Friday, June 01, 2012


Kevin Costner as Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield

Like many history fans, I watched the recent mini-series on the Hatfields and McCoys. The acting was phenomenal, the costumes and sets were remarkable. I could hardly wait for the next episode. Even though I knew the story, I kept hoping both sides would make peace and quit killing one another. Once again I was reminded how foolish pride and petty hatred can distort and destroy lives and cause inconceivable pain. Why isn't common sense the least bit common?

As a writer, I use universal truths like those in the Hatfield and McCoy mini-series to create stories that I hope entertain and encourage. That most of my stories hold moral lessons is also true. As an author, I champion the good in men and women, ridicule and punish the shallow and senseless.

Not that the lessons can be obvious. Nope, I hope to sneak them in when readers are concentrating on the plot. ;-D  Often evil doers believe themselves above the law and unconquerable. In my books, those people are always caught...eventually. I wish that were always true in life, but it sometimes happens. Let’s go with that, shall we?

While I try to vary plots with each book, my books tend to have several common themes: redemption, good defeats evil, love overcomes obstacles, and personal fulfillment. But I don’t want readers to dwell on them, other than to sigh with relief when love conquers all, the broken heart is healed, the hardened heart cracks and welcomes love, characters achieve fulfillment, and those obstacles blocking characters’ happiness have been defeated. What I desire is that readers fall in love with my characters and think of them as real people (as they are in my mind) and want to read my next book. Nothing makes this author happier.  

THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE is about a marriage of convenience that blossoms into a true love match. The idea for the book came from a tiny kernel in the form of a story my grandmother once told me about a girl in her hometown who quit school because of all the rumors and teasing she was forced to endure. Although my grandmother didn’t know what happened to the girl, I wanted the poor girl’s story to end well. Each of us deserves happily ever after, right?

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know there are no secrets. A person with evil in his heart frequently forgets that fact and does terrible things to conceal what everyone already knows. Most of the book takes place in Texas, but a part is set in Tennessee in a small village like that in which my grandmother lived as a child.

Here’s the blurb from THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE:

Wanted: one completely improper bride.

Even if Drake Kincaid had placed such an advertisement in every paper in the country, he couldn’t have found a better candidate than Pearl Parker...which is fine with him. After all, his parents’ will stipulates only that he marry by his thirtieth birthday, not that he marry well. And no one--including Drake’s grandfather, the man determined to hold him to the ridiculous provision--could possibly think tall, bossy Pearl with her ragtag siblings and questionable “cousin” Belle will make a good wife. Until Drake realizes that in her startling violet eyes he sees a beautiful woman with a generous soul...

Their life together may not have started with hearts and flowers, but Drake and Pearl will soon learn that real love--with a breathtaking dose of passion--will make their marriage a true romance.


"What do you mean, stay here?”
Pearl had wakened cocooned in the hazy glow following a night of intermittent lovemaking with her husband to find him dressing for the ranch. Then he dropped a bombshell on her.
"You know it's not safe for you to be on your own. Ranch is too isolated. You'll be safer here in town.” Drake stomped his feet to settle each in the boots he wore. He retrieved a blue chambray shirt from his bag and donned it.
"For how long?” Pearl slid from bed and grabbed her nightgown from the floor.
She whirled on her husband, confronting him, "You never intended for me to move to the ranch, did you?” She yanked her nightie on. No one could argue buck-naked.
"Don't get riled. Women hate the seclusion. You'll be happier in town. Things to do here and people about you.” Drake shoved his shirt into his twill pants without looking at his wife.
She stepped toward him and pointed at her chest. "What do you know about what makes this woman happy?"
A crooked smile broke his face. "Aw, I know what makes you happy, all right. Didn't I keep you happy all night?"
She shrugged away the comment aimed to distract her. "Did you ask me which I prefer? No.” She hoped her glare chilled his randy hide.
His voice softened, placating. "Pearl, be reasonable. We don't know who's tried to kill you and your family. Someone might be trailing you right now, waiting somewhere and watching the house.”
He met her gaze. That muscle twitched in his cheek, letting her know he was less than happy with this conversation. Well, that didn't bother Pearl in the least. Some things needed talked about.
He walked over and put his hands on her shoulders, then took a deep breath and continued,  "Look, the sheriff and his deputy as well as several of the town's leading citizens will be looking out for any newcomer. I talked to the owners of the livery stable, the hotel, the mercantile, all the places I could think of that a newcomer would stand out. If any strangers come around asking questions, the sheriff will find out immediately. You and Sarah will be safer here."
"You're taking Storm with you?” She hugged her arms, sensing a lost battle.
"Yes, um, with your permission. I can't see him attending teas or shopping here in town. Besides, he's a big help to me."
Her head came up and her hands fisted at her hips. "And I suppose Sarah and I are just so much baggage?"
"Now, I didn't say that and you know it.” He held up a hand, palm out, as if to stay her fury. "But you have no place rounding up cattle and getting ready for a drive."
"It's true we don't ride, but we could learn.” She could learn anything, given a chance. She suspected no chance would come.
"There's no time to teach you. 'Sides, it makes the cowboys and vaqueros nervous to have women around the cattle. They think it's bad luck. And I can't leave the two of you at the house with only the housekeeper to help you."
She sagged in defeat. "Okay, Drake. I'll stay here for now, and I'll try not to shame you. But this is only until we know there'll be no more meanness against my family. Don't think you can keep me waiting too long," she warned.
His face broke into a smile of relief. "You'll see. By the time this is over and things calm down, you'll like this sweet life so much you won't be able to tear yourself away from Grandpa's house."
"Too much sweet gives a body a belly ache."
Ignoring that and stepping close, he kissed her on the cheek then nuzzled her neck. "I'll be sleeping tonight in a bedroll on hard ground. Give me a kiss to remember."
Something to remember. She'd give him something to remember all right. She raised her mouth to his, let him plunder with his tongue. Her tongue did some plundering of its own as she moved her body against him. When their kiss ended, the heat of passion darkened his eyes.
"When you're sleeping on the hard ground, all alone, you remember that, husband.” Head high, she turned and walked into the dressing room.

THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE is Book One of the Kincaids, and is available for only 99 cents from Amazon and from
Smashwords at

Book Two of the Kincaids is THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, and is also available for 99 cents. Book Three is not yet written but is tentatively titled TEXAS STORM. I hope to release it in 2013.

Thanks for reading!

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