreman instead, which is a stand-alone novella that was first seen as part of the Old West Collection, A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 9 from 2014. These Characters are also unrelated to any of the Owen family, as they live in frontier Arizona. A bonus story, The Usual Game, is also set in Arizona, in the early days of Statehood.

Then somebody mentioned in a review their displeasure that the book they’d read from The Owen Family Saga seemed to be out of order. I agreed. I’d had my struggles with putting Gone for a Soldier as Book 5 in the series, since chronologically, it is Book 1. I decided the best way to address the problem was to publish the books of the Saga in chronological order, as one huge ebook. I polled several of my author friends on whether I should do such a project, and they thought it was a great idea. On September 30, I released The Complete Owen Family Saga as an ebook. All the favorite Characters from the series are intact. Sales so far have validated the idea of publishing this box set containing the five Owen Family Saga novels in the best reading order.

I don’t know if I will publish anything else this year. I am working on three projects at the same time, bouncing back and forth between what I presume is a novel, a novella, and a non-fiction project. If I finish one of them before the year is out, it will be published. Otherwise, 2017 is right around the corner!

In the meantime, to get purchase links to your favorite online vendor for all of the above books, go to the Simple List at the Bookshelf on my website.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fresh Book Friday - The Complete Owen Family Saga

Yay! It's Friday, and I'm launching a book!

Title: The Complete Owen Family Saga
Author: Marsha Ward
Genre: Historical and Western Fiction

Publisher: WestWard Books
Date of Publication: September 30, 2016

Initial Price: $2.99 (ebook formats)
Regular Price (Monday, Oct 3, 2016): $6.99

Book Description:
Marsha Ward did not write the five novels of The Owen Family Saga in order, but there is definitely an optimal reading order, and here it is in one grand box set collection.

The Owen Family is headed by Rod Owen, with his wife Julia at his side to hand him a daily dose of love and humility. The sons and daughters are fun-loving and a bit rowdy, but intensely loyal to God, Virginia, and family. Not even the Civil War and its hardships can quell their spirits, but in quiet times, the losses seem overwhelming. Journey with them and their neighbors to Colorado Territory and beyond for action, adventure, and romance.

Rulon — April 19, 1861

Rulon Owen hadn’t intended that crisp Friday in April to be momentous.

In fact, when he’d saddled his horse in order to do an errand in Mount Jackson for his ma, he hadn’t given much thought to anything but stealing a few moments to see Mary Hilbrands.

She was only a little bit of a thing, a girl with dark hair and eyes that shone like... well, they kind of smoldered nowadays whenever she looked his way. Those smoky dark eyes gave him a shaky feeling that spun his head in circles and tied his gut into knots that—

“Whew.” Rulon realized he’d let the horse slow to a walk while he’d been off in a reverie, somewhere not in Shenandoah County, as far as he could tell. He got the horse loping again, and wished it was already a year from now. Mayhap folks wouldn’t get their tails in a twist about them keeping company once Mary turned sixteen in May next year. He was almighty tired of Ben and Peter, and especially of Pa, accusing him of trying to rob the cradle because he’d taken such a shine to the girl. Yes. He’d concede that she was young, but when she spoke his name, his knees felt like they was composed of apple jelly.

Ma sides with me, he thought. Pa was the true cradle-robber of the family when the two of them wed. Him twenty-four. Ma barely sixteen.

He wasn’t likely to throw his opinion on that subject in his father’s face any day soon. Firm. Formidable. The entire county used those words to describe his father. Rulon shook his head. Receiving back-sass from his offspring did not sit well with Roderick Owen. But at age twenty, Rulon hadn’t taken a licking for a long spell. Maybe Pa’s gone soft in his old age. That’s likely, now that he has nigh onto forty-five years pressing him down.

Rulon rode on, wondering what to do to get his father off his back on the subject of Mary Hilbrands. It’s time I ask Ma to say a word to Pa, he determined at last. She won’t let him ride me once I begin to court Mary in earnest.

He slowed the horse to a walk as he entered the town. Ahead, he spotted his brother Ben pulling sacks of grain out of a wagon parked in front of the mill where he’d taken employment over the winter. Glancing up, Ben saw Rulon, and stopped to raise his hand in greeting, a big grin splitting his face.

Rulon drew rein and halted. “Brother Ben.” He clasped the outstretched hand. “What makes you so happy today?”

“I am put in a smiling mood from seein’ you with that enraptured look on your face. Can’t wait to thrust your hand into the cookie jar, huh?”

Rulon snorted at Ben’s fancy.

Ben kept on talking his nonsense. “Oh yes, indeed. You’re an enchanted man, spellbound and smitten, ready to do that girl’s bidding.”

“Speak for yourself, brother.”

Ben laughed and said, “Give my best to Miss Mary,” then smacked Rulon’s horse on the rump, which caused it first to shy and then to run.

After a block atop the runaway, Rulon regained control of the animal. “Heartless boy,” he grumbled, his face hot with humiliation. He settled the horse down to a sedate walk once again as he proceeded on his errand.

As he came in view of Mr. Hilbrands’ store, he saw a crowd of excited men, some coming, and some going. Some were running. Running! What was amiss?

He drew up and dismounted. As soon as he had his feet on the ground, a friend of Pa’s shoved the newspaper from Harrisonburg into his hands and bid him take it home. Slapping him on the back, the man ran down the street.

Rulon watched the man’s hasty departure, then looked at the immense black headlines of the special edition. WAR. He read the subtitles interspersed with the text on the front page. Ft. Sumter surrenders. Lincoln calls for troops. Via. Conv. votes to secede. Ratification vote in May. Counties raising Companies. Defend the Homeland. His heart went cold at the urgency of the words. It soon rebounded, and began to beat at a rate he’d not experienced many times in his life. He looked up from the paper, his breath as quick as his heart rate, and made a decision. Feeling the cogs of his life shuddering to a halt and then changing direction, he strode into the store to put his plan into action.

Purchase Links for ebooks:
Smashwords all formats | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple iTunes Bookstore

Author Bio:
Amazon best-selling author Marsha Ward writes authentic historical fiction set in 19th Century America, and contemporary romance. She was born in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, in a simpler time. With plenty of room to roam among the chickens and citrus trees, Marsha enjoyed playing with neighborhood chums, but always had her imaginary friend, cowboy Johnny Rigger Prescott, at her side. Now she makes her home in a forest in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to hear from her readers.

Find Marsha online:


Join Marsha's Readers Mailing List to be notified of new releases: Click here

Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Cover Reveal!

As I told you on Saturday, I've been working on a project that needed to be put together: an electronic box set of the five novels of The Owen Family Saga, in chronological order. I felt this was the best way to enhance the reading experience for future readers of the series . . . or fans who want a fresh perspective on the family.

To tie the books together, and to make them correlate more closely to the work I am writing right now, I re-wrote several tidbits of scenes as I went through the five novels: Gone for a Soldier, The Man from Shenandoah, Spinster's Folly, Ride to Raton, and Trail of Storms. The new words don't change any relevant action or the plot. They smooth out a few attitudes, bring clarity to the overall timeline of events, and enhance family relationships.

This box set will be released later this month.

Without further ado, I give you the Cover of The Complete Owen Family Saga:

I know. You can hardly wait, right?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Special Project Coming

Last month, I spent a lot of time thinking about my published work and all the future stories I have to tell. I wanted to organize the work into easily identifiable categories. That's when I decided that The Owen Family Saga was complete.

Yes, I have many more stories to write about members of the Owen Family, but as I said back on August 9, there is going to be a gap of several years in the chronology before another story begins.

So I called a halt, capping the series at the five existing novels, and then went a giant step farther and changed the suggested reading order. Since I made those decisions, I've been working on a special project. I'll tell you more on Monday, when I do a Cover Reveal. See you then!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...