Tag: The Gunslinger and the Heiress

The Heroes of San Diego Series & a Giveaway!

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Happy Monday! I am gearing up for the release of Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff in November. This book will wrap up my Heroes of San Diego Series. It will be hard to leave my friends, but new stories are waiting to be written. I thought I’d go back to the beginning and post a bit about the story-lines and how they are connected because at the end of my post I have a question for you…

 

Book #1

Angel and the OutlawThe Angel and the Outlaw was my debut story, the “book of my heart,” that just begged to be written. When young, I loved the peninsula on Pt. Loma in San Diego where the old 1854 lighthouse stands. At that time, visitors could climb up the narrow circular stairs and walk around the catwalk. Not so anymore. In that story, a young woman from town dares to tutor the light keeper’s daughter who happens to be mute from a traumatic event in her past. Stuart is hiding out from the law and every bit a taciturn hero, but Rachel sees through his gruff exterior in the way he treats his daughter. When the law starts to close in on him, things get heated! (This book is NOT SWEET.)

 

 

Book #2

The Gunslinger and the HeiressThe Gunslinger and the Heiress takes place fifteen years later and is the story of Caleb and Hannah ~ the two children from my first book. I had many readers write in and ask if Hannah ever got over her muteness. I loved writing this story which has a dash of adventure and piracy in the mix. Who knew there were pirates off the coast of California? I learned that fact while researching and just had to include it in my story. The story takes place as the Hotel Del Coronado is being finished. Caleb is a scrapper and a reluctant bodyguard for Hannah. He’s always loved her…but she is as far removed from him as the moon now that they’ve grown up.

 

 

Book #3

fs-250-smFamiliar Stranger in Clear Springs starts out in La Playa ~ a town on the harbor that is closest to the lighthouse (and where Rachel of Book #1 taught school.) Elizabeth is Rachel’s good friend and heading into spinsterhood. She runs the family mercantile and has all but given up on love since a soldier from the nearby Fort Rosecrans left her without a word. Four years later, he suddenly shows up again and twists her heart into a tangle. Of course, she does the same to him! This story follows them into the back country where Tom has been sent to make sure the gold shipment from the mines gets through to the bank safely. Only trouble is, Elizabeth is smack dab in the middle of the fray!

 

 

Book #4 

Christmas Kiss from the SheriffChristmas Kiss from the Sheriff will be released on November 22nd! Gemma is Elizabeth’s good friend from La Playa who is the new school teacher in Clear Springs. Unbeknownst to the people of the mining town, Gemma is running from her past and has never taught a class in her life. When she skirts around a few questions and gets herself into a muddle at school, Sheriff Craig Parker becomes suspicious—so many things don’t add up about the beautiful new teacher. But she’s smart and independent and he is drawn to her!

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As I write my stories, it always amazes me how the characters become “real” to me. I think of all these heroes and heroines as friends and wish I could meet them face to face. Weird, isn’t it? I guess it’s a writer’s mind…

My publisher, Harlequin, is having a big ebook sale (ending tomorrow the 25th of Oct.)
This is only the second time I have ever heard of Harlequin doing this, so it is a
BIG DEAL!

My entire back-list is on sale for $1.99! I’ll leave you with a few links…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Harlequin

For a chance to win one of my back-list books just let me know which one sounds like the story you would most like to read!
Feel free to go to my website’s Books Page and read the summaries and excerpts.

It’s All About Choices

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HEAs or Happily Ever Afters are the DNA of romance. Romance always has a satisfying ending to the story of a relationship. Most readers who pick up a romance or watch a romantic comedy understand that. It’s not so much about winning the girl or the cowboy, but about how the two individuals grow and change and become a better version of themselves…so that they deserve their happy ending.

It comes down to choices.

Throughout the story it is the choices they make to take control of their life and step out from fear into courage.  (I love seeing that metamorphosis!)

All writers go about writing their stories differently. What works for one writer won’t necessarily work for another. That is what makes storytelling an art form.

When I begin a new story, I usually don’t start out with the idea “My main character is going to learn ____________” or “This story is about ___________.” My story and what he or she learns evolves as I write and get to know the characters better and deeper. It’s about learning about the choices they have made in the past, the regrets, the “soul” wounds and scars that happened to them and made them who they are. It’s about who they start out as at the beginning of the story and who they must become if they are ever to grasp their full potential and partake of the joy and fullness of life.

Never Regret

It all comes down to choices.

The Gunslinger & the HeiressOne of my favorite stories is The Gunslinger and the Heiress because the choice Hannah makes takes her away from a future with Caleb.

In The Gunslinger and the Heiress, Caleb has been snubbed by his childhood friend, someone he has always cared about as a little sister. The fact that he has had a rough and tumble upbringing as an orphan and she has grown up in opulence and wealth didn’t matter back then, but when things start to change between them, suddenly she shuts him out. He’s not sure why, but attributes it to the differences in their backgrounds and class. Over the years, this gives him quite a large chip on his shoulder.

This is where the story opens.

The thing about Hannah’s choice is that she doesn’t regret it. And Caleb must come to terms with that—which is not an easy thing for a man. I didn’t actually understand that this would be the message until after the rough draft was written. I don’t look for “messages” in my writing, they seem to evolve with the story as I revise and edit and get to know my characters. To me, that is the struggle and also the interesting part of writing.

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What I hope my readers take away from The Gunslinger and the Heiress is that choices, good or bad, make up the sum total of who a person is and create the direction of a life.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I will stop here, but I hope you will check out this book for yourself. And I’ll leave you with this blessing ~

Choices

A huge choice in my own life was deciding to marry and therefore remain in the Midwest.
It has impacted every aspect of my life ever since.

What is a choice you have made that completely changed the trajectory of your life?

Comment for a chance to win a copy of The Gunslinger and the Heiress!

Traditions & Mail Order Brides

 

When people talk about opposites attracting—I am living proof.

Kathryn's Wedding Day

Me and my DH Married on my grandparent’s farm

Although I wasn’t a mail-order bride ~
I was a big city girl from the Pacific coast marrying a small-town boy from the Midwest. I locked every door and checked them twice. He never locked a thing. I would do anything to avoid long lines and crowds, but he used them as a chance to be friendly with the people standing in line with him.

One of the real eye-openers about his different set of traditions was our first Thanksgiving as newlyweds. We traveled “Over the river and through the woods…” to spend the holiday with his family. May I just say that that entire Thanksgiving Day simply felt “wrong.”

His family didn’t watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. His family didn’t start a Christmas puzzle. And they didn’t sit down at a beautifully set table together while “father” carved the turkey, the children got to sneak a sip of wine, and conversation flowed as the meal and my mother’s cooking was appreciated. (I’m beginning to sound like a Hallmark card, but it was really a great up-bringing.)

Instead his family filled their plates full buffet-style and then sat down in the family room and watched the Thanksgiving football game while they ate. Talk was about the game. Then later that evening, after pumpkin pie, they played cards.

The food was the same—traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and pie. Really, the differences were minor, but for my first holiday away from home, they seemed huge—and of course I was homesick.Sarah Plain and Tall

It made me think that holidays must have been hard for those mail-order brides back in the old west. Even if the new ways were better than what they’d left, they’d still be uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. One of my favorite mail-order bride stories is the Newbery Medal winner ~ Sarah, Plain and Tall  by Patricia MacLachlan.

Traditions – rituals that are done intentionally on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annually schedule–have the ability to strengthen family ties, provide comfort and security and a sense of identity. Traditions are a constant in a world that is continually changing, and a world that is going too fast. Like the comfort of knowing the leaves change color in autumn and snow flies in winter, traditions gird and strengthen roots in a family.

When my own children came along, my family traditions and those of my husband’s melded and became one.  It has been a pleasure to realize that along the way we created a few family traditions that “stuck.”

  1. Family game night
  2. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
  3. Christmas puzzle
  4. Birthday measuring against the doorpost
  5. A special holiday table setting and meal and conversation—and THEN football.

I’ve never written a mail-order bride story, but I can see how the situation would ripen the plot for misunderstandings and emotions. Even today, I have several friends who have met their spouses over the internet. They are the mail-order brides of today and I can only imagine some of their first holidays together bumping heads regarding traditions.

As this holiday season approaches I am thankful for many things. One of them is you–my readers. It is my hope that you have a few traditions that enrich your life and bring you happy memories. If you don’t—please consider starting one.

The Gunslinger and the HeiressI would love to hear of any family traditions you’d like to share…

Comment for a chance to win my book,
The Gunslinger and the Heiress
packaged with Bronwyn Scott’s ~ Playing the Rakes Game.

(Neither one of which are Mail Order Bride Stories!)

Petticoats and Pistols Sweepstake rules apply.

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