Friday, April 15, 2016


Recently I met Julie A. D’Arcy, but only online. She lives in Australia but writes a variety of genres that include contemporary western romance. Her book THE SHAPE OF DESTINY is a paranormal in this genre. Her book appears in the eight-author anthology COME LOVE A COWBOY, contemporary western romance that released April 1. These eight books are all new, never before released. You can snap it up at: for only 99 cents for the time being.

Cole is a shape shifter on the run from the man who murdered his parents. Shannon is a
well-educated owner of a ranch who refuses to acknowledge her Indian heritage and
their beliefs. When danger threatens and Cole’s secret is revealed, can Shannon find it in
her heart to believe in the unbelievable and change their destiny?

Cole awoke to the sound of a loud crack. His eyes fluttered open and stared into the
barrel of a gun. He should have recognized the sound of a rifle being cocked. His first
thought…Granger has finally found me.

This wasn’t a man’s voice at all, but a woman’s. “What are you doing here? Who are

He climbed to his feet, knowing instinctively she wouldn’t shoot. He could read people
and knew she wasn’t the type to take the life of another human being. An animal he
wasn’t sure about. He laughed inwardly and glanced to where his sister had slept. Gone.
He frowned and forced himself not to look around for her. Mia knew to hide at the first
sign of danger.

Cole had to get the woman out of the barn. “I was just passing through.” He bent to pick
up his backpack. “I’ll leave now. I needed somewhere to crash for the night, that’s all.”
The rifle followed his movement as he bent to retrieve the shirt he’d used as a pillow.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

“Why is that?”

He straightened and looked at her then, really looked at her. She was quite beautiful in
an unusual sort of way. Dark eyes, almost black, her skin a shade darker than most, and
high cheekbones. If it wasn’t for the long pale blonde hair he would have sworn she was
Native American. Maybe she had some of their blood in her gene pool. And he wanted
her; he’d been a long time without a woman. He ignored the lust in his gut and headed
for the door.

Her voice quavered. “Stop or I’ll shoot. I swear I will.”

He stopped but didn’t turn. “I don’t think so.”

He sensed her falter as she lowered the rifle. A head shorter than him, she came to stand
beside him. “I just want to know what’s going on here.”

“Nothing is going on. I was hiking across country. I needed somewhere to sleep and
spied the lights in the distance.” He shrugged. “Thought there was no harm in sleeping
in your barn. I’d be gone before anyone found me. Guess I was wrong.”

* * *

Why didn’t she believe him? When she’d first found him sleeping on the hay a gamut of
emotions ran through her body—fear, anger, and she had to admit, he was the most
amazing looking man she’d ever seen. Most guys she knew were either old, scrawny, or
had a gut the size of six watermelons. He pulled on his black t-shirt to cover his six-pack,
and broad, muscled shoulders. She couldn’t help but finish her inspection by running
her gaze down his stomach to where a line of dark hair disappeared past his belt buckle
into his pants, and then lower to the thick thighs covered by his faded blue jeans.

When she looked up again into his yellow-green eyes, his lips held a smirk, as if he knew
her thoughts as she perused his body. What was he thinking? She didn’t want to know,
but for some unknown reason she wanted him to stay. She glanced away, and that was
when she saw her, a little girl in long white nightgown with curly black hair. She clung to
the barn wall and Shannon realized then she had the rifle trained on the child.

The man whipped around and pushed the rifle down before Shannon could lower it. And
then he glowered at her.

“I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger,” she said. “I didn’t know she was there.” She spoke
to the child, her voice soft. “Don’t be afraid. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” Offering her
best smile, she added, “You startled me.”

She was a pretty little thing, with the same coloring as her father. She wondered about
the story behind that. Why wasn’t the child in school? Had he kidnapped the girl from
her mother and they were on the run? And where was her mother?

She turned her attention to the man again. “I presume the girl is with you?”


She put his age at around twenty-six…twenty-seven, a little young to have a daughter
this age.

“Mia, go behind the bales and get dressed, we’re leaving.”

The child picked up her backpack did as she was told.

Shannon remained silent wondering what to say or do next. A child was the last thing
she expected to see in her barn. There was a story here, but she wasn’t sure she wanted
to pursue it. Questions lingered on her lips but halted in her throat when she took in the
thunderous look on the man’s face.

“Want to tell me your name?”

“Why?” he said with a slight sneer. “We are not staying. There’s no reason to know our

For a moment she thought she saw something akin to fear flicker in his bright eyes.

“Look, Mister, don’t make me out to be the bad person here. You were the one

His shoulders slumped. “Sorry. As I said, we needed somewhere to sleep.”

Mia came running toward him and slipped her small hand into his before they turned
away and headed for the door.

“Stop!” she said a little too loudly. “Do you need a job?” Where the hell did that come

He stopped and pivoted toward her, a half-laugh erupting from his throat. “First you
point a gun in my face, threaten to kill me, now you offer me a job?” He raised a brow.

“Something is killing my cattle and I need them moved closer to home. They’re about
five miles from here, near the base of the mountain. I was going to take the pickup into
town to hire someone, but thought I’d ask if you might be interested, or perhaps you
could use the money.

Mia looked up at the man with an indefinable look on her small face.

“Well do you?” Shannon asked again.


“Need a job?”

The little girl spoke for the first time. “Can we stay?”

His features softened as he looked down at her. “I suppose we could stick around for a
few days.”

“We have several bunkhouses for the ranch hands and one sitting empty right now.
Simple and clean but it does have a stove and a bathroom.”

“Seems Mia’s made her mind up,” he said.

He still had that wary look in his eyes, but she ignored it for now. It was none of her
business where they had come from or where they were going. She needed help on the
ranch, and he was here. Maybe he’d even decide to stay for more than a few days.

“Good, it’s settled. I’ll show you to the bunkhouse and have some food brought over.
“Oh, by the way, you do know how to ride a horse, right?”

“Well enough,” he replied. “But horses don’t like me much.”

“I’m sure we can find one or two that do.” She smiled. “And my name is Shannon. Can I
know yours now that you’re going to be working for me?”

“It’s Cole.” Mia answered for him and slipped her hand into Shannon’s. “He doesn’t talk

“I gathered that.” Shannon thought it strange Mia should answer for her father, but that
was their business, not hers. “Have a last name to go with that?”

“No. No last name.” Cole shot back. “We won’t be staying that long.”

Shannon was taken aback. “Fine, but it might be hard to pay you with no last name.”

“Cash will do fine.” He headed for the door. “You said something about showing us a

“Of course,” she answered him in the same short tone he’d used on her. “And then I’ll
meet you at the stables in an hour.”

“I don’t have a watch.”

“How about a cell phone?”


“Use the digital alarm clock in the bunkhouse then.”

“Fine. Where are the stables?”

“That would be the building next to the barn.”

He pushed a hand through his long black fringe. “Looks like I’m yours then, at least for a
few days. Lead the way.”

What influenced my story?

At a young age, my father encouraged me to watch western movies on the television as
they were his favorite. Out of this grew a glamorous but somewhat glorified view of the
Old West. I grew to love all the westerns staring John Wayne, who to me encompassed
the ideal western hero.

As to why I chose a shape shifter, black Panther, for the hero of my novella? Fantasy and
Paranormal are the usual genres I write. Also, when I was around twenty and driving
out in the country I could have sworn I saw a black Panther run into the trees at the side
of the road. The incident never left me.

When asked to write a novella for the COME LOVE A COWBOY anthology I have combined all these elements into my story hopefully to a satisfying conclusion.

Julie A. D'Arcy, Author
Julie A. D’Arcy was born in Bendigo, Australia, lived her formative years in Melbourne, then moved to Wangaratta. After leaving college, she returned to Wangaratta where she set up her pottery business, specializing in fantasy pottery, in which she still dabbles. She married and has two beautiful daughters, Errin and Tegan. She has since divorced and now lives with her life partner, Phillip. She also has a spoiled Tonkanese named Jessalyn and a big, gray fluff ball named Jasper. She is an award winning author of numerous novels and novellas and founder of Entangled Press. You can find her here:


Caroline Clemmons said...

Julie, what a terrific book cover. I enjoyed your novella, too. Thanks for being my guest today. Wishing you continued success.

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hello Caroline and Julie! I haven't read the Shape of Destiny yet, but I've been looking forward to it since taking a quick look through all the stories when I first got it. Such an unusual twist on contemporary western and your writing style immediately captured my attention! The stories I've read so far in this collection do not disappoint! I'm proud of the work all these authors have done. Great reads!

Hebby Roman said...

Julie, great cover and love the anthology cover, too. Enjoyed your story as well, you made the paranormal seem so real to me! And now I have to ask, what kind of dog (is it a dog) is a Tonkanese? Or is it a cat. I'm totally clueless. Doing pottery sounds so relaxing, like playing in the mud when you were a child. LOL
Thanks, Caroline, for another excellent hosting job.

Anonymous said...

Hi there ladies, it was a pleasure working with both of you and getting to know you both better--can't wait to read all the books!