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.

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