FIRE EYES REVISITED! Everything Old is New Again!

Three years ago this month, my debut western historical romance, FIRE EYES, was published by The Wild Rose Press. I was thrilled! Finally, my dream had come true, with the help of a wonderful editor and publishing company.

When I got my first box of books, I sat and gazed at the covers—just like any first time author would. My husband teased me about “rubbing off the paint”—but I was so proud of them, and justifiably so. A lot of very hard work had gone into that story, not just
from my perspective, but also from many other people. My editor at The Wild Rose Press, Helen Andrew, was wonderful. She really explained in detail why certain things couldn’t stand and had to go or be changed.

But part of what ‘had to go’ was important to the story, in my mind. Still, there were company guidelines to be followed, and neither of us could do anything about that. So we worked together to find a way to take out the parts that made it more “western” than “romance” and still came out with a fine story.

However, this spring, I asked for my rights back for FIRE EYES and got them, and submitted the story to another small publisher who has an imprint for westerns and western romances.  I was able to re-edit the book and add in much of what I’d had to take out or rewrite in the first version, and it was released yesterday with a brand new Jimmy Thomas cowboy cover and lots of renewed interest.

The e-book version is available now at Amazon, Lulu, Monkeybars and many other e-book retailers, and will become available soon at Barnes and Noble, Sony and Apple.

Here are the links for Smashwords and Amazon:

The print version will become available within the week, and again, I’m very happy
about breathing new life into this wonderful story. Once I am able to order my
print copies, I’m sure I’ll sit on the floor and ‘rub the paint off’ again. And
I’ll be grateful that I’ve had two chances to get my story out there—another
thrill, a second time around!



“You waitin’ on a…invitation?” A faint smile touched his battered mouth. “I’m fresh out.”

Jessica reached for the tin star. Her fingers closed around the uneven edges of it. No. She couldn’t wait any longer. “What’s your name?” Her voice came out jagged, like the metal she touched.

His bruised eyes slitted as he studied her a moment. “Turner. Kaedon Turner.”

Jessica sighed. “Well, Kaedon Turner, you’ve probably been a lot better places in your life than this. Take a deep breath, and try not to move.”

He gave a wry chuckle, letting his eyes drift completely closed. “Do it fast. I’ll be okay.”

She nodded, even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “Ready?”

“Go ahead.”

Even knowing what was coming, his voice sounded smoother than hers, she thought. She wrapped her hand tightly around the metal and pulled up fast, as he’d asked.

As the metal slid through his flesh, Kaed’s left hand moved convulsively, his fingers gripping the quilt. He was unable to hold back the soft hint of an agonized groan as he turned away from her. He swore as the thick steel pin cleared his skin, freeing the chambray shirt and cotton undershirt beneath it, blood spraying as his teeth closed solidly over his bottom lip.

Jessica lifted the material away, biting back her own curse as she surveyed the damage they’d done to him. His chest was a mass of purple bruises, uneven gashes, and burns. Her stomach turned over. She was not squeamish. But this—

It was just like what they’d done to Billy, before they’d killed him. Billy, the last man the Choctaws had dumped on her porch. Billy Monroe, the man she’d come to loathe during their one brief year of marriage.

She took a washrag from the nightstand and wet it in the nearby basin. Wordlessly, she placed her cool palm against Kaedon Turner’s stubbled, bruised cheek, turning his head toward her so she could clean his face and neck.

She knew instinctively he was the kind of man who would never stand for this if it wasn’t necessary. The kind of man who was unaccustomed to a woman’s comforting caress. The kind of man who would never complain, no matter how badly wounded he was.

“Fallon.” His voice was rough.

Jessica stopped her movements and watched him. “What about him?”

His brows drew together, as if he were trying to formulate what he wanted to say. “Is he…dead?”

What should she tell him?

The truth.

“I—don’t know.”

“Damn it.”

“You were losing a lot of blood out there,” Jessica said, determined to turn his thoughts from Fallon to the present. She ran the wet cloth lightly across the long split in his right cheek.

His breathing was controlled, even. “I took a bullet.” He said it quietly, almost conversationally.

Jessica stopped moving. “Where?”

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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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40 thoughts on “FIRE EYES REVISITED! Everything Old is New Again!”

  1. That’s wonderful that you’ve been able to re-write it and add in what you had not wanted to take out. Looks like a great book! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Tracy! I was so excited to get to put back the parts I’d had to delete the first time around. I was disappointed to have to take them out, but I understand guidelines for different publishers.

    Thanks for commenting! I’ll enter you in the drawing.

  3. Im happy for you,,I dont have a ereader though,I love to read mine the old fashioned way,,I like turning pages

  4. Congratulations on the re-release, Cheryl! Being able to present a story in the way you originally envisioned must be such a thrill. Regardless how good the abridged version — and the original FIRE EYES was excellent — a little piece of a writer’s heart hurts every time she must revise to meet a publisher’s standards. (That is NOT a condemnation of publishers or editors. Publishers have a market to satisfy, and editors are some of the unsung heroes of the publishing world. For the most part, they know their game and are very, very good at helping authors wring more from their work than they ever imagined possible.)

    Now I’m going to have to read the unabridged version and compare. 🙂

  5. Vickie,
    I’m like you–I love reading the “old fashioned” way too–I had to break down and buy an e-reader because a lot of short stories are pubbed only in e-book format. I don’t use it nearly so much as I thought I might, though. If you are the winner, live in the US, and you don’t mind waiting a few days, I will gladly substitute a print copy.

  6. Kathleen,
    I am so thrilled to be able to have it out there in its original form–the way I had wanted to put it out in the beginning. I know just what you mean about publishers and editors–they have an audience they KNOW and they know what is going to sell to that audience. Thanks so much for coming by today! I appreciate that.

  7. It’s great to know that you could not only realize your dreams once, but then again. WIsh you the best…now I’m off to polish what I hope will be my debut Western.

  8. Congratulations on being able to put your original writing out there. Can hardly wait to read it!

  9. Hi Hildie,
    Yes, that’s how I see it, too–getting the chance to realize my dreams TWICE. I am very grateful to my publisher, WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER, for giving me the opportunity to put FIRE EYES out the way it was written in the first place–but also very grateful to The Wild Rose Press for working with me to edit it to fit their readership’s desires too. Good luck with your debut, Hildie! I bet we’ll be hearing from you in no time!

  10. Congrats on the re-write, Cheryl, and the re-release~ it’s a majorly terrific story. And I too miss Helen more than I can put into words. But like you, I learned a ton from her. xoxoxox

  11. Oh congrats on the re-write and rerelease of Fire Eyes! Both covers are truly wonderful to look at! They did a wonderful job on the new one! 😀

  12. Thanks, Tanya! I learned so much from Helen–she really was the one who helped me so much and gave me that first “break” that I needed. Thanks for your kind words, my friend!

  13. Hi Colleen,
    I loved my first cover, too–I was so excited about it. But I love my second cover just as much, if not more–(I think Jimmy Thomas puts me over the edge just a little wee bit!)LOL Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  14. Cheryl,

    I have a print copy of the original Fire Eyes. And I have to tell you I love both covers. But no matter how you package it, a Cheryl Pierson story shines through.

    Wishing you all the best with the latest version.

  15. Cheryl,
    This is great! You not only got the rights back but were able to do a re-write and new cover and new publisher too! Awesome.

  16. I guess I missed this one the first time around. Glad you made me aware of it now. Can’t wait to read it.

  17. Enjoyed reading your blog today. I missed reading this book first time around but have put on my list of books to add to my library.

  18. I am glad you got the rights back to your book, and were able to return it to your vision of what you wanted. I know the new cover is better for the new publisher and market, but I am sorry to see the old one gone. It really is lovely (didn’t your daughter or a friend design it?). FIRE EYES has been on my Wish List since you first mentioned it on Petticoats and Pistols. I can’t believe it was three years ago!

    I hope you find a whole new audience for it with your new publisher. It is still on my Wish List, I’ll just switch where I look for it. Best of luck for the re-release.

  19. Hey Jerry!
    YES! I am VERY fortunate to be able to have that chance again, because I was so thrilled the first time to be able to have such a wonderful editor and publisher, and then to be doubly blessed as I have been has just been wonderful. Thanks so much for coming over! I appreciate it.

  20. Mona,
    Thank you so much for all your support and kind words about Fire Eyes. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And I agree about that cover–I love it too!

  21. Hi Patricia,
    My daughter designed the cover for TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, another of my western novels that is also a paranormal time travel. I can’t write werewolves and vampires, but I love to write the “twisty” good vs. evil, angels/demons type stuff, and that’s what TIME PLAINS DRIFTER is.

    But I know what you mean about this cover for FIRE EYES. I love that first cover too, not just because it is so gorgeous, but because it was THE COVER for my first novel, and that is something you never forget. (I’m still hoping you’ll get busy and write a novel, or a novella, one of these days–you have a beautiful way with words!)

    Thank you for always being so supportive and commenting. I appreciate you, and I am putting your name in the hat for the drawing!

  22. I loved Fire Eyes. The hero was so wounded I wasn’t sure he would ever pull through, yet he still used his strength to please the woman he loved. The villain was magnificent–the worst I’ve ever read and I love a great villain.

  23. Sarah!
    Girl, where have you been? I have had you on my mind the last two days. Thanks so much for popping in and saying how much you loved Fire Eyes. Oh, yes, the villain…Andrew Fallon…AWFUL MAN! LOL And of course, I’m glad to hear that you loved Kaed as much as you despised Andrew Fallon–that makes my day. LOL
    Hugs my dear friend!

  24. Cheryl, I know the stuff you added in will make the story shine. You write a wonderful wounded hero and a strong, supportive heroine. Glad to see Fire Eyes has found a new home.


  25. Thanks, Steph! I’m glad to give it another chance, too. I really love that story and I know this is a good thing for it. Thanks so much for coming by–I know you are busy!

  26. Woo-hee, Cheryl! So glad that Fire Eyes is available again and you had a chance to put back in the missing parts. I loved the story, but I remember chatting with you about a few places where the story seemed to skip over “something.” Now I can find out what.

    Best of luck with sales!

  27. Hey Keena!
    yes, I am thrilled, too to have it out with everything in it. I remember we talked about the missing parts. LOL Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

  28. Loraine,
    I know you understand. I don’t like cutting things, especially when it has to do with the plot and “tracking” what’s going on. But I did understand that that part of the plot was more “western-y” than “romance-y” and that was what they were after. I’m forever grateful to TWRP for giving me the chance to get the story out there, and also forever grateful to Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca Vickery for letting me have the chance to put it out again in the full length version.

  29. Cheryl,

    Cheers to second chances! It takes a lot of commitment to even finish writing a book ONCE. I admire your persistence in turning “Fire Eyes” into the book you always dreamed it would be. I look forward to reading it.

    (I wondered what you’d been up to lately. Now I know!)

    All the best,

  30. Micki!
    So glad you came by! Yes…I have been losing my mind with everything. I will e-mail you SOON, promise. How’s your book coming along, girl? I’m really thrilled to have FIRE EYES out there again!

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