Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Mountain Man Meets a Lady

Wild Dawn, one of my favorite American frontier books, written as Cait Logan, is re-appearing by Cait London :) BTW, I traveled to research, and the "dawn" overlay in the cover is actually the sunset taken from my home.

Here is my Dear Reader letter in the book, because to me, author's backstories are interesting:

Dear Reader:
As Cait Logan, I wrote several western historical romances, and category (series romance). I’m placing these into epublishing (as Cait London) for those who enjoyed them the first time, and those who are just discovering these lovely Northwest historicals. (I hope you read Delilah and the Mountie, one of my favorites, now available.) I traveled these trails and visited forts and vistas, and loved every minute of research.

Wild Dawn reflects how many bargain-made marriages began in history. To survive in Wild Dawn, and with danger all around Lady Regina, evil pursuing her, she must accept the mountain man, MacGregor’s offer of safe-keeping and marriage. While MacGregor is serious about marriage, he’s pretty rough around the edges, though he means well. But Regina only wants his help to get to safety. And then, there’s Jack, his adorable little son, just four months old and needing a woman’s care. MacGregor will fight to keep this English lady safe and safely wed to him... He’s in for a surprise with this “little woman”, set on escaping him and building her own life. For MacGregor and Regina, it truly is a new start, a new Wild Dawn.

I just love MacGregor, rough as he is. One of my favorite heroes, and I hope yours.
I also fell in love with the paisley shawl, a fashion of the day, and used that as a theme in a contemporary weaver’s novel, Tallchief for Keeps, a romance amid the Tallchief Silhouette Desire miniseries.

As an artist, I loved these written canvases and I hope you do, too.
How the mountainman MacGregor proposed to the English Lady Regina, who has been deserted and is starving in a mountain cabin is next....

He shifted his arm beneath the fur cape, the wind lifting the edges about his calves. “My son, Jack, is under this robe. He needs that cabin tonight, and I’m coming in. That fancy little gun won’t go through buffalo hide. The chambers are empty anyway.... Tuck it away.”

When she stared at him blankly, he nodded and took a deep breath. “I’d appreciate you asking me in. I’ve come a long way for you.”

Long legs shifted restlessly beneath the buffalo cape. “The Indians know you’re MacGregor’s woman—that’s me—MacGregor. I’m needing a woman for Jack, ma’am, and you’re the choice cow of the herd.”

“Cow?” she repeated blankly.

“Female... woman,” he answered impatiently. “You’ll find I’m not good with words.”

Stunned, Regina’s gaze slid down the tall man’s body, shrouded by the cape down to his buckskin leggings and boots.

A cold chill ran up her spine before she straightened her shoulders. Fear danced over her flesh like icy sleet. The mountain man had no claim on her; his arrogance caused her to remember her father.

“I’m a blunt-spoken woman,” she tossed back at him. “I haven’t heard of you, nor am I ‘your woman.’ If you have a child in your robes, show him to me and you may have shelter for the night.”

When he spoke the wind rose, penetrating the rags covering her feet. MacGregor’s black eyes sliced at her, and his voice reminded her of a castle mastiff’s growl. “No one doubts my word, ma’am. Jack’s tucked in snug enough, and I’m not bringing him out until we’re in the cabin. I’m done palaverin’—talking.”

He lowered his head deeper into the mass of buffalo fur. “I’m tired and my son needs that cabin, ma’am,” he said roughly. “We’re coming in. You’ve got the night to think about living or dying.... The way I see it is, you have four choices: You can freeze in that cabin this winter— alone... let the Indians turn you into a tribal squaw... or maybe some trapper will set you up as his property in a back room and hire you out.”

Then he added quietly, “Or you can marry me.”
MacGregor and the Lady Regina do not expect what will happen in this marriage of convenience.

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite stories.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Novel Interuptus

Novel Interuptus is well-known in writerdom. I coined the phrase, but am certain you know its source :)

Writers are also people, dealing with life and with a new little one in our family, I’ve been on a professional break while visiting. Thank you, Panera, for your sticky buns, coffee and Wifi. (Wifi, because we’re never quite unplugged, some business going on as usual.)

Just back from hiatus, I visited my favorite area group, Springfield MO’s Sleuths, a mystery group. Correction: hard-working group. This is a variety of writers, photographers, etc. Often groups have a high percentage of non-working members, just those attracted to those who are producing. Not so with this group.

It was a stirring, productive meeting with round of members reporting their publications. First, a workshop on producing origami mini-books by Beverly Crandell. I love these mini-books, developed from 8.5X11 paper, folded to make 4 pages with back and front. They are excellent for children, and great promo items containing teasers, website/blog info.

Next was Linda C. Apple, an inspirational writer and speaker. She’s dynamic, funny, informative, and above all, very professional.

I needed that connection to other writers.
Which brings me back to catching up. There are certain things that continue, while on break, and others left. I’ve found through my career that the people who deal with priorities fare better. As a professional right, I’m dealing with these issues now:
1. Rights Reversion from publishers (See Passive Guy for really good info on contracts)
2. Reworking my early attempts at epublishing. New software has developed and this is a steep, continuing learning curve. I credit Barbara Freethy and Kathy Carmichael as mentors.
3. Happy Day! I’ve finally gotten support in the form of a proof reader who is great, and she’s helping with #2. These reverted and scanned books are filled with errors and a drain on eyes. I’m floating now, happy with support. Learning how to ship manuscripts to her in Kindle form was one thing, and we’re learning how to work better together. I appreciate each and every comment she makes.
4. Sifting through what social media works for me and the comfortable ones for me. I’ve signed up for various URLs and test them. One popular Social Media is not at all comfortable for me because of their shifting policies. I love Twitter, though.
5. Redesigning a romantic suspense cover, When Night Falls, to match an upcoming title, Flashback. With a line of romantic suspense developing now, the covers should have identifying “look”.
6. Debating a publisher name for various material, separate from my pseudonym. If you have great ideas, please send? :)

What a learning process! I’m on a couple of professional-only loops, chockful of shared info. But there is great information everywhere.

To prioritize, choosing where to spend your creative (and your private-life time) is probably the most basic problem a writer has.

Or anyone :)