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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day on the Oregon Trail with P. L. Parker

Hello and Welcome to a special Saturday Spotlight. My featured guest today is friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author P. L. Parker. Patsy is here to chat with us about her time travel book
But before she arrives, here is a blurb and excerpt:


An antique ivory locket catapults Aimee Reynolds back to the year 1847. Alone in St. Louis, Missouri, she has to find a way to get home to present day Seattle. She needs a suitable male willing to marry her or be left behind when the emigrant train departs for the Oregon Territory.

Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, is the perfect, if unwilling choice. Undaunted by his overt rudeness, Aimee entices Jake to the alter, promising her diamond earrings as payment for a marriage of convenience. Properly wed, she secures passage on the wagon train, and discovers her future may be in the past.


“Sure you don’t want to take me up on my offer?” Jake’s teasing was old.

“You wish!” She huffed and stalked out, forgetting to check the hallway first and banged into a boarder walking by. A lascivious leer devoured her, replacing the boarder’s previously blank expression.

“Looking for cus
tomers?” He smacked his bulbous lips, reminiscent of an overeager suckerfish. “I just might be interested.”

Her shoulders drooped in disgust. “You are soooo sickening.” She glared at him. “How about you get out of my face before I ream you a new orifice?”

Startled, the man’s mouth flew open as he gaped in surprise.

Jake stepped into the hallway and lowered his voic
e to sound ominous in the ensuing silence.

“The lady was just returning to her room. I suggest you do the same.”

The hapless man barely glanced at his threatening stance before he scurried down the hall. Jake’s lips twitched. He couldn’t blame him. He’d made the same offer more than once today. But, damn, if she wasn’t a feisty piece of woman. At least she hadn’t threatened to ream him a new orifice— whatever that was.

“Thanks…again! Seems like all I do is thank you for one reason or another.” Aimee hesitated, appearing unsure. Her vulnerability stirred deeper feelings in him, making him uncomfortable.

“I’ve h
ad more creepy offers from more creepy men in one day than I’ve had in my entire lifetime!”

“If you keep running around in your underclothes, it’s pretty much what you can expect.”
He followed her across the hall. “Stay in there and don’t answer the door, and if anyone bothers you—scream. I’ll hear it.”

She slipped into her room and pivoted, staring up at him. “Why are you helping me?”

And here comes Patsy, so sit back and enjoy the show!

As the emigrant train makes its way across the wide open prairie, a herd of wild buffalo and bison graze in the grass. The pioneer spirit of the Wild, Wild West is palpable as the covered wagons chug along the Snake River. Someone fires a rifle, sending the bullet ricocheting into the crystal blue horizon. With a screeching halt, the train comes to an abrupt halt and P. L. Parker steps off, donned in Aimee’s antique ivory locket.

Sharon: A warm welcome for P. L. Parker. Welcome, Patsy! Come sit around the campfire. Kick your cowhides off, sit a spell and let Oliver wait on you hand and foot. Oh, Oliver! We’re ready for refreshments.

Oliver struts out grinning, costumed as Buffalo Bill. He tips his hat at Patsy and hands her a beer and a bowl of caramel popcorn.

Patsy: Oh boy! The cowboys just get better looking all the time. Hope my husband is taking care of the mules – especially that big mean one, Jack.

Sharon: Ah…Oliver…ah…Buffalo Bill…I’m feeling a bit parched over here. Did you forget my brewskie? And where’s my chips? You do remember the auction, don’t you, the one I keep threatening to sell you to the highest bidder? One of these days, Oliver…one of these days!

Oliver, ignoring Sharon, his boss, leans down and plants one on Patsy’s lips. Might I be so bold as to have your autograph, Ms. Parker?

Patsy: Uh, sure. Give me a minute to find my brain, er, I mean my pen.

Sharon: Go away, Oliver. Go rustle up some grub or someth
ing so I can conduct my interview with Patsy. Now shoo! So Patsy, tell me about Aimee’s Locket. It’s another time travel, but this time, it transports you back to the Oregon Trail. Do dish about the premise of this book.

Patsy: Aimee is a modern girl, living in Seattle. She buys a locket from an antique store in Pike's Market. Shortly after, she faints (she thinks) and ends up landing on her face in a pile of horse dodo in 1847 St. Louis. Alone, penniless, all she wants is to go home. Enter Jake, wagon train scout, gorgeous, rude and very interested in the whore who lands at his feet. He offers to pay for her services for the evening, numerous times. When he finally realizes she isn't a bawd, he takes pity and helps her. Unfortunately, he is bound for the Oregon Territories. Aimee is terrified. What is she going to do? With no other possible alternative, she begs Jake to take her with him, offering him her diamond earrings in exchange for a wedding of convenience. After some soul searching, Jake agrees. They marry and the long journey begins. Jake and Aimee experience the first stirrings of passion, then love. But Aimee can't give up on her dream of returning to the present.

Sharon: And what about the research? Did you find it easy or difficult to find facts about something that took place well over a century ago.

Patsy: Actually, I've always had a real interest in the Oregon Trail. I grew up in Idaho, then moved to Huntington, Oregon. Parts of the trail wind all around that area. Right outside Huntington, there is a spot where
a family bound for Oregon finally met their maker. They were set on by Indians outside of Massacre Rock (by American Falls) and made it that far on foot before the Indians killed the rest. The bones were so decalcified from starvation, it took a lot of time and digging to find them. Sad story, but there were a lot of sad stories along the trail. Some of the events in Aimee's Locket were taken from my family history. Charlie Tuttle's experiences with lye soap was one such utilization of family history.

Sharon: Interesting.
So tell us a bit about your main characters, Aimee and Jake.

Patsy: Aimee is a young college-age woman of the present, studying to be a teacher. Her red hair accentuates her feisty and determined nature. Jake is a hard working guy, a gentleman when needed, and ultimately Aimee's savior. He is nothing like the men she usually dates. She liked men who bent over backwards to please. Jake is nothing like that. He is a man, not a kid.

Sharon: That’s a unique spelling of Aimee. Where did you come up with that?

Patsy: I tried different versions, but found that spelling most interesting. Aimee's Locket is dedicated to Ami Russell of TWRP, who was my editor when I first started there. Unfortunately, she left before we began the edits on Aimee's Locket, but Patricia did a wonderful job. I learned a lot from her.

Sharon: What a lovely way to show your appreciation. Now you write time travel
books and you do them so well. Have you tried your hand at any other genre? And if so, what is your source of inspiration? A book, movie or favorite author?

Patsy: I finished a manuscript on a vampire story, Absolution, and my next idea is a science fiction story, which I already have working in my mind, just not on paper yet. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan. Never miss one of their books. I love the paranormal, so it’s a perfect genre for me. Heart of the Sorcerer was almost stepping out of my comfort zone as is the last manuscript, Absolution.

Sharon: What do you think about the Wild, Wild West and the open
frontier? Would you, P. L. Parker like to be transported back in time to that era in history?

Patsy: Nupe – nev
er in a million years. I like my TV, my hot bath at night, all the conveniences of modern life. I would make a terrible emigrant. They'd shoot me and leave me by the wayside to quell my whining and then they'd have to break my cold dead fingers to leave me behind.

Sharon: LOL Patsy! You and me both. Here comes O
liver with dessert. With a sweeping bow, he presents two caramel ice cream Sundays, brimming with whipped cream and nuts. Drooling, he dips the silver cattle spoon into the ice cream and feeds Patsy.

Patsy: Oh YUM! Umm
mmmmmm, my taste buds are quivering with anticipatory delight. Another bite please, Oliver. I've died and gone to heaven.

Sharon: All right, Oliver. But Oliver snags a guitar from the ground and breaks into a chorus of Home, Home on the Range. The deer and antelope run for the hills, keening.

Sharon: All right, Buffalo Bill, go away! So, as we were saying….So what’s next for P. L. Parker?

Patsy: That wasn't so bad, Oliver. Trying humming. I am currently finishing a sequel to Riley's Journey, titled (maybe) Journey to the Dawn. I've had so many readers from all over the world sending e-mails, wanting to know what happens to the people in Riley's Journey, so I'm almost finished with that. Going very well and my dear husband, Jack (like the mule) says it's my best one yet. It was fun revisiting the Ice Age and continuing the journey. I never planned on that, but glad I decided to do it.

Sharon: You know what’s coming u
p next. I adore superstitions and consider each new one a cherished gift. Can you share one with me?

Patsy: I always "knock on wood." Even if I don't have wood to knock on, I say "kno
ck on wood." Silly, but seems to work. Hee hee.

Sharon: And here comes your train to transport you back home. But before you leave, can you tell me if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could star in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And last but not least, who would you want playing your romantic hero?

Patsy: I love Idaho, I've been around the United States, but I always come home. I would love to live in Cascade, Idaho, near the lake and surrounded by trees. If I could star, it would be on a tropical island, with a summer cooler in my hand, watching the young studs walk by in their thong bikinis. Oliver, Oliver, are you there? My romantic hero would have to be played by Johnny Depp – who else?

Sharon: Thank you, Patsy. It’s been a pleasu
re. Where can readers buy your books and get in touch with you?

Patsy: My web page is, my blog is I also have a myspace page, All my books are available from The Wild Rose Press,, Fictionwise,, and most on-line bookstores.

Just then, Unchained Melody plays on the radio by the Righteous Brothers. Buffalo Bill draws Patsy into his arms, gazing into her eyes as they dance the night away…

In my real life, I'm a legal assistant with a downtown law firm in Boise, Idaho.
I'm married. I have three sons, ages 35, 28 and 16 (a mine and ours situation). I'm married to my best friend, soul mate and best fan. Besides the houseful of men, I have a darling almost 3 year old granddaughter, Tannis, who lights up our lives, two huge male cats, Flip and Sam, and a toy poodle, Biddy, who rules the animal roost.

I currently have three novels in print and e-book, Fiona, Riley's Journey and Aimee's Locket. I also have a short story, Heart of the Sorcerer, and a Free Read, Prophecy's Bride. I will also have another Free Read coming out in the near future, Songbird.


Sharon Donovan said...

Let's have a warm welcome for P.L. Parker. Rustle up a cowboy and plop yourself down around the campfire, Patsy! Oliver is just beside himself and doesn't he look good in his Stetson? You know, before the guests arrive, I just want to give credit where credit is due. Hywela Lyn, my talented friend, adds all the striking graphics to my skits. Cowhide hat's off, Lyn! Aren't they great, Patsy?

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Patsy and Sharon,
Great interview.
Aimee's Locket sounds fascinating Patsy, I love the way you spelt her name.
The Oregon trail sticks in my mind, years ago when I was about 10our teacher at school read a book to the class. I think it was called "The Splendid Journey" and it was about family traveling on the Oregon trail, and the parents died and the children were left to continue the journey on their own. A couple of the children dried, but the others survived. It has stuck in the back of my mind for years. Aimee's Locket reminded me of it.

Hywela Lyn said...

Aw thanks Sharon (Lyn blushes furiously)

Loved your interview, Patsy. I love historical westerns and have a great admiration for the pioneers who travelled on the wagon trains and opened up the west. I was fascinated by your reasons for calling your heroine Aimee, it's a beautiful way to spell the name. Coincidentally, Ami Russell was the editor for my story, 'Dancing With Fate' in the 'Song Of the Muses' series.

P.L. Parker said...

Good morning. Sorry getting started late. Had to take a few minutes to get dressed in more than Aimee's Locket - hee hee.

Lyn does a terrific job! And your skits are so fun. I sat and laughed the whole time I was filling in my answers. More came to mind but had to keep it PG rated.

Aimee's was an interest bit of research for me. As I indicated, I used numerous stories from my own personal family history to give color to the story. It was fun.

Thanks, ladies, for being here so early.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mornin', Patsy. Yes, if you had nothing on but that gorgeous locket, Oliver wouldn't be able to pour that hot lemon tea he's about to! I agree with Margaret and Lyn. You've stirred up some good memories of stories we've heard about the Oregon Trail. This book sounds delightful and another one for the holidays! I have to go out for a bit but Oliver will be here to serve drinks and snacks. Keep an eye on him, Patsy. Wink.

P.L. Parker said...

Hey, I was just checking my e-mails and I noticed that Aimee's Locket is up for LASR Best Book of the Week. How fun is that!

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Sharon, P. L. Parker, and of course, Oliver. I love the cover of this book and the plot line and setting. It looks super and is one I would like to read.

Mona Risk said...

Sharon, you gals are amazing and always present entertaining blogs. Patsy, great excerpt. I love the rench name of Aimée, loved one.

P.L. Parker said...

Thanks Beth and Mona for stopping by. Mona, thanks for pointing that out. I knew Aimee was the French term, and it seemed so appropriate as she was so loved.

Hywela Lyn said...

Oh glad you mentioned LASR, Patsy, I haven't been there today. Off to vote for Aimee now!

P.L. Parker said...

Thanks Lyn, you are so supportive of everyone.

Sharon Donovan said...

Puff puff...I'm back. What a gorgeous Pittsburgh day for November. The sun is out and everyone is out and about. I brought some fudge brownies, blueberry muffins and apple cinnamon bars from the bakery. Dig in, ladies. Patsy, what perfect timing for Aimee's Locket to be up for best book at LASR. I'll jot on over and cast my vote. Beth, your roast yesterday was outstanding. What fun we all had! Mona, I agree. What a lovely name Aimee is and I love different versions of the spelling. And some trivia to add to my list. Lyn, good of you to take a break from your writing. You're just in time for baked goods and high tea! Are we drinking tea today, ladies? Wink wink!!

Sharon Donovan said...

BTW, Patsy...where in the world is Oliver??? Just noticed he was missing? Did he behave himself in your midst?

P.L. Parker said...

Um . . . Oliver is checking the breasts - er - beasts out on the open plain.

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver walks in, grinning his roguish grin. He pours more tea for Patsy, a rather wild look in his eye! Oliver, where's your Stetson Lyn was good enough to lasso from Buffalo Bill?

P.L. Parker said...

Sharon, I just sent you an e-mail with a pic attached showing what being around Oliver has done to me (sigh). I once was pure of heart.

Hywela Lyn said...

Ooh Sharon, what a gorgeous assortment of goodies - all my favourites. Yes, a cup of tea would wash it down very well - Earl Grey, please Oliver.

You're very welcome, Patsy, one thing I love about writers is the way we all try and support each other! Oh and Beth, yes, we had a ball at the roast yesterday, didn't we!

Right, back to the NaNo thingie!

P.L. Parker said...

Right now I'm hard at work baking cookies - my grandmother's old-fashioned oatmeal. Sooo yummy. I think they'd go with the tea so very well. Oliver - pass me the sugar.

Rebecca Rose said...

Well, Patsy - I am sure by now that you have broken Oliver's heart, you being a married woman and all! Please send him my way - I will help him get over you! I love the premise of your new book - the Western genre has long been a favorite of mine, going all the way back to the days of "Rawhide"! (Pretty sure I just dated myself!) I am looking forward to reading Aimee's Locket - but I am currently immersed in "Heart of the Sorcerer", so one thing at a time! Hey, are you going to share those cookies??!

Sharon Donovan said...

Ohh Patsy, those cookies smell delicious. And right you are, Lyn. Earl Grey it is. Oh Oliver, brew us a pot and bring Patsy some sugar. What's that? She's sweet enough! Well, I guess you would know, spending the day with her in this big old mansion. What do you mean you took her picture? Holy heck? Are we in the Scarlet Rose Time Travel? Hello Rebecca. So nice of you to join us for tea. A picture of what Oliver did to you Patsy? Is it x-rated???

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi everyone! Mary jumps off of her mustang, which she rode bareback to this event.
She brushes off her backside and walks over to Sharon and Patsy. "Hi you two, what a great interview. Sharon you always have a unique way of doing these things. I just wanted to say hey, and tell you I am looking forward to reading Aimee's Locket. My kinda book. I love time travels and this one sounds wonderful." Mary steps back to make way for more guests. Hi everyone who has commented, isn't this fun?!?

P.L. Parker said...

No, not ex-rated, just me living it up in the old west. Becky, so nice you stopped by. Nice to have you hear. I will ask Oliver if he's busy later. He does get around. That's why we love him.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary! You're just in time for high tea. Have a seat and when Oliver is through taking Patsy's pictures...he'll pour you a cup. Dig into a brownie or one of Patsy's grandmother's sugar cookies.

P.L. Parker said...

Mary, that's a fine looking horse you got there. Watch out for the spitoon on the porch - nasty thing. Oliver - Mary needs some cool after her long ride. Lots of dust kicking up.

Sharon Donovan said...

Howdy ladies,
Oh and what a lot of beautiful ladies here are here today. Enough to turn a poor guy's head!

Oliver (er I mean Buffalo Bill) here - you know these new fangled inventions are purty handy! Now don't go tellin that purty Miss Sharon, but I've borrowed her computer and her camera with the fancy timer an' well just go have a looksee toward the bottom of today's post an' see what we did. She's a mighty spunky lady, that Miss Patsy!

Sharon Donovan said...

Me again, heeh heh! When I say 'we' I meant Miss Patsy an' me, not Miss Sharon an' me, just in case you got any wrong ideas! *grin*

Oh I'm goin' to be in so much trouble when the fair lady boss finds out, but it'll be worth it!

P.L. Parker said...

OOOOOOOO - Oliver - where have you been? My husband's busy watching Boise State annihilate University of Idaho so he won't notice if I'm gone for awhile :):) Er, hi Jack. No no, just visiting. Nobody special. . . .

P.L. Parker said...

See, I told you Oliver was leading me astray. I look like I belong in a bawdy house - and who is that man????

Sharon Donovan said...

LOL Patsy. You add character to my blog! Oliver is something, eh?

P.L. Parker said...

Yes he is. A perfect touch here and at the Author Roast. Very diversified personality. He aims to please and does extremely well. But that every man could be so perfect. . . .

M.Flagg said...

Hi Patsy! Great excerpt, but I wanted more:) Sounds like a great book and I wish you many, many sales. That certainly was an interesting time in history to time-travel to. And Oliver looks great in a cowboy hat!

I didn't know he could sing so well, Sharon. Hi to all the familiar faces here, too! Been a bit swamped at work, but I took a breather to pop on over.

Again, congratulations, Patsy!

P.L. Parker said...

Thanks for joining us Ms. Flagg. Nice to see another friendly face and have a short chance to visit. Getting late, the fire is burning low and as a chill breeze wafts across the flames, sparks whirl. A wolf howls in the distance, calling the pack to the hunt. (I'm scaring myself.) Thanks to Sharon, Lyn and Oliver and all the people who stopped by. It was fun and I enjoyed it so much. Thanks Sharon for having me.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Mickey! So glad you took time from work to drop in and sit a spell around the campfire. Yes, Patsy has indeed enticed us with the story she spun. Now let's all run off and cast our votes at LASR for Aimee's Locket. That would be the icing on the cake for the fun we had today. Margaret, Lyn, Beth, Mona, Rebecca, Mary and Mickey, thanks for joining us today. Once more, hat's off to Lyn for adding the great pics.
And above all, a big thank you to P.L. Parker for a delightful day on the Oregon Trail. Thanks, Patsy. And here comes Oliver, singing you one more verse of "Home, Home on the Range" as your train pulls up. Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life. Love and blessings,

Cate Masters said...

Wonderful post, Sharon and Patsy! As always, Sharon, you are an outstanding host. Oliver looks great in his dude clothes too!
Patsy, sounds like you're a research nut like me! I love that you used bits of family history. Western history intrigues me too. The Oregon Trail did indeed have some heartbreaking tales.
(Didn't Aimee's Locket have a different cover before? Or am I imagining that?)

P.L. Parker said...

No Cate, that's the original cover. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I do like the research. If its a subject that really interests me, I really hit it hard.

Thanks again to everyone.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Cate, how sweet you are! There are still some goodies and tea floating around and Oliver wil be only too happy to serve you! Thanks for dropping by for the Oregon Trail and discussion of Aimee's Locket. What fun we had!