Welcome to Grady…and welcome to Joanne Kennedy!

I’m always excited when my new books hit the shelves and finally get into the hands of readers. It feels like my characters are truly alive once they’re in the hearts and minds of other people. But sometimes it’s hard to leave my old friends behind as I move on to a new story.

I grew really attached to the hero and heroine of Tall Dark and Cowboy: rancher Chase Caldwell with his broad shoulders and big heart, and Lacey, who was raised to riches and then had her privileged world whipped out from under her. Lacey rises to a whole host of challenges, and she takes Chase with her on a wild ride to shake off her problematic past.

But it’s not just the hero and heroine I’ll miss; it’s the whole town of Grady, Wyoming. Like most small towns, Grady is a complex web of interwoven  relationships. Here are just a few of the people who complicate and enrich Chase and Lacey’s lives.

Chase’s nearest neighbor, Fletcher Galt, lost his only son in a car accident. Without the boy to help out, the old rancher had to sell most of his acreage to Chase. Bitter and lonely, Galt spends much of his time on the front porch with a shotgun, guarding what’s left of his land. Being around him makes Chase uncomfortably aware of what happens if you harden your heart and live on resentment and past wrongs.

Pam Caldwell is Chase’s sister, who runs the café in Grady. Lacey remembers her as a much-maligned single mother in high school, but Pam has created a life for herself and her daughter that makes Lacey actually envy the girl who was once the topic of cruel gossip.

Daisy is Pam’s daughter. A sprightly eight-year-old obsessed with television crime shows, she spies on the neighbors with her trusty binoculars when she’s not busy dressing the cat in baby clothes. While the grown-ups try to avoid trouble, Daisy runs headlong into it—usually with disastrous results.

Sinclair is a stray terrier Lacey finds at a gas station in Nebraska. He looks like a grumpy and slightly mad senior citizen, with spiky hair and an attitude to match. He doesn’t seem to like Lacey—or anyone else, for that matter. But when things go wrong, she realizes how much she’s come to love her cantankerous travel companion.

Cody is the café’s short-order cook and the four-wheeling king of the Wyoming back roads. He’s a wild man with a mysterious past, and though he and Chase become friends, Chase is less than thrilled when his sister falls for the guy.

Krystal is Chase’s assistant at the car lot. She’s annoying, shrill, and grasping—but boy, can she sell cars. She’s made up her mind that Chase is destined to be the sugar daddy she’s always longed for, and she’d like nothing better than to run Lacey out of town.

Jeb is the owner of the Quik Lube next door to Chase’s car lot. Hulking and tattooed, he takes pride in his own oafishness—but he harbors a secret love for Krystal and he’s determined to keep Chase from breaking her heart.

Chase thinks he wants to be utterly independent, and Lacey is determined to make it on her own. But in the sometimes inhospitable landscape of the West, even the most solitary soul has to rely on his neighbors once in a while—and that means both Chase and Lacey need to follow their hearts and learn to trust. In a way, we all take this journey, every day of our lives, learning in unexpected ways from the people around us.



Tall, Dark and Cowboy Giveaway!

I’m giving away two copies of Tall, Dark and Cowboy! Just make a comment about the most interesting “secondary character” in your life and what you learned from that person.

Click on book cover to purchase.

Guest Blogger
Updated: November 17, 2011 — 10:22 pm

18 Comments

  1. A very special secondary character in my life would have to be a close friend who lost her husband several years ago. For the last 15 years she has grown into an independent woman who had no idea what she was capable of until his death. She had seldom driven outside of her hometown and now not only drives wherever she wants but travels all over. She has taught me to never give up but to move on and find out what you are really made of.

  2. My secondary character is my Mom she has helped, loved, and given. I do not think any other person in my life means as much as she does. She always inspires me to be a better person in everything I do.

  3. My secondary character would be my Dad,,he did so much more than be a Dad,he was my friend too,,,an is so terribly missed,what makes him so special is that he didnt have to be,,,my”real”Dad was killed in a accident when my mom was pregnant with me,,,I was 6 months old when they married,an he was always My Dad!

  4. My 87 yo neighbor, Roland,is the most important secondary character in my life. He’s been my substitute dad. He’s watched over my family for the past 25 years. He offers his wisdom in free advice. He has shown my husband and sons all kinds of carpentry techniques. He is the most generous man I know with his time and free projects. He cares about every one.

  5. Most important secondary character – an older gentleman named Jose who used to live next to my aunt. He was in his 80’s and never married. He was a wonderful gardener. We spent many days visiting with him and doing repairs around his house. He doted on our daughters and was a great friend. He became close to my husband and we all enjoyed his company. He taught us patience, caring, love of gardening, and a deeper appreciation of friendship.

    I hope the release of TALL, DARK, AND COWBOY goes well.

  6. JOANNE,

    TALL, DARK, AND COWBOY sounds so good, I can’t wait to read it. The small towns of Wyoming are filled with great characters, and it sounds like you captured that with Grady.

    One of the most important secondary characters in my life was my Uncle Henry who allowed me to trail him like a shadow while he worked the farm from the time I could walk. The biggest thrill of my young life was getting to go out into the field on the tractor. He always had time for me and encouraged me to reach for the stars.

    –Kirsten

  7. Good morning, Petticoaters! I’m so happy to be here at Wildflower Junction. I visited a couple months ago and you all made me feel so welcome I couldn’t wait to come back. And I’m eager to hear your “secondary character” stories!

  8. Connie, your friend sounds a lot like a character in a Nora Roberts novel I’m reading right now, “Blue Dahlia.” The heroine loses her husband and creates a new life for herself. It’s inspiring how some people manage to rise to the occassion when the unthinkable happens.

    Cindy, I’d pick my Mom too. She’s always there for me and I know she loves me no matter what.

    Vickie, your Dad sounds like a wonderful guy. What a blessing for you and your mom that he came along when he did!

    Laurie, Roland sounds like the best neighbor ever! I’m sure he loves having you and your family to look after, and someone to pass on his skills to. I’ll bet your boys never forget him.

  9. Patricia, it must have been a blessing to have Jose for a friend, and I’m sure your family was a blessing to him.

    Kirsten, I’m sensing a theme in these “secondary character” stories of elderly folks passing down their knowledge to younger families. It’s nice to hear that kind of community and friendship between the generations is still going on. And there is nothing like driving a tractor when you’re a kid:)

  10. Joanne, welcome to P&P. It’s great to have you back. Congratulations on the new book release. It sure sounds like a good story and that cover doesn’t hurt one bit! Very sexy. And that list of characters is so interesting. Secondary characters can serve so many purposes and I always love creating them. I can do things with them that I can’t with the H/H.

    The most interesting secondary character in my own life is a very dear friend. She’s funny and smart and is teaching me proper etiquette. I’ve been sorely lacking in that area. She always knows exactly what to say and do in any given situation and never fails to thank people for what they do. She’s just amazing.

    Wishing you much success and happiness!

  11. Oh Joanne, Tall Dark and Cowboy sounds like my kind of book. I do love cowboys so much and I can’t wait to read your book.

    My secondary character would have to be my sister she is always their when I need her and my best friend. We share are problem, books and life with each other. Yes we are both book lovers.

  12. My fav secondary character was my grandmother. She made me feel special and important… she gave me the courage to take small steps out of my shyness and do things I was afraid to do…

  13. Linda, thank you! I’ve gotten more comments on that cover…
    Your friend sounds lovely. I have friend who is wonderful about sending thank-you notes and marking special occasions with cards. He’s inspired me to do the same for other people, and it’s amazing how old-fashioned etiquette impresses people these days!

    Quilt Lady, it’s nice to have someone with the same taste in books to trade with, isn’t it? I hope you both enjoy “Tall, Dark and Cowboy.”

    Colleen, what is it about grandmothers? They have a way of making you feel so special and safe and loved! I miss mine!

  14. Hi Joanne. Your book sounds great. Love the cover. My secondary character would be my best friend. She always is supportive and willing to be there for me at a moment’s notice. She also shares my love of romance novels and we have a blast book shopping and talking about books.

  15. Hi, Crystal – I sure get lots of positive feedback on that cover:) It’s nice to have a best friend, and a built-in book club partner, too!

  16. Wow, great cover! My secondary character would have to be my Grandmother “Nanny”. She was such a strong, tough person. She came from a very poor family. At the age of 12 her mother died after giving birth (baby also died). She was left to mostly raise a baby brother and sister because her father was a very bad drunk. She was a survivor.

  17. My secondary character would be my best friend. She’s not only my best friend but the closest person to a mother I’ve had. She’s 22 years older. She is always there for me. This looks like a great book. I love the cover.

  18. Sherry, all that hardship must have made her an amazing person to talk to. Life in our grandmothers’ generation was challenging for women even in normal circumstances.

    Cathy, what a great friendship that must be! I have some friends who are much older, and some much younger. Age is just a number!

    And yup, that is some cover:) Everybody seems to like it (everybody female, anyway)!

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