Cover Coming Soon
Excerpt (ARC - Currently in Editing)
Returning to the farm, Melanie slid out of the saddle and led her lathered horse into the barn. Julie met her there as she exchanged bridle for halter and hooked the cross ties to the halter.
“Did you get him?” the teenager asked, tears in her big, brown eyes.
“Yeah, I got him,” Melanie replied as she unfastened the cinch, let the girth hang free, and pulled the saddle and sweat-soaked pad from the mare’s back. She hefted the saddle onto its designated stand. She flipped the wet saddle over and draped it across the saddle to dry. The warm, slightly sour scent of horse sweat wafted upward. She inhaled deeply, the fragrance calming her nerves.
She grabbed a lead and snapped it to the halter under the horse’s chin. Unfastening the cross ties, she led Fizz to the wash rack and picked up the hose.
“Who’s that?” Julia asked, pointing at the tall man silhouetted by the afternoon sun.
Melanie looked up at him and then back at her sister. She clamped a hand over her sister’s shoulder and in a low whisper said, “Get to the house. Now. Tell Daddy another one of those bikers from the rally is here.”
Julie blinked and looked at her, fear widening her eyes.
“Don’t run, Julie. Walk.”
“If he touches you, I’ll run.”
Melanie gave her a small smile and said, “You do that. Get. I’ll talk to the guy about Buster.”
Julie nodded and walked toward the old farmhouse. The biker turned his head to watch her, but made no move to go after her. Melanie turned on the water and directed the cold stream toward the mare’s front hooves. She looked over the horse’s back and called out, “What do you want?”
Almost always after finishing a manuscript and during the weeks in which the editor tackles the manuscript, I revise, and we do it all again before the book launches, I languish in that in-between state of sputtering ideas and mental exhaustion.
Ever watch a sparkler? Like the sparks of light that fly off the stick, ideas spark in my mind most of the time and most fade into nothing. Some sparkle more brightly than others, but they soon disappear. That indicates, to me, that they were mere flashes of interest, ephemeral and not worthy of building stories upon. A handful burn brightly and tease my mind for days. I spend a lot of mental time and energy developing stories inside my brain. If I can't drum up the interest or if my mental storytelling falters on an idea and can't blast it open for progress, then that idea, too, isn't worth the effort of writing.
Eventually, one will take hold. It will capture my imagination and intrigue me. It will, in simple terms, stick. That's the idea worth writing. That's the idea worth developing. That's the idea that will become the next book.
Developing and writing such an idea doesn't always go smoothly or quickly. One of my most gripping ideas that spurred me to write, write, write for days turned into a story that those who read it find compelling: The Falcon of Imenotash. I consider that little book a tour de force. Despite the glowing reviews, it doesn't sell. Another title that I think exemplifies my best work also doesn't sell: Daughter of the Dark Moon. In fact, I really like that entire trilogy.
I suppose it's important that I like what I write. I cannot imagine being afflicted with Stephen King's horrific imagination. In an interview, the host asked him why he wrote horror. King replied that if he could write something else, he would.
In the meantime, I will focus my energies on polishing the next book, Hogtied. This 60,000-word novel will span the following sub-genres of romance: military, biker/MC (motorcycle club), new adult, cowboy/cowgirl. How does all that fit together into one novel? Here's the cover blurb:
Cowgirl meets biker ... what could go wrong? When a biker shoots her sister's prize steer, champion roper Melanie goes after him. Unfortunately, she doesn't think it through, and that hot temper puts her squarely in Hammer's sights. Melanie's ire only increases when Hammer defuses the dangerous situation by claiming her as his property. If the former Marine and now sergeant-at-arms of the Black Ice Revolution MC thinks she's his for the taking, he's sadly mistaken. She wants nothing to do with him, but he's not about to let this sexy, feisty woman go.
Let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I'm going to try to wrestle my restless brain into some semblance of focus.
Satin Boots: Six Short Western Romances
“Var är jag?” she muttered. “Är jag död?”
Tony set down his plate and gaped at the prettiest green eyes he’d ever seen. Although he did not understand a word she said, he assumed she was confused as well as in pain, and probably thirsty.
He held a cup of water to her lips and said, “Drink.”
He slid his hand behind her head to help her drink. She took a sip, then another. Water dribbled from her lips and trickled over smooth, pale skin. He gently lowered her head back to the pillow. She blinked again.
“Vem är du?”
Guessing as to her questions, he pointed to himself and said, “Antonio.” He pointed at her and said nothing, but gave her a small smile of encouragement. He pressed his fingertip to his chest and repeated his name, then pointed at her. Awareness flickered in her eyes. He pointed to himself and she said,
“Antonio.” Tony thought her accent charming. He pointed to her and she said, “Linnea.” He repeated it, savoring the syllables on his tongue and giving them a Latin inflection she thought charming.
“Är du spansk?”
Tony shook his head, not understanding the question. He held up the cup and offered it to her. She nodded and he helped her drink.
Consuela returned with her arms filled. She smiled when Tony told her that his guest had awakened and spoken with him. She chuckled with him when he informed her that they hardly understood each other. She agreed to look after the girl, because it just wasn’t seemly for a bachelor to do so. The undertaker had a respectable reputation to maintain.
Tony returned his attention to business. He sold two of his premade, elegant caskets to the two most prominent families in the area. He took his dinner on a tray at his guest’s bedside and enjoyed a slow exchange of words to communicate before thinking to ask her if she spoke English.
“Ja, a little,” she replied.
He smiled. “Oh, good.”
Her expression took on the desperation of hope. “My mamma? Pappa?”
Understanding that question, Tony shook his head.
She closed her eyes and looked away from him. Tears trickled.
“I am sorry,” Tony said.