Hello, Sweethearts of the West. I have a confession to make. I am blogged out. This is my eighth blog since December 1st. I didn’t realize how tiring it would get and I think I’m out of topics! So, you’ll get something off the top of my head.
The reason for all this blogging, of course, is to talk up my new release A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE, a contemporary novella set in Montana. It is the sequel to my first The Wild Rose Press release THE PRICELESS GIFT. Jacob, the hero in the newest story, is the brother of the heroine in the first story.
Both stories actually take place in the same house, as Christina is visiting Jacob at his home in Montana in her story. It was fun to use the same setting, to have the same kitchen for the baking and same fireplace mantel for the stockings.
Why on earth I picked Montana for the setting, though, I can’t tell you. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It still is, actually. But, I’ve never been to Montana, so I sorta had to rely on pictures and maps. I did make one minor change in the story, just before publication. My roommate at the RWA national conference in Orlando, Rebecca Lynn, is from that area and she told me that in the case of a ranch hand being airlifted to a hospital, he’d been flown to Billings, not Helena. Although Helena is the capital, it’s the smaller of the two cities. A trauma patient would do better in Billings. So, I made that change. I didn’t know the difference, but Montanans would.
A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE is the fourth story I’ve written around a holiday theme. They are Christmas stories and I really didn’t set out to do that, not on purpose. But a friend told me last year (when I didn’t have a release out at Christmas) that people would be expecting it of me by now.
TEMPT ME TWICE, a Victorian short story, was the first holiday story I wrote. That couple plagued me for years to write their story. I can remember getting up in the middle of the night because they wouldn’t let me sleep. I had to write down the scene they were discussing with me before they’d leave me alone. Well, they are together (married on Christmas Eve), so they have let me be.
After that story, I fell, quite by accident, into writing Westerns, contemporary ones at that! My heart, I thought, was in Regency England. Not so my characters. They wanted to be in the West. At least one couple was happy to be in the Old West. Laura and David from SALVATION BRIDE were happy to be living in 1873. Everyone else wants modern plumbing! That includes Marcus and Leah from A COWBOYS DREAM (there I got all the titles in…ha ha). Marcus, by the way, is the descendent of Laura and David. I don’t think I ever figured out how many ‘greats’ separated them. It wouldn’t be too many though….three or four, depending how old everyone was when they had kids.
Marcus and Leah’s story was first told in a very short story “Happily Ever After.” In that one, his last name is different, because he wasn’t a David Slade descendent. He also wasn’t a cowboy, but when I added 20,000 words to the story, I gave him a ranch, as well as a baseball glove. It also didn’t take place at Christmas time, but when I rewrote it, I included a Christmas Eve celebration Leah hosts that he crashes. It’s also the second least spicy story I’ve written. TEMPT ME TWICE would win that honor. I believe there’s one kiss in it. There’s only one kiss in A COWBOY’S DREAM, too, but it’s one heck of a kiss!
Okay, so is there a purpose behind this rambling? Probably not. It is one in the morning, after all. However, if you’ve stuck around this long, reading this not-so-fascinating blog, then you deserve a reward! For those who don’t know already, you can download a FREE cookbook from my website, A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE COOKBOOK. One thing I didn’t mention, is that Tessa (oh, she’s the heroine in A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE…I think I forgot to mention her, too)—anyway, Tessa is a cook on the Holloway ranch and there’s a lot of food mentioned in the story. So, I decided to put the recipes in a cookbook, with a few contributions from friends and family (like Laura Slade, Leah Slade and few author friends). Just click on the title above and you’ll be taken to my website’s cookbook page. Scroll down to the link to download the pdf of the cookbook.
Also, just make a comment and you’ll be eligible for a free copy of both THE PRICELESS GIFT and A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE. Be sure to leave me an email so I can reach you with the ‘you won’ news!
Thanks for sticking around till the end!
Anna Kathryn Lanier
Where Cowboys Hang Their Hats