Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Me, very embarrassed

I am supposed to have a blog today on "The Next Big Thing," but I must postpone. Most sincere apologies to my friend, author Susan Macatee, who tagged me with this opportunity.

Once again, life interfered in a big way. I’ll share "The Next Big Thing" on December 3rd.

In the meantime, you can find Susan at her excellent blog,


Writers use universal truths to create stories that entertain. True, most of our stories hold moral lessons. We champion the good in men and women, and punish the shallow and senseless.  Not that the lessons can be obvious. Nope, we hope to sneak them in when readers are concentrating on the plot. ☺

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 characters achieve 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 an author happier.

One of my most popular books, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, dealt with good triumphing over evil. 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?


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. Sometimes a person with evil in his heart forgets that fact and does terrible things to conceal a fact everyone already knows.

Texas Rancher Drake Kincaid
back from his cattle drive


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. His parents’ will stipulates only that he marry by his thirtieth birthday to retain his Texas ranch, not that he marry well. He vows that on his trip east to buy horses, he will find the most unsuitable woman possible, marry her, and leave her in town with his grandfather. 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. He's angry when he sees how beautiful she is without her shabby disguise. And then he realizes a generous soul shines from her startling eyes.

Pearl Parker

Pearl Parker has raised her two half-siblings, Sarah and Storm. She conceals her beauty with a drab disguise as she sells her baked goods in town and uses her herbal healing skills to call on the ailing. Until recently, Pearl was able to protect and care for her family. Now vandalism and rumor threaten and have her eager to escape from their tiny Tennessee village and she's not certain how long the declining sheriff can protect her family. When Drake Kincaid proposes and agrees to take her siblings with them to Texas, she accepts. She falls in love with the handsome rancher, but refuses to let anyone push her around or aside.

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.


Set up: Drake and Storm have returned from a cattle drive where they sold Drake's cattle as well as the herds of several elderly ranchers. When he arrives at the home of his grandfather, her learns that Pearl isn't there and that she moved to the ranch. He didn't stop to hear the rest of his aunt's explanation before he bolted for his ranch:

On the road, he slowed his horse and tried to think. Storm had been right, Pearl apparently got fed up with Lily. Why hadn't he seen it?

Maybe he should have made different arrangements for her before the cattle drive. Damn, it looked like a man could depend on his wife waiting for him. All she had to do was just bide her time. How hard could that be?

When the ranch house came into view, he slowed even more. It looked different.

Storm saw it too. "Things been fixed up some."

Drake noted the gate now hung straight, bright flowers bordered the walk and porch. A bushy fern stood on the porch near the rocker he liked to use of a summer evening. He dropped the reins over the hitching post and bounded up the steps. The door opened before he could reach it.

"Señor Drake, how wonderful you are home.” Maria beamed her cheerful smile at him. "Señora Pearl will be so happy."

Inside the front door, Drake stopped in his tracks. Three people sat on a bench in the foyer, a bench that hadn't been there when he left. As he entered, they stood and nodded their heads in respect.

The eldest, a man he recognized as Vicente's father, spoke. "Welcome home, Señor Jefe, Chief. Your trip went well?"

"Yes, very well. Vicente brings our remuda and men back. He and the rest of the men will be home soon.” Feeling as if he overlooked an important factor here, he asked, "Is there something I can do for you?"

The three shook their heads in unison. "No, Señor Jefe. We wait for La Curandera."

Maria hastened forward. "Señora Pearl has helped so many with her medicines. People come from all over the county to see her. She lets them wait here until she can see them."

Storm said, "She likes to help people. Pearl's real good with her healing."

Close to snapping, Drake spoke slowly and clearly, "Maria, where is my wife?"

Surprise showed on the housekeeper's face. "Why, she is still in town at her restaurant, of course."

Hoping he hid his own surprise, he said, "I see.” But he certainly did not see. Not at all. What restaurant?

Still beaming at him, Maria continued, "At this time she's serving lunch to her customers. You can find her there, but she usually comes home about four with Señorita Sarah. Shall I find lunch for you and Señor Storm?"

"Yes, please.” Storm said.

"No.” Gesturing to his brother-in-law, he said, "You go ahead, Storm."

"Señor Storm, my Carlotta will find food for you if you will go into the kitchen. Or, you could come with us to see the changes in your home. Come, let me show you the many things Señora Pearl has done for you.”

Maria tugged at his arm, leading him on a tour of his own home with Storm trailing along. "You see how she has used the pieces stored by your family to make this place welcome you. She has worked very hard.”

He took in the rugs on the floor, the additions to the furnishings. He noticed little things like the placement of serving pieces on the buffet that used to sit in his mother's dining room--until she hired that fancy decorator.
Drake had always liked that old furniture better than the ornate stuff the decorator ordered from all over the world. He wandered through the house taking in the changes as Maria chattered on and on reciting Pearl's virtues.

In the door way of his study, he stopped dead in his tracks. The old rocking chair made from cattle horns stood waiting beside his desk. Though wood comprised the rockers and supported the thickly padded seat and back, a craftsman had used matched pairs of horns to form the legs, arms, splats, and a decorative fan across the top.

Maria smiled and patted his arm. "Ah, I knew that would please you."

"I thought Mother had it burned.” Although he and his father loved that chair and laughed about the eccentricity of it, his mother had called it an abomination and refused to have it in her house.

Maria adopted her inscrutable mask. "It is possible Miguel misunderstood her. He stored it in a barn with other old furniture and covered it with heavy cloth to protect it." She shook her head. "Then, it seems, he forgot about it. But Señora Pearl found it. Oh, she laughed and laughed when she saw it."

"She--she laughed?"

"Oh, sí, yes. She said it was perfect for a rancher's home. I told her how you used to sit in it when your feet were barely long enough to touch the floor, how you would laugh at your longhorn chair.”

Damn. Who would have figured her laughing? Just like he and his father had. Who could understand the woman?

Storm sat in the chair and gave a push to start it rocking. The boy had a silly grin on his face. With a shake of his head to clear his brain, Drake turned and left the room.


THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE is Book One of the Kincaids, and is available in Print or e-book from Amazon at

Smashwords in e-book at

Nook at

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