But first, here's the story of how I came to write SNOWFIRES. My husband and I were traveling from visiting our family in West Texas back to our North Central Texas home. Three days before, a deep snow had postponed our return. When there's a blizzard or freezing weather, Texans often joke that there's nothing but a barbed wire fence between us and the North Pole. Brrr, that trip I certainly believed that saying.
As Hero and I drove home, I once again commented on the isolation of the homes in countryside dedicated to ranching. That kernel grew into the story, SNOWFIRES.
We passed many isolated areas, and I wondered what would happen if someone had car trouble or became marooned in a storm. Even in good weather, cell phone service is often spotty in the ranching areas of West Texas. In bad weather, it’s non-existent. Rural electric and telephone lines fail under heavy snow and ice. Better and better, right? By that, I mean worse and worse for the characters. The more I thought about it, the more appeal the idea held.
| The barbed wire fence between|
us and the North Pole
By Steve Shames
Writers spin stories with “what if.” What if there were a blizzard and one those mercury vapor lights acted as a lighthouse does to ships? What if the hero and heroine were at odds and became snowbound at one of these ranches? Better, what if the ranch owners weren’t home and the hero and heroine were isolated alone? Would they work through their differences or call a temporary truce?
The heroine who spoke to me was Holly Tucker, a lovely and determined woman of twenty-nine. A nurturer, Holly cared for her family and for the employees of her firm. Thirty-six-year-old Trent Mcleod began life with nothing and built his fortune through hard work and good investments. Now he is part of Holly’s formerly family-only company. That would be bad enough, but he wants to change the rules established by her late father, Walter Tucker.
Once they returned to Dallas, I forced them to endure still working together. Writers love to make their characters suffer. After all, we want them to earn their happiness, don’t we?
The SNOWFIRES cover reminds me of the late January night my husband and I were married. That night there were a couple of feet of snow on the ground and a bright, full moon. Of course it was gorgeous and memorable, and we still mention it today when we see an especially bright full moon. But then, we are both romantics at heart.
Here’s the blurb for SNOWFIRES:
A blizzard can’t quench the fiery heat of passionate attraction. Holly only intended to get a little of her own back from Trent, not get them lost in the worst blizzard in decades. A snowstorm can’t keep them apart once their passions ignite. Holly Tucker believes Trent Macleod will ruin her family’s business now that he’s acquired her late father’s shares. Not only that, she fears he’s responsible for her father’s fatal heart attack. She’ll stop this corporate pirate any way she can. If only she could tame her hormones when he was around. He believes she’s a spoiled and pampered woman. Little does he know how wrong he is. Pampered by her grandparents, yes, but she carries all the responsibility for her stepmother and two stepsisters. Only Holly’s constant juggling of family finances covers her stepmother’s excessive spending. That and the fact Holly actually works in the family business.
Trent started with nothing and saved most of his life for this one big chance. Holly’s trick to delay their return to Dallas for an important meeting almost cost him his dream. After battling all his life against bad foster parents, crooks, and the press, he is determined no one will defeat him, not even Holly. How can she still believe her father was such a great guy? Trent doesn’t know why she is so opposed to every thing he suggests for the company. Thank heavens she is not so stand offish when they’re alone. She even invited him around her country club friends. Does a guy from nowhere stand a chance with a society princess like Holly? He prays he does, because he can’t get her out of his dreams, day or night. What will it take for him to achieve happily ever after with Holly?
Here’s the excerpt from the first night they’re marooned in the freezing, tiny ranch house. You might like to know that Grayson is her maternal grandfather:
Trent smiled as he recalled her shocked expression when he mentioned shared body heat. At least he got a little of his own back then. She turned toward him in her sleep, snuggling up to him with her palms against his chest, one leg thrown over his.
He fought the instinct to pull her even closer and make passionate love to her. They fit so well together. He wondered how she would be as a lover, then mentally kicked himself for that line of thought.
Now he knew why the young Martin family had children so close in age. On this sagging mattress, which forced their bodies into intimate contact, a man and woman who loved one another would be drawn naturally into frequent lovemaking. Even with this ice princess with whom he had nothing in common, his mind and body cried out for their coupling.
He had no idea why she so resented him. It was more than their differences in business theory, because she had hated him at their first meeting two months ago. He racked his brain for a possible reason, but nothing came to him.
Maybe she just resented his buying the shares lost through her father's gambling. Why hold him responsible for her father’s stupidity? From all accounts, Walter Tucker was charming and glib but an absolute loser in all the ways that counted.
Grayson skirted the issue, but made it clear he hadn’t approved of his late son-in-law's management of Marvel, his ostentatious lifestyle, or his choice of Holly’s stepmother. So, why had Grayson stayed in the background? Buying into what had previously been solely a family-owned business left Trent an outsider with insufficient information.
If only Walter Tucker had stopped ranting long enough that day to listen to him...but why even go there? He would figure it all out eventually, but so far hadn't discovered how all the pieces fit. Trying to unravel the puzzle, Trent drifted softly to sleep.
The pirate returned to Holly's dreams. They were in the cabin of his ship, snug together in his bunk. This time his caresses inflamed her beyond her wildest imagination. Her fingers traced the line of the scar on his chest, her lips trailed kisses along the jagged ridge.
His mouth scorched a path down her neck and across her shoulders. Strong hands pushed her bra aside. Warm lips found her breast and his tongue laved her rigid nipple. The calluses of his fingers scintillated her skin as they moved to the elastic of her panties. His hand slid gently inside to touch her—
Her eyes flew open. "Hey! Stop it right now." Holly pounded Trent on his shoulders. "Get off of me."
I hope you’ll want to read SNOWFIRES. This is NOT erotica, but is probably the hottest book I have written or will write because I seem to be moving toward sweet and/or slightly sensual.
The Amazon Kindle buy link is
Smashwords is http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36055?ref=CarolineClemmons
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