THE LAST CAHILL COWBOY rides into Cahill Crossing this month, completing the miniseries, CAHILL COWBOYS Texas’s Finest. Author Jenna Kernan talks about writing a continuity series.
That’s what the authors of the Harlequin Historical series, CAHILL COWBOYS Texas’s Finest did exactly. I had the joy and responsibility for winding up the series. I remember thinking, Boy, I hope I don’t disappoint the other authors. Not the readers, or my editor—the other writers. Here’s why…
Three talented women passed on their own precious heroes and heroines to my control. All of them would appear in my story. I’d never written a story with a character who was not holy my own creation and that was very disconcerting. And I didn’t have to face the same, because my hero, Chance Cahill, doesn’t appear in their stories except by reference. Plus, I didn’t get to see the others stories, as we were all working on them nearly simultaneously. Was my vision of Quin, Bowie and Leanna the same as their creators?
The best part for me was the creative collaboration on the overarching mystery, of who killed the patriarchs. That was a bunch of fun. Why, we even had our own yahoo group that filled up with images, photos, landscapes, maps, character details, story synopses. You can’t imagine the number of messages (431) we had back and forth. What color is Bowie’s horse? Who ran the saddle shop? What does the inside of Leanna’s saloon look like exactly? Questions and more questions.
The best part of this series, for me, was working with Carol Finch, Carol Arens and Debra Cowan.
I hope you get to meet all four of the Cahills, The Rancher, Quin, The Marshal, Bowie, Saloon owner Leanna and my favorite, Bounty Hunter Chance. In case you want a short introduction to story, THE LAST CAHILL COWBOY, here’s a little excerpt from the opening, after Chance rescues Ellie from a crazed gambler by shooting him.
“Welcome home, Chance,” Ellie murmured.
He nodded, thinking about hugging her again.
“I’ve heard you’re a bounty hunter and that you’ve killed over a dozen outlaws.”
Chance said nothing to this. Did the number impress her or sicken her?
“But not one person mentioned you had a death wish.”
Chance drew up short. Ellie halted beside him regarding him with a disconcerting fixed stare. It took him a moment to mask his surprise.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I saw you back there, Chance Cahill. Are you trying to kill yourself?”
He gave her a look that made grown men run, but she continued to stare, her thin brows now descending low over her eyes. This was Ellie, and she knew him or had known him back when he was another person. The little spitfire didn’t retreat. Instead, she stood toe-to-toe and lifted her chin in a defiant attitude. If a man looked at him like that, he’d knock him down. As it was he’d a good mind to kiss her, just to teach her a lesson.
“Why do you care?”
“Your mother would roll right over in her grave if she saw what you pulled in there. You were going to let that man shoot you.”
He folded his arms across his chest. “What do you want me to say, that sometimes I think about it? Well, I do. Now get out of my way, Ellen Louise, or I swear you’ll be sorry.”
Her jaw dropped open, though whether from the threat or what he had said before that, he wasn’t certain. He left her there, wondering what possessed him to tell her the truth. And why was it that Ellen Jenkins was the only one who had noticed that he no longer cared if he lived or died?
Her voice followed him. “What’s happened to you?”
He kept walking.
Excerpt THE LAST CAHILL COWBOY © Jenna Kernan
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Award-winning author, Jenna Kernan has over a dozen novels published including Western historical & paranormal romance. She has received two RITA nominations & won the Book Buyers Best Award in 2010. Follow Jenna on twitter firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.jennakernan.com