We didn’t know what would kill my husband first–the testicular cancer or the chemo. During that bleak winter of 2008, I had to cowgirl-up fast and real, hold off the sobs because the sound broke his heart. Give up red wine because the scent nauseated him. I’d sneak out to the patio and wrap my face in a towel so I could cry undetected. With my faith stretched thin, people like my beloved Charlene Sands gave their all. She’d would meet me for lunch and hand-holding during the long days of 8-hour treatments. And the fillies of Petticoats and Pistols invited me as a guest a few times to promote my book Midnight Bride. (Since then, these lovely ladies invited me to be one of them.)
You see, after a long dispiriting sophomore slump (the term means a lengthy period between a first book and the second), my delirium about Midnight Bride was doused when Hubs’s grim diagnosis came the same day the e-book was released. Promoting the story was the last on my things to do. Feeling joy was the last on my list of emotions. (The cover was brilliant…the couple looks exactly like they should!)
But God heard my pleas, After a three-month grueling battle, during which we named the Honda Element “the ambulance” because of the lay-down seats that made a bed for him, he was blessed with remission. And five years later–spring 2013, the onco told him we can now use the “c” word: Cured!
Ironically, it’s also the rebirth of Midnight Bride, just re-released under a new cover by my current, wonderful publisher The Wild Rose Press. So I’m kinda mad with joy for a bunch of reasons these days!
To celebrate, I’m of course giving away copies today. Please leave a comment so I can have a name-draw tonight. Thing is, you have some homework to do first. No worries. It’s easy.
So what do I mean?
Well, I celebrated a couple weeks ago at a “release party” blog at The Romance Studio. Authors and readers gather to post and comment all day long.
Me, well, I’m just not a fan of long excerpts which I likely won’t have time to read. I have more fun when somebody asks a direct question for a commenter to answer. Or has an interesting theme along with the excerpt. For my readers, I chose the topic Last Supper List.
Meaning, the twelve people, alive or dead, you’d invite for a long chat over a meal. I posted mine in spurts along with short excerpts that totaled the whole first chapter by day’s end. I sure had fun with folks who followed me around cyberspace all that party-day.
I won’t take up time and space listing all twelve of mine, or the reasons I’d want to chat with ‘em. But here are five:
Now, to get in my name-draw for a print copy (one winner) and e-copy either pdf or Kindle (second winner) you gotta leave me at least TWO people from your personal LSL.
Thanks for playing with me today! Love and hugs and joy to you and yours!
Excerpt (it’s pretty short.)
He stood in the doorway, hatless just like he’d been in the mercantile. And just as breathtaking. In one hand he held a bunch of Miss Mattie Price’s iceberg roses tied with a lavender bow.
From the other hand hung a hatbox from Gosling’s Mercantile. The lilac shawl she had admired was draped over his forearm.
Without a word, he walked over to her and laid the shawl gently across her shoulders. She had stopped breathing. His eyes locked with hers, and while she couldn’t read the message in his gaze, she found she couldn’t turn her own away. When he held the flowers to her determinedly, she had no choice but to take them.
“Take off that mourning bonnet,” he told her in such a way that it didn’t seem like an order. While she did so, he opened the hatbox.
Within a half minute, the beautiful purple chapeau she had fingered lovingly not fifteen minutes ago rested on her head. He tied the bow jauntily under her chin, then all but snapped his heels together as he stood in front of her.
“I’m Jed Jones,” he announced. “Your bridegroom.”
Carrie’s lips opened but no words came out. Not knowing what to say or what else to do, she untied the bonnet’s bow. He never stopped looking at her. From the corner of her eye, she could see the older men in half-standing postures like they hoped to escape any second. However, she knew them well, knew they wouldn’t leave her all alone.
Suddenly she found her voice, willing it not to tremble.
“My bridegroom? I beg your pardon. What on earth are you saying?” She turned toward the judge. “Is this about that ‘notorious’ authentic document?
Judge Jacobson was nodding, somewhat defeated, while the sheriff pulled at his scrawny beard.
When neither spoke, her supposed bridegroom took up the call.
“It’s true, Miss Zacaria Smith. If you don’t marry me by midnight tonight, the Lazy J-Z will be deeded to the Mother of Mercy Orphanage outside San Antone.”
Then he took her hand, placing his lips against the inside of her wrist.