Thursday, May 31, 2012

Horses as Special Friends

 I know you write characters who have a disability. How does that disability affect the characters?

My characters that have disabilities grow and expand their potentials In order to
achieve their goals, and  more. This is a true state of life I have learned first hand
growing up. I wanted it all - friends, fun, college, marriage, children - but it didn't just happen. Like writing my stories, I had to work at it all, just harder than some other folks. For example, in college I spent hours after class memorizing my books in order to offset anything extraneous in the lectures, and so made the good grades I was used to. So do my disabled characters go the extra mile but like everyone in real life, they grow, each in their different ways.
 Mauranie Wells in my debut novel Breaking Point has a hearing disability and has situated herself so she controls when and how she communicates with others. She perhaps overdoes the controlling of her life and has to learn to be more accepting
of assistance when it is offered.
Mauranie's horses are her special friends, so tolerant, like my own were and yet sensitive to her moods. My horses became so they looked out for me, and would cue me in to things I didn't hear, such as other horses approaching from behind, by flicking an ear back. This was invaluable to prevent me from turning my horse into an oncoming one when practicing dressage routines at the stables.
In my coming August release, Substitute Lover, a youth loses a lower leg due to an infected gunshot wound while rescuing the heroine. He turns his back on the world. He has to learn to adapt to new ways that enable him to again race his horse about, his joy in life, and do again everything he did before the leg injury.
In a later coming book of mine, To Kiss A Stranger, the blinded Sheriff has only her kisses to locate the stranger after she saved his life. Now that is a problem to resolve!

Breaking Point is available now in many eBook formats at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Disability and the Heroine

 Why did you include disability as an element in your story or stories?

I do include a few disabilities in some of my stories - hearing, blind, and amputation.

There is a saying, write what you know. I have four blind friends in my present and past, a friend who lost a lower leg in a motorcycle accident, and I myself grew up compensating for a major hearing loss. I feel I know those subjects well enough to write them effectively. Interestingly, each of those friends has taught me something new. For example I didn't know dogs were color blind until my one blind friend explained to me why her hearing dog crossed her in the middle of the street while I went on to the stop light. Her dog was trained to cross when it heard no vehicles.  I experienced the pure joy of a group of deaf-blind persons when I drove a deaf-blind friend to their social meeting and talked with them using hands the way they do.  I was slow - their hands just flashed - but every one of them had a smile on their face and "spoke" with me. Wonderful folks. Then there is me. A lifetime of experience being hearing impaired but growing up in the hearing world before such was done. My parents were special. They gave me the gift of unlimited potential. I consider the few disabled persons in my stories are that. Persons with unlimited potential.

With a major hearing disability, how do you talk with folks?

 I was only four years old when my parents brought me home from the hospital after a combined bout of spinal meningitis and measles. I was totally deaf and so weak I had to relearn everything starting how to hold a spoon and eventually to walk again. My mother took me to interminable doctor appointments seeking help. One day we were on a streetcar going to another appointment, I in my usual window seat, resting my head against the window pane to feel the clacking wheels. We entered a black tunnel and I felt a pop.

Then I heard an airplane, and I asked my mother where the airplane was.  When we came out of the tunnel my mother was in tears when she pointed ahead to the airplane.

It wasn't much - I regained about one-fourth hearing in one ear - but it was enough to make all the difference in my world.  I did just fine after that, using what I call the face reading game.

Face Reading Game
*A smile is the sign of friendship
*Look at me, not at the ceiling or past me to the wall
*Speak normally - if you draw the word out slow I don't get it, if you run a bunch of words together nonstop fast, I don't get them 
*Give me the one-word subject if I don't understand the first time. It's like a thesaurus - with a subject, I can usually pick up  the rest of the sentence
*Don't repeat - say it with different words. If I didn't catch it the first time it may have been blurred by the hidden sound words (s, t, for instance,) that don't show for lip-reading when one speaks.
*Turn your face to the light. I can't read lips with the light in my eyes.

Note: Delores Goodrick Beggs wrote the award-winning 1992 book How Can I Talk With You? Compensating Communication, Published by Peak Output Unlimited, Staceyville, Iowa, 50476. 

Delores is the author of Place in the Heart Book One, Breaking Point, released by Desert Breeze Publishing May 11, 2012.

Breaking Point – Sisters are forever, right?
Only Mauranie Wells is torn between the struggle to establish her New Mexico horse ranch dream of security for herself and her younger sister, orphaned by the accidental deaths of their parents; a sister as different from Mauranie as day from night. Mauranie grew up with a hearing impairment and working with the horses suits her fine. Tennyson craves bright lights and excitement, not a dusty horse ranch – until Texas banker Stemson Arroyo Smith rides into the Bar W one day and things swiftly approach the breaking point. Stemson and Mauranie’s story.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Does having a disability affect your stories?

Delores, how did you become interested in horses and cowboys, which inform you book Breaking Point?

My first story ideas came from repeated dreams. I had the most vivid dreams about horses and cowboys. I doted upon Gene Autry in my childhood and played all his records on my old windup Victrola. My folks never lacked for gift suggestions, all I wanted was the newest Gene Autry record or to go to his latest movie. Later, as I grew up, ideas popped into my mind in the most unexpected moments and demanded I stop whatever I was doing and jot some notes. I scorched a few bacon and egg breakfasts because of this.

You and I have talked about having a disability informs your work. Would you be willing to tell us your own story of disability?
When I was only 4 years old I contracted a joint case of spinal meningitis and measles. Those were dreary, scary hospital days, lightened only by the woman who came into my room daily to scrub the floor. She always paused at my bedside and smiled at me. When my parents finally got me home from the extended hospital stay I was a helpless case. I couldn't walk or hear. I had to relearn everything from scratch, starting with simply holding a spoon in order to feed myself. Eventually I regained enough strength to pull myself up to stand beside the sofa and walk the length of it, while holding on to it. From that I finally learned to walk again and then relearned everything else quickly. I remember that journey too vividly, particularly the nightmares that plagued me for a long time after. The one positive thing I took away from the hospital was that a smile is the language of friendship.

I didn't even remember my parents. I still recall sitting between them in the front seat of the car when they drove me home, wondering who those strangers were. At a traffic light stop my father took his hand off the steering wheel and enclosed mine.
He turned his head to me and said very slowly "I'm Daddy."  He said it several times quite slow and loud before I could repeat it. When I did, he smiled.  Then he started on "Mommy." When we arrived home I knew those two words, and the journey forward began.

I tend to think of new people and experiences I come into contact with as journeys.
My mind builds stories around incidents and populates the journey with characters I have something in common with, who make some kind of a journey forward.

Thanks for sharing. Tomorrow we will talk about how you write characters with disabilities.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Author and Editor Gail R. Delaney brings her skill to multiple genres

Whether you enjoy speculative fiction as a genre

 Or prefer contemporary romance

Future Releases by Gail R. Delaney at Desert Breeze Publishing
Phoenix Rising Book Two: Triad - December 2012
Phoenix Rising Book Three: Stasis - TBD
Phoenix Rising Book Four: Liber - TBD
Find Gail R. Delaney on the Web:
Gail's Web site
Gail's Blog
Gail's Facebook Page
Email Gail

In control of characters, or characters in control?

What kind of writer are you? Do you plot everything out or do you "wing it?" Are you in control of the characters or do they control what you write?

Oh, they are totally in control. I never assume anything when I begin a book, which is why I am definitely a pantser and not a plotter. I let each scene and outcome be dictated by the characters. Sometimes I don't know what they're going to say until they say it, or how they'll react until we're 'there'.

I find that fact both fun and exciting. I live it just like a reader would, in the moment. Sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph.

So we know about your science fiction or speculative fiction, but you have also published romance. Tell us about that.

If you're a contemporary romance fan, then I say Something Better (mainly because of all my contemporary novels, David Bishop -- the hero in Something Better -- is my favorite). It's funny because Something Better was the book I said I'd never write. I said I'd never write a book with a main character who is a writer -- Andi Parker, the heroine, is not only a writer but a writer of sci fi romance. I said I'd never write a book with a character who had some type of 'famous' profession (actor, musician, etc).

David Bishop is an A-List actor. I said I'd never write a 'Hollywood' novel. Well, as you can imagine with David being an actor... it's set in Hollywood. I said I'd never write a book where the Hero and Heroine are kissing in the first chapter because it always feels rushed. Well, I did it here... but not the way you'd expect. J And yet, despite all that, it's my favorite book. I have a blog there... when I post. J
I have two Facebook pages, one for writing in general...
and one specifically for the Phoenix series

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Get to know Gail Delaney

           If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

I like living in Southern California, but I would like to have more land. I grew up on a large piece of property surrounded by woods, woods, and more woods. You couldn't hear your neighbor snoring or their dog barking, but you were close enough to walk. But, I grew up in Maine with snow and cold and black flies. J

I love the weather in SoCal. I love the area. But, I'd like a slightly bigger house (just a big because it's my family of four and my inlaws -- and my office is itty bitty tiny), on a much larger piece of property. Two to three acres minimum.

And I'd like horses again. I had horses growing up, and loved it. But, you didn't ask me that. Well, in a way... okay... I want to live on a really big horse ranch in Southern California. There.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

WARNING: Individual prone to outbursts of sarcasm, dry wit, and joy which may result in unbecoming 'snorting', spewing of liquids from noses, and tender abdominal muscles after prolonged exposure to laughter. Side effects may also include headaches, sore throats, and weeping eyes from excessive and ongoing exposure. Fatal side effects have not yet been documented.

      What do family members think of your writing? Do you ever ask him/her/them for advice? Editing?

Gail and her Dad
I know I am exceptionally lucky in that my family has always been very encouraging of my writing. My mother's belief in my writing is what drove me to seek publication to begin with, and my father made no secret of how proud he was of me. He told anyone and everyone I was his daughter, and I was a writer.

My mother and father in law have supported me every step of the way. My husband has stepped up in so many ways to take on some of the load so I can focus on my writing and my dreams. It's wonderful.

More than once I've talked through a plot sticking point with my husband and he as helped me figure it out. I don't always do exactly as he suggests, but he might be the springboard I need to jump to the right path. I've talked out many books with my daughter. My son isn't much into hearing about it, but he's 14. J
See more books at Gail's Author Page on Desert Breeze Publishing's site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sequel to the Phoenix Rebellion Series

Gail, tell us about your latest book

Phoenix Rising Book One: Janus released on 21 May 2012, Janus is the first book in a new series which stands as a sequel to my series The Phoenix Rebellion, both futuristic speculative romance.

Give us a blurb?
It's been a year since Humanity rose up against their alien oppressors and took back Earth from the Sorracchi.  The war left Earth devastated, crippled, but not beaten.

Under the leadership of President Nick Tanner and in collaboration with their new Areth and Umani allies, the Earth seeks stable ground again.
John Smith of the Areth was a soldier before his queen asked him to serve as ambassador to Earth, and he is out of his element. Restricted in his position from carrying a weapon, he has no way of defending himself or his adopted son when the Xenos -- a group of Humans wishing to purge the Earth of all alien influence -- decide they want him dead.
Jenifer is a soldier for hire, and answers to no one but her own common sense. She first refused the "job" of serving as John's bodyguard, but a glimpse at the heart of the man convinces her to accept the responsibility.
John has two faces: a soldier and an ambassador of peace. Jenifer has two faces: the steel-skinned warrior and the forgotten person she once was. Too many people hide behind masks, and it's those hiding who want John dead.

I have downloaded and am looking forward to jumping into your new book. Tell me about your relationship with readers.  What do you hope readers take away with them after reading your work?
I hope they come away with new friends. I work to make my characters living, breathing people with deep emotions and deep affection. I want them to be real, and honest, and authentic. Real enough readers truly hope they find happiness.
I told someone once I want to make you cry at least once when reading one of my books. Whether those are tears of joy, tears of sadness, or tears at a beautiful ending... if I bring a tear to your eye I feel I've done my job.
I don't write angst. It's not melodrama. But, it's life.
Do readers ever contact you?
I have been contacted by readers, but I'd love to have more contact. I love getting emails or guest book notes or posts at my Facebook pages. It tells me my work isn't just disappearing into the ether. I love having a reader contact me -- by email, or whatever (hint... and tell me how much they felt for my characters. How much they cared. How much the fell in love with my hero. J It's then I know I've done a good job. I love when they speak to me about my books as if they're speaking of old friends.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gail R. Delaney and the tug and pull of intense attraction

·       Gail, I have read and loved your Phoenix Rebellion books. Why did you decide to write speculative fiction?
I'm not sure I actually chose to write it. J  Several years ago, I wrote contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I hit a wall after finishing a book. No matter how I tried, none of the ideas in my head wanted to work.
To feed my muse, despite not being able to find a good story, I jumped into writing fanfiction (for those that don't know what fanfiction is, it's when an author writes stories based on television series and movies) just to keep myself writing. In a years time, I wrote about 200,000 words of fanfiction based on a science fiction program.
Three of my critique partners started poking at me, saying "Why don't you just write sci fi?" I didn't think I could do it. But, eventually, I listed to my wise friends and actually took some of the storylines I couldn't get to work in a contemporary setting and found they worked great in a futuristic setting. 
As far as the sensuality rating, I will admit I used to write much more detailed than I do now, but that was prior to gaining control of my own work. I was pushed for years to write hotter, write more detail, more explicit... but it's not my preference. I love the tug and pull of intense attraction, and I don't deny that to my characters. But, I don't feel the need to write (or read) every moment of intimacy between them. IF it happens at all in the book, I'd rather convince the reader beforehand of the intensity between them so they can assume everything that goes on behind closed doors.
If I was a first-time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
If you are a fan of science fiction, then begin at the beginning as they say. The Phoenix Rebellion Book One: Revolution ... then work your way up to Janus. My books are not created as stand alone stories, but ongoing arcs of story with a cast of characters. So I recommend reading them in order. Phoenix Rising has its own set of storylines, but much would be clearer and sharper if you read The Phoenix Rebellion first.
I noticed that your books don't stand alone - I couldn't put one down and you resolved a great story but also set up the next one. I couldn't stop reading! Much of that interest comes directly because you have written such great characters. Tomorrow I hope you  will tell us more about your latest book, Janus. Now where can your readers find you? I have a blog there... when I post. I have two Facebook pages, one for writing in general...
and one specifically for the Phoenix series

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Out of your element? The real answers to the Regional IQ questions

There are some things that are unique to a given part of the country. Because I've been able to travel a lot I know a few of these. See what answers YOU know to these ten questions. Will post answers tomorrow.

1. T or F Yum yum nothing like an olive eaten fresh from the tree.

False. Fresh off the tree they are very bitter; must be processed first to be edible. It is a trick people sometimes play to urge you to eat a fresh one.
2. T or F The Golden Gate Bridge is red.

Red or orange. Not Golden.

3. Why are some farming field round instead of square?

The irrigation is from a center point in a line that pivots around the field - and doesn't water the corners. Thus the circles from the air.
4. How many crops can be on a citrus tree at one time?

One reader pointed out that you can have multiple kinds of citrus on one tree through grafted. Let's assume only one type of citrus. Our grapefruit tree in the back yard has a few shriveling fruits from last season that we couldn't reach, the fresh fruit that we are eating now and will continue to pick as needed through early fall, and the small new fruits coming on for next year's harvest - three at once. You will almost always see new fruit setting on before the current crop is picked so two is also an acceptible answer.

5. Sometimes on a country road you will come to a wide grate the full width of the road right to the fences, and 4 to 6 feet deep. What are these called. (Hint: NOT snake fences.)

The grate (see right) is called a cattle guard. On open range where the cattle are not fenced into small spaces you want to contain them and they won't usually cross this scary spot.

6. If you are in St. Louis, MO what is a soda? If you are in Manchester, NH, what is a soda?

When I grew up near St. Louis a soft drink was a soda.  When I asked for a soda in Manchester, I got it with ice cream in it. The locals informed me that if I wanted a diet Pepsi I needed to ask for a tonic.
7. What is that man-purse worn with a kilt called?

8. How do you pronounce Arkansas, as in the Arkansas River?

Ar KAN ses, not AR kan saw.
9. How do you pronounce the capital of South Dakota?

Pierre is pronounced Peer
10. What is a buggy if you are in Atlanta?

A shopping cart.

Sometimes when a book is being edited I realize something is regional that I take for granted. When I say someone tucked into a meal, it gets changed every time. It means eats hungrily - but evidently is not a phrase that very many people use. Tell me if you have ever heard it before.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How my friends knew I was a "dude"

Do you have any funny stories about real cowboys and fake ones? Leave a comment - I read every one and will respond.

When my family moved to Western Nebraska the summer after I graduated High School,  I learned that I didn't know anything about the culture in the West. Even though my Dad was from Oklahoma and we watched westerns (Gunsmoke, Lone Ranger) growing up, I didn't know much.
Some of the other students were from Wyoming and Montana and they knew about Blue Jeans. I'd never shopped for Levi 501s before - in 1970 jeans hadn't swept the country, we still wore dresses to school (short and long) and our slacks were polyester. When my friends called me a Dude they meant as in Dude Ranch, not a guy. There was so much I didn't know. In good faith my mom bought us all straw cowboy hats to wear to show we'd become part of the west. My dad bought western cut suits. And bought a couple of Iceland ponies. I was in college by then, though, so I never rode them.

The man I eventually married was a terrible jokester around things we didn't know. He tried to convince me that cattle guards were snake fences, to keep the rattlesnakes out of town. He cracked up when I asked why there were bleachers out on the hillsides in the middle of nowhere, because I'd never seen a snow fence before.

My husband isn't a cowboy but he knows his way around the West, especially the Panhandle of Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming. He taught me to hunt and knew his way around the ditch banks and was helping with cattle on his grandfather's pastureland.

When I visited my Montana friends I understood more about the big sky and saw people real cowboys.

And years later my husband's youngest sister married one of those authentic cowboys and they live and work in Western Kansas.

When I look back at photographs I see the inauthentic West of my youth. Hope these tickle your funny bone.
That is my brother Michael in all the photos. He and his family have since immersed themselves in  authentic Lakoda culture and language. And now he raises Fresian horses, and is a well known beekeeper.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The mystique of the open range drives Yeary's Western Books

Celia, I've read both of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. The couples we encounter have secrets and turmoil to work through but stay true to each other. Great reads! What is it about Western Historical Romance that interests you?

Western Historical Romances always catch my eye. Most of my favorite authors write this genre, and since most have drifted into Contemporary Western Romance, I have learned to love those, too. Why do I love these stories above all others? I suppose it's the mystique of the open range, the wagon trains moving west into unknown territory, the hopes and big dreams of pioneers, and the settling of our nation. How can we not admire and revere these people? Their stories portray the spirit of our entire nation, our quest for new horizons, and the inability to stand still. I fell in love with the Calder men that Janet Dailey wrote about decades ago, and that love is still strong and true.

Here is a photo my husband took on the corner of our San Marcos, Texas town square where  the Hays County Courthouse sits. It's a bronze statue of Captain Jack C. Hays,  famous and infamous Texas Ranger who lived here for a time, and became  well-known as one of the most notorious Texas Rangers.
It was said of him, "Ol' Jack...why he would follow the Devil hisself into Hell if he had to. He  wasn't afraid of nothin'." Only one source of daily inspiration.


Be sure to leave a comment to let Celia know you stopped by.

The Cameron Sisters:
Still restless, but no longer idealistic and insecure, he knew he had to go home.
After two years, Jo Cameron King’s life as a widow abruptly ends when her husband returns home to Austin. Unable to understand her angry and bitter husband, she accepts a call to travel to the New Mexico Territory to meet her dying birth father whom she knows nothing about. Her plan to escape her husband goes awry when he demands to travel with her.
Dalton King, believing lies his Texas Ranger partner tells him about Jo, seethes with hatred toward his wife. Now he must protect Jo from his partner’s twisted mind, while sorting out the truth. Jo’s bravery and loyalty convince him she’s innocent. But can they regain the love and respect they once shared?
The Romance Studio-5 Hearts
The Romance Reviews-Nom. for Best in Western Romance
Love Romance Cafe-Honorable Mention-Best in Historical Romance
Love Western Romances-4 Spurs

Hoping he would change, she left him alone until he made his own decision.
At a Governor's Ball in Austin, Texas, True Lee Cameron meets suave Sam Deleon. Before the night is out, she transforms from the coddled and protected younger sister to a woman in love. Reality crashes down when she accidentally learns he has deceived her. Daring to disobey him, she follows Sam to the oilfields and determines to live wherever he does. Has she made a mistake? Will she give up and return home where she can make her own rules?
When Sam Deleon meets the gorgeous young woman his mother has chosen for him, he fears falling in love, because he knows nothing about love. In order to carry out his mother’s plan, he marries True and moves her to his mother's home, intending to visit enough to set the plan in motion. When True fails to obey him, he faces the possibility of losing her, thereby losing his inheritance and the family property.
Sam and True attempt a reconciliation and compromise. Together, they now face a nemesis, someone who determines to thwart every action they take, endangering not only their lives, but also those whom they love.
Long and Short Romance Reviews-5 Books
The Romance Studio-4 1/2 Hearts
CoffeeTime Romance Reviews-4 Cups
BUY LINKS FOR BOTH Texas Promise and Texas True:
Desert Breeze Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website
My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Debra Parmley on Western fiction

I've had reviewers say my western romance stories are gritty. The genre has allowed me to write about the harsh circumstances women were sometimes under in the wild west. A Desperate Journey is the story of a woman who was married to an abusive man who kidnapped their son. Normally it's one of those taboos to have a married heroine fall in love with the hero, but she learns her husband was a bigamist and their marriage wasn't legal. In Dangerous Ties, the hero finds the heroine strung up over a mine shaft and the rope is breaking. She's been tortured and is branded on one breast. Both women could be viewed as victims and at first they do view themselves that way. But their stories begin from the point of change just after some very bad things have happened and they move on from that point to see themselves as survivors. These stories are about women who adapt to changing circumstances, overcome obstacles, find and fall in love with their soul mates and triumph over their past circumstances to start a new life. I believe most western stories, whether they are straight westerns or western romance show how others face difficulties and through courage and intelligence and self reliance manage to survive and triumph. The stories can inspire readers to believe they too can do that and the stories can inspire while entertaining and paying homage to the history of our American past.

A personal quote you may have read before or heard me speak is this - "It is not the things that are done to us that define us. It is the things that come from inside of us." This is an underlying principle I believe in which carries through all of my writing, but I believe the western romances I've written have allowed me to show that in perhaps a stronger less subtle way than my other fiction.
Please comment and let Debra know you are interested in her work. All comments are read and all questions answered!

Nick's horse made her way carefully down the mountain, his pack horse following along behind.

He wasn't far from town, and looking forward to a warm bath to wash away the dust of the trip and then a good hot meal. Maybe if he were lucky there'd be a warm and willing woman too. He'd been a long time without a woman.

It was then he saw her. Long golden hair, which caught the rays of the setting sun, lighting those tresses up like a flame. Red-gold hair swinging in a gust of wind.

What the hell?

He blinked twice to clear his head, in case he was seeing some fools gold of a dream.

But when he opened his eyes she was still there, bound by her wrists, suspended over a wide mineshaft; her bare feet tied together at the ankles and her long hair blowing in the wind.

Who had strung her up and why?

He pulled his rifle out and rode closer, his senses on alert. The area appeared to have been abandoned, but he knew you could never trust appearances.

The appaloosa lost her footing briefly and rocks rumbled down the mountain. He tensed, waiting for a sound or for the end of a rifle to appear, but all was silent and still.

He slowly rode closer. The only sounds on the mountain were the wind and the steadier footsteps of his horse.

By the time he reached the woman it was clear there was no one else about.

He swallowed hard, shifted in the saddle as his thoughts shifted.

Damn, she's beautiful. The knots are all wrong. Whoever tied her was no cowboy. If she struggled those knots will only tighten more, hurting her worse.

His fist tightened around the reins.

That's no way to treat a woman.

Her long hair blew in the breeze again. He rode around to the other side. He had yet to see her face.
She heard horses through her dizziness, through a haze of pain. The horses' hooves steadily clopped closer and closer, bringing God only knew what. Her heart began to race.

Dear God, not them again. Please don't let it be them. Not again. I can't take much more. I don't want to die here, today.

The horses stopped and the only other sound was the wind. She could feel eyes upon her.

She didn't want to look, didn't want to open her eyes for fear of what she'd see.

But she forced herself to open them, fought the fear and the dizziness and for one brief moment her gaze met his.

Long enough to see his eyes were like summer lightning, intense and flashing with some dark emotion.

Then her world went black.

Dangerous Ties, release Feb 15, 2012, Desert Breeze Publishing
A Desperate Journey, March 2009, Samhain
contemporary romance:
Aboard the Wishing Star release Oct 2012, Desert Breeze Publishing

 "Spreading love one story at a time."

Buy Dangerous Ties today at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why does Delores Goodrick Beggs write Westerns?

Delores Goodrick Beggs is a prolific award-winning author in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, having started in high school when she would often awaken with a dream demanding to be captured on paper. She scribbled notes while relaxing in her favorite lounge chair and stuffed the treasured horde of paper slips into the creases between seat and armrest, handy to pull out later as needed. Her ideas still refuse to go away until captured on paper.

She turned her notes into her first stories, often writing during short-lived Kansas thunderstorms that barely thinned the sweltering heat of Pony Ring Ranch where her father raised horses and ponies. She wrote her first collection of fiction on a mountaintop in California while watching her part-Appaloosa mare assert mischievous independence in the exercise corral. Delores grew up influenced by the warmth of hounds and the tolerance of horses. Her cowman father bought her first horse, Black Velvet, when she was only five years old and recovering from a devastating bout of spinal meningitis which permanently affected her hearing. Her nonfiction book, How Can I Talk With You, is an outline of the coping skills she used growing up. The Arts Council of Santa Clara County, (CA) awarded it the 1992 Artist Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction

Excerpt: "Good colt. I'm Stemson Arroyo Smith, by the way."

Each crisp word shot a thrill of pleasure through her. Her eyes widened, and she smiled. He didn't drawl the way Tennyson's cowboy friends did. Cultured, she thought, and with a deep voice she could hear well.

"He needs work, a lot of work."

"A little at a time will do it. He's young yet."

"The house is over there." She nodded in Tennyson’s direction, drinking in the wonderful experience of not having to tilt her head in order to hear him.

Stemson made no move to leave.

Mauranie ground her teeth and clenched her fists, staring at him. She glanced past him to where Tennyson stood pressed against the veranda rail, her body rigid again, a grimace on her face.

"My sister sometimes keeps her suitors cooling their heels. I warn you, yours will be a long wait if you remain here. Tennyson’s hand-made boots have never seen the inside of a corral." Mauranie turned her back to Stemson and clicked the colt into motion.

"My business is with Mauranie Wells." His deep voice caused her to pause and turn back to better catch his words. "I daresay it’s you? Scott Ringer at the feed store in Mescal Flats told me your sister is a blonde. So you see, I am, after all, where I should be."

Warmth started in the core of her being and spread to engulf her. At the same time, uncertainty struck her. Had she heard him right? This nice man had come to see her? She well knew how her poor hearing sometimes tripped her up. She tensed. She had to check if she'd heard him right. She drew Showman to a stop and led him to the pole fence where the stranger stood.

"Me? What can I do to help you?" She scanned the crinkled corners of his silvered eyes, letting her gaze drop down smooth cheeks darkening with new afternoon shadow. Her tight muscles relaxed. She lifted her gaze and stared into the smile of those silvery-blue eyes.
 Horses, hounds, heart
Breaking Point - Available now!
Charming Champion - Aug. 2012
Substitute Lover - Dec. 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why does Stephenia McGee write about Cowboys?

 Horses! I like the cowboy genre mostly for the horses. To be honest, I didn't set out writing A Legacy of Lies as a cowboy romance. I knew Jim needed to escape his past. He needed a new life. I also wanted to give him something that would allow him to grow and teach him control and patience. Horses were the natural answer. So, I sent him to a Montana dude ranch to live out his childhood dream of working with horses and being like an old-time cowboy. The rest of the story grew from there. My next book doesn't have any cowboys, but horses have still managed to make their way into my story!


Jim settled into the brushed leather of his ranching saddle. The saddle had a deep seat and the fenders turned the stirrups out perfectly. He was as comfortable here as most men were in a recliner in front of the television. He tried to keep his mind off Sarah's emerald eyes. No luck.

Focus on something else.

The deep indigos and golden streaks had faded from the sky, the sun now sat high enough over the white mountain peaks to start warming the air. A clear sky promised a peaceful day. It would be nice to spend the day--

What the...

A streak of color blurred past him. Ciervo lurched underneath him. Jim cursed under his breath, trying to steady his spooked mount. Up ahead he saw clods of soft earth flying up from behind galloping hooves. Panic set in.

Runaway horse.


Jim squeezed his legs as he leaned into the saddle and lowered his head. Ciervo dipped his haunches and rocketed forward. Within a stride his horse extended to a full gallop, his hooves barely hitting the ground. In mere seconds, they were gaining on the other horse. A sorrel.

Jim flung the reins around his body. The leather ends popped into Ciervo's thick hindquarters. The horse lowered his head and surged. Amazingly, the powerful buckskin found another gear. Jim's hat flew off, the leather strap catching hard against his neck. The wind buffeted his face. He squinted his eyes, leaned forward in the saddle, and gripped the reins with both hands. His body was now moving in rhythm with the horsepower beneath him.

Ciervo heaved in massive amounts of air. Pounding hooves and the horse's deep snorting breaths drowned the startled cries behind them. Ciervo's tail whipped through the air. Jim urged him on. Ten more feet. Five. He came even with the sorrel and reached for the reins, his fingers barely grazing the leather. He leaned further and Ciervo followed Jim's lead, nearly brushing against the other horse as the two animals raced across the valley. He reached out again and finally grabbed the runaway horse's rein.

"Hang on." Jim shouted above the deafening thunder of pounding hooves.

In one fluid motion, he planted his feet in the stirrups, rocked back in the saddle, and jerked Sarah's left rein down to his thigh. Sassy's head jerked, her neck curving until her muzzle met her shoulder. The mare's front feet planted into the soft earth, her massive weight tearing loose the grass underneath. As Sarah crashed into the saddle horn, a whoosh of air escaped her lips. Ciervo lowered his haunches and buried down to his hocks in the dirt. They came jerking to a halt. For a second no one moved. Jim let out his breath.

He looked at Sarah. She bent over the saddle horn, gasping for air. Her face splotchy red. When she caught her breath, she glared at him, her eyes nearly shooting daggers.

"What do you think you're doing? Are you crazy?" Sarah yelled at him and snatched her rein from his hand. Jim's jaw dropped. He could only stare at her. He'd just risked his life to save hers and she yelled at him? His fingers tightened on his reins, clenching into tight fists.

He knew it. Nothing but trouble.

Stephenia McGee
A Legacy of Lies, Christian Romantic suspense with a touch of the unexplained!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why does Linda McMaken write Contempory Western Romance?

So Linda, why Westerns?
Riding Off Into the Sunset
To be asked why I write westerns (contemporary westerns) is like someone asking me why I breath. To me there isn't much that can compare to the American West. It is the one true vision of absolute freedom in human history. Wide open spaces, self-reliance, determination, no fences - that is my imagined west.
While it wasn't all riding a horse, roping cattle and singing around the campfire, it was and is an enticing lifestyle for me. Although I don't live on a ranch (I have a small farm), I enjoy the smell of hay being cut, the sound of coyotes off in the distance, the sound of rain on the tin roof of a barn, and even feeding the critters on a sub-zero January morning.
Westerns bring out romance in all its best forms. They give us the tough hero with a gentle soul, a heroine that is strong and still feminine, and solid values. The epitomize small town America with neighbors and friends you can count on, and the ingenuity to make things out of nothing.
My heart will always be in the west. Born from hours listening to my mom read from the novels of Zane Grey, Louis L'amour, and Max Brand. I may never have that ranch in the Rockies, but my characters let me spend a lot of time there with them, and as long as they keep inviting me, I'll keep hanging out on the ranch with them.
Excerpt: "Please, call me Mike." The ranch foreman smiled, starting the engine. Making a hard u-turn, the truck slid across the pavement.
Abby fastened her seatbelt and grabbed the handle above the window.
The truck fishtailed across the ice, but Mike didn’t slow down. "I hope you don't plan on going shopping very often." He turned the wipers on. They screeched painfully across the glass. "It's a fair piece to the nearest store. We plan far in advance for shopping trips, so you'll want to keep a list for pantry purchases."
They pulled off the main road onto a gravel road. He made several more turns onto smaller and smaller gravel roads, until they reached a rutted, one-lane dirt road. Suddenly the dirt road gave way to a smooth blacktop drive that wound around snow-covered banks, atop which a red snow fence ran as far as the eye could see.
"I think I'm going to have to drop breadcrumbs to find my way in and out of here." Abby couldn't remember ever having been so far from civilization. "Tell me, do you ever get snowed in back here?" As far as she could see in every direction was nothing, absolutely nothing, except hills, snow fence, trees, snow, and huge mountains.
"Occasionally we've been snowed in for a few days. We've got snowmobiles and we can get out for supplies with them."
A lump formed in her throat that refused to be swallowed.
"We've also got the Cat and the Deere with plows and shovels."
Abby had no clue what he was talking about, but as long as those things could get her out of this desolate wilderness, she liked them.
"Nobody's lived at the cottage for awhile. I had the boys go in, knock down the spider webs, and make sure no snakes or anything was living inside, but they don't always get everything. You aren't afraid of spiders and such, are you?"
The lump on her head began to ache. Mike's expression was kind, but odds were she was about to face those things, afraid or not. "I can't say I care too much for them."
"Well, snakes are hibernating this time of year. But they can move about when you start disturbing them. I'll have the boys leave you a hoe just to be safe." The truck slid across the blacktop road. Mike chuckled. "That was fun."
Abby pushed a hand against the dashboard, her mouth becoming suddenly dry. "A hoe? What do I need a hoe for?"
"For hacking the snakes' heads off, honey." Mike was matter-of-fact.
"Hack its head off?" The ache in her head turned to throbbing and was joined by a rumbling nausea deep in her stomach. "Couldn't I just call you or one of the men to come and--" she shuddered-- "hack the thing?"
"Sure, but we're usually out in the field or up at one of the cattle barns. It could be awhile before one of us could get it for you. By then it could disappear under the floor only to pop back out in the middle of the night and snuggle up with you in bed."
"They're cold-blooded, you know, and they like to find a warm spot to sleep. So it would be best if you just hack them when you see them."
Her head swam. Her vision turned gray and began sliding into black. She had gone from a bad dream to a horrific nightmare. Abby pinched her thigh, wincing at the pain. Awake. She was awake. The nightmare was real.
Future Releases by Linda McMaken at Desert Breeze Publishing
The Three Baers Book Two: Baer Necessities - October 2012 T
he Three Baers Book Three: Baer Facts - February 2013