Saturday, November 19, 2016

Reprising A Wonderful Trip....

Untitled.png A few years ago, I and my hubby, brother-in-law, and sis had the experience of a lifetime, taking a wagon train around the Tetons with an amazing group, Teton Wagon Train and Horse Adventures headed by wagonmaster Jeff Warburton out of Jackson, Wyoming. He’s a true cowboy and a gentleman Me and JEff.png Yep. We spent four days circling the Tetons through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest bordering Yellowstone bear country. We didn’t see any bear despite everybody’s secret longing. Likely the thundering horses and our noisy group skeered ’em away. Cowboy rollercoaster.png First stop on the bus taking us to the wagons were photo-ops of the Grand lady herself..followed by her neighbor Mount Moran reflected perfectly in a oxbow lake. Grant Teton.png Mount Moran.png After a delicious lunch—there’s nothing quite like chuck wagon cooking in the open mountain air—Jeff called, “let the wagons roll” and we were off to our camp for the night. Dutch ovens.png Pulling the wagons were magnificent draft horses, Percherons and Belgians. They are named in teams, such as Lady and Tramp, Gun and Smoke, Sandy and Sage, Jack and Jill. The first name is always the horse on the left. These glorious beasts are capable of pulling up to 4,000 pounds as a team, and they love to work. In winter, they lead sleighs to the elk refuge outside Jackson. Percheron.png While the wagons do have rubber tires and padded benches, the gravel roads are nothing like a modern freeway. Most times our route was called the “cowboy rollercoaster.” Tent.png Our tents were comfy—all sleeping essentials are provided–, and there was nothing so fine as a cup of Arbuckle’s to warm us up on a chilly morning.One of the nicest parts of the meals was Jeff leading us in a blessing first. Nobody had to join in…but seems like everybody did. Arbuckles.png Everywhere surrounding us, the Wyoming landscape was full of lakes, greenery and blooming wildflowers. Nights after the camp quieted down were almost beyond description: the stars are endless, multi-layered, sparkling on forever and ever amen. What a sight. Wyoming wildflowers.png But the most fun of all was riding horses! Folks either rode, hiked, or wagonned it to the next camp each day. Horseback riding.png Me and mine, well, we had the time of our life. And this trip helped inspire my Hearts Crossing Ranch series at Pelican Book Group. Me.png As Jeff said when we left, “There’s always be a campfire burnin’ for ya here in Wyomin.” Yep. I’m feeling the warmth right now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

20 Questions with a Hot-Mess Panther

I was tagged by author Sarah McNeal to answer 20 questions about me and my work as an author. Read on at your own peril .

1.) What is your Author name? 
Tanya Hanson, and for YA, Anya Novikov.

2.) First book: The Outlaw's Woman. (It's awful. I'm much better now.)

3. What is your publiversary? 
2003. (The publisher is now defunct, but hey, they made me a real NYC published author. Thanks, Dorchester!)

4.) What is your favorite book you've written thus far:  No can do. That's like asking a mom who's your favorite child lol! 

5.) What book took you the longest to write? 
I actually write very fast. Under pressure--possibly my latest, Outlaw Heart.

6.) How long did it take me...Three months but I was beset with a family crisis during it.

7.) What kind of music (If any) do you listen to you when writing. None.

8.) Who is you favorite character from any of your books?  Not fair lol. But maybe Ahab Perkins. He's the hottie yet damaged leader of the outlaw gang that rides roughshod through a bunch of my historical westerns. I decided he needed a story of redemption all his own. In "Outlaw in Love" he finds his soul. And the love of a good woman. A nun! (Not really--she's in disguise.)

9.) What are you currently working on? 
Something very different for me--a love story set in World War 2. I'm kinda using my parents as inspiration. As yet, it's untitled--there's an angel...

10.) Do you have anything you snack on while you write? No. A cup of coffee, though. Or three or four...

11.) What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books? 
"Pop, don't turn your back on me." (Okay, not really but the only thing I could think of because I wrote it just yesterday.)

12.) Are you a self-published or traditional published author? Traditional publisher. Like Sarah, I don’t think I’ve got the where-withal to self-publish.

13.) What is your favorite writing, TV, movie etc. Two favorite books-Little Women by LMA, and the oldie but oh-so-goodie Willing Hostage by Marlys Milhiser.

14.) What genre do you write? 
Western romance generally. Some Salem time travel. 

15.) Do you have any writing rituals? No. I'm not just a pantser, I'm a hot mess of a pantser. (Auto correct first had that as "Panther." Now, that would be soooo cool!).

16.) Do you have a specific place you write or time?  Yes. My very own office that used to be my son's bedroom. As soon as he graduated from college, I told him he couldn't come back home lol.

17.) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
Yes. Read Little Women twenty thousand times and Google your pen name. I did not, and now share cyberspace with a porn star. Seriously-join RWA.

18.) What are your writing goals? 
Someday I'd like to write the Great American Horror Story and base it on whack job relatives. Oh, there are so many.

19.) What authors inspire you and your writing?  
I mentioned the two biggies before...I love too many western romance authors to list but for a true-life novel, I am in love with "Doc" by Mary Doria Russell. (Kinda in love with John Henry Holliday himself...)

20.) What will be you next release? 
Witchy Woman, which is part of Octoberfest at Cobblestone Press. It's more New Adult than anything, fun and sensitive at the same time.
My short story Her Holiday Husband will release soon. Is t she lovely? 


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Outlaw Heart

Well, it's undiscovered country...loading a big list from my phone! Yup...been without my laptop for a month. It was God'sxeill that I fi shed a book and met a very precarious deadline just two days before! My neighbor geek, gone for Morger's Day, took the offending computer back to college where he is majoring in computer science, and he's spiffing everything up and bringing 'er back when he comes gone for summer break.

Inbetween time, I've doenloads the Word app into my iPad so I can continue to write and edit. And I spent $4 on this app so I can get into blogger. We will see.

My new release: Outlaw Heart.

More soon...if you like an outlaw turning good, a widow unable to give her heart, and Doc Holliday himself...this book is for you!

I'll try to get a link listed , and try to copy-paste a blurb and excerpt. Uh, baby steps!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tanya Writes About...

Hi, just checking in. Blogging seems so...useless because I don't have a gimmick. No crafty recipes. No style guides.

And it is self-serving just to write about my books. Just saying....

So  today is just two thoughts on recent writing stuff:

1. Sad that Samhain is closing.  I have a good friend who wrote for them and  who, in fact, is finishing a contracted deadline! We're all concerned about what happens next. (I was victim of a house that closed. But thank God I found Prairie Rose Publications.)

2. I have read three very bad self-pubbed books lately. Please, find a professional editor and PAY for the expertise. Don't rely on crit partners who, I promise you, will Not Be Honest when something stinks.

That's it. And stupid blogger won't upload the pic I want...and other things I know I've posted aren't showing up in the "from this blog."

I'm over it. And off to the horse rescue.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tanya Writes About Good Reviews

Pick Me already has three five-stars. Not being boastful but...2016 was going to be the year of not writing never seemed affirming enough. Now it does! That's it for now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tanya Writes about The Pink Moment and Pick Me

As I write this, it actually and literally is the fifth anniversary of my volunteerism at the local horse rescue. To the day!
Here's Cheyenne. Because the name sounds so "girly", our president (his sponsor) has nicknamed him Fang. He's a gorgeous paint/Warmblood cross who's finally regained trust in humans.
Pink Moment Blog Cheyenne
To make things more wonderful, the horse rescue inspired fictional High Hill Horse Rescue, the setting for my soon-to-be-released Valentine story, Pick Me.  (part of the multi-author Candy Hearts series and available for pre-order.)
Like I wrote in the dedication, I thank these horses for making me a better person. Just like my heroine Kelsey Hunter does, I find peace and advice there. Yes, the horses and I converse. And Johnny, below, is my grandson's favorite! He's part pony and just the right size for a nine year old.
Pink moment blog Johnny
Although our horses all have sad stories to tell, they get happy endings. We hope each will find a forever home, but if they don’t, they stay in our wonderful valley until the time comes to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
One of the reasons the valley is so wonderful is its “pink moment.” I always thought it an urban legend--a glorious sunset in the east?-- until I saw it. It lands on you with a hush all its own.
Pink Moment 1
This is Bridge. Can you see the hills blushing in the background?
Here’s the geography behind the pink moment, which also plays a big part in Pick Me.
Pink moment 2
About twelve miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the small, 10 mile-by-3-mile, east-west Ojai Valley is found between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, and bordered by the northern ridge of the TopaTopa Mountains, elevation 6,000 feet. Sulfur Mountain at 3,000 feet is the southern barrier.
Pink moment grandson
Here's my grandson admiring the moment with Cheyenne, foreground, and Jasper. See Bridge way in the background to the left?
The mountains and valley are thickly forested with oak trees, and commercial avocado and citrus groves. Our rescue is a ten-acre former orange grove donated to us. We have 15 horses.
So...while sunset usually turns the western sky rosy and spectacular, this area is one of the few in the world where the sunset comes from the east.
Pink 4
Bridge and Jasper. Four years ago, Jasper's pregnant mom was rescued from a slaughter lot in Nevada. Both ave happily adopted...he by our ranch manager's family.
The TopaTopas, like a mirror, reflect the sun from the west and the mountains seem to blush. The sunlight diffuses across the mountains in gorgeous shades of pink for a few breathless minutes.
Christmastime pink moment
The “pink moment” doesn’t happen with every sunset, but I’ve been lucky this winter to be feeding the horses at just the right time.
Thankfully, my nine year old grandson/helper got to see it, too.
And of course heroine Kelsey and hero Landry experience it. Over a glass of blush wine.
Pink with Chey
Cheyenne, foreground, with D'Artagnan in the back.
Two weeks ago, after the “sunset in the east” faded”, the clouds over the ocean a dozen miles to the west did their dance.
Western sunset over the ocean
A breathtaking two-for-one.
How about you? Have you ever experienced a sunset that you wanted to hold forever?
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Here's the blurb for Pick Me. Watch for it January 27!
Volunteering at a horse rescue has helped heal schoolteacher Kelsey Hunter after her celebrity ex's betrayal. Life in the rural California community suits her better than the bling of Hollywood. When she seeks help for a classroom project, she's thrown into the sphere of a down-to-earth organic farmer and horseman who could really steal her heart... 
However....Landry Mills is really the successful mega-spokesmodel for a famed Westernwear line, He’s returned to his hometown to regroup and reconsider signing the next contract. Meeting Kelsey explodes feelings in him he wants to make real. But finding out a fancy director's son recently crushed her spirit has him take things slow. What will Kelsey do when she finds out he's a celebrity in his own right? He might not be able to bear it

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent and Anthologies!

Part of this year’s Thanksgiving fun was the two days our eight-year old grandson spent with us. While running last -minute errands with him, he proclaimed, “Gramma, we need an Advent Calendar.” I promptly told him to select one. You know, the ones with a tiny chocolate for each day, when he also proclaimed: “No, I have one. This one’s for Grampa and you.”


 Here's what he picked for us. Advent candy calendar

 Advent, based on the Latin word for “coming,” is the religious preparation for the birth of Christ. Technically it begins on the Sunday closest to the birth of Saint Andrew (November 30) and proceeds through the next three Sundays. The observance often includes a wreath of purple candles, and devotions for hope and peace. For any kid, though, “Advent” marks the 24 days before Christmas Day, and they keep track with a calendar. There’s usually a little door to open, and a treat involved. Often, a piece of candy lurks behind that closed door, sometimes a tiny toy. And calendars appear in many shapes and forms.
Advent train
In the early 1900’s, Gerhard Lang of Germany printed the first paper advent calendars, based on the ones his mother made for him in his childhood when she pasted 24 pictures on a piece of cardboard. Later, he added little doors. A picture or Bible verse would appear.

Advent Santa and Reindeer Calendar In America, the advent calendar became commonplace when President Eisenhower was photographed opening one with his grandchildren. Today there are even Advent calendars for computer geeks, featuring 24 hints and helps on web design and coding. I’ve even seen a savoury advent calendar with 24 daily bits of beef jerky! In my little world, two Advent calendars stand out. In my first grade at a Lutheran day school eons ago, our room mother made a chain of walnuts. Inside each empty shell was a tiny treat that varied day to day. We each got a turn. I clearly remember a scarf being pulled out of a shell like a magician. And the horrified little boy who pulled out a tiny pink rubber baby doll. Then...a few years ago, we visited a large Christmas shop in New Hampshire during a leaf-peeper expedition, and I found the best Advent Calendar ever, especially considering I also collect nativity sets. It was win-win. It stands up but I photographed it lying down so you maybe see all the tiny pieces. Advent Calendar New Hampshire

 The Fontanini set has 24 tiny figures representing the Nativity, from shepherds to animals to the Holy Family. Each has its own little numbered hook. By Christmas Eve, the 24th piece is Baby Jesus.  Advent NH baby Jesus
I've got three Christmas anthologies going on!  Wow. When it rains, it pours. And please, God, let it. We’re sick of drought here in California.

 My story Canticle appears in the anthology, One Christmas Knight, my very first medieval. Set in the time of King John, Alisoun dreads her upcoming marriage to an old lord when her heart is stolen by a handsome mystery man. I've always wanted to write about a "monk" falling in love, and Prairie Rose Publications gave me the chance. Sigh. 2015-11-14 21.49.37

To save  her family’s fortunes, Lady Alisoun must wed an elderly earl the day after Christmas. But in the chapel on Christmas Eve, her heart collides with that of an elegant, mysterious stranger. Is he…one of King John’s spies…? Raised in a monastery, Lord Kitt has no experience with love, but finds his heart lost to the lovely lady. Yet he cannot succumb, for  he is scheduled to marry the day after Christmas. To a woman he has never met.  
Mail Order Christmas Bride
Her Holiday Husband  (completes the trilogy of my recent SISTERS) comes to life in the A Mail Order Christmas Bride anthology that also features stories by 8 other fine authors including our very own Kathleen Rice Adams and Cheryl Pierson. Secrets and surprises explode when families meddle with a beautiful single mother and an outlaw-turned-respectable...I had a blast with the characters of fictional "East Slope, Colorado." I named my town after my daughter's horrible little "East Slope" dormitory when she did her Study Abroad in Sussex, England. Many of her breezy, I-don-t-have-much-time emails mistyped the place East Slop. I just  couldn't resist. Now a respectable rancher, the outlaw formerly known as Black Ankles doubts any decent woman would wed him…hence  a mail order bride set up by his well- meaning brother.  Indeed,  Ronnie Heisler’s whole family expects him to speak vows with an unknown woman come Christmas Eve. Set up by her meddling sister, Phoebe Pierce has fallen in love with the tintype of her intended’s twin brother. But has she too many secrets of her own? Memories from Maple Street Xmas Web (2)

 My memoir, Christmas Magic, is my first published non-fiction, and appears in the homespun anthology, Memories from Maple Street U.S.A. The Best Christmas Ever. For me, as a kid, Christmas was magic and sparkles. As a grown up, Christmas is miracles and memories.

When I was a little girl, the glorious Barbie doll I saw one Summer became my Christmas miracle. Other magic moments and  grown up miracles happened forever after, but Barbie came to life again, one Christmas a half-century later…

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book three, Sanctuary, featuring ranch foreman and oldest brother Hooper, also has a cancer theme. My soul told me I needed to put on paper a man’s survival, doubts, pain, and heroicism upon suffering with and surviving testicular cancer. Poignant is Hooper’s recovery from this horrible disease, him a single father of a little girl, doubting any woman would want him now.

But more poignancy entered this story. During Kenn and Christy's wedding at Hearts Crossing ranch, Hooper meets a beautiful guest, Mallie, herself battling brain cancer. Her inspiration came from my daughter’s dear friend and sorority sister, Jackie, who battled GBM for four years.

Writing this difficult story, I found out more about this killer than I cared to know. Hooper would live; Mallie would not. 

Yet...I was unprepared for Jackie’s death three years ago. Since I had five more books to write after Sanctuary, I had to handle Mallie with care because..I could not, emotionally, write her death. Not while Jackie lived. the time Book Eight is released in 2016, Mallie has returned to the Lord. I’m so glad she got to have a small measure of happiness with Hooper.

I was stunned when this book won the CTRR Award at Coffee Time Romance. I don’t enter contests now than I’m published, and this one I didn’t have to. It was an editorial award, making it unexpected and extra-thrilling.

     After a loud sigh, Hooper chugged the coffee, kissed Ma’s cheek and headed out, and reminded himself of the chant that had gotten him through chemo. Each day is a gift from God.
    “That’s why they call it the present.” He said out loud and then hurried out of the room so Ma didn’t think he was starting up a new conversation. Grabbed his gray beanie and gloves on the way. ‘Course he’d rather wear his Stetson but the temperature had been chilly lately, and wool felt better against that bald head in breezes off the mountains. As he heaved himself out the big front door, Hooper stumbled against a suitcase on the porch and smacked forward into the arms of a female so tall his chin brushed her nose. He was tall himself so that didn’t happen too often. Besides, she was holding him up!
     “So sorry, ma’am,” he muttered, heat rising. “Please excuse me.”
     “It’s all right. I like a man with a mission.”
     Righting himself, he looked at her, breath tightening in his throat. Beautiful was the only word he needed. Short blond curls tight against her skull, raspberry lipstick he ached to taste, dark blue eyes bright with life.  For a second, he couldn’t talk.
     Still holding him, she leaned back and peered at him like she saw something he didn’t know about. “Hooper?”
     The fact she remembered him from somewhere couldn’t help but flatter him. “Yep. How, who…?”
     “I’d know you anywhere.”
     He narrowed his eyes which only brought her into clearer focus as she continued. “Your eyes. A bit of a haunted look. Like your eyes are too bright, too hot. Tight somehow.”
     “What do you mean?” Without any effort at all, he found himself visualizing her words as she stepped back.
     “I’ve seen the look in my own eyes.”
     “What do you mean?” He repeated.
     “Kenn told me. You’re a survivor.”
     He loved hearing the word, but it still had the power to race his blood. “Yep. T.C. Otherwise known as testicular cancer. Six weeks remission. Long term prognosis good.”
     She held out her hand. “Happy to meet you, T.C. I’m G.B.M. Glioblastoma Multiform.  My particular buddy is astrocytoma glioma. Otherwise, I’m known as Malia Cameron.”
     Despite his numb fingers, her warm hand melted into his, but too many feelings rained on him to pick just one. Cancer? Her?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

BEHIND THE BOOK: Redeeming Daisy

I was thrilled in December 2009 to be considered a “runner up” in the Hearts Crossing contest, and even more so when the acquiring editor said she’d like a story about the second brother, Pike, a large animal veterinarian, and bad-girl Daisy. (both have small roles in the first book.)  To be honest, I have no real knowledge of large animal vets, so I stuck with what I did know: losing a black Labrador to inoperable cancer. Yup. Eight months after my own hero’s battle...and thus, Redeeming Daisy, the second book in the series, was born.

Pike nodded into Daisy’s dark imploring gaze as she knelt on the floor to grapple the black Labrador close. Her childish gesture and panicked eyes stoked emotions he’d just buried.

While he waited for her to get to her feet, Pike grabbed hold of every professional mannerism he could. Somewhat stiffly Mrs. Densmore reached out to comfort her daughter, but Daisy shoved away the embrace.

Pike took a deep breath. Well, he had offered to tell Daisy himself. “Daisy, between his kidneys, Elway’s got an inoperable malignant tumor. It’s called hemangiosarcoma.”

Wild-eyed, she grabbed Pike’s hand, and the touch scorched him. “What?”

He repeated the unhappy news.

“Inoperable? Why can’t you operate?”

The question stunned him. Did she really think he had some other choice? “It’s positioned too dangerously between the kidneys. And worse.” He sighed. “Worse, it’s metastasized. Spread. Trust me on this.
She bristled. “You think he’s going to die?”

Pike knew the odds and told Daisy what he hadn’t been able to tell her mother.

“I’m sorry. Yes.”

Her squeal of pain sliced into his brain like an earache. And he understood. The last innocent, uncomplicated part of her life would be gone too soon. He didn’t think he wanted it, but when she flung herself toward him, he gathered her in his arms, close enough to feel her pounding heart and smell her garden of long black hair.

Elway. Her Elway. The only living creature left who loved her unconditionally. Who never pointed fingers.

Who never yammered What have you done now?

Almost past control, Daisy sobbed against Pike Martin’s strong sculpted shoulders, drinking in his warm, manly aura. Ever the rancher, he wore the outdoors like a second skin even here in the sterile confines of the animal hospital, clad in white lab coat over Wranglers. It rang in her ears again, his soft, nonjudgmental voice last week when he helped her escape from herself.

That was something. Something he hadn’t had to do. But what did he know? He didn’t know Elway was all she had left.

No way could she bear losing this precious creature. She’d already lost her self-respect, her job, her faith. Her half-baked marriage. Oh, she’d married for love, but in such haste she’d regretted it every day since. But divorce was cruel, too. And everybody in Mountain Cove knew everything because she had no place else to go.

She wasn’t about to lose her best friend.

Before her mom could nag her yet again, Daisy pushed herself from Pike’s embrace. She’d liked it, but she didn’t want to, didn’t need it, didn’t need him or any man. Not after Tony. All she needed now was an experienced vet.

Still, part of her wanted to stay in Pike’s arms, and s
he didn’t like her reaction at all. It was a dangerous place to be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

BEHIND THE BOOK: Hearts Crossing Ranch

Well, I gotta say, my husband’s cancer battle took me down a long, winding road into inspirational romance. Not long after he got well, I found out about the "Hearts Crossing" contest at a small publishing start-up. There were specifics you had to have in your entry.

A heroine, an only child, who was a landscape architect. A hero who taught American literature and had seven siblings. The standard stuff for inspy had to apply...somebody losing/finding faith, becoming Christian etc.

Since my faith had been stretched pretty thin by my helplessness as a cancer-caregiver, I thought I could write a story about faith challenges. And well, Hearts Crossing was absolutely the Best Name for a ranch. Hubs and I had just signed up to go on a city-slicker wagon train trip so...

...Heroine Christy, a California landscape architect, takes a similar wild-west adventure, where she meets Colorado wagon master Kenn, a high school teacher during the academic year. Both need God...Christy to survive the morass of her father’s tragic death. Kenn, overcoming guilt at leading his younger brother Bragg astray...

(The novella got accepted and so did stories about Kenn’s siblings, all working and running the Hearts Crossing Ranch.)

    The boat slid through the silver lake, and Christy felt calm at last. The coffee warmed her through and through, but nothing like the heat of Kenn’s presence across from her. His muscles moved again like magic and music, a sight she’d never tire of whether she stayed on at Hearts Crossing Ranch  for Cowboy College after the wagon train, or returned home.
     Both possibilities confused her.
     “Have you thought about staying on?” Kenn asked casually as if reading her thoughts, “Cowboy College?”
     She fought for the correct reply, not wanting to sound eager. Or reluctant. Both emotions scrambled together in her heart. “I can’t deny I’m intrigued. But there’s my job. And my mom.”
     “Do you think she’s worried about you? Our no-cell phone rule, I mean.”
     “Sure.” Christy shrugged, not liking the thought. Not liking the guilt she felt as not having really thought about Mom for a while. “She worries about everything. And it confuses me so much. She’s supposed to be this strong Christian woman, yet she can’t seem to trust God’s will at all.”
     Kenn sighed, long and loud before he replied. “I think I’ve learned faith isn’t some pinnacle you reach where you get to stay forever,” he said finally. “There’s hills and valleys all over the place.”
     He gave her a quick, heart-stopping glance before he looked away, as if ready to bare his soul. For a flash, she wondered if he was about to reveal to her the load Kelley had hinted at.
     Christy’s voice was soft. “You think you ever reach the pinnacle again? Once you land in a valley?” For some reason, today had her feeling the valley of the shadows might be a thing of the past. Or at least she was on her way upward. It wasn’t mere coincidence or habit, was it, which had her beseech God at the moment she needed Him?
     “I don’t know.” Kenn’s forlorn voice touched her heart as both their gazes traveled the shoreline to land on Bragg, busy showing Mitchell how to cast a fly rod. Maybe God had led her here to Hearts Crossing to find her own peace and to help Kennedy Martin regain his faith.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BEHIND THE BOOK...Midnight Bride

The blog’s taking a new direction. Behind the Book.
Each Tuesday, I’ll tell you a bit about one of my books. Then on January 5, 2016, I’ll be holding a big giveaway, following the sweepstakesrules I share with my group blog, Petticoats and Pistols. I hope by then you’ll be a regular visitor.

We didn’t know what would kill my husband first--the testicular cancer or the chemo. During that bleak winter of 2008, I had to cowgirl-up fast and real.

The dreadful, deathly diagnosis happened the same day as Release Day for my second western romance, Midnight Bride.

After a very long, very dispiriting sophomore slump.

The term means a lengthy period between a first book and the second and authors hate it. Yet feeling joy was the last on my list of emotions, knowing how much suffering was ahead for the one I love.

But God heard our pleas, After a three-month grueling battle, my personal hero went into remission. And five years later, we got to start using the “cured word”.

Interestingly, Midnight Bride was re-released right then again, under a new cover, by my new publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
We had gone full circle.

(Nonetheless, the first cover is my favorite of all my covers Ever. Carrie and Jed turned out just like they looked inside my head.)

I hope you enjoy the excerpt about two strangers who must marry by midnight or lose a ranch. Sigh.
     He stood in the doorway, hatless just like he’d been in the mercantile. And just as breathtaking. In one hand he held a bunch of iceberg roses tied with a lavender bow.
     From the other hand hung a hatbox from Gosling’s Mercantile. The lilac shawl Carrie had admired was draped over his forearm.
     Without a word, he walked over to her and laid the shawl gently across her shoulders. She had stopped breathing. His eyes locked with hers, and while she couldn’t read the message in his gaze, she found she couldn’t turn her own away. When he held the flowers to her determinedly, she had no choice but to take them.
     “Take off that mourning bonnet,” he told her in such a way that it didn’t seem like an order. While she did so, he opened the hatbox.
     Within a half minute, the beautiful purple chapeau she had fingered lovingly not fifteen minutes ago rested on her head. He tied the bow jauntily under her chin, then all but snapped his heels together as he stood in front of her. 
     “I’m Jed Jones,” he announced. “Your bridegroom.” 
     Carrie’s lips opened but no words came out. Not knowing what to say or what else to do, she untied the bonnet’s bow.  He never stopped looking at her. From the corner of her eye, she could see the older men in half-standing postures like they hoped to escape any second. However, she knew them well, knew they wouldn’t leave her all alone.
     Suddenly she found her voice, willing it not to tremble.      
     “My bridegroom? I beg your pardon. What on earth are you saying?” She turned toward the judge. “Is this about that ‘notorious’ authentic document?
     Judge Jacobson was nodding, somewhat defeated, while the sheriff pulled at his scrawny beard.
     When neither spoke, her supposed bridegroom took up the call.
     “It’s true, Miss Zacaria Smith. If you don’t marry me by midnight tonight, the Lazy J-Z will be deeded to the Mother of Mercy Orphanage outside San Antone.”
     Then he took her hand, placing his lips against the inside of her wrist.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My New Series...coming in 2016

I'll be telling ya more about this in near future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Change is A'Coming...

Howdy, I'm planning some re-dos of the blog and website, probably a mash-up of them together. So thanks for the patience. I've had a lot going on inside my head, so change is the best medicine!
Here's my brand....

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tanya Writes Down Some Things You May Not Know About Me...

These are the basics. I had a very happy childhood with two brothers in suburban Los Angeles but now live on the central coast on a nice little cul de sac surrounded by strawberry fields.

Married 40 years to my personal son and daughter are the best thing I have ever done. Ever. And now I’m gramma to two darling little boys, my new favorite thing. I taught English forever at the local Catholic school and now enjoy traveling with Hubs and volunteering at the local horse rescue.
This isn't me at the horse rescue but at one of my favorite wineries!

Hubs and me at Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta, last fall.
Now are some non basics I had fun thinking up. It was hard because I truly am the most boring person on the planet.

1. My husband and I went to high school together but were not sweethearts. In fact, he was Football Team Captain/Boyfriend of the Homecoming Queen/Head Cheerleader. I was a dork.

2. When we re-met at a Christmas party right after college. I picked "Deliverance" for our first date. He married me anyway. Sheesh.

3. I rarely wear lipstick but am pretty much addicted to lip balm.

4. I have a pathological terror of stepping on a down escalator without somebody in front of me.

5. I love and subscribe to Vogue and possibly would have gone Into fashion had I thought about it soon enough.

6. Hubs and I went to Disneyland for our honeymoon and now get season passes for the fam.

7. Hubs is a survivor of testicular cancer. Ladies, make sure your menfolk check themselves regularly!

8. My son is 6'6" and his two year old nephew wants him to dress up as a giraffe for Halloween.

9. I'm still bestest friends with Tina...since we were five years old!

10. I majored in Art in college. My favorite medium is oil painting. My favorite genre is Abstract Expressionism.

This is one of my paintings. Well, the only one on display at home. If you check out Kandinsky and Gorky, you might see their influence.
11. I have a fantasy football team named Wild Thang.

12. I am obsessed with the movie Frozen.  My grandsons and I all cuddle up with their Olaf dolls and watch and do the singalong.

13. I love Fall best of all, but hope to get my little guys to real snow this Christmas, what else? To build a snowman. With our niece living near Lake’s gonna happen. 

14.  Louisa May Alcott's Jack and Jill is my go-to book when I need a hit of emotion. The chapter, A Sweet Memory--when the kids’ friend Ed dies suddenly, takes my breath away with its simplicity and spare beauty.

15.  Visiting her home, Orchard House, in Concord MA was awesome!

That’s pretty much it...other than the third book in my Lawmen and Outlaws Trilogy just got released! Outlaw in Love! Although the first two books are sensual, this is a sweet romance because...outlaw Ahab Perkins fancies himself in love with a...wait for it. Nun. A nun with a a price on her head. What? Throw in an abandoned little girl and a kindly sheriff and, well, you’ll be head over heels just like not-Sister Teresa.

In case you wanna find out, I’m giving away either a pdf or Kindle copy today so PLEASE leave a comment.

Thanks for setting a spell with me today!

Ahab came to sit beside her, and Teresa suddenly realized how she’d missed him at her side. Just these last few minutes. Her, a nun who should have no such thoughts. Even it was all pretense. Besides, he was an outlaw with a price on his head. Same as her. Whoever found him would find her, too.

The thought brought on a sudden tear.

And a sudden fear. How much was her head worth these days?

His chest still plunged into itself once in a while like he hadn’t yet recovered all the air he needed. Some of the breathlessness, she reckoned, might be the remains of getting shot at this morning but likely he’d lived through such antics before. Her own heart still danced macabre when she thought about their circumstance just an hour ago.

“I’m thinking...” He started slow and didn’t look at her, kept his eyes on the shrinking flickers of the fire. “Found a saddle in the barn. Spade, too. Think I might take one of those horses--“ He pointed to the corral. “--and head over to....” He paused for a long while. “Head over to Nitro and bury him proper. Get the rest of my own gear. Reckon I could leave a pearl or two at this place for purchase. Maybe some food, too. Saw a smoke house.”

“You’d leave me here alone?” Teresa all but shrieked. Dread drenched her. She might have lived in Arizona these past years, but she was foremost a city girl. Her heart sank when the truth hit her. “Oh, I get it. You’re leaving me behind. Like your gang leaves folks behind when they’re too much trouble.”

His face turned that handsome purple she’d seen before. “Not doing any such thing. Reckoned you could wait for me here and rest up some. It’s been a hard trudge. Reckon you’re ankle’s a tad sore.” His voice turned so low she could barely hear him. “I know how to treat a lady.