Best Selling author Carra Copelin writes contemporary and historical romance. The Texas Code Series, contemporary romantic suspense novels include Code Of Honor, Book One. The Brides of Texas Code Series, western historical novellas, explores the Texas Code Series beginnings. Katie and the Irish Texan, Book 1, Matelyn and the Texas Ranger, Book 2, and Angel and the Texan from County Cork, Book 3. Laurel:Bride of Arkansas, American Mail-Order Brides Series, Book 25

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Carra Copelin's Katie and the Irish Texan Free For a Limited Time

KATIE AND THE IRISH TEXAN, A Brides of Texas Code Series Novella, Book 1, is free for a limited time on Amazon and Apple iBooks. This book tells about Katie O'Donnell and Dermot McTiernan and their beginnings here in 1873 Texas.

Dermot McTiernan is determined to move on with his life after losing his one and only love to another man. He decides to try his hand at ranching in North Central Texas with his friend, Ian Benning. He figures if that doesn't work out, there are many other opportunities in the booming post-war state. When the luscious red-head from County Cork, Ireland shows up in Dallas, can he retain the courage of his convictions and move on without her?

Kathleen O'Donnell made a monumental mistake marrying, Kelsey Gilhooley. Her decision for entering the union, no matter how honorable, had made her life a living hell. Even though still married, she holds out hope for finding the man of her dreams. When she comes across her tall, dark-eyed Irishman in Dallas, Texas, will she be able to abandon happiness and walk away a second time?


Dermot looked around the room and its many patrons. Most were men dressed in black business suits. He noticed two women serving food and drinks, one a tall brunette, the other had red hair worn in a long single braid down the center of her back. He sincerely hoped the brunette served them because he wanted nothing else to remind him of Katie O'Donnell What-ever-her-married-name-was.
He closed his eyes to the memory and swore he caught a whiff of her scent. His imagination was playing a cruel trick. He thought to get up and leave, but before he could tell Ian he'd changed his mind about eating, a female voice whispered in a familiar brogue.
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."


Kathleen O'Donnell Gilhooley almost swallowed her tongue. The very moment she'd prayed for since the day she'd left Ireland a year ago had materialized, yet she wanted to run as far and as fast as she could. She'd hoped to meet Dermot McTiernan dressed in her best, but obviously the saints had other plans.
Hands shaking, she smoothed the humidity-laden curls back from around her face, and blotted the perspiration from her forehead with the hem of her apron. Trying her best to hide her nervousness, she stepped forward, shoulders squared. "Dermot, is it really you?"
"It would appear so, wouldn't it?" He stared past her to the window apparently fascinated by the activity on the street.
 There was no way she could've known how he'd react to seeing her for the first time in almost ten years, but his tone took her aback none-the-less.  She wondered if he'd gotten her letter explaining the circumstances surrounding her union with Kelsey Gilhooley.  From his reaction this morning, she guessed he hadn't. Either that or it hadn't made a difference.
Well, that was okay. They were here now and, hopefully, with time on her side, she could make him understand. "How many eggs for ye?"
Dermot's friend and the taller of the two by a couple of inches, spoke up first. "I'll have four, please."
Kathleen waited patiently for Dermot to speak. He took so long, she wondered if he'd gone mute in the last minute and a half.
Finally, he lifted his head, looked her straight in the eye but spoke to his companion, "Ian Benning, this is Katie O'Donnell."
"Pleased to meet you, ma'am." The man stood, offered his hand in greeting.
She shook his hand, correcting her name, "Kathleen Gilhooley, 'tis my pleasure." She directed her attention back to Dermot. "Will ye be havin' four eggs, as well?"
After turning in the order, she checked on the pan of biscuits she'd left cooking in the oven. She'd placed them in to bake just before going out to help Sarah take orders. Normally she liked to help out in the dining room instead of being cooped up in the over-heated kitchen. This morning, however, turned out to be a different story.
Following what just happened in the dining room, she certainly questioned her decision to leave her homeland. She might've expected anger when they met, discomfort to be sure. What he'd exhibited had been much different. He'd been distant and sullen. That scared her more than any outburst.
She put two biscuits on each plate and took them to the table. The man introduced to her as Ian, thanked her. Dermot said nothing until she grabbed the pot and poured each of them a cup of coffee. The hurt and betrayal in his eyes wounded her far more than any physical injury she'd endured in her marriage to that drunken monster Gilhooley.
As she turned to walk away, he grabbed her hand demanding, "What're ye doin' here?"
His tone set her off and, while she knew it wasn't rational, that he was trying to defend himself by making the first strike. But she'd learned to protect herself, too, and rose to the bait. "'Tis a free country and I can be here if I want." She backed away in an effort to pull her hand from his grasp, but he only tightened his grip.
"I want to know why you're here," he demanded through clenched jaws. "How could ye've done such a thing to me?"
Ian stood. "McTiernan, calm down and let her go."
"I'll let her go when she gives me a good answer."
Kathleen looked about the large room in a panic. Every one of the café's patrons watched the scene with interest including the owner, Mr. Browder, who was walking in their direction. She feared what Dermot might say and she needed this job to keep her room above the establishment.
"Can we talk outside?" she pleaded. With one last great tug, she wrenched her hand loose but the motion sent her reeling backwards into the table behind her where she sat in a plate of fried eggs and a bowl of strawberry jam. A couple of gentlemen, their mouths agape, helped her stand, after which they returned to their seats. Her face heated with humiliation, she straightened to face her boss.
"Mrs. Gilhooley, please return to the kitchen. I'll handle the situation from here." He turned to Dermot and Ian. "I apologize for the interruption to your meal. Let Sarah or me know if there's anything else you require."
Kathleen entered through the kitchen door, as Mr. Browder aided the diner who'd lost his eggs to her backside. The whole incident had been embarrassing enough without having to sashay through the dining room with bright yellow yolks streaming down her green skirts.
Mrs. Browder waited for her with a wet soapy rag. "What in the world caused all that commotion?"
"A reunion with an old friend that didn't go as well as I'd hoped."
"I see."
Sarah came into the kitchen carrying the customer's empty plate. Her look was one of wary amusement. "Mr. Browder said to replace Mr. Smith's breakfast right away."
 Kathleen took the egg soaked rag from Mrs. Browder and, while the older woman fussed over cooking the gentleman's eggs, she found she didn't care if her dress could be saved. She really didn't even care if she lost her job.
The only thing that mattered to her more than her livelihood or a place to lay her head at night was Dermot. She had to talk to him and make him understand she'd married to ensure a good future for her parents. After that, well, she didn't know yet but, being the optimist she was, something was bound to turn up.

I hope you're able to pick up the first in the series. Buy links are below:

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Carra Copelin's New Western Historical Book Release

WooHoo! Just in time for Christmas, the second novella in the Brides of Texas Code Series, MATELYN AND THE TEXAS RANGER, is available on Amazon and Apple iBooks.

Overcome by the death of his wife, Ian Benning leaves his small son in the care of best friends, Katie and Dermot McTiernan. He rejoins his old outfit with the Texas Rangers to keep his mind off the loss of his only love, Emma. His assignment takes him to Galveston on the Texas Coast in pursuit of a group of bank robbers, and to the middle of a horrific hurricane.
Matelyn O'Donnell accompanies her employer, Veronique de Marceau, from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas to reunite Veronique with her cruel and conniving husband, Gerard. Introduced to Ian Benning while aboard ship, Matelyn dismisses him as a criminal in cahoots with Gerard. When their ship is capsized from the vicious winds and waves in the Gulf of Mexico, Ian Benning rescues her from certain death.
Will she accept that he is undercover and help him bring de Marceau to justice? Will she be able to ignore her overwhelming attraction to this lonely, distraught man? Can Ian tuck away his deep feelings for his lost wife to keep from losing this beautiful, feisty dark-haired beauty?  

  Later that evening, Ian joined John on the porch after supper. He liked John and had great respect for the man. It seemed they were of a kindred spirit, almost as if they'd been friends all their lives.
"We did good getting the roof repaired this afternoon."
"Sure appreciate your help, Ian. Having the house back in order will go a long way toward helping Nancy feel safe again."
He took the cigarette John offered, lit it, and looked out over the yard at the neighboring houses. Some were occupied with candle light glowing from the windows. Others were abandoned and dark. "Soon as I can, I need to ask the ladies what their plans are. If Veronique is truly a widow, she'll need to decide what she wants to do. She may have to go back to New Orleans to settle de Marceau's estate."
Drawing deeply on his cigarette, John nodded, slowly exhaling the white-gray smoke. "That's a distinct possibility. She'll probably have to reconcile his assets in the state where he filed the will."
Ian glanced toward the house as the screen door opened. Matelyn and Nancy came onto the porch carrying a tray. He stood, grabbed another chair, and scooted a crate to the middle to act as a table.
John took the tray while the women seated themselves. "What've you gone and done?"
Giving her husband a knowing smile, Nancy said, "I know how you love my apple crumb cake and I so want normalcy back in our lives." Reaching for the knife, she cut several slices. "We were able to salvage enough from the pantry to make your favorite dessert."
"I thought I smelled the oven earlier, but figured my mind was playing tricks on me." Ian accepted his share. Gazing at Matelyn, he tasted a bite. He hadn't eaten anything this mouth-watering since Emma's pies or Katie's biscuits. "Thank you, ladies, for your efforts."
"This was all Nancy," Matelyn said, picking at her slice with her fork. "While I can sew a fine seam, I'm afraid I can't boil a potato."
Placing her plate on the tray, Nancy cut another slice each for John and Ian. "We discussed this while at the hotel this morning. Matelyn will sew new dresses for the women who've lost their belongings if Mr. Hollis will donate several bolts of fabric and patterns."
"That's quite an undertaking. Are you sure you're up to it?"
"Yes," Matelyn said. "We've been so blessed, it's the very least I can do to help."
"It was all Matelyn's idea." Nancy beamed. "She approached Mr. Hollis and he agreed."
"Well, I think you're biting off more than you can chew, but if you're determined—"
"I am."
Ian studied the dark haired beauty closely. She sat ramrod straight, her blue eyes determined, almost belligerent. Ian covered a laugh with a cough. Instinctively, he knew if he laughed that'd be a mistake. He'd encountered fierce Irish pride before. While she looked nothing like her cousin, their personalities were practically identical. The only difference being, where Katie was quick to ignite, Matelyn's embers glowed beneath the surface waiting to be stoked.
A sudden urge to stir those coals caught him off guard. He cleared his throat but his voice sounded ragged when he spoke. "Let me know if I can help you."
"I will."
As if Nancy sensed the tension between them, she stood, stacked the empty plates and picked up the tray. "We should follow Veronique's lead and rest up for tomorrow."
Standing with them, Ian held the door until they'd gone inside.
John prepared to follow behind them. "You ready? We'll be starting early."
"You go ahead.  I'm going to sit for a bit longer."
"Sleep easy."
After John went in, Ian sat back in the chair, stretched out his legs and propped his boots on the porch rail. While the thought of a bed called to his aching back, he couldn't bring himself to face the new found urges that lurked behind closed eyes. Emma had been gone barely six months. He had no business having wants and desires. Thinking of another woman, no matter the reason, wasn't conducive to his job either.
He had to get his head back into the pursuit of de Marceau, Captain Jones and the crew. He just couldn't shake the feeling they weren't dead. What happened to them and where they were was anybody's guess at this point. He and John had an impossible task ahead of them. He wondered, not for the first time, if Veronique could shed some light into her husband's behavior. So far he'd been unable to get a good read on her. What had been the relationship between her and her husband? Perhaps he'd stop by the hotel tomorrow and make more of an effort to know her better.
Thinking of Veronique brought on thoughts of Matelyn. Exactly where he didn't want to go. Dropping his feet from the rail, he stood and stretched the kinks from his back. He needed to sleep. Needed to turn his mind off, let his sub-conscious help him concentrate on the case, not Matelyn O'Donnell. As he turned to head upstairs, he knew he was only kidding himself.
* * *
Tired of staring at the ceiling, Matelyn gave up trying to sleep. Events of the past few days fought for space along with worries of their tenuous situation, their safety and the task of how best to aid the people of Galveston. Thoughts of Katie occupied a corner, too. Had word spread that far about the hurricane? If it had, there was no way to let her cousin know they were all right. She'd promised to send a telegram as to her approximate time of arrival in Dallas. With communications down, that wouldn't happen any time soon.
She decided, since everyone had turned in ages ago, she'd slip downstairs to have another bite of Nancy's crumb cake. Maybe doing something other than thinking would quiet her head. The house felt like an oven. With the high temperature and not even a hint of a breeze, she didn't bother with her wrapper. She'd be back upstairs long before anyone stirred.
Matelyn couldn't remember when she'd tasted anything so good. The cake practically melted on her tongue. Covering the pan with a towel, she returned it to the back of the counter.
"It's good, isn't it?"
She spun around at the sound of Ian's voice. Her left hand flew to her throat and she bumped against the counter's edge, while her right fisted the lace neckline of her gown. "Oh, good Gussie," she scolded, her heart racing. "Ye startled the stuffin' right out of me!"
Reaching out for her, he grinned. "I'm sorry. With these clodhoppers I call feet, I assumed you heard me walk up behind you."
He might've been remorseful, but he still wore that lopsided grin. Skirting his grasp, she backed toward the doorway. Embarrassed he'd seen her in her in her night dress – again, and mortified she'd been caught sneaking cake. Truth be known, she'd been so involved in eating that bite of heaven, she doubted she'd have heard a thunder clap. "Well, I didn't."
"Matelyn, I apologize."

"Good night, Mr. Benning."

Buy links are below. 

I hope you can check out this new story. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!