Nancy, warm Internet hugs and many thanks for having me here today. If I seem a bit befuddled, it’s because my novella, Those Violet Eyes, was released yesterday by The Wild Rose Press. This story is part of the Honky Tonk Hearts series. Last April, a call went out from the publisher for stories with one pivotal scene set in the Lonesome Steer honky tonk, or bar.
Lonely hearts seem to gravitate to the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk.
Owner and bartender, Gus Rankin, has seen his share of the wandering souls
cross his bar and dance floor over the years—he’d even like to think he helped
a few find true love along the way.
I’d never written for a series before and thought I’d enjoy giving it a try. The challenge of writing a story within given parameters appealed to me, for some reason. But, believe me, as I struggled here and there, I wondered what I’d been drinking when I’d started this project.
My hero was wounded in Iraq, losing part of his leg. He also suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. At times he was quiet and sullen—even to me. So I had to study this condition that affects so many young adults returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Gaining all this information wasn’t so easy for this grandma. My own grandson is serving in Afghanistan, you see. In fact, there might even be a smidgen of my Joshua in Win Fairchild. Joshy—and I’m the only one he allows to call him that—is a delightful blend of ornery humor and macho attitude.
My heroine, Evie, was the first of my heroines to saunter across my computer screen, fully formed and carrying her own dose of attitude. I usually have a hard time grasping the essence of my heroines, for some reason, but not Evie. She marched right up to me in her pink cowgirl boots, put her hands on her hips and said, “I’m telling you right off I’m not putting up with any guff out of this guy. I’m not in the mood for it.” She made me laugh out loud then and so many places in the story.
Evie Caldwell hoards every penny for her escape from the servitude life created by a worthless brother and the endless work on a ranch that will never be hers. The last thing she wants is a muscled man with a macho Marine attitude complicating her life. But, oh, how that man can make her insides do a twitchy thing.
Wounded vet, Win Fairchild, returns to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul and open a ranch for amputee children. Finding someone to love was not on his agenda. Nor was dealing with a wildcat, until she captures his heart with those violet eyes.
But now that he knows what he wants, can Win convince Evie to stay in Texas—and his bed?
OPENING SCENE EXCERPT:
Win Fairchild leaned his low-rider onto the gravel parking lot of the Lonesome Steer on a cloud of dust and a tank of fumes. He eased his modified Harley to a stop next to the door of the honky tonk and stood. After more than five hundred miles of bone-jarring road, Win stretched, trying to work the kinks from his body.
A couple came barreling out of the bar, startling Win who pivoted to nod in greeting. The man charging ahead, red-faced with clenched fists, was clearly pissed. The woman behind him carried her own dose of attitude on shoulders muscled from hard work or hours spent in a gym.
“I’m tired of you huntin’ me down, Evie, embarrassin’ me in front of my buddies. You act more like my wife than my sister.”
“And you act more like an irresponsible child than my older brother. Grow up. I need help at the ranch.” She planted her hands on jean-clad hips. “Dooley Caldwell, don’t you walk away from me while I’m talking to you!” Her brother raised an offensive finger over his head and kept striding toward a Jeep.
The woman swept her eyes toward Win, as if she suddenly realized he stood next to her, taking in the heated exchange.
Violet eyes that tugged him into their depths.
His dust-covered tongue rolled into a tight knot.
“Well, what the hell are you staring at?”
Good God, her eyes were like magnets. “Those beautiful eyes of yours.” Win winced at the lack of polish in his remark. Damn if he didn’t sound like an awkward teenager.
The dark-haired woman blinked those mesmerizing eyes and then jerked her pointy chin to the helmet under his arm. “Hunh. Just what the world needs, Don Juan on a Harley.” She turned on her heel and marched toward an old red Nova, the paint splotchy and faded.
Win pursed his lips and exhaled a long breath. He did like a spirited woman. With her violet eyes, nine feet of attitude crammed into a petite frame and a make-his-palms-itch-to-touch behind, she was one fine package.
To his surprise and amusement, she crawled head first through the open window of her car, that world-class ass shimmying as she wiggled her way onto her driver’s seat. What a sight. He shifted his stance to accommodate his body’s reaction.
Her car door must be broken, and he briefly wondered why her brother didn’t fix it for her. Just then the Wrangler eased to a stop in front of Win.
“Stop starin’ at my sister.” Dooley Caldwell peeled out leaving Win in a shower of dust and gravel.
His gaze slid to Evie backing her rusty car away from the Lonesome Steer. He shook his head, hoping to erase the whirlwind sensation one encounter with the feminine dynamo created. Maybe moving here held more possibilities than he planned.
The buy link is: http://bit.ly/ThoseVioletEyes
My blog is: http://bit.ly/Vonnie
My website is http://www.vonniedavis.com/
Great excerpt, Vonnie. Thanks for visiting today and best wishes for great sales with Those Violet Eyes.