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Trivia About This Book 

Alaska is one of my favorite travel destinations, and it was particularly enjoyable to set a story there.

Upcoming Releases

Canine Protection
Shelf of Secrets Book 4
August 20, 2024

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The Ballad of Jack O'Dair eBook editionThe Ballad of Jack O’Dair

Amazon Kindle
February 2016 (01-25-15)
originally published October 2000
Amazon ASIN: B018T6ZF8I

Order from Amazon.com

Third Place Winner
Rising Star Contest
Best Paranormal
Orange Rose Contest
Best Paranormal/Time Travel

A brawny bear was Jack O'Dair…

Present day folk singer Jessie Jerome is haunted by the beginning of The Ballad of Jack O’Dair, about an Alaskan lawman in Gold Rush days. Determined to learn the ending—and whether Jack died in an avalanche—she travels to Alaska, and is shocked not only to hear more of the ballad but to be transported back in time to the Gold Rush. She’s even more shocked to actually meet the real Jack O’Dair—and falls for the strong, sexy man who will stop at nothing to enforce the law and protect people, as well as ensure supplies can reach those searching for gold. But if she finally hears the end of his ballad, will she be transported back to her own time? More importantly, will Jack survive? And can she live without him?

Readers of favorite new and classic time travel romances such as those of Diana Gabaldon, Sarah Woodbury, Karen Marie Moning and most especially Gwyn Cready will love The Ballad of Jack O’Dair!

Originally published October 2000 in mass market paperback by Love Spell.


"...readers [will] be immediate caught up in the action, colorful backdrop, and the cleverness of the plotline.  Enjoy suspending your disbelief and relish this delightful tale." --Romantic Times ****

"...a clever tale that showcases the story telling talents of Linda O. Johnston.  With this astute tale, romance readers will sing the Ballad of Linda O. Johnston." --Harriet Klausner for Painted Rock Reviews

"Linda O. Johnston has created a fine folk myth in The Ballad of Jack O'Dair.  Imaginative and clever, this book is a true page turner." --Affaire de Coeur ****1/2

"Ms. Johnston brings the ghost town of Dyea alive with colorful characters and descriptive words...  This book will add spice to a boring day." --Rendezvous

"Linda O Johnston's writing style always reminds me of a Suzanne Vega song. Her prose...is always compelling enough to keep me reading.  I find the entire premise compelling, and Jack O'Dair... what's his hotline?" -- Mrs. Giggles

"Linda O'Johnston brings a legend of a hero to life by opening the doors to the past. You'll want to wrap yourself up with a cozy blanket and sip steaming hot tea every time Jessie and Jack walk through town." -- Denise Fletcher, Gotta Write Network



He kept the peace without surcease
Did mighty Jack O’Dair.
Through Dyea-town fights, and dread Klondike nights,
None other could compare.
A brawny bear was Jack O’Dair,
His voice deep, mellow brass,
Bright red hair had Jack O’Dair
And eyes green as Ireland grass.
Lawman Jack was bold in the Northland’s cold.
Jack struck the scoundrels down.
With his wolf-dog Taku and his ulu, too,
Jack tended Dyea town.

And it continues....

Jack had returned. "Looks like everyone’s in bed, including Eldon. I wanted to make sure he got home all right after that little difficulty."

Little difficulty. That was all the fight, the menace from six drunken men, had been to him.

And he was kind enough to check to make sure that Eldon had returned with no further problem.

Jessie shook her head slowly, as though hoping to clear it of years of brainwashing from hearing the ballad--to no avail.

Jack was everything she had imagined he would be.

"Are you all right, Jessie?" Jack had draped his heavy jacket over a hook on the wall, and he drew a chair toward her. His ecru sweater did nothing to hide the breadth of his shoulders, the expanse of his muscles.

"I’m fine," she said, though she knew the tremor in her voice belied her words. "Fine," she repeated more strongly. She glared at Jack as though daring him to contradict her. If he did, she’d really get angry.

She had to.

She had never before met the hero of one of her pet ballads. She had half fallen in love with the idea of Jack O’Dair, even without knowing how his song ended. Now that she was faced with the reality of the man, her heart had not reached a sensible equilibrium. Of course she found him attractive. What woman wouldn’t? But she was going home, as soon as she could--wasn’t she? She didn’t care for Jack in any case, just the idea of him.

Then why, when she looked sidelong into his concerned face, did she want to kiss him?

"You don’t look fine," he contradicted.

"I... I’m just not used to all this cold. And excitement."

"I don’t know about that." Jack pulled his chair a little closer to the fire--and a lot nearer to her. "You seemed to be right at home in all that excitement at Helen’s. You had those stampeders bawling like babies at your song."

She had, hadn’t she? She grinned. It wasn’t every day that her ballads struck such emotional chords in her audience.

But then she realized that Jack’s tone had not contained solely admiration; there had been another message--jealousy?

She nearly laughed aloud. He had no reason to be jealous. He hadn’t any more interest in her than he had in one of Helen’s girls--did he?

"Did you like my singing?"

She’d meant to ask if he minded that the other men had been so affected. She hadn’t intended such a plaintive question.

But now that it had been asked....

"I liked it, Jessie Jerome." He stood beside her chair. "I liked it a lot."

She wasn’t sure if he had urged her to her feet with his touch, or whether she had simply stood of her own volition, but suddenly, she was facing him.

In his arms. His strong, heroic arms were tightly around her, and she felt right at home. She rested her cheek on his chest, feeling the coarseness of the hand-knit material of his shirt against her skin.

But not for long. His fingers lifted her chin.

She stood on tiptoe, for that was the only way she could reach him. But he bent down to her, too. He touched her lips with his--very, very gently.

His mouth was warmer than the fire, and it stoked some long-banked conflagration deep within her. When he began to pull away, she reached up and held his head down to her.

She ran her fingers through the silky inferno of his bright red hair. Her eyes were closed, the better to concentrate on her all-consuming sense of touch. She felt his hands at her back, kneading her skin--her skin! His hands were beneath her shirt, and the sensation of his flesh on hers made her even more crazy.

"Jack O’Dair," she whispered against his lips.