It is my great pleasure to introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) you to a wonderful author who also a great friend of mine. I met E. Ayers at my local RWA chapter several years ago and we’ve been chattering away about romance and publishing ever since. She’s here today with her most recent novel, A Calling in Wyoming, and her soon-to-be-released A Child’s Heart, the next in her River City series. And don’t forget to leave a comment! She’s going to do a giveaway. 🙂
Wow! May has so busy and now it’s almost over. Do you happen to know a way of adding a few more hours to each day? I really need them.
You asked what I’ve been doing. Where should I start? Well, my fourth, contemporary, sweet western, A Calling in Wyoming was published earlier this month. My other westerns have all landed on Amazon’s top sellers list and kept me on that list for seven months. Naturally, I have my fingers crossed for this one, too.
I wrote this one based on a friend’s son. He’s handsome, single, and the kind of guy every mother hopes her son grows up to be. But at twenty-seven, he’s starting to think about settling down, except he’s not met the right gal.
He looked at me one day and asked if I’d write a romance for him. I think he was asking if I knew someone who would be perfect for him. Since I don’t, I let his question rattle around in my head until a story formed.
It was easy to borrow his good looks, but I realized that I couldn’t ignore his strong Christian beliefs. So I put his faith to the test. He hasn’t finished reading the book yet, so I have no idea what his reaction will be.
Slowly family and friends are voicing their opinions. At the moment, it’s rather divided. Some are saying, yes to his stay in Creed’s Crossing and the others are saying no way would he accept such an offer. And the reaction over the lovely young woman I created for him…? Mixed.
It was loads of fun fictionalizing someone. The hero in the story, is not the real man. If I put twenty young men in a room, you’d probably be able to figure out which man fits the hero’s description, but that’s where it ends. He knows I put him in cowboy boots and let him ride a horse, but that’s all he knows, and no one is telling him the rest. He has to read it! To him, it’s hoot that I’ve made him into a cowboy.
So that’s the story behind the story of A Calling in Wyoming. It’s the perfect length for a rainy afternoon or a quiet evening, slightly less than 40,000 words.
As soon as A Calling in Wyoming was published, I did a publishing workshop for writers. Then I turned my attention to my next River City book, A Child’s Heart. It had come back from the editor with a long list of corrections. (Someday I might remember to use all the commas.) With luck, the book will begin to show up at various e-book retailers the first week of June. This one is the sixth River City novel. They do not need to be read in order because the glue that holds them together is the city itself.
River City is where I started writing romances. They have strong mainstream overtones with the happily-ever-after that people want in a romance. They are all young urbanites trying to make River City a better place. To use an old term, they are the young-movers-and-shakers of the community.
A Child’s Heart is about Trent Callahan, a widower with a young son, Shawn, who needs heart surgery. Married at eighteen, Trent’s a blue-collar worker, living with his mom and trying to support his son. Except, he finds himself falling in love with the curator of the River City Museum.
Dr. Cassandra “Cassie” Jones is older and has her PhD. Confident, and competent, she portrays a very polished exterior. But under it, she’s a vamp (as in seductive), and Trent is about to have some lessons in history that would make Cleopatra blush.
Just for fun, I thought you’d like to read the excerpt of their first kiss. Kisses can be delicious and occasionally they can have an interesting and unexpected effect on the body.
Excerpt from A Child’s Heart:
Cassie pulled in front of a small home that looked exactly like every other house in the working class neighborhood. Tiny, cookie-cutter houses sat on postage-sized lots. The Callahan home was painted a pale yellow with dark gray shutters and trim. The grass was recently cut, and a few petunias were planted around the base of the lamppost. She parked her car and drew in a deep breath as she gathered up the two books.
“Hi,” she said, when Trent opened the door. “I brought something for Shawn.”
“Come on in. He’s not here right now. My mom took him shopping for some slippers and a robe. He’s going to need them for the hospital. They say he’ll be there for a while.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I should have called first. Tate gave me your address, and I thought I’d stop on the way home, since you weren’t very far out of the way.”
“You live in the area?”
“Not really. I have an apartment in Sweet Grandview.”
“This is not exactly on your way home from the museum.”
“It’s not, but it’s not that far, either.” She forced another smile.
He glanced at his watch. “They should be home soon. Would you like a glass of iced tea?”
“Thanks. I’d appreciate that.” She gazed at Trent standing there in his work uniform, his name written in an oval under the embroidered company name. “What exactly does River City Manufacturing manufacture?”
“Countertops. We measure, custom cut, and install counters for both commercial and home use.”
“Oh. What do you do?”
“Everything. Mostly, I handle the computer and oversee the shop. It’s a rather involved process. The measurements are dropped into the computer, which then runs the saws that cut the counters.”
She followed him through the tiny house to the modern kitchen. “Cute kitchen.”
“Thanks. My mom loves it. I tore out what existed a few years ago. I made the cabinets from scratch and the countertops are leftovers from a large job the company did awhile back.”
He nodded, opened a cabinet, and withdrew two glasses. “I’ve got a small woodshop in the backyard.”
“I’m impressed. You do beautiful work.”
“Thanks.” He handed her a glass of iced tea.
She put the two books on the counter and accepted the glass. Her fingers touched his, sending a spark though her body. Gazing into his eyes, she smiled. A golden blonde lock fell across his forehead, and she noticed slight dimples when he returned the smile.
Broad shoulders filled his shirt, and golden hair covered his forearms. Desire filled her as she stared at the man with gray-blue eyes.
He returned the stare and she found herself lured to him. Golden-brown eyelashes framed his penetrating gaze. Taking a sip of the sweet liquid only enhanced the burning inside her. His fingers wrapped around the glass and removed it from her clutch as his mouth covered hers.
Sweet, probing kisses caused her to close her eyes, as she was drawn to him by the magnificent sensation that streamed through her body. Her hands found his shoulders, as his arms locked her into his embrace. Her hips swayed against the soft bulge in his pants. His hand on the small of her back pulled her tight to him. The room vanished. All that was left, were two bodies pressed together.
His tongue danced with hers as her pelvis rode his hardening length. Her breasts burned. She clawed at the fabric covering his shoulders. It was primal and she lost herself in the ancient ritual. Heat flowed through her until it peaked, causing a groan to escape her throat. Her lips unlocked from his, and she buried her face into his chest. The course material was permeated with the pungent smell of perspiration and oil. Inhaling deeply, it was nauseating, exciting, and very masculine. Reality hit, sending a jolt through her system. She let go of him and turned away. “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I just did that.”
His hands grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back to him. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was terrific.” His breath flowed over her face as he spoke. “I should be apologizing to you. I’ve never spontaneously kissed someone before.” His voice was deep and raspy. “I’ve heard it said that you can tell a lot from a first kiss, and that was one hell of a first kiss.”
“I’m so embarrassed.”
“Why? It was awesome.” He pulled her tight to his body.
Her gaze locked with his as his lips once again touched hers. Her knees weakened and her body trembled. Wanting to flee, she found herself riveted in place. His tongue found hers. Heat coursed through her as the room began to swim. A gray cloud enveloped her until there was nothing.
“Hi, welcome back. Feeling any better?” Trent asked.
Cassie looked up at the man kneeling beside her. “What happened?”
“You fainted. I was about to call 9-1-1. You’ve been out for a few minutes.” She started to sit up, but he gently pushed her back down. “You’re not going anywhere. Take a couple of deep breaths.”
He ran a finger across her cheek as he stared into her crystal blue pools. “You remind me of a china doll, perfectly beautiful.”
“Please, let me get up.”
“Slowly.” He offered her his hand.
Making her sit at the kitchen table, he brought her the glass of iced tea and then pulled out a chair across from her. As he sat, a grin split his face and erupted into a chuckle. “I’ve kissed many a woman in my life, but I’ve never had that effect on one.”
“I’m sorry, I have no idea what came over me.”
“There you go apologizing again for something that requires none.”
“I’ve never been that lost in a kiss, and I’ve never fainted before in my life. No, that’s not right, I fainted one time after I gave blood when I was still in college.”
“Gave blood on an empty stomach?”
“Bet you’ve got a empty stomach now.”
She shook her head, as if trying to clear it. “Maybe. I ate a banana at some point today.”
“Ah, I think so. I skipped breakfast and drank a pot of coffee at work.”
“You’re not leaving here until you’ve eaten something nutritious and filling.”
Just in case you didn’t notice, my writing spans from sweet to a mild amount of heat. To me, it’s all about the story, and my writing falls into what I call Main Street, America. You aren’t going to have to worry about the eight-year-old looking over your shoulder if you are reading one of my western novellas, and the fifteen year old isn’t going to read anything that they don’t already know about in my River City novels, although I do consider my River City books to be mature reading.
Me? You want to know more about me? Let’s see if I can find some little tidbits for you.
Jenna and I know each other. Okay, between us we probably know half of the romance authors in the world, but unlike them, Jenna and I can actually share an afternoon and a good cup of coffee. Do you know how much she loves chocolate? We’re both chocoholics. But Jenna might be worse.
I’m a widow and was married to Prince Charming for almost thirty-seven years. Now I rattle around in a humongous pre-Civil War home in a historic district. That just means at any given time something is wrong. During the coldest days this winter, my heating system failed (twice!) and parts had to be ordered. (Yes. I was prepared. I own a small, oil-filled space heater.) Having down quilts, two dogs, and a cat helped to keep me warm as I slept. Of course, that meant very little bed space for me! Do you have any idea how much space on a bed that a cat can take up, especially when plastered against you? How do they do that? I’m not sure if I’m spoiled or my animals are spoiled.
I have a question for you. We all know that Jenna writes stories that will singe your monitor, but do you enjoy a story with less heat or one that closes the bedroom door?
Answer the question, or leave a comment and you might win a copy of A Child’s Heart. Don’t forget to leave your email address if you’d like to win a copy.