Seven Days to Texas …

TheTycoonAndTheTexaneBookI think it’s always fun to go behind a book. How did the author come up with the names and the idea? In my new eKensington release The Tycoon and the Texan coming out next week,  the story and names developed in a very personal way. I’d like to share the story behind the book then let my hero, Nicodemus Dartmouth, tell you a little bit about the him and the story.

My husband and I have friends who we’ve known for over forty years and vacationed with since their boys and our girls were young.

In 2002, my DH and I were on our way to meet them in Florida when we received a call, thank goodness for cell phones, that Harry had emergency heart surgery. He was in a coma, and the future was uncertain.  We immediately turned our car north and headed for Dartmouth Medical Center where he laid critically ill for weeks.  We were determined not to leave until he and Pat were safely home under their own roof.  And, that we did.

One day while sitting in the waiting room, my attention was drawn to a show on TV, you know the ones up in the corner of the room you have to crane your neck to see and can barely hear, that pertained to a foundation’s auction of bachelors for charity.  That seeded the idea for a story about a strong, multi-millionaire who ends up buying an ugly duckling at his own foundation’s charity ball. Of course, she had to be from Texas and the hero’s name had to be as strong and willful as my character, so Nicodemus Dartmouth was born.

Now nearly ten years and many vacations together later, my story The Tycoon and the Texan is due to be released soon and needless to say I dedicated it to our dearest friends.

Let’s get on with learning more about Nicodamus Dartmouth. I’m gonna let him tell you about himself first, and then he’ll answer some questions.

Nick: I don’t really like being referred to as a tycoon because I see myself as just another hardworking man in his 30’s. I have to admit being a product of a wealthy, widowed mother, who I don’t always see eye-to-eye with, did have its benefits. I worked my fingers to the bone to establish one of the largest construction firms on the west coast, while being CEO of  Mother’s charity … the Elliott-Dartmouth Foundation.  I own a Double A baseball farm team and love to workout with my players.  Mother is pretty well appalled when I show up at the office with bloody road rash showing through a tear in my baseball pants.  By the way, Josie, the Foundation Director and mother hen, thinks I belong in the dog pound. I have one supporter in the organization, well most of the time, and that’s McCall Johnson, who used to be my secretary at the construction company until I transferred her over to the foundation when I found myself crawling up twenty stories of red iron thinking about her.

Now back to the charity auction that Phyliss mentioned. Mother thought it was a grand idea to auction off bachelorettes, while I told her from the start is was a bad, really bad idea.  She called me into the office to go over the final arrangements, including the table decorations.  I need to be out at the construction company offices arranging for a shipment of material we don’t need to be shipped to Habitat for Humanity, but no I’m standing here looking at a bunch of flowers stuffed in a vase. I won’t even tell you what I think about them because Mother sure didn’t approve of my description.

The auction was a nightmare, just as I had predicted, although it raised a lot of money for the foundation … a good bit coming from me.

The jinx I apparently put on the event began when one of the bachelorettes called in sick and our resident Texan McCall Johnson was forced to step in.  In an unexpected turn of events, and I have to admit a bit of jealousy on my part to boot, I ended up paying what McCall called “a vulgar” amount for a week long date with her.

That began our adventures … seven days to Texas.

I wanted so badly to show her that our lives weren’t that much different, but at every turn, I hit a roadblock.  From nearly cutting my finger off trying to prepare dinner on my private boat for her to seeing a ghost on Harris Grade coming out of Lompoc, California, something got in my way of showing her that I don’t get everything I want, although she thinks I do.

It took me the full seven days, plus some while visiting her Granny’s ranch in Texas, but I finally succeeded at showing the independent, spirited, uprooted Texan that our lives aren’t as different as it might seem, only to find that we are more alike than I ever dreamed … including our secrets.

I hope you’ll go buy The Tycoon and the Texan by native Texan, Phyliss Miranda, so you can learn more about me and Miss McCall Johnson.

Two celebrate the release, I will give two lucky winners an eBook of “Tycoon”, if you leave a comment.  If you don’t have an eReader, I’ll send you a copy of our award winning anthology, A Texas Christmas. I hope everyone who buys my new contemporary release enjoys the journey Nick and McCall take on their Seven Days to Texas!


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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

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53 thoughts on “Seven Days to Texas …”

  1. I always wonder where names in books come from. It’s always interesting to hear backgrounds on how the books came about or where the names come from. This sounds like a book I know I will love.

  2. What an amazing story. I’m glad that all turned out well for your friends! 10 years in the making, that’s dedication!

  3. I love learning the origins of a book idea! This is a wonderful “behind the book” story. I can’t wait to read Nick and McCall’s story; it sounds like it is going to be quite an adventure!!

  4. It always amazes me to hear how an author gets her ideas for a book. I love this story! Nick and McCall will have a fine time in Texas (I am a native Texan myself) and I can’t wait to read all about it. Thank you!

  5. Thanks, Janine. Good to hear from you. Many times an author has an awakening of sorts when they begin a book. This was one of those times. Thanks for commenting. Hugs, Phyliss

  6. The insight into the character was fascinating. One of these days I’ll get to Texas. In the meantime, I’ll just have to read your books!

  7. Hi Tracy, thanks for ordering my book. As you know, this is my first contemporary book and is an eKensington which leads into a small town Texas series. It was fun to write and I love my hero. Big hugs, Phyliss

  8. I love the premise of the story! Two people from different walks of life obligated to be together for a week- just enough time to fall in love 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Big Congrats on the new book!! Yay! I can say that is an excellent contemporary romance. Loved the characters, the snappy dialogue, and the setting. Lots of sexual tension and that’s right up my alley. I love reading books where there is lots of sexual tension. You did a great job with it. And I think it’s probably every woman’s secret fantasy to be won in an auction by a handsome wealthy man. I enjoyed hearing how this book came about.

    Wishing you tons of success, Filly Sister!

  10. Phyliss, this just sounds like pure fun. I’ve got my copy. How long until I get it? I want to read it RIGHT NOW???!!! What’s the point of instant gratification of an ebook if I have to wait!!!!

    (I have officially become a spoiled brat!)

    The book sounds great. I can’t wait.
    (that’s a poem btw)

  11. I cant tell you how excited I have been for this book to come out! I love the whole plot of the story. I know this book will be one that I cant put down and finish in a day. I love to entered in to win ebook! I love your works and have read everything else up till now! I would love to win 🙂

  12. Phyliss, I love your story behind your story. and the name Nicodemus is beyond perfect. I wish you the best of success with this book, filly sister. Did you get to keep your own title? xoxox

  13. Hi Tanya, Believe it or not, I did get to keep the title. The first comment from my editor came back that it sounded too much like a cat romance, which it did because I wrote it originally for Desire! Put it under the bed and then revised it for my first eBook. I’m excited and love his name too. Thank for stopping by sister filly. Hugs, P

  14. I need a second to apologize for any misspellings or problems with my posts today because my laptop went down and I’ve got a cool company who is fixing it remotely. Said it’s Malware and of course this laptop has it since they share the same IPA (I think it’s called) address. You all won’t get sick from it, but I can’t word check. But isn’t it wonderful that they can remotely fix my laptop? I’m thrilled because it’s so much better than leaving it in the shop for two weeks. Anyway, apologies might be in order. Hugs to all, Phyliss

  15. Congrats on the new book, Phyllis! Poor Nick, it seems he has his work cut out for him. 🙂 Can’t wait to read more.


  16. Laurie G, good to see you. Yes, the outcome was wonderful. As a matter of fact, my DH and I just got back from a ten day cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary. We still vacation together and of course I dedicated the book to them. In the story I used his first name only as a walk-on character, but when he heard that he wanted his full name … so that’s what I did!! That’s a true friend. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Phyliss

  17. Phyliss, I believe I am in love with Nick. Congratulations on your Kensington books! That’s wonderful. Of course, I’ll be snapping this one for sure. It already sounds like an excellent story, and I love his name.

    Hugs, dear friend!

  18. Britney Adams thanks for stopping by. I love to know the background on author’s stories, as I’m a big plotter. I can read a book and think of a dozen endings. LOL Nick and McCall do have an adventure. For those living out in California their journey begins in LA and goes into the Santa Ynez Valley before they get to Texas. Hope you enjoy the story. Hugs, Phyliss

  19. Hi, Melanie Backus. Thanks for the comments, fellow Texan! This book isn’t the beginning of my Kasota Springs Series formally but some of the characters who appear when they get to the ranch in the Panhandle of Texas reappear in the next books. First of the series, comes out in the spring. I’m excited. Hugs, Phyliss

  20. Maria P, come on down to Texas! We’d love to have you. Just keep buy western historicals … especially set in Texas. Watch for some exciting news about a Christmas western historical project. Hugs, P

  21. Thanks, Heidi. I like the premise, too. It’s definitely very light reading. Nothing heavy, well except for heavy breathing LOL, but does have a real plot. Hope you enjoy it. The picture of the cover can be clicked on to take you or any reader directly to Amazon to preorder it. (Thanks to fellow filly Linda!) Hugs, P

  22. anon1001, good to see you! You’re in the drawing, like everyone else who has commented today.

    Linda, thank you for the kind words. As you and the other fillies know stepping over to not only eBooks by itself and contemporary romance from western historicals kinda scares me. I’m afraid nobody except my family and my filly friends will buy the book! I have more than one nightmare that I received all one star reviews!!!! As you know, it’s very much an easy read and since I don’t write hot love scenes, I have to fill it with lots of sexual tension! LOL I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, especially getting the link embedded in the picture. Thanks, my friend. Big hugs, P

  23. Sister Filly Mary, you really made me laugh. I love your poem and hope you’ll see about getting it published. It’s just so different! LOL I hope you’ve preordered at Amazon ’cause you’ll only have to wait one week and one day before it appears on your iPad like a miracle … one second it’s not there and the next it is!! You’re always a bright light in all of our sometimes dusky tunnels of writing and life. Hugs, Phyliss

  24. Hi Cori, thanks for all the kind words. I really hope you like this book as much as you did the anthologies. It’s a short read. I’ve had reviewers on Goodreads says it’s a beach type read, which makes me happy. Go get it ordered and let me know what you think when you get a copy. I’m on pins and needles waiting on reviews on Amazon, which cannot go up until the 5th, but it’s readers like you who make me want to write more books you’ll enjoy. Thanks so much. Big hugs, P

  25. Jackie W and Colleen, thanks for leaving a comment. I love the story behind a book, so thought you all might enjoy seeing what Nick thinks about himself as a hero. I loved him. His blueblood mother hates it when he uses curse words and you’ll love her, I believe. Big hugs, Phyliss

  26. Cate S and Kirsten, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment and for your friendship. You are so right, Nick has his work cut out for him between his mother and McCall, but she dern sure doesn’t have an easy time of it either. The difference, she and Nick have a special relationship that has been building for a while. I’m so excited about the release date being only a week and one day away! Hurrah! Big hugs, Phyliss

  27. Hi Sister Filly Cheryl. Thanks for dropping by and reading some of Nick’s story. He was a fun character to write and as I’ve said above this is one of those end of summer, easy to read in one night or one day on the beach type book. You won’t have to work too hard to even figure out the plot, just a fun read that most romance readers have come to expect. But I hope each reader will feel the fun McCall and Nick have with one another. Thank you dear friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  28. Goldie, thanks for visiting the Junction. You’re name’s in the hat for tonight’s drawing … two commenters! Have a great day and I always feel happy when I see your name on one of my blogs. Big hugs, Phyliss

  29. I apologize Goldie for not answering your question. Yes, my friends are well and wonderful. As a matter of fact, we just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a cruise. Their two boys and their families joined us. Since they all live up in the New England area, we flew to Newark and went out of Liberty Port. We’ve vacationed together for nearly 40 years and we’re already planning next year. Might have to use canes to get around, but we’ll do something exciting. Now that I think about it, my next book came about because of on of our trips!!! LOL Big hugs, P

  30. What a great story. I always love to read the “behind the scenes” background. Can’t wait to read this one.

  31. What a fun book Phyliss and you got a great cover indeed. I’m even more impressed at your loyalty and love of your friends. They are blessed to have you. I am glad he came home safe and sound.

  32. What a great post! Congrats on your new release. It sounds really good and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the great giveaway and sharing your book with us.

  33. Congratulations Phyliss! The cover is beautiful and I can’t wait to read it. YOU are a wonderful, very talented writer. Will be looking for it in my local book store!!!

    LOL Katrina

  34. Alisa Boisclair, good to see you here at the Junction. I’d never done a character interview like this before, but I’m using it at several places. Took me a while to discover that readers do like the know the story behind the book. I hope you enjoy the book. Got your name in the hat for tonight’s drawing. Hugs, Phyliss

    Hi Charlene, sister filly. We’ve received so much love and caring from these friends. He’s an ol’ Marine and you know the saying about “Once a Marine, always a Marine” … and it shows on him. His wife is so loveable and he is too althought I wouldn’t want him to know it lol. They make perfect friends. Big hugs, sis, Phyliss PS: Actually, when he was so very sick he told me how much he loved my DH and me, but denies today he ever said it! Crusty ol’ sole!

  35. Hi Quilt Lady, so good to see you today. Thanks so much. I’m really looking forward to the world reading this book. I hope they have fun with Nick and McCall. Hugs, Phyliss

  36. Hi Katrina, what a wonderful surprise to have you drop by the Junction. I’m blushing and don’t deserve all the nice words, but it does make me feel really good. I had mixed feelings about the cover because, as you know, as writers we have a mental picture of our hero and heroine and man he doesn’t look anything like tall, dark Nick who loves to play baseball. After a lot of discussion with folks who have experience with covers and knows what works and doesn’t, plus trusting that my editor and Kensington knows their business, I’ve learned to like it. It’s an easy read and I think the cover will appeal to the younger readers. Not necessarily YA, although I don’t write hot scenes and I wouldn’t hesitate letting my granddaughters read it. As a matter of fact, my oldest grand helps me with plotting. Big hugs, Katrina. Miss you, my friend. Phyliss

  37. How blessed your friends are to have such friends as you!

    I love the story line and I am always wondering how characters get their names. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading this one!!!

  38. Hi Connie J, thanks for dropping by. I always wonder the same thing. I know where some of my writer friends get their character’s names, but most I don’t. We all have little tricks we play with our characters. When I started out writing all of my female antagonist’s names ended with an “i”. In my books, you’ll always find the name of a PBR bull of the year. Got your name in the hat for tonight’s drawing. Good luck and hugs, Phyliss

  39. I love western romances. I have all your anthologies so look forward to reading your new book. Sounds like a great story

  40. Hi Elizabeth, I’m so thrilled that you’ve read all of our anthologies. I love western romances too and although this new one isn’t historical and only half of it is set in Texas, I hope you get the feel of the area where the rest of the series is set. I’m actually using Kasota Springs from our anthologies as the town and many of the people, not in this book but in the spring one, are 5th generation characters. In “Tycoon” you’ll probably recognize Mesa LeDoux from two of Linda Broday’s and my stories in the anthologies. Not Mesa but the LeDoux name. Many will return, generations later. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Phyliss

  41. THE TYCOON AND THE TEXAN sounds like a lot of fun. Money can and does make a difference in one’s life, mostly in the way you can live it. Whether you have a little or a lot, you have your own set of problems and benefits. What it comes down to, is we are all basically the same, some just luckier than others.

    I have all the anthologies and have thoroughly enjoyed them, some several times. I picked up GIVE ME A COWBOY this morning and decided to reread it. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had never read it. I must have been really busy when I picked it up, then just figured I’d read it. I’m not disappointed, I have a whole new book to look forward to. Nice, since I don’t think there will be another one any time soon.

    I hope THE TYCOON AND THE TEXAN does well. A trip back to Kasota Springs is something to look forward to.

  42. Glad to hear your friend recovered. Interesting story line for your new book & I love the cover & that of A Texas Christmas!

  43. I enjoyed the look at how the names came about and the book sound delicious. I would love to have it.

  44. How neat to know the story behind the story … And what a name for the hero! Looking forwardmto the read.

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