Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome guest, author Teri Thackston!

Howdy, Cerise, and thanks soooo much for inviting me to guest post on your blog. This Texas girl is recently home from an exciting trip to the northeast part of our wonderful country. Pennsylvania and Ohio are gorgeous at this time of year—all the colors and that nip in the air and those winding, hilly roads.

I visited one of my sisters and her husband for a bit in PA, and then she and I hit the road for Richfield, OH to take part in the very first Romanticon. This reader/writer conference was hosted by Jasmine-Jade Enterprises, the mother company for Cerridwen Press and Ellora’s Cave Publishing. Workshops and focus groups, food, friends, and books—and of course the “Cavemen” cover models— were available in abundance. We even danced the night away at a psychedelic sixtie’s party—in bellbottom pants, love beads and miniskirts! This was a truly first-class event that I’m already putting on next year’s calendar.

One particular cause for celebration for me was the news that western romances are still popular among readers. That’s great since my newest book from Cerridwen Press is a western romance. THE SALVATION OF CAPTAIN BEN CHANDLER is the follow-up to my first western romance THE ABDUCTION OF MISS JENNY CHANDLER but it can be read as a stand-alone book. Here’s a quick summary:

“Heading home to Texas after the Civil War, Confederate Captain Ben Chandler catches Clarity Breckenridge stealing the stallion he bought in Kentucky. Clarity says she owns the horse but Ben heard that Clarity is dead. When a killer tries to permanently keep her from proving her identity, Ben whisks her—and her horse—to Texas.

“Ben’s family is dead, his lover is gone and he suffered so many near misses during the war that he just wants to hide back home. When Clarity’s presence threatens to bring him painfully back to life, he resists his growing attraction to her.

“Meanwhile Clarity’s vow to return home and prove her identity is strained by her growing attraction to Ben. But a horrific event in her past makes her afraid she could never fully offer her heart. They have to flee a killer—and their own pasts—to find love and new lives together.”

And here’s a short excerpt:

Clarity didn’t know if she wanted to cry or kick Ben Chandler in his backside. The latter action would certainly ease some of her tension.
As he turned his back on her and went back to covering the dead men with dirt, she looked at his rear and considered it. It made a fine target and it wouldn’t take much for her to lift her foot and swing it.
He leaned down to scoop up another shovelful of dirt and his britches stretched tight over his backside. The heat that burned her face when he’d threatened to gag her had been a simple warm ray of sunlight compared to the inferno that shot through her now. She’d never known a man’s backside to be such a compelling sight. Why, the way he stood, she could see the outline of almost every muscle and—
Whipping around, she clutched her injured wrist against her stomach and strode away from the gravesite. “Wicked thoughts, Clarity,” she muttered. “Wicked, wicked thoughts.”
Reaching the spot where the Rebel had piled the belongings of the dead men, she knelt to study them. Her tailbone protested as she did so and she found herself longing for a warm bath in which to soak her aches away. But she probably wouldn’t see a warm bath for a long time yet.
Reaching out with her uninjured hand, she picked up one of the wallets and opened it. To her surprise it was filled with crisp Union currency in large denominations. She counted it quickly.
“Oh my.” She turned toward Ben Chandler. “One of those men was carrying more than a thousand dollars.”
He dropped a last shovelful of dirt over the grave and then turned in her direction. “Did he carry any identification?”
She looked back inside the wallet and found several sheets of paper. Drawing them out, she unfolded them. “These look like letters. Addressed to ‘Brother Samuel’.” She turned over the first letter. “This one is signed ‘Seth’.”
“Is there an envelope?” Carrying the shovel, Ben started toward her. She noticed that he was limping again.
“You’re hurt,” she said.
He walked past her to his horse and opened one of his saddlebags. “Is there an envelope?” he repeated, his voice tight.
She looked inside the wallet again and found an envelope. Drawing it out, she looked at it. “Yes. And it’s addressed to Samuel Lott with the Seventeenth Kentucky Regiment Infantry. One of those men must be Samuel Lott.”
“Good. Now we know who to return the money to.”
Something seemed to fill her throat for it became a little difficult to breathe. She watched Ben as he limped toward her with a battered cotton haversack hanging from one hand.
“You’re going to return these things to their families?” she asked, eyeing the empty sack.
“What else would I do with them?” He held out the sack. “Put everything in there.”
Clarity smiled as she took the sack and put the wallet and the letters inside it. “You see, Mr. Chandler? I was right about you. Only a good man would do something like that. You could easily have put this money in your own pocket and just ridden away.”
Ben released what sounded like a breath of frustration. “Hurry up.”
She scooped up another wallet, some loose currency and a couple of pocket watches and pushed them into the sack. She started to hand the bundle to him but then drew it back against her chest.
Ben cocked his head to one side. A rather unpleasant smile curled one side of his mouth. “Only a good man would return those things to their families, Miss Breckenridge. You said it yourself.”
She got stiffly to her feet, still clutching the sack to her chest. Ben Chandler had saved her life but, honestly, she didn’t know that he was the good man she suspected him of being. Maybe he’d agreed to bury them just so he could get his hands on their valuables. She didn’t want to believe that of him but how could she be sure?
“But a thief would take those things and that money and run with them.” Ben advanced toward her as she backed away. “Some men might figure they’d earned that money by saving a young woman’s life.”
She stopped backing up and he stopped advancing. For several moments they stood in the road, surrounded by horses, watching each other. Shame brushed through her as she debated whether or not she could trust her rescuer with the possessions of the dead men.
Finally, he stopped smiling, turned and walked to his horse. Mounting, he walked the mare close to Sir Robin, reached down and picked up the end of the rope that hung from the stallion’s neck. He turned to look back at Clarity and then, tipping a finger to the brim of his hat, he rode away.
Stunned, Clarity watched him trot down the road with her stallion trailing behind. Determination gripped her and she walked to the dappled mare. Looping the drawstring of the haversack over the pommel, she mounted with one-handed difficulty and then set out after the man who she wasn’t quite sure she could trust.

Thanks again, Cerise, for inviting me to your blog. Happy autumn, everyone!

Book Length: Plus Novel
Book Type: Ebook
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
ISBN: 9781419921544

1 comment:

Lia Slater said...

Sounds really good, Teri! Congrats on your recent release!