Monday, December 03, 2012


Authors love to talk about what we are writing, what we have written, and what we plan to write. We long to share these character cramming our heads. When I was tagged multiple times for THE NEXT BIG THING, which is a blog post about the author’s work in progress that the author hopes will BE his or her NEXT BIG THING, I was pleased. Yay! Any excuse to talk about what I'm writing!

Susan Macatee at and Kevin R. Tipple, Kevin’s Corner, at tagged me, and Anna Kathryn Lanier, Chatting With Anna Kathryn Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats, at also tried. In turn, I’m tagging 3 of my friends whose links are at the end of this post.

So, what’s my NEXT BIG THING? Here are my answers.

What is the working title of your book?

Man on horse from iStock Photos, Background photo by Nelda Liles

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came as a trilogy about three brothers, the Men of Stone Mountain Trilogy. BLUEBONNET BRIDE is the third of the series and is about the eldest brother, Sheriff Joel Stone.

What genre does your book fall under?

Western romance historical with a lot of mystery thrown in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is really hard because my characters appear in my head and they don’t look like anyone but themselves. The closest I could get would be a young Tom Selleck, maybe as he appeared in “Quigley Down Under,” and Nicole Kidman as she appeared in “Australia.” Choosing someone for the cover was difficult because none of the available models looks like my mental picture of Joel Stone. I chose the closest from an iStock photo and then used a background shot of bluebonnets taken by my friend Nelda Liles of Plano, Texas. Nelda took the photo last April while driving along the Ennis (Texas) Bluebonnet Trail.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

He is a by-the-rules lawman and she has escaped from jail and a murder charge.

Heroine Rosalyn

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

BLUEBONNET BRIDE will be self-published in e-book and print. I hope it will be available by the end of the year.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still writing. If life would leave me alone and quit interfering, I’d have the book finished by now. Usually, writing a book takes me three to four months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Books by Jacquie Rogers, Peggy Henderson, Celia Yeary, Paty Jager, Jodi Thomas, Caroline Fyffe, Linda Broday, Joan Johnston, Linda Lael Miller, and Linda LaRoque. Also I compare BLUEBONNET BRIDE to several of my other books: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE are the first two Men of Stone Mountain books; THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE is the first of the McClintocks; THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND are the first two of the Kincaid series.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by a trip to the pioneer Belding-Gibson Ranch a county or two west from where I live. Not only is the ranch beautiful, but the owners preserved the original cabin their ancestor found deserted when he arrived in 1859. They have incorporated it into their home as a bathroom. There are many things about this ranch that set my heart pounding, many things lovingly preserved. Fortunately for me, I bought Barbara Belding Gibson’s book PAINTED POLE, which is about the ranch’s history, to keep details fresh in my memory.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Anyone who loves westerns, romance, mysteries, and American-Victorian novels. And hunky heroes who collide with beautiful feisty heroines. Books that include kids and dogs. Books that end with a happily-ever-after.

Lucy and her dog


When a tornado provides Rosalyn with the opportunity to escape the gallows, she collects her young daughter and flees. They travel far enough West that Rosalyn believes she’s gone to the ends of the earth. She hopes she and Lucy will be safe in the remote North Texas town of Radford Springs, and she establishes herself as a seamstress. If only she could avoid contact with people, especially the sheriff. He pops up every time she turns around. She fears either she or her formerly-quiet-but-now-chatterbox daughter might slip and reveal too much.

Joel Stone has been content with his life, even if it’s not the one he’d dreamed. He’s proud of his two younger brothers, who are married and living nearby. He's grateful his aunts, his only other living relatives, have moved to Radford Springs. He takes pleasure in knowing he is respected for a job well done. When he meets the new widow in town, his instant attraction staggers him. She appears uninterested, but he is determined to win her hand in marriage. He’s even starting to think of Lucy as his daughter.

But life doesn’t turn out the way either Rosalyn or Joel planned. Can Joel save Rosalyn from the gallows?


The set up is that Rosalyn is to be hanged on the gallows outside her cell window the following morning for a murder she did not commit.

Rosalyn looked at Lucy’s drawing. Her daughter’s simplistic art showed a woman and little girl holding hands in a garden. How many times had she and Lucy walked among her plants, admiring the blooms and the butterflies attracted to the flowers? Rosalyn sank to her cot and sobbed not caring if the sheriff heard.

The wind picked up and a gust fluttered the paper in her hands. Lightning flashed and rain blew through the open window. Rosalyn moved to the other cot across the narrow cell. At least the rain didn’t hit her there.

The sky grew darker and clouds developed a greenish cast. Fine hairs on Rosalyn’s arms prickled and raised. A peculiar sulphurous odor surrounded her.

“Sheriff, the sky looks ominous, like a tornado is coming.”  

Sheriff Boudreau glanced up but didn’t rise from his chair. “Naw, too early in the year for a cyclone.” He went back to reading his newspaper, which is what he did most of the time as far as Rosalyn could tell. Either the man memorized the stories or he was the slowest reader ever born.

Dust and debris blew through the window and swirled around the cell. A horrific sound reached Rosalyn’s ears, like a freight train roaring toward town. She’d never been in a tornado, but she recognized the vibration from descriptions she’d heard. Instead of just dust and paper, now debris flew from between the bars. A tin can hit her forehead with such force she fell back against the wall.

“Take cover,” yelled the sheriff and he hit the floor in an attempt to crawl into his desk’s kneehole.

Her cot was bolted to the concrete floor, so she crawled underneath. The rumble grew louder, shaking everything. Rosalyn clung to the cot’s legs with white knuckles. Air whooshed from her lungs and she fought to breathe.

Winds sucked at her skirt so hard she thought her clothes would be ripped from her body. Holding on to the metal bed legs required all her strength. Swirling debris pummeled her and she closed her eyes against the sting. With a powerful crash, the roof flew away and the wooden jail walls collapsed inward. The noise nearly deafened her and her ears popped. At last, the only sound was thunder.

Cautiously, Rosalyn clawed her way out from her hiding place. Clouds of dust rose through the rain and she coughed. Her mouth tasted like mud. Only rubble surrounded her. In addition to jail’s cell bars, the storm had deposited debris from who knew where. No telling where her shawl was. A roof beam lay across her bed.

If not for the sturdy metal frame, she surely would have been crushed or blown away. Rain drenched the town and she heard cries as people called for loved ones and friends. Darkness hung heavy, broken only by flashes of lightning. She inched her way across the littered floor in a crouch, climbing cautiously over obstacles.

Lucy! She had to make certain Lucy was all right.

These three authors below will name from three to five people to whom they’ll pass THE NEXT BIG THING about 12/10/12:

Linda Banche, And Her Historical Hilarity

Linda Broday

Autumn Jordon, AJ’s Notes

Kindle Fire Giveaway

7" LCD Display, Wi-Fi, 8GB
Thanks to readers who have purchased my books and kept at least one of my titles in Amazon's top 100 western romances. You are my heroes! That's why I'm giving away a KINDLE FIRE on December 14th to one lucky subscriber to my newsletter. If you haven't already subscribed, you can sign up for my newsletter at the right to be entered in the December 14th drawing for a KINDLE FIRE. After that, my occasional newsletters will include frequent other contests, giveaways, and news of my future releases.

Thanks for stopping by!


Unknown said...

Caroline, I'm looking forward to reading this one. The first in the series, BRAZOS BRIDE, left me looking forward to the other brothers' stories. The second in the series is in the TBR group on my Kindle, but I'll have read it by the time the third is published. Write faster! :-)

katsrus said...

That sounds really good. I look forward to it.
Sue B