If you’re like me, you have a few rules for writing–and for reading.  In my writing there are some things I would “never” do. Here’s a list of a the top three:

Rule #1 – I never write in first person.

Rule #2 – I never write from a child’s point of view.

Rule #3 – I always have romance somewhere in my stories.

 Well…one out of three ain’t bad.

 I threw Rule #1 out the window when I picked up my pen and started my latest release, Kane’s Redemption. I wrote Kane’s Redemption in first person. It’s the first work of fiction I’ve ever written from this perspective, and after I wrote it, I knew there would be two more of these novellas to follow. There was no better way to tell this story of young Will Green and Jacobi Kane – and the secret that stands between them. 

Will is a child when the story begins, but a young man by the conclusion. So, I guess you could say I broke my own “Rule #2” as well. But there are some stories that have to be told by the child, to take hold of the innocence that only a child possesses and manages to hold on to in the face of reality. Who could have told Scout’s story better than Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird? No one. She was the perfect character to tell us what was happening and the perfect filter for us to see for ourselves those things she couldn’t put into words. Through her eyes, we saw everything. I knew that Will had to tell the story of what happened to him and how Jacobi Kane rescued him…and what happened afterward.

Growing up in the 1800’s on the prairie of the southwest would make an adult of you quickly; even quicker if you watched your entire family murdered in the space of five minutes. This story is not just about Will, though – it’s also about Jacobi Kane, who has some secrets of his own. Although he rescues Will, he wrestles with demons that can’t be fought alone – but how can Will help? In the end, who is the true rescuer – Will, or Jacobi Kane? 

Romance? Well, there’s a bit of that. But it’s the romance that comes with new beginnings and the kiss of forgiveness–sweet, touching and straight from the heart. Come to think of it, the romance in Kane’s Redemption is  a bit different from anything else I’ve ever written, too. 

This story came from somewhere deep; a place I didn’t know existed. It’s a gift I hope you will take as much pleasure in reading as I did in writing. 

Look for Book 2 in the Kane trilogy, Kane’s Promise, in the fall of 2012.

I will be giving away a copy of KANE’S REDEMPTION today! All you have to do is leave a comment, and please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you! I will leave you with the blurb and an excerpt. Hope you enjoy!


A ten-year-old boy fights for his life when he is taken prisoner by a band of raiding Apache. Steeling himself for death, Will Green is shocked when a lone man walks into the Apache camp to rescue him several days later.

Driven by the secret he carries, Jacobi Kane has followed the Indians for days and needs to make his move to save the boy. With the odds stacked eight against one, his chances for success look pretty slim. But even if he’s able to rescue the boy and they get out alive, what then?


Red Eagle moved back just as fast as before and I felt my cheek burning. Blood dripped off his blade and that was it. I went after that red devil like I had lost my wits. I guess, truthfully, I had – because I don’t remember anything about it, except how good the first smash of my fist in his face felt. 

Blood ran from Red Eagle’s nose and he cried out in a snarl of anger and pain and surprise. 

I felt a pulse of energy rush through me, and I wrapped my fingers around his throat like he’d done to Mama. I tightened them and his blood streamed warm and slick over my grip. His eyes began to bulge, and I thought in another minute, maybe I could have the vengeance I had wanted so badly for the past week. 

Papa always said a man’s quick wits are sometimes his only defense. I was exultant. I may have been foolish for what I did, and I felt sure Papa and I would disagree sharply on the use of my wits. But I did what I had to do.

Suddenly, rough hands were upon me, pulling at me. But I was like a mad dog, snarling, and foaming at the mouth in my pent up anger and hatred that was finally spilling out. What a glorious opportunity! Even if I died for it, I knew I couldn’t have passed it up – whether Papa might have approved, or not. 

The Indians were all speaking at once, yelling, calling out, laughing. The moon was full, providing even more light than what the fire gave, making the night seem even hotter, as if the sun still shone on us. From somewhere in the distance of the woods beyond, I heard the call of the owls, and I knew enough Injun to know what that meant to them. 

Someone was going to die. It might be me, but I was doing my damnedest to take Red Eagle with me. 

A gunshot split the night air. “Dammit, stop it!” Hands like steel bands wrapped around my shoulders and jerked me off of Red Eagle. “Stop it!” 

I couldn’t answer. I was breathing too hard, panting like the mad dog I had become. My hands balled into fists and flexed open again and again, and my fingers were sticky with Red Eagle’s blood. My own pulse sang through my veins in a triumph I had never experienced before. 

“Boy, straighten up or you’re gonna get us both killed.” The voice was calm. I stopped struggling and looked up into the face of a white man. A white man had walked right into Red Eagle’s camp. I figured, now, those owls would have plenty more to tell – at least one more death. 

But he didn’t seem worried. He held his rifle at the ready, pointed in the general direction of the group of eight Indians that rode in Red Eagle’s band. I glanced around the half-circle of painted faces, and I couldn’t help gloating. They all looked as if they’d met up with some kind of spirit or demon more wicked than they were. And that was going some. 

“Can you ride bareback?” 

I nodded. I guessed I could, I wanted to tell him. Been doin’ it for a damn week. 

“Need help getting on?” 

I shook my head and he let me go real slow. “Pick the one you can manage best and get settled on him. Take Red Eagle’s rifle and bullets.” 

“Wait!” Red Eagle challenged. He rolled onto his side, wiping the blood from his nose. It pleased me greatly to hear that he wheezed when he spoke. “You take our horses, our weapons—” 

“I ain’t takin’ your lives, you bastard. And I ain’t takin’ all your weapons,” the big man answered in a slow drawl. “Only yours. Pitch that knife over this way, and do it easy. My trigger finger is mighty nervous tonight.”

For KANE’S REDEMPTION and all my other work, click here:

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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
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21 thoughts on “BREAKING THE RULES”

  1. Wow, Cheryl, “Kane’s Redemption” sounds amazing! If this is you throwing the rules out the window I say go for it!

    I just started a new endeavor. I’ve been writing historical and I’m giving a contemporary a try. It’s still a Western, but I wanted to bring the characters into this century. Kind of fun trying something new and using different research techniques.

    I’m off to Amazon to get my copy of “Kane’s Redemption.”


  2. Hey Kirsten!
    Thank you so much for your very kind words about KANE’S REDEMPTION. I’m working on the 2nd part of the trilogy right now and loving it so much.

    I’m glad to hear that you, too, are breaking some of your own rules and working on something a little “outside the box” for you. I’m hoping for a new contract soon on a contemporary romantic suspense I wrote. It seems that when I move into this century, I write more law enforcement type heroes than cowboys. LOL Wonder what’s going on in my brain over that? Sweet Danger was an undercover cop, and this latest one I just wrote is an undercover DEA agent. You’re right, though, it’s fun to try different things and just see what happens. That’s how I felt when I first began writing short stories, and then when I wrote my first contemporary, and now with Kane’s Redemption, I am enjoying every minute of telling Will’s story. I hope you enjoy it, too!

  3. Kane’s Redemption sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to read it. Sometimes it’s a good thing to throw the rules out the window. You can come up with something amazing in the process.


  4. Cheryl, your writing just sings. Love it. That scene could only be told from the boy’s POV.
    I wrote my very first book, a big historical biography, in third person but it needed something. When I changed the POV to first person the book came alive.
    I really enjoy first-person reads, something so vital and immediate. Thanks for stepping out of the box.

  5. Joanne, thank you so much. You’re right–if you don’t try new things, how will you ever know? So often we get locked into our ways of doing things, like a rut that we need to get out of. It can be frightening to throw rules (and caution!) to the winds and try it, but often it’s well worth it. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Elizabeth, that means the world coming from you. Thank you so much. I enjoy first person reads too, because you’re right there with them. It’s interesting that you changed the POV of your historical biography, realizing that it didn’t have that special “oomph” until it was told in first person rather than third. That must have been a huge undertaking, but I bet you enjoyed it. It’s wonderful when you have that “aha moment” and know exactly what you need to do to make it all work right. Thanks again for your very kind words about Kane’s Redemption!

  7. Hi Cheryl, great post. Love your rules they are great. Your book sounds like a wonderful read, would love to read it.

  8. Congratulations on your release.

    I think “breaking the rules” is another way of saying “listen to the work.” Madeleine L’Engle wrote: “Shakespeare knew how to listen to his work and so he often wrote better than he could write.”

    I’m so happy you listened to your story. Bravo!

  9. Thank you for the excerpt, Cheryl.
    It does sound like it will be an interesting and slightly different read. Point of view in a story is important, both for the author crafting it and for the reader. I guess what you have proven is “never say never.” Since this story deals with the growth and maturing of a boy becoming a man, seeing it happen from his point of view is the best way to really understand it. Your comments, the blurb, and the excerpt have raised quite a few questions about what the “rest of the story” is and how it will unfold. I look forward to reading it.
    Best of luck with KANE’S REDEMPTION.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  10. Thank you, Quilt Lady! I’m so glad you came by and that you enjoyed the post! I think rules are made to be broken, I guess! LOL I was the rebel in my family–can you tell?

  11. Thanks so much, Linda. Yeah, 2012 has started off with a bang and I’m hoping to keep the pace up.LOL (Notice I said “HOPING”…)I got my print copies of Kane’s Redemption yesterday and they look SOOOOOOO good!

  12. Margaret, that is a GREAT quote. Thanks for that–I’d never heard it before. I loved A Wrinkle in Time–you talk about a writer who listened to her story and characters, Ms. L’Engle was one of those, for sure! I never thought about it like that, but I believe you are right!

  13. Pat, I hope you enjoy this story. I have LOVED writing from Will’s POV and telling what he sees and feels through his eyes. He’s a bit more of a rebel than I thought at first, but so like Kane was as a boy that Kane totally understands him even better than Will’s father ever could have. Thanks for your comments!

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