Friday, December 10, 2010

The Midnight Ramblings of Western Romance Writer

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


  1. Hi Anna

    The cover of your Christmas book is beautiful and it sounds like a lovely story--Happy Sales!

  2. Although I usually read (and write) Regencies when I'm in the mood for a romance novel--the father of my soon to be wonderful new daughter in law has a huge ranch in Montana, so maybe I read your Western romance as a Welcome to the family tribute to her.
    Good luck with your new book.

  3. Hi Anna,

    Well, I'm just such a sucker for Christmas and westerns, this means yet another addition on my tbr list. I am buying myself a kindle for Christmas. If I wait on my husband to do it, I will never get one. All of your stories sound wonderful. I have never been to Montana either, but I had a student whose wife was from there (we live in Oklahoma) and he is now the curator of a museum up there--think the name of the town is Sydney. I don't know if I could live up there or not. LOL But as a setting for a story, I'm sure it is fascinating. Your new cover is gorgeous. And I'm looking forward to the cookbook.
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Anna Kathryn, lovely post. That's a beautiful cover, too. At first I got your cookbook and the one from The Wild Rose Press confused, but now I understand and will download yours too.

  5. I think your blog, for being off the top of your head, wasn't boring at all. You did good!!

    I agree the recipe books is great with lots of recipes and photos and excerpts.

    Merry Christmas!!!!

  6. I love your rambling, Anna--Sometimes that's the best kind of blog, sort of like you're talking instead of lecturing.The cover of your book is so pretty. I've got to go back and see if I can find you recipe book. Celia

  7. Hello, everyone. I apologize for not checking in sooner. As I said in the blog, or should have said,it's been a busy time of late and yesterday was no exception.

    Thanks for stopping by and for all the wonderful comments. I truly appreciate them.

    And I've also drawn a winner for my drawing....Marin Thomas! Congratulations!


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