Faithful Danger…how about a P.I. cowboy? ~Tanya Hanson

My first first-ever suspense story, Faithful Danger released just last Friday. Yeah, three weeks on the heels of Sanctuary…who woulda thunk  two so close? It’s sure been fun. But suspense? What was I thinking?

It’s true.  I don’t consider myself a very logical thinker, so I’m truly surprised this story worked out. I have to admit at getting a helpful start. One day, the editor in chief at White Rose Publishing tossed out a “phrase prompt” and “situational prompt”, and I got intrigued.   The story had to include the following details at some point, as well as a Christian theme and HEA.. For example, those silly shoes?  I have my heroine, a barista, wear them as a maid of honor at a wedding the mysterious hero crashes. And she puppy-sits two Golden Retrievers while the bride’s off on her honeymoon.

The SITUATION:

Two puppies, a woman in hiding, a mysterious man, and a pair of pink polka dot pumps.

The PHRASE:

“Dead guys don’t usually show up for breakfast,” she said, staring at the very-much-alive man who stood in front of the pastry counter.


…I want to stick with a Western brand in whatever I publish , so Faithful Danger’s hero, while a high-priced  private investigator, grew up on a Colorado ranch (near Hearts Crossing ranch, of course!),  and is still very much a cowboy.  The book is set in the ranch country of central California’s gorgeous Santa Ynez valley, where the heroine is hiding out in the small fictional town of Rancho Lorena.  I chose the location as a tribute to the folks there who hold fundraising events for Livestrong every year. Lance Armstrong has trained in them thar hills. The place and cause are very dear to my heart.

As for the excerpt, well, I was too chicken to get into the trunk myself. Thank God for the internet that told me just what the heroine would have to do. With his parents’ permission, our four year old grandson did, though, and indeed, there are glow in the dark releases that are easy and instantaneous!

Anyway, things came together pretty well with minimal edits, so I hope you enjoy this trip down Suspense Lane. From all commenters today, I’ll pick a name from the Stetson for a pdf. copy.

The Blurb:

Frightened and alone, Caffey Matthews leaves behind her wealthy Manhattan life after her husband’s financial crimes and suicide…knowing his enemies are in pursuit. Finding succor in remote California ranch land helps her to reclaim her faith and trust in God. But the heart-stopping stranger Rhee Ryland frightens her even as she’s powerless to halt her deepening feelings for him…

Believing she’s involved in her late husband’s misdeeds, cowboy-turned high-priced private investigator Rhee Ryland arrives in Rancho Lorena on her tail ready to haul her back. Never expecting to fall in love with her, even more surprising is his return to his childhood Lord.

The Excerpt:

Locked in the trunk of the car!

Caffey battled to stay calm, to breathe normally, to hold down panic. To conserve air. The compartment wasn’t air tight, but heat and hyperventilation could kill. Lord, keep me safe, she begged. But even knowing He was at her side, she had to figure out what to do by herself.

Breathe deep, slow. Breathe deep, slow. Amazingly, she did know what to do. Everett had borne a pathological fear that one day, either one of them might be kidnapped and held to ransom. Now, he was the abductor. Her lip quivered, and she swallowed tears.

Scrunched into a bundle of bones and hot, tightened skin, she widened her eyes in the darkness to try to detect a glow-in-the-dark-handle. Spirits deflating, she understood the car wasn’t a late model with a required trunk release. Just in case, she groped with her fingers to try for a toggle switch or button.

Nothing. Her heart flew into her throat, and she concentrated on easing the pain in her cramped shoulders. Maybe, just maybe the backseat would fold down. Doubtful she’d find a release in the trunk, she explored anyway with her fingertips, then unsuccessful, tried to unwind her legs enough to push the seat down. It didn’t give a centimeter.

Panic started to roil, but she refused to let it. A Psalm of David dashed through her mind. Keep my soul and deliver me, for I put my trust in You. The words had saved her before, too many times to count, and a smidge of relief skittered through her. The Lord wouldn’t let her face this alone.

 

 

 

 

Tanya Hanson
A California beach girl, I love cowboys and happy-ever-afters. My firefighter hubby and I enjoy travel, our two little grandsons, country music, McDonald's iced coffee, and volunteering at the local horse rescue. I was thrilled last year to receive the CTRR Award at Coffeetime Romance for Sanctuary, my tribute to my cancer-survin' hubby!
Updated: August 10, 2015 — 12:45 pm

43 Comments

  1. Congrats on another release, Tanya! Those pink shoes sure are something. I love the idea of starting a story with a compelling prompt. It really sparks the imagination, doesn’t it? Sounds like you came up with a great story!

  2. Dead men don’t usually show up for breakfast?

    LOL fantastic hook, Tanya.

  3. Loved the excerpt, Tanya! Sound like you have a great handle on suspense. I agree with, Mary, the hook is fantastic.

  4. Tanya, this new book sounds great. I’m dancing a jig for you. The premise is fresh. I think a PI cowboy would make a wonderful story. I’m wishing you well with it. I’m amazed at how you keep cranking the books out. You must be a fast writer. That’s the only thing I come up with. Love the excerpt and blurb! If I had a Kindle, I’d be downloading it as soon as I get this comment posted. But, I haven’t bought one yet. I’m going to have to though. No way around it.

    One quick question…..where on earth is that misshapen tree you have on here? It’s really unusual.

  5. Hi Karen, my new filly sister! Thanks for the kind words. It was a fun story to write. I happened on those shoes and couldn’t resist using the pic. oxox

  6. hi Mary, I had lots of help with the hook LOL. It was such fun to write. And it’s short-a fun summer read. Thanks for the post. oxox

  7. Hi Kristen, so nice to see you here. I had a great- time! I’ll let y’all know if and when the suspense bug ever bites again!

  8. Hi Linda! It’s a California live oak. The Santa Ynez valley and all our hills are full of them. That’s one of my favorites …right at the edge of the real little western town I based the setting on. How about that sentence for grammar? I so appreciate your good wishes! oxox

  9. P.s. If y’all take a close look, he’s holding a cowboy hat.

  10. Love the whole idea of this book! I just finished two of the Hearts Crossing books. Loved them and am sure I will enjoy this one just as much!

  11. Tanya,
    Sounds good. I love a good intrigue. The Santa Ynez area is lovely.
    Love your Phrase: “Dead guys don’t usually show up for breakfast.”
    Who is she talking to and why should be dead. Good tease as is the excerpt. I look forward to reading it.

    Best of luck with the release of both SANCTUARY and FAITHFUL DANGER.

  12. Dear Connie, I’m so honored and thrilled, you’ve no idea. Bless you! I enjoyed this story -I really wanted more tie-ins to Hearts Crossing ranch but my editor thought that would
    muddy things as it’s not part of the series. But Rhee does qget a mention in the next HCR story “Right to Bragg ” out in November. Thanks again, Connie. Always good to see you here.

  13. Howdy, Patricia. Your comment and good wishes
    mean so much to me. It’s always great to see you here, one of our so faithful visitors!

  14. Tanya, what a fun way to get a story idea. And you really took it and ran with it, owning it in a really fun way!

  15. Hi Winnie, and I’m not much of a runner LOL. Thanks for the comment, filly sister. I did have a good time.

  16. Dead men don’t usually show up for breakfast–love it! Love the shoes, too. Congratulations on another release–sell lots!

    Hugs,

  17. What fun, Tanya! I love, love, love writing prompts. 😀 Wishing you a tons of sales on your new release.

  18. You KNOW I can’t wait to read this one!!! 😀 Congrats on the release, T, and keep ’em coming. You’re amazing! Review coming ASAP. xo & God bless you in abundance.

  19. hi Margaret! The dead man thing sure was fun to work with! Thanks for the good wishes! oxox

  20. Loved the excerpt and the whole concept Tanya. You have a font of ideas!!! I will be getting this book. I’ll look for it on Amazon.

  21. Hi Penny. Yes indeed, prompts rock. I am certain this story would still be buried in my deep dark psyche without them. Thanks for posting today!

  22. What a great excerpt! I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, Tanya. It sounds like a winner!!!

  23. Hi Tanya!

    I love the excerpt and the shoe! What a great story. Because I don’t wish luck in this entertainment business (it’s known to jinx one), I’ll just say as they do in show business, Break a leg with it. 🙂

  24. Mostly just commenting because I would love to read this book, so I want to win.

  25. Oh Tanya love the cover. So you wrote a mystery wow that is so funny I am getting my first mystery published in Sept.

    Please keep in touch Love the excerpt

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  26. I love those pink shoes. I could never wear them, but my daughter could. She’s a ballroom dancer. I could see her flitting across the floor in them with little effort. The books sounds intriging. Good luck on your suspense books!

  27. Hi Marianne, I hope you like it! Santa Ynez is truly a special place for me, so the story was extra-fun to imagine. Thanks for the blessings and good wishes. oxoxox

  28. Hey Charlene, so glad you’re once again amongst the fillies. And you have taught me so much about romance writing and telling stories. Love you…and thanks for going Kindle. oxoxox

  29. Hi Mary, so good to see you here. I had a ball with this, that’s for sure. Hmmmm…wonder if there could possibly be another deep down LOL. Thanks for the good wishes.

  30. Thanks, Kay for the break a leg wishes! I am sure that would happen for real if I ever tried a shoe like that one. It is adorable but…my feet are shuddering! Thanks for posting today and wishing me well. oxoxo

  31. Tanya, I’ve got this one on my to purchase list. Sounds like you’ve pegged the suspense. Good for you. And, I can hardly wait to read it.
    Those shoes are something.

  32. Hi Sarah, no matter what the reason, we’re glad you’re here. And just maybe you’re name will jump out of the hat! Hope you like the story if you have the chance to read it. Come back, ya hear?

  33. Hi Melinda, I agree, the cover turned out great. Nicola Martinez does all my covers and she is a true artist and genius, IMO. Good luck with the book.

  34. Kathryn, I’m with ya on the shoes. I’ll leave ’em to the young and the spry. I am neither. But they sure are adorable. Thanks for joining me here today!

  35. hi LoRee, so good to see you here! I hope you like it. I’m honored that it’s on your TBR. Thanks for the good wishes!

  36. Hi Tanya! I’m so excited to stsrt in in my first book of yours. Love this website too!! Hugs, Des

  37. Des, sooo good to see you here . Welcome and come back! oxox

  38. I love the excerpt. I was so exciting. Can’t wait to get a hold of the rest of the book! Congratulations, Tanya!

  39. Howdy Raquel, soooo glad to hear from you! Thanks for being part of my “Faithful. Danger ” day! oxox

  40. Tanya,

    This looks like a great read. I always love prompts that make you have to think of something off the beaten path. LOL (Maybe that’s how my mind works…) Anyhow, the cover is just lovely and I KNOW that the story is going to be awesome!
    Congratulations!
    HUGS,
    Cheryl P.

  41. Wow, I had no idea this was written from “prompts.” Looks intriguing! Good luck with it, Tanya.

  42. Hi Cheryl prompts are so fun. I remember giving them to the students for journal writing when I taught English. I guess our minds work alike LOL. Thanks for the good vibes! oxox

  43. Thanks for the good wishes, Joyce. Always good to hear from you and to see you in Wildflower Junction!

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