I’m back with you to celebrate my new book’s birthday. In Care Of Sam Beaudry goes on sale today. It’s a contemporary Western from Silhouette Special Editions, and it’s the first of three related stories. The first few pages are available for you to read on my website and at Amazon (click on title link above) where you can, of course, order the book.
Let me tell you a bit about the idea for the story while I show you stud lovin’ fillies a couple of pictures of our own Paints. Not to brag or anything—just want to decorate my post with a little Western art.
At the end of the day we’ll draw from the comments for an autographed book from my backlist. (Think like a winner and check out the excerpts on my website to see which one you’ll choose!) Oh, and I’m blogging today at Riding With the Top Down, where I’m part of another multi-author site, so drop by if you have time.
Sam Beaudry is the sheriff of fictitious Bear Root County in the mountains of Montana. His mother owns Allgood’s Emporium in the town of Bear Root, which is also the county seat. Sam’s a caretaker, a man you can depend on. Publicly he has sworn to protect his community. Privately he’s committed to protecting his own heart, which has been on the mend for some time. He’s on the cusp of taking a chance again when the woman he loved and lost rides into town on a Greyhound bus with a little girl in tow. The woman is dying, and the child is looking for her grandmother—the owner of Allgood’s Emporium.
Yep, it’s a secret baby story, which is one of my favorites. But this one has a few twists, and I didn’t come up with them all myself. Every once in a while my husband has a vision for a story. Generally it’s not a plot—would that it were, since plotting is the bane of my writing existence—but a very visual setup. He imagined an older woman setting out homemade cookies in a country store. A little girl appears on the other side of the screen door. She’s drawn to the scent of chocolate chip cookies—aren’t we all?—but she’s nervous and looks pretty scruffy. The woman gets her to come in. The little girl says she can’t stay because her mother’s sick, but she gobbles a cookie and asks for more. She hasn’t eaten today. She and her mother are staying at the motel, and she’s pretty sure her mother needs to see a doctor. “That’s it,” Clyde says. “Oh, and I think the woman turns out to be the girl’s grandmother.”
That little kernel intrigued me. Neither the hero nor the heroine was part of the scene, but they were around somewhere. I envisioned my great uncle’s country store in Virginia—hadn’t thought of it in years—and his amazing little dog. Our daughter recently joined Hennepin County Sheriff’s communications response team as a volunteer, so I had “sheriff” on the brain. And there are at least a few horses somewhere in most of my stories, so Sam has a Paint mare named Oreo, who has a colt. It’s coming together with more detail. Except for a plot. Must have a plot. Well, I have a dying woman. She has to be dying of something. And she’s on the run. She has to be running from something. Or someone. And I have the caring man who once loved her being asked by his mother how she came to have a seven-year-old granddaughter. We were off and running.
Obviously I didn’t set out to write a trilogy. It grew from the characters. Sam’s brother’s story, ONE COWBOY, ONE CHRISTMAS, is scheduled for December. But first things first. I don’t know what it is about secret babies, but it’s a story that always appeals to me.
What’s your favorite romance theme or plot device? A reminder that I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of a book from my backlist, so let’s talk books, movies—whatever jumps to mind.