Stop on by the Diamond Saloon, where devious Englishmen blithely charm sceptical saloon owners and where voluptuous singers archly tease the strong, silent type. Enjoy these two sexy tales from Freewill, Wyoming.
Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won’t be selling her saloon to anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin…but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath.
Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow’s saloon—the coal buried deep in land she owns. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul.
Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?
So, I’m all fired and raring to go with the writing. I’ve got three series on the go at varying stages: First up, there’s the Diamond Series, my Old Timey Westerns. The last book in the series, EMERALD SEA, is kicking my behind. It’s not coming together as easily as I’d like (when do they, Cassandra asks herself ruefully). The heroine, Hope, hasn’t changed much but I’ve changed my mind on who the hero, Jake, is. Even his name has changed, from the eloquent and biblical Jacob to the more decisive derivative, Jake. (As an aside, I’ve kind of kicked myself with this, as generic action heroes are always named John or Jack or Jake – check out any action movie of the last twenty years. You won’t find a Paul or Daniel amongst them. But…completely off topic). The plot has changed slightly to incorporate this new version of Jake, but I’m still having issues with the flow. Oh wells, it will come. Much like Christmas.
The Silk Series is steaming away like nobody’s business. SILK & SCARS, the third in the series, is with my editor and will be released in the first half of this year. SILK & SCHOLAR, the next in the series, is bubbling away nicely and I’m really enjoying Etta and Christopher’s shenanigans. Oh my, but Christopher loves to niggle Etta. Tis a thing of beauty.
The third series is brand new and in early concept stages – THE CHARRINGTON SISTERS. Based around three sisters venturing into the marriage mart in Regency London, this series will see me finally writing my regencies! Only took me what, nine or ten books? Well done, Cassandra.
Right, well I guess I better get back to it. These books aren’t going to write themselves (unfortunately).
This month marks NaNoWriMo, the time of year when peeps are challenged to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days. This year, I’m taking up the challenge!
I’ll be attempting to write the first draft of EMERALD SEA, the third in the Diamond Series. I’ve started this story, thought lots about it, but other commitments have kept me from progressing any further. No more! This month, I WILL get Hope and Jacob’s story down on the page and nothing will stop me. Well. Possibly Armageddon, but that’s unlikely. Right?
I’ll be offering updates on Facebook and via my Movember page (a worthy cause you can read about here). I hope you’ll join me!
I’ve been a bit slack lately and as such the book birthday of ROUGH DIAMOND went by without fanfare. Well, peeps, we can’t have that and so, a belated celebration!
At the moment, ROUGH DIAMOND is on sale at all the Amazons, including US ($2.99) and UK (£1.98). Click on the Amazon links in the side bar for other international sites.
To celebrate ROUGH DIAMOND’s book birthday, I’m holding a giveaway. Click on the Rafflecopter link below to go in the running to win a Prize of Mystery – the Prize will contain objects of Wonder and Enchantment and all things Delightful. International entries are welcome – if Australia Post can reach your country, you can enter. The giveaway ends on 25 October, so make sure you enter quick.
Quickly, Alice checked her appearance in the mirror. The hour spent on accounts and reports had done little damage to her hair, the complicated arrangement she’d braided into the ebony strands still under ruthless control. Her gown remained unblemished, but it was difficult to see any flaw in black, especially in such uncertain light.
She’d taken to wearing the shade, as was proper and right, after Seth had passed. Too soon her husband had been taken from her, but few recovered from a knife and a wicked-bad man wielding it. In those dark days following his passing, ritual had kept her grief from overwhelming her.
With the heels of her hands, she wiped at her cheeks. That was over and done, and five years had passed. Grief had lessened, but the day she’d been of a mind to wear color, she’d hesitated. If she continued to wear black, no man would forget she was Seth’s widow, and all things considered, it would make the running of a saloon a mite smoother. So, she made it that her wardrobe consisted of nothing but black. Black blouses, black skirts, black dresses…. Damn, she was mighty tired of black.
Rupert leaned against the wall next to the door. Mrs. Reynolds wore black, just as she had the night before. If the color was in deference to her husband’s passing, she wore it long after what was expected of a widow. Her husband had been dead, what? Five years? Six? In any case, she should have laid off the black long ago. Could it be she had another reason for such stark garb?
Again, a blush heated Pearl’s skin, and a strange kind of pleasure, too. She’d been told all manner of things regarding her person, that she were an angel, a nymph, a goddess come to life. All these things she’d dismissed, much as she’d dismissed the men saying them. But Garrett telling her, with a tilt to his mouth and a solemnity to his eyes, her hair was a glory had her all flustered and downright flattered.
This was getting her nowhere fast. Annoyance marched through her, at his caginess, at her own damn fascination with a man intent on lying to her. “So, if you aren’t a fool, what are you?”
Removing his hands from his pockets, he moved toward her. Gaze steady on hers, he stopped close, so close she could see his eyes weren’t truly black but instead the darkest of browns. She froze, unsure what would happen but desperate to discover. He didn’t touch, did nothing more inappropriate than stand too close.
Then, he leaned down, and his lips brushed her ear. “Fascinated.”