Spreading love one story at a time.

Historical Romance

Debra Writes Gritty Western Historical Romance and Sweet and Sassy1920’s Romance


Dangerous Ties available in print, eBook and  audiobook!:

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 Dangerous Ties audiobook on Audible

Lillian Hayes’ fiance, Thomas Shelton, convinced the townsfolk to exchange their gold for his worthless bank notes. After he disappears with the gold, every eye turns to Lillian for answers. Even her cousin Carl insists she knows where the gold is. He is desperate to find it because he is deeply indebted to Kingston, small town criminal and owner of the local saloon.

Carl will do anything to clear his debt; even torture Lillian for answers.

Nick Brace is driving a herd of horses to town when he stumbles across Lillian, branded, strung up over a mineshaft, and left to die. He saves her, tends to her wounds, and teaches her to shoot to protect herself. But the danger isn’t past. When Nick’s horse-trading deal with Kingston goes bad, Lillian races to be the one to save him this time.

Dangerous ties awardDangerous Ties RONE award finalist 2012

Chapter One Excerpt from Dangerous Ties:

Nevada 1860

Pain erased all sense of time. Lillian didn’t know how long she’d hung, her muscles exhausted from the strain, her mind full of warnings she was helpless to do anything about.

Her throat was raw from screaming before Grady had gagged her. Now the cloth gag stuck to her dry tongue. She squinted through tired eyes at the pail of water sitting by the edge of the mineshaft. She could look right down into it, the water taunting her with how good it looked, how it would taste cool and refreshing as it slid over her tongue, down her throat. It would soothe her throat if she could just reach it.

But there was no hope of that.

They’d tied her up and left her to die of thirst. Lillian closed her eyes.

No, don’t look at it. Don’t think of it. Think of something else.

Pain shot from her broken right toe up her ankle and leg. The scent of burnt flesh still filled her nostrils. He’d seared the brand across the top of her breast. Memory lodged in her body where pain radiated along with heat, echoes of his laughter still ringing in her ears.

A single tear slipped out and ran down her cheek.

It hadn’t mattered what he did to her or how relentless they were. She still couldn’t tell them where the money was. She couldn’t tell because she didn’t know. And no amount of torture could change that one fact.

Lillian squeezed her eyes tight and prayed her lie had bought enough time to get away. Though how she’d ever get out of this she didn’t know.


“A good story with lots of action and chemistry… If you like a traditional historical romance, you will love this book.”    – Gennie – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

“Ms. Parmley writes wonderful characters who run the gamut from kind and sweet to seriously evil! She portrays what the Wild West must have been like in the late 1800’s – from the way women were treated, to the gunslinging found in the dirt streets of small western towns…. this story is so enticing,  it immediately sucks one in, and won’t let go until the very last word!” – Tonya Smalley, InD’Tale Magazine


A Desperate Journey available in print and ebook:

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A Desperate Journey : Sometimes a journey of the heart is the most dangerous journey of all.

Sally Wheeler learned the hard way that men aren’t always what they seem. Now she will stop at nothing to track down the bigamist husband who stole her child and abandoned her on their failing Kansas farm. Even if it means traveling with a handsome maverick who could change her mind about men.

Free after spending seven years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Rob Truman aims to balance the scales of justice on the man who sent him there—Luke Wheeler. His quest doesn’t include falling for the one woman who will lead him to his quarry, but Sally’s courage in the face of her fear touches his soul.

Through dangerous days and nights on the trail, neither Sally nor Rob can ignore their growing feelings for each other. Yet both are haunted by the poor judgment that, in the past, led them down the wrong road. Love—and trust—are luxuries neither of them can afford.



“A stunning debut! A Desperate Journey is an enchanting tale of love, forgiveness, redemption and passion. Don’t miss this one.” – Gerri Russell, author of Warrior’s Bride

“An outstanding read that pricks the heart.” – Cherokee – Coffee Time Romance

“Debra Parmley is a promising new writer.” – Bobbi Smith, NYT bestselling author

“Sally Wheeler was married just weeks before her seventeenth birthday to a charming man she believed was everything she could ever want.  Things change – suddenly.  Luke quickly turned out to be her worst nightmare.  Now everything she has is gone:  her house, her money, her husband… and he has taken their son with him. With only the note to go by, Sally is frantic but determined to get her son back no matter what the cost.

Rob Truman has spent five long years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and now he is going to get vengeance. He will find Luke Wheeler if it takes him the rest of his life.  His search takes him to the small town but discovers Luke has run-off again. Rob decides the quickest way to track him is to follow Luke’s woman. Unfortunately that woman turns out to be everything he has ever dreamed of. Too bad she is married to the man he will kill.

What an interesting twist to the average Western theme!  Ms. Parmley creates circumstances that are believable yet drives them in new and creative ways… the story is just unique enough and the climax and resolution exciting enough that it is well worth the read!” – Ruth Lynn Ritter – InD’Tale Magazine


Isabella, Bride of Ohio


available in print and in ebook

Isabella: Bride of Ohio is book 17 in the 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series. However it can be read as a stand alone.

Isabella, newly arrived in America from Sweden, first loses her parents and then her job at the factory after it burns down. Nothing in American seems to last but she hopes her mail order bride marriage to the handsome and wealthy Donald Jenks will. But as her grandmother always said, trouble comes in threes and there is danger standing between her and her happy ever after with her true love.

Tom, a Pinkerton agent, is on the case of disappearing women is traveling on the same train as Isabella when she is selected as the next victim. Will he save her in time for her to marry Donald? And will she have the happy ever after she has dreamed of?


4.5 Stars

“Isabella Britta Stolt is an immigrant from Sweden who has found herself without her parents and without a job. She and a group of friends make the decision to become mail-order brides. Trying her best to make a rational decision, she decides to try and take it slow, getting to know the man she picked as a potential husband. She is thrilled that they both seem to want the same things in life. Donald Jenks is an accountant. Sending her money. He invites Isabella to visit him so they could get to know each other better and help decide if they would fit. On the way to Ohio, Isabella was robbed and almost abducted. Pinkerton man Tom Allenby has been assigned to the train to try and find the abductors. When he realizes Isabella may have been a target, he follows, rescuing her just in the nick of time. When Tom travels to Ohio to return her stolen money, there is a clash between Donald and Tom. Tom feelsthere is something off about the man, and he is going to find out what it is. It’s been quite a while since this reviewer had to re-read a book because she was so involved with the story that she forgot to take notes! Isabella takes you on a wonderful, exciting ride full of intrigue, adventure, and ending with an HEA.” – Kitty Lane – Affaire de Coeur magazine

Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly Box set coming in 2018:

A Desperate Journey; Dangerous Ties; and Deadly Adversaries.


Butterflies Fly Free Series:

Debra writes 1920’s Flapper Heroines

Dancing Butterfly; Book Two (Suki’s Story)

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 now available in ebook!

Trapping the Butterfly; Book One (Bethany’s Story)

Available now in print, ebook and audiobook!

Bethany is looking forward to celebrating her eighteenth birthday in Hot Springs. If Aunt Margaret and Uncle James have their way she will return from the trip engaged to Mr. Rivalde. Every part of Bethany’s life has been controlled, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats. Bethany can’t wait to cut off her long hair like other girls and to fly free.

Paul studied and chased butterflies when he was a small boy. Now he chases gangsters and he’s in Hot Springs following Al Capone’s gang.

The sight of Bethany amid butterflies, sun streaming down and lighting up her pale skin and long blonde hair, is one that stops Paul Tollick on the spot. She is the most beautiful female he’s ever seen.

But two other men have determined to catch her for themselves and one is a dangerous gangster. Will she fly free or be trapped?


“What have you done?” Aunt Margaret’s eyes darkened to black slits the moment they landed on Bethany. Anger radiated off her like heat from a boiling furnace. She slammed the door. “You little fool.”

Bethany widened her eyes. She’d never seen her aunt this angry. Her fury froze whatever words Bethany might have spoken. She wanted to run and hide as she had when she was a small girl, yet she wasn’t that small girl anymore and she had nowhere to hide, anyway. She never had.

“You gave your word you wouldn’t leave this hotel.”

“I didn’t leave the hotel. They have a beauty parlor right here in the basement.”

“I cannot leave you alone for even one minute.” Aunt Margaret’s face was a mask of fury. “You cannot be trusted.”

“I kept my word. I didn’t leave the hotel.”

“You are a disgrace. You have disgraced this family. How do you expect to go out in society? That hairdo is unladylike. We won’t find you a proper husband with you looking like that. If you were married, it would be grounds for divorce. You’re a fool.”

“I like it, and I’m not the only one. Others have told me it looks pretty.”

“Of course the beautician who cut your hair is going to tell you that. People like that will tell you anything when they want to sell you something. Not only is your haircut unladylike, it makes your face look fat.”

Bethany’s stomach clenched. She wasn’t fat. She wasn’t. Paul thought she looked pretty. She’d known her aunt would be angry, but hadn’t known she’d be this angry. If only Bethany could flee. Anywhere but inside this room. Anywhere far away from her aunt.

“You’ll be lucky if Richard still wants to take you to that movie.” Her aunt paced the room. “Just wait until your uncle sees.”

“Sees what?” Uncle James stepped through the door, and his jaw dropped. He didn’t even close the door behind him as he walked into the room.

Bethany reached up to the back of her hair and fluffed it as Tildy and Paul had done. That felt good, although she knew her aunt and uncle might take it as a defiant move. Paul likes my hair this way. I like it too. I don’t care what they think.

“You’ve cut your hair,” Uncle James said. He wasn’t usually one to state the obvious, and yet he seemed dumbfounded.

She nodded. “Yes, I did.”

“Well.” He slammed the door. “It’s done now.”


 “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1926:  If life had ever been anything other than this, Bethany couldn’t remember it. Between her perpetually sick aunt who never gets tired of criticizing her and her distant uncle she was being starved, poked and prodded into their image of a lady. Soon, she’ll be turning eighteen and will finally gain her inheritance and freedom. Unfortunately, those last few inches to independence are being obstructed by her uncle’s schemes, her rash involvement with Al Capone’s thugs and a cop (Paul) with a love for butterflies who might become everything to her….

An incredibly poignant story about a young girl exiting her cocoon and finding her strength! Beth’s transformation from a meek girl forced to endure tyranny into a daring young woman was beautiful to see. The backdrop of jazz music, the prohibition and gangsters is exciting enough for a reader to imagine an inviting, sensual film unfolding in from of them.

As in most novellas, the length of the story didn’t leave room for everything that needed to be said and shown. Here, the one slighted was Paul, who could almost be seen more as an idea than an actual character. Subsequently, the relationship between him and Beth felt like it happened in a dream, with the edges so blurry all that was clear were the words of love shared and the sense they were, indeed, kindred spirits.  Still, four enthusiastic stars! – Mimi Smith, InD’Tale Magazine 4.5 stars

“I flew through this book! Took me back to my own teenage years. Sometimes we walk a very narrow line between excitement and disaster. I kept wondering which way this would turn out!”  -Betsy Boza (Amazon)

“I thoroughly enjoyed Trapping the Butterfly. Debra Parmley captured the feel and nostalgia of the roaring 20s along with the mystery and thrill of Al Capone and his gang. Her characters are realistic and relatable even for the age. The coming of age love story is sweet and believable. I loved her heroine Bethany and the struggles she found herself in as she tried to find her own sense of self in an oppressed and repressed household along with overcoming her own innocence and naiveté which of course got her in a bit of a jam. The hero Paul is sweet and perfectly written for the timeframe. He’s a man of honor and exactly the write foil for Bethany. If you love movies/plays like Chicago then this is a book you’ll want to read. – Amazon Customer (Amazon)

Belo Dia
E book
978 1612523095
4.5 Stars

Bethany Robinson was taken in by her aunt and uncle after her parents’ death. Although she appreciated everything they had done, she looked forward to her freedom when she turned eighteen. She would no longer have to live under their strict rules.
Taking a trip with them to the Hot Springs Bath, Bethany thought that would be an opportune time to follow her plans. Being on her own while her aunt took her treatments, Bethany began meeting and chatting with other people vacationing at the springs. She met a detective who was watching the Capone clan, a gangster who worked with Capone, and a young lady who was a girlfriend of another gangster.
When she realized her uncle’s business meeting was to arrange a marriage with an older man, she refused, rebelling. Unfortunately, her decision making skills were not up to par, and Bethany seemed to continue to get herself into hot water.
Do not blink while reading this story, a fast paced tale that will snag you the way gangsters corner their prey. This very talented author shows a flair for story telling that is rare and hard to find.

Lauren Calder – Affaire de Coeur Magazine

TB Awards

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Trapping the Butterfly on itunes

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