Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Yep...I'm an author!
And I am...a real author with more books published than I ever imagined...and I look at them every single day and thank my lucky stars for the publishers who took a chance on me. Okay, so I'm not published with Harlequin or Avon, but with the popularity of e-readers, more and more folks are discovering me, and I can finally buy a Big Mac instead of just a Happy Meal with one of my royalty checks :)
Why was I in Sparta? I used to live in the area, and I love the beauty of the countryside and the rich historical facts born there. One of my novels, Sparta Rose, although not a legitimate "western" because it's set on the wrong side of the Mississippi, is filled with the same twangs, hats, and tight jeans that give me goosebumps.
My hero, Ty Bishop, is my epitome of a cowboy, and Ellie Fountain keeps his gut in a knot with her mood swings. One day she likes him, and hates him the next. Of course, she thinks he's the son her father always wanted, and Roselle (a name she hates) is bound and determined to show both of them she can do anything a man can do, only better.
One of my favorite scenes is where Ellie has challenged Ty to a "shoot off" to demonstrate her new found skills. She's been practicing in secret with a gun she bought on the sly, and now she's ready to prove a point. They're on their way to a place away from the house, but is she getting cold feet? The book is available from Eternal Press and sold on many sites, including Amazon for your Kindle or I-Pad. Woot!
Ellie turned back to TY and made a sweeping gesture of the landscape. "Isn't this the most breathtaking sight?"
H nodded, but his gaze never left her face.
They continued to ride, and before long, Ty pointed out a stand of trees. "Over there. We should be far enough from the house so w don't disturb your pa."
Disturbing her father was the least of her concerns at the moment. What had she been thinking, challenging Ty to a contest? Pas was doing better, but maybe she should use him as an excuse to postpone the match. She nibbled her bottom lip and sighed. Ty would see right through that excuse.
Ellie halted Chessie next to the nearest tree, dismounted and secured her reins to a branch low enough to allow the animal to graze. Suddenly her palms dampened with perspiration. She bragged about her abilities, and now she had to deliver. True, her skills had improved, but could she live up to her boasting?
Here again she faced the consequences of using her mouth instead of her brain. She took a deep breath, turned and braced herself.
Ty had already tethered his horse and busied himself setting up a line of cans along a fallen log. Ellie found a stump and sat, her heartbeat sounding in her ears.
Ty straightened from his task and glanced over at her. "You ready?"
She stood on wobbly legs. "I...I guess."
"You don't sound too convincing. We can call the whole thing off if you aren't feeling sure of yourself."
Oh, that irritating tone in his voice. Call if off? Not a chance. She could do this--she had to do this. Besides, his attitude was downright insulting. "I'm quite confident of my abilities, thank you." Ellie spoke through clenched teeth.
She brush by him and walked to the target area. With a glance over her shoulder, she feigned confidence. "So how are we going to do this?"
Ty came and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with her. "We'll take turns. I've set up the first six targets. I'll go first so you get the idea."
Ellie stepped to the side to give him room.
Ty's gaze focused on the cans lined atop the log. Beneath the brim of his dusty hat, determination knit his two brows into one. He widened his stance and rested a hand on the butt of his revolver.
As soon as his gun cleared leather, a blaze of gunfire ensued. With lightning precision, Ty masterfully downed five of the six cans, and re-holstered his weapon. Flashing a cocky smile, he turned to Ellie. "Well, I must have been distracted on that last one, but five out of six is pretty good, seeing as how it probably only took ten seconds or so."
Ellie exhaled. There was no denying he'd done a good job. Her heart really started to pound. What is she wasn't as skilled as she thought? While watching Ty set up new cans, she mentally pictured her makeshift target filled with holes made by expertly placed shots. The whole time she fought rising nausea.
Ty strolled back. "It's your turn."
Her stomach clenched.
"Thanks. I kinda figured that," she snapped, surprised by her snippiness. This was her idea, not his. She swallowed hard. "Could you do me a favor?"
"Can you please stand back a little ways?" She motioned over her shoulder. "It distracts me to see you out of the corner of my eye."
"Sure, no problem." He backed up a few paces.
It didn't help. He was distracting anywhere, anytime. Oh, if only her mouth didn't get her into these messes.
Ellie swiped beads of perspiration from her brow. Despite the brisk air, the pressure of the moment burned beneath her skin. She wiped the offending moisture on her pant leg, broadened the distance between her feet, and readied herself. She briskly rubbed her palms together, and since they were in the perfect position, she took a brief second to mutter a silent prayer. Please God, don't let me make a fool of myself.
With determination, she eyed the cans and locked her fingers around the rosewood grips. Recalling exactly how she'd riddled the floral material at the old mine, Ellie drew her weapon and fired. One after another the first four rounds found their mark, but the last two dug deep into the earth beyond the log. Two cans remained. Ellie's jaw tightened as she shoved her weapon back into its leather restraint.
"Not bad, not bad at all. I'm impressed," Ty said, with a smug grin.
Perhaps it was his attempt at a compliment, but it sounded more like taunting. She turned and gave him a forced smile. "You don't have to rub it in. You won, I lost. It's as simple as that."
"I'm not rubbing anything in. I thought you did a good job under the circumstances."
"And what circumstances are those?"
"You-me...a shoot-off for the first time. I didn't expect you to hit anything."
"Well, thanks for the confidence. I am only a woman, after all." Ellie seethed inside.
"Ah, Ellie, don't get mad. That's not what I meant. You wanna try again?"
Her mind screamed no, but her mouth overrode the warning.
"Sure, set 'em up. Why not shoot at the same time this round?"
Okay...If I didn't have to type the whole dang thing, I'd show you what happens the second time, but, let me share another tidbit with you...use more than one backup. When I changed computers, I transferred everything onto a thumb drive, thinking I'd be safe. Somehow, the darn thing broke, and I lost all my PDF copies. :( Picture me pouting. I have them on my Kindle, but that doesn't help when I need to cut and paste an excerpt. Oh well...another example of live and learn. Hope to see you back.