Tag: Knight on the Texas Plains

Ranch Names and a Giveaway!

I’m so excited! I have a new book out tomorrow! Actually, this is a re-release of a 2002 book but since it got no exposure back then, this is like brand new. It’s the first in a series called Texas Heroes and is about a cowboy with nothing to live for who wins a baby in a poker game. I’ll tell you more about it further down. 

Some ranches have the strangest names but they must mean something to the owner. The ones I put in my stories all do. But some that I see when I drive down the road leave me scratching my head.

In the anthology Give Me a Texas Cowboy, Jack’s Bluff was the name of the ranch in my and Phyliss’s stories. Jack, one of Tempest LeDoux’s many husbands, won the ranch after buffing in a card game. We thought it was perfect name for her ranch.

Here are a few of the others I’ve used:

Long Odds – Texas Mail Order Bride

Last Hope – Twice a Texas Bride

Wild Horse – Forever His Texas Bride

Lone Star – Men of Legend series

Each one told a lot about the owner. Duel McClain in Knight on the Texas Plains names his ranch Aces ’n Eights later on in Book #3 of this Texas Heroes series.

The name means so much to him. It’s the hand he wins baby Marley Rose with and he doesn’t ever want to forget how she comes into his life. That baby girl gives him the will to live again.

Aces ’n Eights is also called the Deadman’s Hand and is comprised of a pair of black aces, black eights and a hole card. It was called the Deadman’s hand because those were the cards Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot and killed. His hole card was the Queen of Hearts.

Here’s the back blurb for this book:

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…

For an excerpt, click HERE.

Not far from where I live is the Spade Ranch, the Tongue River Ranch, the Pitchfork, and the Four Sixes. Each one has a story.

Do you know any ranch names either in books or that you’ve seen or heard about? I’m giving away three copies of this book (your choice of format.) Just leave a comment to enter the drawing.

Real Life That Inspires

 

It seems the most frequently asked question of a writer is where our stories come from. My first two published books – KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS and THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING – came from real life experiences. I didn’t know at the time why certain things happened and why I had to live through them. I didn’t know that I was a writer-in-training and storing up all these life events for future stories.

The Story Behind Knight on the Texas Plains

When I was a child growing up, our family lived next door to a Latino couple. They had a daughter who was a few years older and we became playmates. I was around eight or nine years old. One day an ugly truth came to light and it affected me in a huge way. We learned that the neighbor’s girl wasn’t really theirs. The man had won her in a poker game and brought her to the U.S. illegally. He was really mean. He didn’t work and stayed drunk all the time. He made life miserable for his wife and my friend. I began to wonder what her real father must’ve been like to have wagered his daughter in a poker game. Did she mean so little to him that he could give up his own flesh and blood so easily? I never got an answer to that. But it stayed with me, refusing to go away. That was long before I even knew I’d be a writer one day. I had a burning desire though to give Juanita the happiness that she was denied in life. I just didn’t know how I’d do that.

And then I became interested in writing fiction. I joined writing groups and learned how to put a story together and how to perfect my craft.

A few years later, Knight on the Texas Plains was born. I knew I wanted to write a story about a child that was won in a poker game. I named her Marley Rose.

Duel McClain is a down and out cowboy who’d just buried his wife and son. He’s wandering from town from town, not caring about anything other than dying. So he sits in on a poker game and comes away with an innocent little girl to take care of.

On his way back to where his parents lives, a woman stumbles into his camp. She’s hungry and desperate. He strikes a deal with her-ride along and take care of Marley Rose just until he gets the child to his family and he’ll take her anywhere she wants to go with no questions asked.

Jessie Foltry agrees, only she doesn’t count on the fact that Marley Rose and Duel would wiggle into her heart. All she’s wanted for as long as she could remember is to be a mother. Holding the sweet baby in her arms forges an unbreakable bond. And the nights under the stars with Duel make her dream of things a woman like her can never have.

Trusting Duel was the easy part…living without her knight on the Texas plains would be next to impossible.

This book came out with Dorchester Publishing in 2002. It has recently been re-released as a Kindle e-book for $2.99. I’m so glad that readers who didn’t get a chance to read it now have the opportunity.

The Story Behind The Cowboy Who Came Calling

During the writing of “Knight on the Texas Plains,” I knew I had to write a story about Duel’s brother, Luke. It seemed as natural as breathing. At the time I had just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and began losing my vision. One day I could see fairly well and the next I could see little more than shadows. It was one of the scariest times in my life. I didn’t know how I could deal with being blind. I was a writer and I had many more books to write.

In Luke’s story he meets a woman named Glory Day. Glory is her family’s sole support. Her father is in prison and her mother has sunk into a deep depression and she’s developed an addiction for laudanum. Glory’s vision begins to swiftly fade and she doesn’t know how she’ll provide for her mother and younger sisters if she can no longer see. But Luke isn’t going to let her find out. He means to do whatever he has to do to help make Glory’s life easier whether she gets as mad as a hornet or not.

He’ll risk life and limb for the woman he loved. And he does.

Today, I’m happy to say that my vision has returned. Unlike Glory I never had to find out what permanent blindness was like. At least not yet. But it sure let me immerse myself fully in Glory’s character.

The Cowboy Who Came Calling was a 2003 release by Dorchester Publishing. It has recently come out again as a Kindle e-book and sells for the low price of $2.99.

Have you ever dealt with something in your life and then found out much later the reason why such a thing happened? Or feel free to just talk about anything.

I’m giving away a Kindle version of KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS to two people who comment.

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