By Caroline Clemmons
How long have you been reading romance novels? If it’s more than ten or fifteen years, you’ve seen heroines change from the damsel who has to be rescued, to the spunky heroine who works with the hero to help save herself, and sometimes to the kick-ass heroine who rescues the hero.
|"Hello? Killer |
is that you
Readers require heroines to be strong and admirable, just as the heroes are. We don’t like whiners, brutality, or stupid characters in either gender. Even if our hero and heroine are a bit over the top, we want to believe they are people we would like to know in person.
I live a few miles from a small Texas town. This is why I write characters who live in or near small Texas towns. Whether historical or contemporary, the characters who reside in my head are people I would enjoy knowing in real life...except the criminals, but I dispose of them one way or another. Even the secondary characters are people I would enjoy finding on the next acreage.
BE MY GUEST has characters that I admire and with whom I enjoy spending time...once again, except the criminals. ☺ This was my first published novel and released in 1998. I’ve updated it a bit and added back some cut scenes, but the hero and heroine remain the same. I hope you’ll enjoy spending time with Aurora O’Shaughnessy and Will Harrison and their friends and relatives. I certainly have.
|That's model Jimmy Thomas standing in front|
of my photo of Texas wildflowers
Here’s a blurb:
Aurora Kathleen O’Shaughnessy comes by her flaming auburn hair naturally, and this independent city woman has an inner fire to match. Nothing stops Aurora--that is, nothing short of a Texas flash flood. This super-organized businesswoman might be running from the past, but she’s using this journey to stop and smell the roses-- or rather the spring flowers in bloom across the Texas prairie. But beautiful Aurora has attracted the attention of two unsavory characters stalking her.
Rancher Will Harrison rescues her from the raging waters and she’s his guest for the next thirty-six hours. That’s long enough for Will to fall head over heels in major attraction, and he has a hunch she might feel the same. He has a plan to keep her around until he convinces her to move out of the fast land and in to his life forever. But two predators have other plans for Aurora. Can Will save her in time? Can Aurora save herself?
And here’s an excerpt after Aurora’s car is washed away by floodwater. When Will rescued her from a cottonwood tree, she was a bit banged up. As the above blurb indicated, the high water has marooned her at Will’s ranch house:
Will let his eyes memorize every detail of her face before, with resignation, he sat up and picked up the phone again to dial his mother's phone number. Kelly answered the phone and he told her briefly about his houseguest. Once again he laughed and winked at Aurora as he answered Kelly's questions. Finally, he told her they would discuss the situation further when she got home.
While Will talked on the phone, Aurora absentmindedly organized the medical supplies on the bedside table into a neat little group on one corner of the tabletop. She realized what she’d done and found he watched with an amused expression. She blushed and put her hands in her lap. Why, why did she have to be such an organization nut?
When Will finished his call to Kelly and his mother, Aurora crossed her arms and accused, "That's the second time you've done that."
"What?" Will frowned. “What did I do?”
"You know, laughed while you answered questions over the phone. What did you say about me?"
"You heard what I said." Will grinned innocently.
His stone gray eyes came to life when he smiled, and each time it made her even more aware of her attraction to this man.
She tried to fight the spell he cast over her, to concentrate on her goals. "You know very well what I mean. For instance, what did my father ask that you found so amusing, anyway?"
Will's smile became mysterious. "That's my secret for now. Let's just say we had a meeting of the minds. I'm sure I'm going to like him."
Aurora scowled at him, but ignored the implication. "What did your daughter ask that was so funny?"
"She wanted to know if I still wore my wedding ring--that's been such an unbelievably big deal to her lately. Most kids don't want a stepmother, but she's determined to get one. I think it's because the father of her friend Marcie remarried last year, and Marcie has been lording it over her with tales of how great it is to have a stepmother. When I admitted I removed the ring, she wanted to know if it was because of you."
Aurora relaxed her arms and folded her hands primly together in her lap. "Oh, you know very well that I'm on my way to Colorado."
"I know what you told me." Will said as he took her hand. For a moment he sat examining her hand. When he again met her gaze there was a new intensity there. "Yesterday I let you walk out of the restaurant and hated myself for letting you get away without my even knowing how to contact you. It may sound foolish but I determined to find you again if I had to go to Durango to do so." He traced his finger across her palm. "I promise you it won't be so easy to get away from me next time."
He had revealed far more of himself than he had intended at this point. He determined to find out if his attraction to her was because of his three years of celibacy or because she was as special as he suspected. Careful not to scare her off, he had to know the answer. To accomplish that, he had to keep her nearby.
He flashed her a wicked grin, "Although I like my pajama top on you, I suppose you'll be more comfortable in your own things--and definitely a lot safer."
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