Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Interview with Paige Morgan from Luck of the Draw ~ Julie Lence


I began my writing career back in the early 90’s. Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey were, and still are, my inspirations for putting words onto paper. Ms. McNaught has a flawless voice and Ms. Lindsey’s novels fed on my fascination and addiction to nighttime soaps involving rich families. Dallas was my favorite. With his devotion to his parents and the family company, and his knack for scheming and coming out on top, J.R. was and still is the best villain. And Bobby and Pam were the couple found in romance novels. I wanted to create a family as entertaining and endearing as the Ewings, who had a lot of background angst and heartache, who were rough around the edges and physically strong, who were tender-hearted. My first two attempts were contemporary stories with a mob theme (another favorite of mine). Both went nowhere and I quickly realized I was more geared toward writing about cowboys and the old west (this is where my love for John Wayne’s cowboy persona came into play).     

In developing Luck of the Draw, the 1st book for the Weston Family Series, I knew I wanted a cowboy hero as handsome as Bobby Ewing, physically fit with lots of muscles, who wasn’t afraid to throw a punch or fight for what was right, and someone who, when he found the right girl, would love her forever and wholeheartedly. Thus Royce was born, and with him came a family of cowboys with their own drama. I also wanted the family to be wealthy and own a sprawling ranch. There had to be a town nearby, a barn dance, and a villain worthy enough to step into J.R.’s shoes, and a heroine who suffered from amnesia. (I’m not sure where that detail came from, but it worked.)  But, who was Royce’s heroine? Where did she come from? And why did she have amnesia? All good questions, and hopefully Paige Morgan will enlighten you in this interview.


Likeness of Paige; Google

Hi Paige. Thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us a little about your childhood?

Hello, and thank you for having me as your guest. I grew up on a farm. There was Ma and Pa, my younger brother, Adam, and my older sister Michelle. We called her Missy. She helped Ma with the chores and kept Adam and me entertained. Pa worked hard in the fields and kissed us goodnight. But then, Ma died suddenly and Pa changed. He went to town often and stayed there for days. When he came home, his speech was slurred, he stumbled often and he was mean. If not for Missy feeding the animals and taking care of Adam and me, I don’t think we would’ve survived. Then one day, Pa came home and announced he sold the farm and bought a wagon, that we were leaving the only home we’d known. Part of me was a little excited. I hoped we were moving to town. But that proved untrue. While we journeyed to different towns, we camped on the outskirts of town instead of mingling with society. Pa taught Missy this game played with cards, and many nights, he dressed her in a strange dress and took her with him. Adam and I weren’t allowed to accompany them. We stayed in the wagon, and when they came back, Pa either crowed in triumph or whacked Missy on her bottom.

One night, Missy took ill and had to stay with a doctor. Pa said she’d be all right, but the next day, to my horror and wailing, he loaded Adam and me into the wagon and left Missy behind. That’s when I learned why he dressed Missy in a gown that revealed more of her skin than the dresses she and I normally wore, and why he took her to town. I was expected to step into her shoes and steal from men playing poker inside dingy, smoke-filled saloons. And as Adam grew, Pa figured a way for him to help with the charade he perfected with Missy. Not fun, but I didn’t have a choice. Pa hit hard when he was angry.


What did you think the first time you saw Royce?

I thought he was handsome, with the prettiest blue eyes I’d ever seen. But then, the way he kept watching Pa and me while we ran our charade to cheat him at the poker table, I knew he knew we were trying to best him.  


What was your 2nd thought?

To keep him safe. He won me in an ante and took me upstairs to a room above the saloon, like he was supposed to. Adam and Pa were to find me, conk Royce on the head and steal the night’s winnings from him. But when I was alone in the room with Royce, with him demanding answers to his questions or he’d hurt me, something in the depths of eyes suggested he wasn’t a dangerous man. He was a man who had cared deeply. In that moment, I knew I couldn’t steal from him and spilled the truth, and sighed in relief when he left.

Pa wasn’t happy, and I felt the full effects of his anger. Adam suffered, too, and died by Pa’s hand. Days later, I woke up in a bed with male faces staring down at me. I had no idea where I was, who they were or how I’d gotten there. Worse, I didn’t know my own name or who I was. Royce stepped in and saddled me with the name Paige. Luckily, that was my name, and over the course of several weeks, he tried to get me to leave his family home. But when I remembered who I was and what happened to me, he stepped up to help me… and gave me his heart.


How would you describe Royce?

Formidable. Intimidating. Temperamental. Menacing. Honest to a fault. But when his arms envelop me and hold me close, and his hand caresses my hair, I know I’m loved and cherished for all of eternity.


How would Royce describe you?

Sassy. Gutsy. Loyal. Patient and caring. The latter two are what helped me break down the barriers he erected around his heart and carve out a niche for myself.


How do you relax?

On a ranch the size of Wooded Acres, there is always something that needs to be done, but Royce and I find time to sneak off to the hayloft. Snuggled in his arms and staring out at the stars is the best way to end the day.


Best piece of advice you can give?

Always watch your back and trust your instincts. I thought Royce was right about loving me and Pa not being a threat to me anymore. He was right about one and wrong about the other.    


Sounds intriguing. Thank you for joining us Paige. Hopefully, you’ll tame your cowboy.

Thank you!


Luck of the Draw is available at:


Weston Family Series:

Lady Luck

No Luck At All

Bring Me Luck


Weston Family Christmas Stories:

Christmas Miracles

Christmas Hearts

Christmas Wishes  




Kristy McCaffrey said...

Love this book! Royce and Paige are such a great couple!!

Julie Lence said...

Thank you, Kristy! Glad you enjoyed the story.