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!
I’LL BE GIVING AWAY A COPY OF FIRE EYES TODAY! JUST LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE ENTERED IN THE DRAWING, ALONG WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO.
EXCERPT FROM FIRE EYES:
“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?”
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?
“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?”