Sunday, May 9, 2021

#WeWriWa: Hat in Hand . . . WILD TEXAS BRIDE

Continuing through my Texas historical series, reading WILD TEXAS BRIDE reminded me of how impulsive and often painful young love can be. Exciting new emotions can often get confused when expectations and reality don’t go hand in hand. Such is the case when young Sarah Bass, daughter of a famed Texas Ranger and niece of a dime novel legend, sees her first and only crush through new eyes.

One of the bandits strode by her toward the others at the front of the car, his long canvas duster tucked behind an impressive brace of pistols. He was tall, with a swaggering walk . . . a familiar walk, but she wasn’t sure until he turned slightly, and the coat swung away from long, long legs. She didn’t have to see his face because as long as she lived, Sarah would never forget that expansive stretch of denim-hugged limb.

What in heaven’s name was Billy Cooper doing robbing a train?

Surprise subdued her more efficiently than threat. How could she mistake the man who’d given her the spectacular taste of her first kiss, that young Texas Ranger who’d captured a thirteen-year-old’s heart?

What would turn a man from an honorable life’s mission to passing a hat to relieve folks of their valuables? Sarah wondered, frowning as Billy moved from seat to seat with the same charismatic cheerfulness as a tent evangelist, coaxing her fellow passengers to dig deep into their pockets. By the time he reached her seat, she was seething with a confused outrage. Then his dark eyes touched upon hers and she held her breath, waiting for a shock of recognition, but he looked away without pause.

He didn’t remember her!

(and the rest of the scene)

“Your contributions, please,” he drawled amiably, giving his hat a shake to rattle the coins and jewelry he’d already collected.

“And if I don’t please?”

The dark eyes gazing down at her crinkled up at the corners until she could see the creases of his devilish dimples over the edge of the bandana. “Why, I’m sure a little lady as pretty as you would want to be obliging.”

“Not when it comes to sniveling, underhanded, sneak thieves like you, sir.” Grabbing the sleeve of Billy’s coat, she hissed, “Why are you doing this?”

“Man’s gotta eat, ma’am.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

Then his fingertips touched to her mouth, effectively stilling any further argument she thought to give, as they moved gently, rough and warm, along the line of her lips as if to seal them shut. His dark eyes delved straight to her soul.

“You don’t know anything,” he argued quietly, and before she could think of a retort, he was moving down the row of seats with his hat full of stolen treasures.

Will she accept what she sees or believe what she feels? Hopefully the second or it will be an awfully short book. Rereading TEXAS RENEGADE in search of next week’s excerpt then on to the final published book, SWEET TEXAS DREAMS.

Just found the first few chapters I’d written years ago for what was meant to be the final book in the series and am raring to get back into it, especially since all the hard work of research and plotting are already done! Hopefully, I’ll have some progress to report by the time I finish profiling the next two books in the series.

But for now, I’m off to visit your pages before heading to the patio to enjoy the sun and the smell of steaks on the grill.

Happy Trails!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG: The Best Surprises are Unexpected!

It’s May, a time of flowers blooming, getting a year older (for me), and writing another Insecure Writers Support Group post. This month’s question is a pleasure to answer in recognition of some wonderful people.

Our IWSG May 5th question is “Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?”

My writing career has been full of reader surprises that began with fan letters. Does anyone get those stamped envelopes anymore? Something about those handwritten notes of excitement and praise kept a mom of two young boys at the word processor from the time they napped, which eventually became the time they went to school, until the dog told me that lunch had long since passed. That these people I didn’t know took the time to write a letter or send a card blew me away (and I still have my favorites tucked away with my other valuables). This was before Facebook and Twitter and online writers forums . . . or actually, online anything! Just strangers writing to a stranger because they were somehow touched by a turn of a phrase. Just . . . wow!

When I released the first trio of books in my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series ten years ago, another huge surprise – a fan made me a book trailer (this was waaaay back before they became a thing or had all the cool graphic programs we have now) and set it to music. Come to find out, she was working as an assistant for bigtime bestseller Darynda Jones, who happened to be a fan of my vampire romance series. I’ve enjoyed meeting Darynda several times since then at book events. Small world! Here’s the trailer:

My most cherished reader fan turned writer friend is Sandra Hoover . . . a former IWSG pal! She unashamedly called Max, my hero, her book boyfriend and formed an entire Goodreads Group to share her enthusiasm for him and my shapeshifter books! My “Nancy Gideon By Moonlight” group now boasts close to 500 members who read, support, and help me promote my new releases through a monthly newsletter and a variety of fun and informational forum discussions as well as some great book chat topics. And the wonderful Sandra just surprised me with this gift any bedtime reader would adore – a gorgeous book sleeve with a quote from my “By Moonlight” hero.

And by far my greatest surprises came from two different groups of Michigan writers, one in Mid-Michigan and one in Greater Detroit. When the Detroit chapter invited me as a guest speaker, I was able to sign copies of my latest Dana Ransom historical. One of the attendees surged up to get her copy signed – because her name was Dana. That enthusiastic fan became multi-published author Dana Corbit Nussio. Later, a group of Mid-Michigan writers who carpooled to meetings in other cities when I first joined that RWA group invited me to ride with them. Those brainstorming drives were the highlight of my month because I never talked about my writing, let alone allowed anyone to read my WIPs. When I found out they also meet for critiquing, I self-consciously asked if I could join them. To my surprise, they’d been too afraid to ask me! Hey, even published authors need support, right? The six of us, Detroit Dana and my other five Mid-Michigan pals have now been meeting for critiques for over twenty years!

The best surprises come when you least expect them and, if you’re lucky, make a lasting mark on your work and your life.

Now, I need to uncover your surprises!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the May 5th posting of the IWSG will be Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, May 2, 2021

WeWriWa: Heaven and Hell . . . TEXAS DESTINY

April showers have brought fragrant May flowers and I’m loving the scent of apple blossoms on my desk, freshly clipped from the tree out back. Breathe in and Ahhhhh! I’ve been doing lots of spring cleaning, reading through my Texas-set historical series, first pubbed back in the ‘90s, in anticipation of finishing the final book I started years ago and never completed.

Today’s WeWriWa clip is from Book 2, TEXAS DESTINY. My honorable Texas Ranger hero, Jack Bass, leads the daring rescue of a female captive living amongst the Apache. Emily Marcus is everything he’s ever desired . . . everything but free to share his future. Here’s a tease.

It was heaven and hell.

The woman in his arms was everything Jack desired – strong, brave, sweet-spirited, and beautiful. Her touch made everything inside him all hot and fluid, like the spring waters at Boquillas. She was the kind of woman a man looked for all his life, and if he was lucky enough to find her, he was smart enough to never let her go. Most of his fellow rangers were happy with the solitary life, content to roll themselves in a blanket under the stars, eat their meals out of a tin, and wash when they started scaring away game. They had no dreams beyond the moment, and most didn’t care if the future lasted fifty years or fifty minutes, but Jack wasn’t like them. He’d come from a solid family background, had seen the love between his mother and Will, between his uncle and Amanda, had held his baby brothers and sister in his arms and had known right then that he wanted children of his own. He wanted the vision Harmon had given him years ago, of looking out over land of his own, a wife and kids beside him, a table to sit at, and the satisfaction of belonging. Heaven was finding the woman to make that dream come true.

Hell was having her belong to someone else.

Now that I have the rights back to the series, I plan to self-pub them AND tie the Bass family into my just finished contemporary romantic suspense through one of the Texas Rangers assisting my hero. What a fun way to expand both those Texas-based series. I love it when a plan comes together. Especially when most of the research is already done!

May is also my birthday month, and I got one heck of a fabulous surprise from the organizer of my Nancy Gideon “By Moonlight” Goodreads Group. If you’re like me, you do a lot of your reading in bed before lights out. Now, my Read-in-Progress can await me in style in this AWESOME bedside book sleeve. See! Perfect, right?! Sandra, you are da bomb!

I’m off to visit your posts and then, weather willing, out to do some grilling. We’re celebrating my household being fully vaccinated!

Happy May, fellow Warriors!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.