Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Moonlight Desperado, Fact and Fiction

Where do writers find ideas for their stories?

Inspiration comes in many ways. For me, it's usually a song, an article in a newspaper, on the news, in a non-fiction book, a book about history...or a story my parents or grandmothers told me when I was a child.

Moonlight Desperado was inspired by a true story about my great grandmother after the Civil War, when desperate men traveled across Texas to Mexico. Some were raiders, like those who robbed my young great grandmother. She was alone in her home with her children and threatened by armed outlaws. Again, the factual story is inspiration for my story of fiction.

Playing "what if," I incorporated werewolves from Laredo to add even more suspense and to add further complications to a hero already burdened by complex responsibilities and emotions following the Civil War. I hope you'll enjoy Mary Ann and Captain Wolfe as much as I enjoyed writing their story.

Here's a blurb and excerpt of Moonlight Desperado:

In post Civil War Texas, Mary Ann Beauclere is trapped by raiders demanding bedding and food. Though she's outraged when Captain Craig Wolfe steals a kiss, and more, in front of the men, she follows orders, desperate to protect her little sisters asleep upstairs. But when Captain Wolfe helps her, she softens toward the desperado, accepting his kisses as she's drawn to him like no other.

Admiring Mary Ann's courage, Confederate spy Captain Craig Wolfe recognizes her as his life mate. But when he claims her, secret identities and a vicious pack member threaten their lives and their future. Will Captain Wolfe have to spend his life without his mate?


At their brief contact, her shiver raced through Craig like lightning. The surprise in her wide eyes along with her reaction confirmed what he already recognized. He'd known the moment he caught her sweet scent. Miss Beauclere was his mate. The woman he never expected to meet. So many nights as he waited for the next day's battle, he believed he would die without ever having met her or kissed her.

His blood boiled with the need to hold her. Taste her. Bury his face in the fragrant tendrils of her silky hair. Make her his. He could not touch her now.

At least he could protect her from the men. No one would dare make an advance toward his mate. Not even their leader, his old friend Captain Neal Keller. Keller understood the laws of the pack. Growing up in Laredo, they shared their Were knowledge and respected those laws since they shifted the first time in their puberty.

When the southern states seceded from the Union, the entire pack from Laredo joined in the Confederate cause.

Except for Craig.

He fought for the Northern ideals, which included a united union of states. Keller didn't know Craig joined the army of the North. They parted company beforehand.

Now few remained of their pack, and Keller led this band of lawless renegades. There'd be hell to pay if he discovered Craig fought for the North. Hopefully, he'd never come to blows with Keller. Only one of them would survive.

He shifted the bundle to one arm. "I'll take these outside while you gather more, Miss Beauclere."

"We don't have much more." Anger sparked from her defiant gaze.

"Miss, the men outside are dangerous." He must keep her from riling Keller. He sliced the air with his gun hand. "Don't try to fool their leader. I'll protect you, but don't put yourself in jeopardy."

"How can I trust you?" Cold derision mixed with her anger. "You're one of them."

He best defuse her temper right now. He softened his tone. "You can trust me. Don't question anyone. Just do as you're asked, within reason, and stay out of sight otherwise."

She threw a pillow at him. When he caught it, her eyes, the color of blue forget-me-nots, glowed like the hottest flame. The scent of her perfume rose from the feather pillow and encircled him.

The smile that twitched the corners of his mouth disappeared. A sudden onslaught of feral passion increased his hunger for her. Tendrils of her hair, the color of ripe fields of wheat, curled in the summer heat, and a fine sheen of dampness covered her face. He wanted to lick that moisture where it formed fine beads. It took all his strength to control the need to take her in his arms and devour her.

At the stubborn, angry expression on her face, Craig said, "Mind what I've said. I'll be right back."

He took the bundle outside, handed it to the waiting men, turned, and retraced his steps upstairs. He admired her stubbornness, but it could cause her trouble. He needed to make it clear to the men, including Keller, that she belonged to him. She'd protest, but he must show them she was his alone, for her sake.

When would there be an end to this fighting and lawlessness? He was sick of it. Home and herding cattle on the ranch never appealed more. When his assignment ended, he planned to leave soldiering behind and take up ranching.

He found Miss Beauclere in the first bedroom near the stairs. Her sweet scent filled this room as well. It must be her bedroom. Spotless, white curtains covered the windows. On either side stood a dresser and washstand. The clean lines of the furniture and the bed matched Miss Beauclere's demeanor.

She'd pulled all the bed clothes into a pile and now gathered quilts from a chest at the foot of the four poster bed.

"There's only one more bedroom where my aunt sleeps when she visits. After I collect her sheets and blankets, I have no more to offer."

Oh, she had more to offer. Too much for her own good. She promised to be a handful. He hoped she didn't push Keller too far. Craig would put a stop to any trouble before it started.

"I'm sorry to cause you this inconvenience. We should be gone at first light."

She piled the quilts in his arms without touching him and moved to fold the linens. The soft outlines of her long, slender legs drew his attention. Almost overpowered by the animal in him, he leaned against the door while he regained his strength over the inner demon. How could he protect her when her effect on him brought forth his worst side?

When she turned toward the door, she stopped and stared at him. He blocked her way.

He inhaled deeply and fought for his humanity. "Miss, I know you're upset, but no matter what happens, don't do anything to upset Keller. Just stay out of sight inside your home."

She shook her head, clearly exasperated. "I have no thoughts of doing anything that would draw your leader's attention."

"Good." He turned, headed through the doorway and back down the stairs. Her soft footfalls padded behind him.

When they reached the veranda, he handed the blankets to one of the men standing nearby. Finding Miss Beauclere so close worked with his plan. He took the bundle from her in one arm, slipped his other arm around her waist, and pulled her against him. The bulging evidence of his lust nestled low against her belly. She fit him perfectly.

As she gasped in surprise, he covered her lips with his. Holding her tight, he tossed the linens to one of the men who gawked and covered one firm breast with his hand.

Wishing everyone good reading, and a warm holiday season!

Jeanmarie Hamilton


Moonlight Desperado, Siren BookStrand Publishing


  1. Jeanmarie

    I love how Moonlight Desperado came into being from a story about your great grandmother--it must have been a unique writing experience creating a story around what happened to her. I'm sure she's smiling down on you and thrilled to have been remembered so fondly by you :-)

  2. Marin,
    Thanks so much for your good thoughts. I have a linen and lace handkerchief that belonged to her and that the women in our family have carried during our wedding ceremony. The family story is that she carried the handkerchief in her wedding as well, and it was made from linen from their farm in Alsace Lorraine. She was married in the mid 1840s in Texas to a man from Holland who had just arrived. She needed a husband at the time because her father had died of a rattle snake bite, and the Catholic Bishop in Texas was threatening to have her and her sister sent back to France. So they both married. Hers was an arranged marriage and they made a success of it with a second brood of children after the Civil War. :-) Stuff that romance stories are made of.

  3. Hi Jeanmarie,
    I'm reading Moonlight Desperado now and enjoying it! Love, love, love it's based on true family history. Wow. :) I hope your holidays are filled with friendship and laughter, and may your New Year be the best yet! *Hugs*
    Love you!

  4. Hi Diana,
    I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! Can't wait for your next book. Hope you have a happy holiday too with family and friends!
    Love you too!

  5. I love that you are able to use your ancestors as inspiration. I do the same and run through the family tree for names. It gives your story authenticity and maybe a few smiles from your ancestors watching over you. :)

    Enjoyed reading your excerpts.

  6. Jeanmarie, I love that you use stories from your family. You know I love family history too. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks Paisley and Carolyn for your support. I think it's a great idea Paisley, that you use family names when you can for your characters. That's a good way to be sure you're using names that were popular in history.


  8. Jeanmarie, the best stories we can write are based in fact, and family fact is even better. Congratulations on your wonderful stories.

    And I love your story about the family hankerchief.


  9. Jane,
    Thanks for dropping by. :-) Interesting take on writing stories based on fact. Fact does lend a certain strength to fiction. Yes, the handkerchief has a special place in my heart. One of these days, I'll write her story.


  10. Wow, an amazing story your grandmother lived through!! And it sounds like a captivating tale as told through your eyes as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. I think everyone else covered the bases. I share their sentiments and enjoyed your excerpt.

  12. Hi, J. Rose Allister!
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story about my great grandmother. Great to share it with you. :-) Come back soon.

  13. Hi Savanna!
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate you coming by our blog this busy holiday season. Great to have your comments. Drop in anytime!


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