Caroline Fyffe shares: TEXAS TWILIGHT & GIVEAWAY!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my new western historical romance, TEXAS TWILIGHT, with your readers.  It’s book two in The McCutcheon Family series, and was a joy to write.  I think it’s because I got so attached to the family in MONTANA DAWN, I was eager to learn more about them, create a little havoc in their lives, and feel the joy of them falling in love.

John Jake McCutcheon, the fourth brother, was only mentioned twice in book one.  Now, he’s out of medical school and starting a new practice in Rio Wells, Texas, the town where his extended family reside.  All goes well until Dustin, the oldest Texas cousin, takes a shine to Lily Anthony, the pretty young woman who has traveled in the same Wells Fargo coach with John to Rio Wells.  Sparks fly as the two McCutcheon men, so different yet also alike, square off.

For all you cowboy lovers, here is a short excerpt;

 

* * *

Chapter one

 

Texas Badlands, 1886

 

The stagecoach lurched. John Jake McCutcheon opened his eyes and saw the young woman next to him grasp the leather loop that hung from the coach’s ceiling to keep from being tossed around. She tipped precariously to the right, then left, bumping forcefully into his shoulder. With an apologetic glance she moved away, then dabbed at her brow with a folded handkerchief. She looked at her elderly aunt.

“Tante Harriet? Are you all right?” she asked in a soft German accent. She opened the fan she held and swished it back and forth in front of the tiny woman. “Your face is extremely red.”

“Of course, Lily,” Harriet Schmidt said in a raspy voice laced with exhaustion. The old woman’s hair was swept up atop her head and fastened in a bun, but after the miles and miles traveled on the dusty, sun-baked road, it looked more like a weather blown tumbleweed after a storm. She patted her niece on the knee. “Thank heavens we’re almost there. Just one more day and we’ll be out of this oven.”

John glanced away, not wanting to seem impolite. He’d met both Harriet Schmidt and her niece, Lily Anthony, when they’d boarded the stage together in Concepción. He’d seen them on the train from Boston, too, but they’d kept to themselves, never speaking with anyone else.

John gazed out the window, thinking. He was finally finished with his medical training and heading to West Texas. Anticipation coursed though him.

Rio Wells was a long way from his family ranch in Montana, but he’d get used to it. His plan to return to Y Knot after graduation hadn’t panned out. His hometown already supported two full-time physicians. If he really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives as a doctor and surgeon, he had to strike out in a place where the townsfolk were in need. At least he wouldn’t be a complete stranger in Rio Wells. Uncle Winston and his family were there. And his fiancée, Emmeline Jordan, would be joining him this fall.

John closed his eyes, recalling Emmeline’s elegant profile and dark, alluring eyes. In his mind’s eye, her mouth drew down into a seductive little pout, a manipulation he knew all too well, but one that, all the same, fueled his blood. She was like a beautiful, exotic bird, needing care and affection.

“Oh, just to take this corset off,” Harriett said to no one in particular, then chortled softly at her niece’s shocked expression at her bluntness. “It pinches horribly. I think I’ll throw it away for good.” She paused, thinking. “No…”  Her eyes twinkled mischievously. “Actually, I’ll burn it.”

Cyrus and Jeremiah Post and Abigail Smith, the other passengers cramped uncomfortably on the opposite seat, just smiled, now used to the old woman’s antics. Miss Smith, a teacher, had been hired by the same town council that had hired John, and he felt a small kinship with her.

“You know, Doctor McCutcheon,” Harriett Schmidt went on, trying to catch his eye, “my Lily doesn’t need a corset. Her waist is eighteen inches without one.”

“Tante Harriett. Please.

John chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. He’d tried not to notice something like that, but it had been difficult, if not impossible. The girl had practically been snuggled to his side for several days.

Without warning, the driver called out sharply to the horses and the coach picked up speed. The two guards riding on top of the stage scuffled around and one shouted something unintelligible. John glanced out the window.

A shot rang out. One second later, one of the guards fell from the top of the stage, past the window, landing with a thunk as the stage rolled on. Lily gasped and threw her arms protectively around her aunt. Abigail screamed and then fainted, flopping over onto Cyrus’s shoulder.

The driver bellowed to the horses again and the stagecoach heaved forward as the six-horse team was propelled instantly into an all-out gallop. Three more shots were fired, and the sound of horses’ hooves thundered from behind.

John looked back through the dust to see a number of riders racing toward the stagecoach, eating up the distance between the two. What the hell was he supposed to do now?  He was a doctor. He’d taken the Hippocratic Oath to heal not three weeks before. His job was taking bullets out, not putting them in. But then, he’d also been raised on a rugged Montana ranch, where the unwavering reality was hard. Sometimes staying alive meant killing someone else. Besides, everyone’s lives were on the line, not just his. It would be especially bad for the women aboard. These hills were a common hiding place for Comancheros. They used women in the worst ways and then sold them into prostitution in Mexico. As pretty as she was, Lily Anthony would fetch top price. Hell, they’d sell the skinny teacher and the old woman, too.

Smoke and dust filled the coach. Pop. Pop. Pop. Lily covered her ears. Her elderly aunt coughed as she struggled to hang on. Abigail, now fully awake again, filled the small space with one shrill scream after the other, never even pausing to take a breath. John reached for his satchel under the seat, withdrew a Colt 45, and strapped on his holster. Carrying his guns was a habit he hadn’t been able to break even after his years at school. With hands nimble from experience, he loaded and fired several shots out the window. Two riders fell.

“You have another gun?”

John was surprised to see old Harriet Schmidt eyeing him expectantly. One hand was outstretched while the other grasped the windowsill as the coach careened down the road, jerking violently this way and that. “I’m not letting those filthy dogs take my Lily!”

“Can you shoot?”

“I wouldn’t ask if I couldn’t. My derringer’s not worth diddly.”

John squeezed off three more shots, then pulled another gun from his bag, handing it to Harriet. He pushed the bag toward Lily. “Bullets.”

Cyrus Post fired out the other side of the coach just as a bullet hit Cyrus’s brother in the chest, slamming Jeremiah violently against the back of the seat. Jeremiah gasped several times as he tried to hold back a rush of crimson that spurted through his splayed fingers, soaking his clothes. With just a glance, John could see he wasn’t long for this world. Abigail’s eyes grew round as she took in the blood. With a gasp, she fainted again, blessedly putting an end to her screams.

“Son of a bitch! “ Cyrus cried out. “There’s too many. Prepare to meet your maker.”

“Hush your mouth, you old coot,” Harriet shouted as she hefted the heavy gun and shot out the window. “I have more faith in God than that.”

The coach rounded a corner dangerously fast and then slowed up a bit as it began an uphill climb. One side of the road dropped off, falling some forty feet to a bed of jagged rocks.

Seizing the moment, John holstered his gun and opened the narrow door. He climbed the side of the rocking coach using the window as a step, and grasping the luggage rack, pulled himself up. He flopped onto his stomach, facing the oncoming killers and picked up the fallen guard’s Winchester. He took aim.

 

* * *

 

Since the holidays are just around the corner I’d like to share the recipe for my sister’s Beer Bread, which she makes every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s not exactly a recipe from the 1800s, but it surely could’ve been—it’s that easy.  Give it a try.  You’ll be hooked, too;

 

3 cups Self Rising flour

3 Tlbs sugar

a 12 –oz can or bottle of beer (at room temperature)

1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup raisins

(OR ½ cup raisins and ½ cup cranberries—I use cherry flavored!)

a good shake of cinnamon.

Mix all ingredients together and put into a sprayed and floured bread pan.

Split the top with a knife.

Cover and set in a warm spot for 30 minutes so the dough can rise.

Cook in a 375-degree oven for 1hour and 15 minutes.

Watch at the end so it doesn’t become too brown.

Remove and while still hot, brush top with butter. ENJOY!!

 

I’m giving away an E-Book copy of TEXAS TWILIGHT, and also a paper copy of MONTANA DAWN to two different commenters.  Share with us if you’ve ever been in competition with a friend or family member for the same sweetheart?  Don’t be shy….

 

Available in E-Book online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

LINK TO AMAZON

LINK TO B&N

 

Cheryl St.John
Land of Dreams for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/awe75qd
Colorado Courtship (Winter of Dreams) Anthology LIH 1/13
Visit me on the web: http://www.cherylstjohn.net/
From the Heart: http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/

47 Comments

  1. Hi Caroline, welcome to the P&P! Your new book sound fabulous and I can’t wait to read it. I have read your book Where the Wind Blows and I love it. The western romance is my favorite read so I will be looking for this book. Thanks for coming today and sharing your wonderful books with us.

  2. Sorry I forgot to answer you question. Yes I have been in competition for the same guy with my best friend. Things didn’t go well for me at that time but I did hook up with the guy years later. Things just didn’t work out for us. I often wonder if my life would have been different if things had worked out.

  3. My sister and I were in love with the same boy in HS. Ee hated each other for years. He played us both though.

  4. Hi Caroline!

    This sounds like another fantastic McCutcheon story!

    Nope, I haven’t ever been in competition for the same sweetheart with friends or family. I was the only girl in the family, so that helped there. And my close friends and I have always had very different tastes in men. Guess I’ve been lucky. :o)

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse at the new book. Can’t wait to read it.

    –Kirsten

  5. The cover to Texas Twilight is so beautiful! Love the colors!
    Exciting excerpt ride! I do want to know what happens to John, Dustin and Lily!!

    My sister and I are two years apart. She’s older. I did date a few of her castoffs in HS and college. No fights involved and no intense romance.

    My husband did date one of my roommates(Junior year of college), that is how he was first introduced to me. We didn’t start dating until the beginning of my Senior year of college.

    My sister ended up dating and marrying a castoff of one of her apartment roommates.

  6. Good morning, Quilt Lady~~Thanks for stopping by. Thanks too for your kind words about WHERE THE WIND BLOWS.

    I had a same experience with a friend over a boy, but it was only in the fifth grade. So, that in itself, made it more of a challenge of wit than something serious of the heart. LOL I can still remember saying to myself, Vic Ladoo I love you!

    In your case, it must not have been meant to be. I think we all look back at some point and think…what if? What was that Garth Brooks song? Thank God for Unanswered Prayers. I know I think that sometimes.

    Thanks—your comment contribution added lots. Cheers!

    PS-For those of you who would like a double chance to win be sure to stop by my blog sometime at http://carolinefyffeauthor.blogspot.com/ and enter. I’m celebrating the launch of TEXAS TWILIGHT and giving away more books on Halloween!

  7. Nena~
    I’m sorry to hear about what happened between you and your sister. It must have been soooo hard. It makes it doubly hard that it happened in high school when everything seems so life and death to teenagers. I hope the two of you (your sister, I mean) can laugh about it now. What happened to the boy?

    Thanks so much for your input. Good luck in the drawing…. Hugs!

  8. Your novel sounds wonderful! I’ve never been in open competition- I was always the shy one who coveted from afar.

  9. Delighted to have you at Wildflower Junction today, Caroline! Thanks for your great blog. The story sounds awesome.

  10. Caroline, a big welcome to you. You story sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to read it!

  11. Hey, Kristen—isn’t it great that we DO all have different tastes. Thank heavens for that!!

    Thinking along those lines another song just popped into my head; Trashy Women by Confederate Railroad (I know, I’m really dating myself now) The words to that song used to crack me up. If you remember–his parents kept introducing him to prim and proper women and he wanted a cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton wig….LOL

    Thanks for your comment!

  12. Wow, Laurie–it all worked out for everyone involved, so to speak. That’s great! One of my sorority sisters met one of my hubby’s fraternity brothers at our wedding. They dated, fell in love, married and had a happily-ever-after. Everyone always referred to them as the couple who met at our wedding. LOL

    Thanks for your interest in TEXAS TWILIGHT. It was really fun to write….

  13. Hi Caroline. Your book sounds great. When we were in grade school my cousin and I liked the same boy.

  14. Kathleen, then you sound like me! We’d sit back and send our thoughts telepathically, right? LOL That fits right in with some of the novels now a days….

    Thanks for your comment!

    ~C

  15. Sounds like a great book! I’e never been in competition with the same guy, thanks goodness! I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 26 years! So glad those “dating years” are long gone! Now I watch my college kids go through them and it’s not fun! I sure enjoy those western books and this one sounds wonderful! I especially love westerns since my last name IS Western 🙂

  16. Oops, forgot to mention that if I win, I’d like the paper copy of your book since I DON’T have an ereader. Thanks!!!!

  17. Thanks so much, Cheryl!! I’m delighted to be in Wildflower Junction today–with a happy name like that, who wouldn’t be? This is an awesome blog site filled with tons of super authors and the wonderful readers who enjoy western historical.

    My day is happy! Yay!

  18. Hi Margaret! Thanks for the virtual flowers about TEXAS TWILIGHT. LOL I appreciate it!

    Also, I keep meaning to say and forgetting—I want everyone to try the beer bread. It’s scrumptious and makes a really nice, old fashion gift. Just wrap it up in a new dishtowel and tie it up in a pretty bow. I also attach a small recipe card with the recipe….It always gets me smiles.

  19. Caroline, please leave my name out of the drawing, because I already have the hard copy of Montana Dawn on my keeper shelf & the kindle copy of Texas Twilight too. I just wanted to let you know how much I love this series and hope to read more of the McCutcheons!! Do you plan more of them in the future?

  20. Caroline, I loved Confederate Railroad! I saw them in concert at Cheyenne Frontier Days one year (I won’t mention which one).

    –Kirsten

  21. Hi Caroline and welcome to Wildflower Junction today! Your story sounds awesome, and I felt like I was watching it happen as I was reading the excerpt. John Jake has a dilemma, but I bet I know how he plans to resolve it since he’s got the rifle in his hand. LOL
    Cheryl P.

  22. Thanks for stopping in, CrystalGB!

    I’ll have to say then that that boy back in grade school was doubly blessed. LOL

    ~C

  23. Valri—GREAT last name! Any relation to Rick and Lynette Western?

    Congrats on the 26 years!! That’s awesome. I know what you mean about watching our children go through heartaches of their own. It’s so hard. Like you, I’m glad my dating days are long gone. Hugs!

  24. Hi Trish—thanks so much for letting me know! That’s always music to my ears.

    Yes, I have several more stories rumbling around in my head for the Montana/Texas family. I just don’t know which one to do first. I do have another book that should be out by Christmas. It’s titled Sourdough Creek, and is the start to a NEW series. LOL There just isn’t enough time in one day.

    Anyway, as soon as I put that one to bed I’m going to start on a new McCutcheon book….

  25. Thanks for responding Caroline! I’ll definitely be watching for the Sourdough Creek series.

  26. Welcome Caroline!
    Thankfully I have never been in a competition for a guy with a friend or family member. We have very different tastes and there are so many fishes in the sea. It also happens that I am picky and don’t fall easily. I don’t mind living that experience through books, though.

  27. I’m delighted to see everyone here today!

  28. Kristen-how cool! I’ve always wanted to go to Cheyenne Frontier Days. I had the pleasure of visiting Cheyenne, Wyoming, a few years back, but it wasn’t the right time for the celebration. How fun to see Confederate Railroad! They were a fun band. I wonder if they are still together?

    Are you a Wyomingite?

  29. I haven’t been in competition for the same guy with anyone.

  30. Cheryl P–I think you must have already read the story!! LOL Or,you’re just very knowledgeable of hot-blooded American cowboys, and how they would react in a sticky situation–even if they are a doctor! I love John Jake because regardless if he’s the youngest boy in the McCutcheon family, his temper and guts are right up there with Luke’s.

    Thanks for the great comment!

  31. Thanks for sharing a bit of your book with us today! Sounds great!
    I have never been in a competition for a guy…
    Happy October!

  32. I am a Wyomingite born and bred! Unfortunately, I’m a displaced Wyomingite right now, but I go home every chance I get.

    My uncle used to live in Cheyenne so we went to Frontier Days every year for a time. I highly recommend for cowboy fun.

    –Kirsten

  33. HiNa! I agree, lots of fish in the sea. And if one isn’t up to standard, toss it back. LOL Just kidding! You know what I mean though.

    Fiction is a good way to gain understanding for new experiences….

    Thanks for the comment!

    ~C

  34. It’s been a great day, Cheryl!! And isn’t halfway over…. 🙂

  35. Hi Minna–You’re one of the lucky ones then….

    Good luck in the drawing.

    Hugs,
    ~C

  36. Hey Caroline, no, no relation to Rick & Lynette Western that I know of! My husband’s relatives all live in Southern Cal. and Arizona! I just “inherited” the name when I married him 🙂 We get all kinds of kidding — “spaghetti westerns” , “Best Western”, “Country Westerns” you know, the obvious stuff! Thanks for the comments!

  37. Hi Colleen—it’s been my pleasure to be here today. It’s been really fun!

    Halloween is just around the corner. Start carving your pumpkins….

  38. Valri–I’ve been taught that it never hurts to ask. 🙂 Rught? LOL You could have been sisters or something.

    I inherited a funny name, too. People always ask if my hubbys name is Barney. LOL It was funny for about the first five hundred times… But Western, now that’s a name I’d love!

  39. Caroline, that was an exciting excerpt. Thanks for sharing. I love westerns especially those set in Texas but then, I’m a Texan. 🙂

  40. Thanks so much, Ciara. I was born in Texas too. Waco!!

  41. I have my Kindle ready, just in case I win. *lol* Your book and the recipe both sound delicious.

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing…and I’m envious. I’ve always wanted to be a guest on this blog, so do tell, who did you wrangle an invite? *lol*

  42. Thank you for the Beer Bread recipe. It sounds like something my family will enjoy. I love to bake, especially breads, but try not to. I love eating it even more and it shows.
    I never competed with anyone. My interests were very different from my sisters and luckily, my friends and I never cared for the same guys. When my husband and I met each other again (long story) we were both pretty certain we were for each other.

    I have WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. I’ll definitely have to catch up with you and get these two. Thank you for the excerpt.

  43. Hi Ginger! Congrats! I see you’re the winner of MONTANA DAWN!

    This is a fabulous blog to guest on. This is my third time, and each time I’ve visited I’ve had so much fun. Yesterday was no exception. When I was first starting out with WHERE THE WIND BLOWS a friend suggested I start hanging out at Wildflower Junction since so many western historical authors were here. I did, got to know a few of the authors, and then asked. Everyone is super nice….

  44. Hey, Patricia B.~~Happy Friday.

    You sound like me. I LOVE bread. The good thing about this one is that it freezes really well. Give it a try and you will see what I mean. I’m happy it’s almost time to start making it for gifts…(Yes friends, you know what you’re getting–AGAIN!LOL)

    Thanks. I hope you enjoy MONTANA DAWNA and TEXAS TWILIGHT. Hugs!

  45. A BIG THANK YOU to all the fillies and guests who stopped by Wildflower Junction yesterday who made my day so much fun! Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

    Hugs,
    ~Caroline

  46. I can’t find Sourdough Creek anywhere. I had read it was to be out in January 2012. Where can I buy it. I read a lot and you are hands down my favorite author. KEEP WRITING!!!

  47. Caroline, thanks for the excerp from the book. Would love to win.Have not been in competion with my sister, she was 10 years older than I. Did have the misfortune after having been married 25 years to have a “friend” decide she was ready for a change and she decided my husband was who she wanted as they carried on a clandestine for four months before he moved out,left a note and divorced me….took a long time to get over it but now I am “checking out’ the water in the dating again.Wish me luck..by the way thanks for the beer bread receipe. Intend to add it to other breads and cookies at my pastry tent for the Harvest festival my church holds in the fall.

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