Wip it Up, up, UP!!

I was at a writer’s conference last week. I love them because they recharge my creative batteries but hate that it takes me so long to get everything back to normal afterwards. But, here I am, trying my best 🙂

This week’s sample is from the same WIP I have been sharing. I got a lot of work done on it this weekend and while I might not know exactly how it all ends, I have a better idea. This little scene occurs just after the one I shared last time. Olivia has been kidnapped and she doesn’t really know who or why, she also isn’t handling it all that well.

Three days passed and Olivia allowed not a word, a morsel of food or drop of drink to pass her lips. She feared that if she allowed herself to do anything more than sit and think then she would begin to cry and there would be no way of stopping it. On a normal day, Olivia hated to cry, she never saw much point in it. In her present company, she hated the idea even more. Grant—she refused to call him Master Thatcher even in her head, as he had instructed to her—had made up the silence by explaining to Olivia in more detail who The Enlightened Hand was. She would never admit the society intrigued her, especially now that she knew it was real and not just a cautionary tale.

By the time the third night was almost upon them Olivia was sore, her butt hurt from sitting in the carriage for so long, her legs ached, begging that she stretch them. Even though Grant had allowed her to sleep in the carriage at night, she had still refused to stretch out, choosing instead to remain in the tense, angry ball she’d curled into as they had driven away from her home.

Grant called for them to stop for the night and Olivia heard the men prepare the area for a camp. Even stopped, her mind was full of an endless beat, the echo of horse hooves trotting over rocky terrain. She closed her eyes and her heart matched the rhythm of the phantom hoof beats. How had she lost everything that was important to her, and so quickly? If devastation were food, she’d be full.

There we are I’ll have to promise any one who is reading to have a sexier, more upbeat snippet next time!

Now, onto the rest of the blog hoppers!

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~S

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A Special Visit by Leigh Smith!!

This week I am veering from broadcasting my dismal paint skills long enough to host Leigh Smith in celebration of her brand new book, The Cowboy has her Back!


leighsmith Blurb

After her Navy SEAL husband is killed by a drunk driver, widowed Mikela ‘Mickey’ Chandler comes to stay with her brother-in-law and sister, Becky.  While out riding, her horse takes off at breakneck speed and Mickey loses her grip on one of the reins.  Fortunately, for her, local rancher Hank Caldwell is on hand to save the day…and the two embark on a passionate and stormy relationship.

It’s not long before Mickey falls head over heels in love with the tall, handsome rancher, but having been hurt in a previous relationship, Hank is guarded and cautious where his feelings are concerned.  There are other problems too, in that Hank is used to being in control while Mickey is an independent woman in charge of her life.  Their relationship teeters on the edge as the two fight for control.

Are they too stubborn and set in their ways to make things work, or will love find a way.


EXCERPT

Mickey told Hank to choose the spot.  He picked Rowdy’s Roadhouse, a restaurant on the outskirts of Williston and made famous by regular appearances of Rowdy’s Rangers, a Texas band now famous but discovered at the restaurant by an affluent patron.  Since then, whenever the band was on tour and in the approximate area, they made it a point to drop in and play a set or two. Rowdy’s was a popular place and there was quite a line  waiting for a table when they arrived. Luckily for them, many of the waiting patrons were large parties and they moved up the list quickly since there was just the two of them.

Mickey had pumped her sister for any information on Hank, but she didn’t learn much. Becky said he had only returned to Williston and let it go at that.  Apparently, the Circle C was one of the biggest and most successful ranches in the area.  In addition to cattle and horses, their holdings included vineyards and almond orchards.  Hank had a couple of brothers and a sister and both brothers worked on the ranch.  His sister married an attorney and moved to Washington DC.  His parents, were still involved in the running of the ranch but based on the gossip around town were gradually turning it over to their sons, Hank, Dave and Randy.

Hank and Mickey weren’t sitting at the table long before people started stopping by. All of them welcomed him home; and expressed their hope he stayed this time.  If people ever stopped coming by the table, she planned on finding out more about Hank Caldwell.  With his tousled sandy blonde hair, bronzed skin and bright blue eyes, fine lines crinkling the edges of his eyes and mouth, he was good looking enough to be an actor or model. He was a man comfortable in his own skin and used to being in command, and it showed. Dressed in dark blue jeans, sharply creased but soft looking and weathered, a checked long sleeved shirt and well-worn boots that were clean and polished, he was one handsome cowboy and she was sure he set many a heart aflutter, hers among them.  The steady stream of greeters slowed down and she was just about to ask him about himself when another couple plopped themselves down in the seat on the other side of their booth.

“What are you doing here, this is most unusual for you?” the man said to Hank. Mickey took a good look at Dave and could see a resemblance but Hank was the winner. “Mickey is taking me to dinner for saving her ass this afternoon.”

“Mickey, meet my brother Dave and this is his, ‘what are you Dani, his lover, friend, mistress, wife; what other labels might there be?’”

“No need for such sarcasm or meanness, Hank” she purred at him.

“I see not much has changed,” Dave said to Hank. Mickey was surprised that Dave took Hank’s disparaging remarks about Dani so well, she half expected fisticuffs to break out at any moment.

“Oh, a lot has changed.  She’s with you now and I only wish you the best of luck and hope to hell you never have to leave town, because we have one more brother.”

“That’s enough, Hank,” Dave told him.

“You came and sat down here, so if you don’t want to hear anymore, then I suggest you find yourself another table.”

Dave gave Dani a slight push out of the booth.  As they walked away, Mickey spoke to Hank.  “It’s none of my business, but I have to ask.  I can guess, but what the hell was that all about?”

‘You’re right Mickey,  I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t want to ruin what’s left of the evening by hashing through things better left untouched. Maybe if we ever get to know each other better, I’ll explain.”

“Okay, but before they popped in, I wanted to ask what brought you back to Williston and what took you away in the first place.  If the two things are tied together, I’ll understand if you don’t want to go there.”

“They are and they aren’t.”

“I left because when I was in college I was recruited by Homeland Security.  My college major was criminal justice and after September 11th I was all gung ho to go out and protect my country.  When HS came on campus, they offered me a chance to use my education and satisfy my passion; I took them up on their offer.  So, to answer your question, I worked for Homeland Security.  I’m not active right now.”

“So are you back in Williston to stay?”

“I’m in Williston.  Life changes on a dime and in HS I learned to live one day at a time, that’s what I’m doing.  So enough about me, let’s talk about you.”

“Shall I start at birth and just go forward or is there a particular place you want me to start?”

“A smart mouth, I should have guessed from earlier today.  Start anywhere you like?”

“I told you earlier my sister Becky had twins and I came to help. Once the twins were on a regular schedule, I was beginning to feel underfoot but the holidays were on the horizon,  and she asked me to stay through them at least.  It didn’t take much convincing, spending the holidays with loved ones or alone. I find I’m ready for a change and want to be closer to family. Becky said the district is looking for teachers so I’ve decided to apply for a position. Back in San Diego, there are too many memories around every corner.  I’m a widow.  My husband was a Navy Seal that, believe it or not, was not killed in the line of duty but by a drunk driver. Barry returned from a mission and was on his way home when it happened.  They haven’t found the driver, and I doubt they ever will.  It occurred about 2:30 am, and no one has come forward with any information.  It’s been two years, so I don’t hold out any hope.  It doesn’t matter though, it will not bring Barry back.  Anyway, it’s time for a change.  Becky is my only sibling so living close to her and my nieces makes this the logical place to settle.”

“So if you get the job, you’ll settle here in Williston, or at least in the area?”

“Teaching job or not, I’ll settle here.  With Barry’s pension, I don’t have any financial worries.  I still have loose ends in Southern California but nothing that will keep me there for long.”

“Good to know.”


Where can you buy this lovely way to spend a lazy weekend? Click one of the links below!

LSF PUBLICATIONS

AMAZON

 

About Leigh Smith 

My husband and I travel the western United States where I indulge my love for words, both reading and writing. I write what I like to read which are romantic stories containing strong dominant men and confident, feisty women. The relationships are always loving and challenging. Conflict is often resolved with either a threat of a spanking or an actual spanking or two, either erotic or otherwise.

Cowboys and westerns are my favorite genre, however my characters, although fantasy, are sometimes based on people I’ve come across in my lifetime.  Truth can be stranger than fiction and although the stories are fantasy, once in a while there is a kernal of real lease embedded in the situations.

If the story doesn’t contain a happy ending, it is left open ended for the reader to come to their own conclusions.

That’s the great thing about fiction, it can be whatever you want it to be.


There you have it. If you didn’t have plans or are looking for a way to get out of them, thank Sadie, cause she just thrust this in yo face!

You’re welcome

-S

 

She works hard for the–oh nevermind.

I cannot believe that anyone who completes the process of thinking up an idea, writing the idea down (however long it becomes), editing that idea and then opening that idea to strangers for them to ridicule does it because they expect to get rich. Really, just from a cost/benefit stand point, the costs are often high whereas the benefits can seem nonexistent. So, yeah, writers don’t normally write just for the money. You’ll notice my use of “just” because while it may not be the only reason or even the driving reason, making money is a reason (and feels damn good).

So, how much money can a writer expect to make?

Anyone with Google (or Bing if you are freaky like that) can type in the query, “How much money do writers make?” and receive page after page of articles, blog posts and forum posts that explain in excruciatingly vague as well as painfully specific detail just how very little an average author actually makes (on average :D).

These sites seem to glory in being the bearers of bad news. They post with bold headlines, bright colors, pictures, even graphs. As if they need graphs. Really, they could simply substitute their graphs with huge frowny faces and I would glean the same information from them as if they’d presented me with colored bars labeled to fit in a large rectangle.

However, as I am never one to miss a chance at making a graph, I…made my own graph(s). ((a little anti climactic there at the end))

green circleThis pie chart represents the amount that googling “How much money do writers make?” depresses me. (Note: this pie is entirely filled in, indicating a clear 100% depression amount)

blue circleThis pie chart represents how many fucks I will give regarding the results from googling, “How much money do writers make?” as I move on with my writing career. (Note: This pie is empty, indicating zero fucks.)

pieThis is pie.

So, in conclusion, I cannot draw pie.

Also, writers can’t write for the money. It cannot be the only reason a writer writes. So don’t open our conversations with, “Oh, you’re a writer, you know only 1 out of 30 billion writers make enough to quit their day jobs right?” because 1. I know and 2. You won’t get any pie if you do.

And I make way better pie than I draw.