I never planned on writing book six in my Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight this year.
Never say never.
My cover designer had a promotion for some of her premade covers. I saw one and emailed her, saying it fit a future book. Future book. She wrote back to say she’d hold it for me. However, I told her I hadn’t even started the book yet. Well, a few days later I opened a document, typed Chapter 1, and I kept writing. I told her the cover inspired me to start the book. The cover became mine when she began working on it.
My designer tweaked the cover to make it more mine. 🙂 Plus, she added my name to the bottom and “Book Title” at the top where the title will go. So, I almost have a complete cover for a book that wouldn’t be written until 2023.
Even without the tweaks, the cover was more than enough to kick inspiration into gear. The cover is different from my other books. So is the hero. This means, it gave me new ideas. It’s fun writing this book because of the new ideas. He appears in nearly every book in the above mentioned series and the spin off series. I’m talking about my upcoming hero—Rob Adams. Hey, how about that. I mentioned my hero’s name, which isn’t something I do this soon.
This book has been in my head since early on when I introduced Rob. He grew up in town and went to school with some of the stars in the series.
As the years flew by, I had more time to develop him. He’s evolved since book one. I knew he’d get a book one day. I already had the opening clear in my head.
Because of the cover, I’m now over 17,900K words and loving the story thus far. I’m amazed and thrilled.
At least I have a jump on it now. However, I’m writing two other books with a fourth on the back burner.
Funny the way things work. In book five, a new character popped into the story—a female named Scarlett—who I thought would be Rob’s heroine when he got a book. In a stern voice, my muse blurted out, “Uh-uh! Not so fast. Scarlett is still healing. We’ll set her aside for now.” News to me because, heck, I’m the author, and I didn’t know about Scarlett’s cousin, who is a perfect match for Rob. So, I say to my muse, “You go, girl. Thanks!”
Well, I had a lengthy excerpt to introduce Rob in this post, but I’m adding it to its own post to make this one shorter and more to the point of the title. The except is one where Rob appears in the first book in the series. So, with this post divided into two posts–Inspiration Strikes Again #1 and #2–it’s your choice to read the excerpt which will follow in the next post today or Tuesday.
Book Six featuring Rob Adams is coming in 2023. The series and spin off takes place in my fictitious town of Canyon Junction in Arizona. I set the series in and around the spectacular Sonoran Desert with the Superstition Mountains as a backdrop.
I’m excited and had to share! Enjoy your weekend.
It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S. for what we call Labor Day weekend. The actual day falls on the first Monday in September.
Yesterday I wrote an introduction to this post instead of adding it here to avoid what would be a longer post. It’s already long! Grab a beverage and enjoy. The post has been updated since the original.
The fourth Saturday in July is National Day of the Cowboy. Be sure to check out the events they plan for this day, and more at the Empire Ranch Foundation.
Back in 2005, to make sure it stays that way, the organization National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC) sponsored a bill in the Wyoming House and Senate to preserve and celebrate cowboy culture and history in that state, attaching an eponymous holiday to be observed on the fourth Saturday in July…
You know I’m jumping on this! Ha, too funny!I’m learned a few things since I began writing contemporary western romance. So for your reading pleasure, I present to you my take on the cowboy on their special day. Remember, I’m focusing mainly on MY take, which may not be the same as yours.
Mostly, I’m dealing with fiction today. However, a whole lot of facts here are true. Images are from Pixabay unless otherwise stated. Credit for the Featured Image at the top: Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com. In the shameless promotion of showing my book covers, all of my covers have been created by award winning cover designer Dawné Dominique, at DusktilDawn Designs.
Why I Create Cowboy Heroes:
What’s not to love? I reckon this post is for anyone who loves a cowboy. I couldn’t create this if I didn’t love them myself. It doesn’t matter if they’re single, married, head-over-heels in love, or dads. Scowling or smiling, fists balled to protect what they love, or gently holding a child’s hand, I think they’re the sexiest men alive. That’s my opinion. I know everyone doesn’t think so. Let me have fun on this day. I hope you read this with an open mind and know it’s all in fun.
We’ll start with the basics from the ground up:
Let’s put some boots on our guy’s feet. The cowboy boot fits nicely into the stirrup. They’re sturdy for whatever jobs he has to take care of during the day or night. He has more than one pair of boots. Sometimes you’ll find his boots to be dusty and worn—his favorites, but sometimes they’ll be shiny and new. Some ranchers are now wearing lace-up boots for working.
He’ll spill coffee on them, step in horse or cattle manure–depending on what he raises, or do a two-step on the dance floor. Hey, readers… Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. That’s why they make soap and hand sanitizer. He’s your guy. When he’s dog-tired after a long day of hard work, feel free to pull them off for him. He’ll thank ya for it. *Wink* Remember to thank him for it, when he does the same for you. He will on occasion.
Tight jeans. Loose-fittin’ jeans. Dirty, ripped, or dress jeans… Oh, come on. Need I say more? Add a pair of chaps and my eyes will bug out.
Speaking for myself
I like an oval belt buckle holding those jeans up on their waist. However, some cowboys don’t wear belts for fear of something catching on them while working. I’m torn here, for with no belt, the jeans ride lower on the waist. When he lifts a saddle on a horse, or bends over with a hoof pick, you might be lucky enough to get a peek at that abdomen and sexy back you can’t wait to run your nails over.
Oh, we can’t forget his t-shirt with the sleeves tight against bulging biceps. Cowboys with dad bods have bulging biceps too. Hard work, is hard work. Young or old, he’s dedicated to hard work. After giving a horse a bath, expect a little water on the shirt. Should I explain the wet t-shirt?
Flannel shirts with the sleeves turned up a couple rolls and open in the front isn’t so bad, either. But, wow, when your cowboy wears a dress shirt and clean jeans, hold him tight when you go out. Be prepared for a lot of ogling. Don’t be surprised if he casually looks back, but don’t worry, he’s true to you. However, he might deck another cowboy for getting a little too touchy-feely with you.
A hint of stubble on the face or clean-shaven works for me. How about you? Chances are, you’ll find a little more than a hint of scruff after a couple long, tired days. Concerning beards, here’s a brief conversation between my heroine and hero in a work in progress. They haven’t seen each other for three and a half years. Due to circumstances beyond their control, she is staying with him, only at the moment. Not with him per se, but on his ranch:
He draped his flannel shirt over the chair and took a bite of his donut. “Better eat the scrambled eggs while they’re still good, or I’ll take them out to the pigs.”
Pigs? She handed him the mug of coffee complete with milk. “You wear a beard now?”
He laughed and wiped powdered sugar from his mustache and donut crumbs from his beard. “Not normally. I haven’t shaved in four days. Do I look like hell?”
“More like a lumberjack, but that’s not a bad thing.” She chuckled.
Copyright 2022 Mary J. McCoy-Dressel/Mary J. Dressel
You might have to get used to a little whisker-burn now and then. Go without shaving whatever needs shaving for a couple days. He’ll get the picture. 😉
Oh, readers, when our cowboy sets his jaw in confidence or stubbornness, you know he means business. But so do we, so it evens out. His attitude or mood isn’t always going to be congenial. He has bad days too, and sometimes he can be downright miserable to be around.
This man’s smile? Mmm, how about quirked lips when he questions something you said? A side smile? I can tell you, my knees buckle when he shoots that dangerous grin my way. Ooohhhh, what about his to-die-for wanton smile? You know the one where it shows in his eyes, too? The one he gives when you wonder what he’s up to next? But, goodness, when his face lights up with that special look, it TELLS you what he’s up to next. When he smiles at you in this way, you know your feet won’t be on the floor much longer. Am I right? Sigh. Who moved my fan? (I’ll use one of my own cowboys for an example–Caulder “Hotness” McCutchen, my sexy alpha bull rider.)
It doesn’t matter if those sexy kissable lips are full, soft, chapped, or sunkissed sweet. When it comes to kissing them, you know they’re a perfect match for yours.
Mmm, his hair. Hair and eyes are the first things I notice. He might wear his hair on the longer side. Who has time for a haircut? He’s too busy tending to a ranch, cutting hay on a prairie, riding horses and driving cattle across a wide divide. He might be fixing fences in a dusty desert or monsoon, or trying to stay on a bull or bronc for eight seconds. Depending on his mood, he’s comfortable wearing his hair neatly combed when the occasion arises, or wind-blown messy when he’s busy. Whichever way he chooses to wear it, it’ll end up looking like hat-hair by the end of the day.
Either neat and tidy or wild and free, if a shock of hair falls over his forehead, I can’t think of a more perfect excuse to get closer than to move in and brush it back. He’ll appreciate it if we leave our palm to rest on the side of his face, for a minute anyway. Whew!
Last but not least, let’s not forget the Stetson, or any brand of cowboy hat, in off-white or black, depending on the occasion. Straw works for those hot days. If you’re wearing a hat, make sure you get the right tilt to your head in order to kiss him. Enjoy.
Since it is our cowboy’s special day, we’ll continue. Let’s give him a dog and a horse or two, preferably more. After his dog and horses, we’re giving this cowboy a cowgirl, or whoever he chooses to love.
When evening comes, if he’s in by then, of course, he’ll be contented to settle in beside you, wearing a subtle fragrance whether it’s aftershave or your favorite cologne. Could be ranch life. My cowboys are sexy, hard working men, and they aren’t always going to be smelling like they walked out of a shower. Don’t let that deter you, but a little hint won’t hurt. An offer to accompany him in the shower isn’t a bad idea. ❤ ❤ ❤
More than likely, for dinner he’ll like his favorite carryout, spicy food to match his persona, or a meat and potato meal at the end of the day. Sometimes he’ll surprise us, and prepare a delicious meal. Maybe burgers on the grill or steak with candlelight. He’ll enjoy a shot of whiskey, brandy, tequila, or Scotch, and maybe sometimes a glass of wine or a longneck. Even milk.
At the end of the day with our cowboy, we know, besides his family, it’s us and the kids he holds in his heart…along with his dog and horses maybe not in a particular order. 🙂 Finally, when you get up Sunday morning, chances are after chores and breakfast, y’all will head to church. But think about it… At the end of the day, your cowboy is curling up next to you. The next move is yours.
REMEMBER, this is MY take on the cowboy, and this was written for fun.I hope you enjoyed reading.
Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy the 4th Saturday of July.
Remember what they say… Save a horse, ride a… *Smile*
Thanks so much for reading, and an extra special thanks if you’ve read this more than once!
It’s been a while since I’ve hosted Velia Armano from the Bull Rider Series for a Short Snippet Saturday post. This one comes from Howdy, Ma’am.
Set-up: A couple days before this snippet, Velia’s father and two of his men had flown in from Chicago to accompany her to court in Tucson, Arizona. While in court the day before this snippet, her ex had threatened her. Her dad sent one of his, ahem, men home with Velia in case Justin followed her back to where she rented an upstairs apartment from an elderly couple. It also happened to be the first night Velia had invited Caulder to dinner. Caulder had arrived right after a horrific incident to find Velia passed out on the floor. This snippet takes place the next morning.
Bull Rider Series 1
Revised from the original to avoid spoilers.
Ric and Lidia Armano arrived at the door the next day. Roy promptly followed his boss to the car where they met Nero. They stood talking for some time.
Later, she walked back and forth from her window to the door, debating on going out. Her mother sat on the bed, watching her pace across the room. Velia’s head pain had eased, but her bruises had worsened. When her mom saw them, she cried, and when her dad saw them, he’d probably send for his lawyer to take care of Justin in court…or otherwise.
Why couldn’t he leave well enough alone? What would he have done if Roy hadn’t been here? Would he have hurt Alice and Edward? Would she be alive today?
She wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the chill from the horrible thoughts. Lidia hugged her and Velia cried. Her mother’s familiar, loving arms comforted her, and she let it all out as her mom smoothed her hair and cuddled her like a child.
“Your father will be in soon. You can’t hide from him forever.” She handed Velia a scented lace handkerchief like she’d done when she was small. She inhaled the perfume that spoke madre. Velia wiped her eyes then went to the bathroom to hold a wet washcloth over them and reapplied makeup to the non-swollen eye.
She headed downstairs when Edward let her father inside. Her dad wrapped his arms around her. His eyes misted when he saw the bruises. “He has done this before. I do not understand why you didn’t tell me. You’re a strong woman. Why did you put up with this, Velia?”
Velia wanted to think up a lie, but she had done enough lying while living with Justin.
“Why did you not tell me?”
She whispered, “I know what would’ve happened.”
“Sì, and then…” He pointed to her face. “This would not have happened.”
“I’m sorry.” Velia lowered her voice. “I couldn’t allow something to happen to him.”
“So you sacrificed yourself?” His voice grew louder.
“I suppose. What’s going to happen to Justin now?”
Ric shook his head. “Our lawyer will encourage the prosecutor to ask for time in jail for assault and breaking and entering.”
“But he didn’t break in, padre.”
“Yes, he did. Did he not break in, Roy?” her father asked.
“Yes, sir,” Roy replied. “He nearly broke the door down.”
Velia glanced at Roy. She knew it had to be this way. “He’s a crazy fool. Do you think he’ll get out on bail? I have to leave for my tour with Caulder soon, and I don’t want to worry about Justin following us.”
Ric placed his hand on her shoulder. “I can’t say for sure, but Lauren will do what he can to keep him in jail.”
“If he gets out, I won’t go with Caulder. I’ll be putting him and who knows who else in danger.”
“I understand this, angel, but Justin will never hurt you again.” Ric lowered his voice and embraced her. “You’ll be safe, even if I have to send Roy on tour with you. Si?”
Velia knew if her dad said it, it would be true, but she’d never allow Roy to babysit her on the road. She didn’t want to know what else her dad had planned concerning Justin.
Learn more about the Bull Rider Series on the series page here. Available at Amazon.
What the heck have I been working on since the major revision of Cowboy Boss and his Destiny? Well, folks, for those of you who are interested, I’m back to working on book three in the spin off–Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series–Wade’s story. No, Wade’s story isn’t the title. The title is a whole other deal going on here in my head.
I have three titles sitting at the top of my manuscript in fancy font looking as pretty as can be, but I can’t select the right one. They’re okay, but they don’t feel like “the one.” The other night I typed a good line… “Hmm, well, now,” I said to myself . “This could be my title.” It’s growing on me.
By the looks of things, this might be the only book I publish this year. I had a goal of two. Of course, I’m not giving up on the goal yet, but with all the medical stuff going on in my life right now, I’m not sure what lies ahead besides more tests.
Anyway, for readers of my spin off series, you have met Wade Emory in the first book. He works with Jake Lawton as a foreman and now owns part of Jake’s ranching supply business. However, his luck with women sucks. Isn’t it awful for a romance hero’s love life to suck? In all fairness, he hasn’t been a book hero, but I’ve had so much fun turning him into one. Wade is worthy of being called a romance hero now.
As a secondary character in Whispers of Forever, Wade began a serious relationship with a woman in the Air Force who lived in Las Vegas, but nope, luck evaded him. In Finding Kimber, his buddy, and best friend, Dane Carlson, set him up with a, well, ahem, let’s move on, and say Wade wasn’t big on dating someone recently out of college who had a drinking problem. In this case, he made sure there wouldn’t be a second date. Oh, and then… Blah, blah, this is the story of his life. In his book, he takes a trip, but it isn’t for a vacation. It all boils down to… Will he have to travel four hundred miles from home to meet “the one”? Coming in 2018.
Here’s a little tidbit from my draft: UPDATE: This book is available!
Wade hurried down the stairway, taking two steps at a time, through the lobby, and out the door. He caught the guy getting into a shuttle bus and yanked him off before he got to the second step. “You’re not going anywhere.” The smell of alcohol filled the air between them. Wade held his arm and dragged Clay back up the stairs without anything more than a missed swing from the drunk, and a few eyes from hotel patrons. Wade pounded on her door, and when she opened it, he shoved the guy inside. “Give the lady her money, or you won’t leave here walking.”
She shoved Wade in the chest. “What in the hell are you doing?” She clasped her hands together and faced her brother. “Give me my money, Clay. You didn’t even care how me and Tanner got home. Do you think I’ll forget this?” She reached into his pocket for her money. “Get out of my life.”
Her brother glared back and forth at her and Wade. “You’ll be sorry.”
“I was sorry when I came to get you out of jail. Oh, if Dad were here, he’d beat you silly.”
“I can do the job.” Wade shifted his stance and smirked.
“You? Who are you? No, never mind.” She flipped her hand toward the door. “Would you get out of my room?”
Wade held his stubborn ground. “Not until he leaves.”
She glared at her brother. “You heard the man.”
Wade shoved him toward the door and watched over the balcony railing until he staggered out of the hotel. He peered at her and shook his head, then left for a dinner he didn’t feel like eating.
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” ~Author unknown
Thanks for sticking around to read. 🙂
Solitude coaxes magical things from our souls. ~Terri Guillemets
For this excerpt, Kimber meets her dog for the first time. It doesn’t sound like an interesting excerpt to read about Kimber meeting her dog, but there’s more going on here, especially after what happened earlier in this scene. Now, after this second revelation, she’ll have some explaining to do in the near future. It isn’t an explanation she ever wanted to give to anyone. Picture Kimber leaving the barn after turning out the horses this early morning. She hadn’t expected to see Zach standing there, and especially hadn’t expected to meet his brother for the first time. She’s standing in a knee-length cotton robe with a thin gown underneath. Introductions happened earlier in the scene. The guys are getting ready to leave.
She’s wary of her future. He’s burdened by his past.
At that moment, a dog whined. Kimber widened her eyes. “I didn’t know you had a dog, Zach. Tyler?”
“We don’t here in Arizona.” Zach headed to his truck. He opened the door and brought out a mid-size, long-haired dog. “You do.” He plopped the dog into her arms.
Tyler chuckled. “I found her on the road between here and Boulder City. The poor girl has no tags, and she looks like she’s been neglected. My mama would whoop my behind if I left her there. I took a picture and left my phone number at the nearest rest stop.”
Zach cut in, “You said you were lonely at night. Now you don’t have to be. I can’t keep her in the loft all day while I’m working, and she didn’t take kindly to Jake’s dog, Kasha.”
“You’re giving her to me?” Kimber’s gaze followed Tyler out the back door and down toward the fence where she took the horses.
“Maybe. You’re not allergic to dogs, are you? If it isn’t a problem, can you keep her here for me? It’s better for her here than locked up in the loft.”
Kimber put her down before dropping her. She tickled the dog under her white chin. “She’s so cute, but she needs a bath and a good brushing. Have you named her?” She kept one hand on her in case she bolted. “You could bring her here daily with you, but I’ll keep her here. I hope she likes horses.”
“She acted like they were no big deal over at Jake’s. I haven’t named her.” He called Tyler to leave. “Naming is your job, Red.”
The dog rolled over, and Kimber patted her gray belly. “I can’t tell what she is. Part border collie? But the gray—”
The pooch got up and shook sand from her stormy gray and white coat. “Looks a little like one. We have a couple on the ranch. She’s mixed though.”
“I’ll have a name for her by time I see you for dinner tonight. Do either you or Tyler have any food allergies?” She got a dumbfounded look from Zach.
“The reason I ask is because I’m allergic to turmeric. Weird, I know. I don’t know anyone else allergic to it. It can be a problem, but I carry an auto-injector with me.”
Zach blinked. His Adams apple got stuck trying to swallow, it seemed. He chewed at a corner of his bottom lip, snapped his fingers and pointed at her. Then he closed his hand, bringing it to his chest.
She repeated, “Do you or Tyler have food allergies?”
He cleared his throat, came closer then lowered his gaze to her lips. His eyes flicked back to hers. Usually, his dreamy orbs sparkled in the sunlight, but not now. They darkened like grass in an oil spill. Tyler headed toward them.
“Zach?” She asked again, nervous now due to his menacing glare, and she wished to be somewhere else. On the other side of the planet would work. Had he figured it out?
“Uh uh.” Zach crouched and lifted the dog, squeezing her in a gentle hug.
She looked small in Zach’s strong arms. Kimber stroked her fur, but Zach fell back a step. “Thank you for this. I’ll take good care of her for you.”
His voice changed to a somber tone. “There might be something in the tack room to tie around her neck and a rope to keep her from running off until she gets to know you.”
“I hope she’s housebroken.”
“I’m positive she is.” Zach carried the dog with him. He glanced back at her with a frown, then he and Tyler entered the tack room.
Kimber trembled as he walked away. She folded her arms, squeezing them. Something happened. A wrinkle interrupted their… Their what? Their working relationship that finally worked for a short time? The fact he was kind to the dog said something about him, but his instant melancholy veneer said the opposite.
She rushed to her bedroom to dress for the day. She’d love to have a new dress to wear tonight, but now dinner was the last thing she wanted. Tonight, she wanted to be alone, but dammit, she’d blurted out the invitation. She couldn’t back out. This business meeting was her future. Hurriedly, she put in her contacts so he didn’t have to stare at her blue eyes any longer when he brought the dog up to the house.
My dog Kasha is on the cover of Whispers of Forever. I suppose the other books in this series will have to have a dog, too. 🙂 ❤
It seems like more than eight weeks have gone by in the year. February alone, for me, seems like it’s been at least eight weeks. It’s the shortest month! But we are in the eighth week of the Marketing for Romance Writers 52-Week Blog Challenge Blog Hop. Our #MFRWauthor topic this week is:
Worst Writing Advice I’ve Gotten.
I modified the topic a little to suit my need.
Week 8: Worst Bad Writing Advice (for me)
Who am I to say this is bad advice? It’s advice that doesn’t work for me. I’m NOT saying it’s bad advice for others. Or that it’s bad advice at all. We all have to write our own way. My way isn’t your way. My process can’t be compared to your process.
What’s the advice or rule I’m talking about?
“Don’t edit as you go.”
This process works for other authors and some participants in NaNoWriMo. Me? I have to edit as I go. I have to. It kills me not to go back and rewrite. I can’t tell you how often I rewrite, rewrite, rewrite my beginning. This is how I write. I go back to edit. When I say I edit as I go, it isn’t like I type a paragraph and have to go back to edit it unless the BRAT nudges.
I’ll do this when I’m finished writing for the day or if I need a break to think something through before continuing. Sometimes, I wait until the next day or next writing session. Of course, it takes longer to finish a draft this way, but it makes the revisions much easier.
If I’m away from a manuscript, like a have been with my current WIP while revising one of my other books, I’ll go back to the beginning to reread and rewrite as I get familiar with the story again.
Writing without editing as you go works for many, many authors. There’s nothing wrong with the process, for them. At times I wish I could sit down and write a draft this way, but if I try, I am fighting with myself. There’s a little BRAT sitting on my shoulder poking at me, whispering in my ear that I missed a word back there, or I needed to fix something, and it won’t let up. It’s as simple as:
This process doesn’t work for me.
My bad advice isn’t your bad advice. Do what works for you.
We’re at Week Eight in the Blog Hop. Let’s click HERE to read what other authors have to say.
I thought I’d begin by sharing a quote I saw on Twitter today by Paul Coelho. I love this author. You can find his books everywhere and he posts quotes on his Facebook and Twitter pages. 🙂 I should’ve thought of him when I wrote the post about authors I’d like to meet. Here’s his quote:
Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person
Nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. ~Paul Coelho
But now I go forward…
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post titled Making the Old New Again about a major revision I’m doing with Cowboy Boss and his Destiny and Tristan’s Destiny in my Double Dutch Ranch Series. I had a lot of questions unanswered by the end of the post. Now I have answers.
The questions to myself or anyone who had answers:
Will this new version be a 2nd edition?
No, this will not be a 2nd edition.
Will I delete the original 1st editions and start all over? Will retailers allow me to do this?
Yes and no. I will re-upload over the original version of Cowboy Boss and his Destiny. TRISTAN’S DESTINY, Bonus Book 1.5 will be deleted and no longer available as a single book.
We are allowed to delete eBooks. We cannot delete paperbacks.
Will I re-upload this over the original book #1 then delete or unpublish the original book #1.5, which doesn’t show up in my series, anyway?
Yes. Answered above. I will not lose the Cowboy Boss reviews this way.
This wasn’t included in my questions because I knew the answer, but I’ll clarify this now. What about my reviews for Tristan’s Destiny?
I have lost those reviews since both books are now unpublished and not available. However, I haven’t deleted the books, so reviews are still there with the unpublished files in my KDP Bookshelf in case I ever wanted to republish. I did copy them to be safe.
I will use the reviews in other ways like in the Editorial Review section on my book page where we are allowed to post snippets of a review. For those of you who have left reviews for Tristan’s Destiny, thank you. They are much appreciated. They will not go unseen.
Will I have a new cover designed?
Yes, I already have it! ❤ ❤ My designer is amazingly fast. It took us her three drafts. It consisted of doing a lot more than sticking new people on the cover. I’ll forever love my original cover for Cowboy Boss, but since the story has shifted, this new cover is perfect.
Did I mention this book went to the editor today? 🙂
Well, now that I’ve taken care of my own questions and answers, I must admit… It took me two weeks to decide to unpublish. Right after, I nearly hyperventilated. I had to take deep breaths and laps around my apartment. My chest hurt. I thought I might have a heart attack. Then, suddenly, the tension of making the decision rolled off my shoulders.
Revising this book was a good thing. Of course, I won’t know how others feel about it until I re-publish. What will I do if readers hate it? This is a question we ask ourselves anyway. No more questions, please (I tell myself)!
I got to know my characters all over again. Well, I visit with them in every book because they continue to make their appearances if only subtly. In fact, I learned something new about a few of them. After all this time, I discovered Tristan had a dark cloud hanging over him I never caught before. This was something new to use in my rewrite. The biggest shock of all? Tristan’s ranch foreman threw in a huge surprise, then it was like Hell YEAH. BINGO! Problem solved for an upcoming book.
This business is a marathon not a sprint and life is continuously changing.
I need to update the front and back matter to all my books. I started last night and it wasn’t a quick copy and paste thing because I also had to rewrite a bit of the front matter, part of my notes to readers, and whatever else I found to update. In the meantime, I have another hero and heroine mad at me for making them wait so long right at the most inopportune time (for them). They should be all hot and bothered by time I get back to them. ❤
I’ve turned off sharing. This is for you who have already read the first post , or newcomers. A girl can change her mind.
Y’all have a productive and fun week Thanks for reading.
I am posting a Short Snippet Saturday post on the actual day this time. Hehe. This excerpt, not snippet, comes from Whispers of Forever: Mending Christmas. This is book one. Finding Kimber is book two. I thought it was fitting to post from a holiday themed book since it’s getting closer to Christmas each day.
This is one of my favorite books. Oh, darn, who am I fooling? I say the same thing about all of them. Really, though, this one is about first love and second chances. It’s close to my heart.
Before this scene happens, Beth, Jake’s first love in high school, recently moved back to town. Is it the perfect time, or has too many years apart put an end to what should’ve been years ago?
“Santa will be coming before you know it, and you’ll be here with your dad over break,” said Paige.
What the hell? Why had she said that? Christmas was a freaking two months away. Jake shot her a condescending glare.
“Will you be here for Christmas, Mom?”
Paige glanced at Jake, and then answered, “Not me, but you have your father, your horses, and of course, Kasha. That’s enough to keep you busy. I’ll send a big Christmas present for you, though, so you’ll have one from me, too.” At the mention of her name, Kasha got up and moseyed over, shoving her nose beneath Paige’s hand resting on her lap, forcing a pat. “That’a girl. You’re a good dog.”
Trace stared off at the pepper grinder in the center of the table, a frown on his forehead—a probable awakening—guessing she’d be gone for a long time.
Yeah, Christmas present all right. A baby half-brother or sister. Now he wanted to punch something or gag. The longer she sat there in the kitchen they used to share as a couple, the more pissed off he became. In fact, he had to leave. He slid his chair out. “I forgot to take care of a chore in the barn. I need to double check on an order, too. You two finish dinner. There’s some cherry-chocolate ice cream in the fridge for dessert.” Jake mussed T.J.’s hair and winked at his kid. “Finish dinner. I’ll be in soon.” He left out the door in a calm manner.
Dammit. Why’d he offer her to come to dinner? With a palliative breath, he knew why. He checked his phone. No messages. Since he hadn’t had anything to check in the barns, he turned on the conveyor and sent hay bales to the loft, then went up there to stack them. Jake believed the chance for her to come back for Trace was slim, and in fact, he expected her to cut ties with her old life. Maybe it was his gut telling him that.
An hour and a half later, he entered the back door. Paige and Trace were in the living room, and someone plugged in the lighted pumpkin. Without a Halloween display like the one Paige had at her place, this one looked bare over on the square table near the bay window.
“What’s going on?” he asked as he entered the living room with a beer. “Nice pumpkin.”
“I like it, Dad. I plugged it in. We’re looking at pictures. Come see them!” He held up a picture and shoved it into Jake’s hand. “This is Austin’s plane.”
Yeah, great. “Hmm, not that small.” He turned it over and read “Piper PA32 Small Aircraft.” Screw it. He handed it back to Trace. “Nice.” In reality, he was about to vomit. The guy had a freaking Piper PA32. That wasn’t cheap.
Paige stood. “Well, it’s time I go. Our flight is scheduled to leave in a couple hours. Trace, come give Mom a hug, honey. I’m going to miss you.” She bent to hug him. Over Trace’s shoulder, she lifted her eyes to Jake.
A lump stuck in his throat. This was it. He turned her over to another man like a father at a wedding. She was leaving them. The tear-filled look in her eyes was one he’d never forget.
Trace cried when they parted. “Mommy…”
“Shh,” she said, placing her finger over his lips. “I know you’re sad. I’ll call you later, big guy.” She hugged him again. “Don’t ever forget I love you, sweetheart.” Again she peered up at Jake who glanced away.
His heart beat fast and strong. It took all the strength he had to stand there straight-faced, feigning calm as if he didn’t care. He cared. Even if he had wanted to hate her, he couldn’t, but it slowly brewed in his body and mind, especially after seeing the pain in his boy’s eyes—pain she had caused. He wanted to tell her she didn’t have to do this, but it would be worthless. She loved the other guy enough to have his baby—to give everything up for him. Yep, hate began to boil now. “Take care of yourself, Paige. I’ll take good care of our boy.”
“I know you will, sweetie,” she said softly with a tenderness in her eyes he hadn’t seen in ages. Paige released Trace and hugged Jake, whispering, “A part of me will always…well, you know.”
“But not enough…” Jake took a deep breath and left her embrace. “Come here, bud.” He lifted his son who was more than half of Jake’s height, and carried him outside to see her off. Trace didn’t object, now crying on his shoulder as Paige drove away.
“What, son?” he gulped out as the taillights faded.
“Will Mom come back?”
Trace’s heart beat as hard and fast as his did. He hugged him tighter, a desert-sand dryness blocking a normal swallow. “She said she would.” Jake gulped again. “Let’s take a walk through the barn.” He started to put T.J. down, but he tightened his hold around his dad’s neck.
“No.” He cried and Jake stood right there holding him, and he cried internally.
Welcome to another week at my blog. The Marketing for Romance Writers 52-Week Blog Challenge Blog Hop is winding down. This week’s topic wasn’t easy for me. What else is new, right? Haha, I’ve said this before.
It didn’t come easy because I couldn’t choose which day I wanted to post about. I had drafted three unforgettable day posts. The one I’m posting today isn’t one of the three. Wednesday night this one came to me, but I don’t know what triggered the memory. Why wouldn’t it come to me that night? This lady remained awake until at least 4:00 a.m. I think half the memories throughout my whole life came to me.. Read on…
First, some good news (for me). I published one book this week. A coloring book. Now, there is one down and one to go. Finding Kimber is on track for release before Black Friday.
Week 45: An Unforgettable Day In My Life
I looked fifteen, but imagine me at seventeen–short, thin, blonde (with big blue eyes, or so I’ve been told), and stuck at a mall all alone after dark. You see, my so-called “friend” didn’t come to pick me up after my driver education class. Yeah, I took the class in a conference room at the mall. Westland Mall. Cell phones were a thing of the future.
The class ran late and I missed the bus home. The only buses left were going in a different direction and city. I wandered around in the mall foyer where the phones sat. Eventually, the mall cleared. I no longer felt safe there. I made calls trying to wrangle a ride home with no luck. I ventured back outside and waited with hopes the jerk friend would arrive.
A group of older guys waited for one of the other buses, but they spotted me alone. When I say group, I mean about seven or eight guys, maybe more. I was young but not stupid. They laughed, teasing each other, and they kept peering in my direction. Even the bus driver!
In my desperation, I went back inside to call home. This wasn’t one of my best choices because my dad wouldn’t get out of bed to come get me. Once he arrived home from work, he didn’t leave. I begged my mom to ask him. His answer? NO. No surprise.
A few of the guys from outside had followed me inside while I made the phone call. They followed me back outside. I paced while waiting. By then, needless to say, fear overtook me. What could I do? Home was about seven miles away. I had walked it before. Would I have to again? I kept glancing at the woods across the road.
Traffic in the parking lot dwindled. If only the buses would load up and leave. The guys moved closer to where I waited. Oh, crap! They tried to talk to me. I walked away from them.
As these guys got closer to me, laughing, making jabs at each other, and at me, a young guy and girl came up to me, saying loudly, “Oh, there you are. We’ve been looking all over for you. Come on.” The girl gently held my arm.
I took stock of the situation. The group of guys or two strangers? Guess which choice I made? What choice would you have made?
The guy turned to give the group a warning glare. The three of us walked away. They told me they didn’t like the looks of what went on, and wanted to get me out of there. They offered me a ride home, and something told me it was okay. (Intuition.)
Would I have taken a ride from strangers on a normal night? Hell no, though I had hitchhiked before but never alone. Never at night. After getting in the car with them, fear and a whole new scenario played out in my mind, but they drove me straight home. I directed, but it was like they knew where to go.
They pulled up in front of my house, smiled, and said, “Here you are.” How could I thank these two gentle strangers? Well, I did graciously thank them for saving me. I shudder to think of what could’ve happened that night. To this day, I believe they were my Guardian Angels. The friend? Hah, yeah, what friend? Jerk.
I don’t condone hitchhiking. Times have changed since then. I also don’t recommend taking rides with strangers. For me, it turned out to be the right decision. Again, times have changed. Another thing? It pays to listen to our intuition. I believe it’s a gift.
Hop on over to the Linky list with me to see what the other authors have to say.
I’ll make my way to participating author posts throughout the weekend.
Isn’t this quote nice? It is to me. The quote says a lot in only a couple lines. Robert Brault wrote this. A while back, I wrote a post where I mentioned *Robert Brault about how I’ve used his quotes (with permission) in some of my books. I had no idea what I’d post today until I came across this on The Quote Garden website. My muse approves.
Our imagination is a palette of bright colors though sometimes it can be dark and bleak. My favorite part of this quote is “You can use it to touch up memories.” I’ve done this before with memories that don’t emanate bright colors. But, can we hide the real color of a memory? I love the other part of this sentence, too… “or you can use it to paint dreams.”
I have used imagination with my memories in writing–the bright and the dark of my memories–but either way, I am painting dreams when I use them. Hats off to Mr. Robert Brault for this quote that inspired my muse today.
I know many of you have used your imagination to paint dreams. I see it in the photos you take, the music you make, the recipes you share, and the words that you write.
The imagination is a pallet of bright colors. You can use it to touch up memories — or you can use it to paint dreams. ~Robert Brault
*FYI: Robert Brault is a free-lance writer who has contributed to magazines and newspapers in the USA for over 40 years. I visited Robert’s site today and discovered he has anotherNEW BOOK!
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