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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Work in Progress sneak peak by Kaye Spencer #prairierosepubs #workinprogress #westernromance

I work on multiple stories at the same time. I write on one until I hit a snag then I hop over to a different story and so forth. Right now, I'm working on two projects that I will submit to Prairie Rose Publications by the end of the summer.

One is a revisiting of a previously published western romance novel that deserves a good revamping prior to republishing. The other is this one that I’m sharing a sneak peek with you. It is a novella-length western romance I’m roughly halfway finished writing. The tentative title is The Locket.

The idea for the story evolved from this postcard I purchased in Kingman, Arizona a few years ago while on a round-trip train ride from Lamar, Colorado to Kingman.

I’ve changed the train robbery to a stagecoach holdup. Kissing the wimmin folk is the spark that lights the story’s fire.

Here’s the kissing scene that fans that plot flame between the hero, John Thomas (aka J.T. Barlow), and the heroine, Ada Snowden. Ada, in failing health and recently widowed, is returning home after being away for twenty years. J.T is a member of an outlaw gang that holds-up the stage she's on. The gang’s leader has demanded Ida relinquish her gold locket. Ida has flatly refused as the locket was a gift from her deceased husband. The leader is about to work her over with quirt when J.T. intervenes.

Excerpt (work in progress and subject to change)

“My parents taught me to respect women, not mistreat them. Besides, a pretty woman should be appreciated, not roughed up.” He looked her over, the lines around his eyes crinkling with amusement. “And you are sure enough a handsome woman—a woman who takes pride in keeping herself up for a man. Mmm mmm mmm.”

The illicit suggestion in his tone sent her hand flying, but he caught her arm before her palm made contact with his face. Never physically mistreated in her life, the iron grip of his fingers clamped around her wrist brought out the fight in her, especially since the sparkle in his eyes said he was still grinning.

“Widow lady, huh?”

“Yes.”She hissed the word through her clenched teeth.

“Where are you headed?”

“Burney Springs, if it’s any of your business.” Ada pulled vainly against his grip.

There was a chuckle in his voice, and the lines around his eyes deepened. “What’s your name?”

“Are you keeping a record of the women you rob?”

“Maybe I am.” He snorted a grunting chuckle. “For posterity.”

Ada saw the flicker of a frown push away the smile around his eyes, and she wondered if she’d touched the fringes of some deeper truth.

“Well,” he prodded. “You have a name?”

“Ada Snowden. Mrs. Snowden to you. I’d ask your name, but I doubt a bandit would give an honest response.”

The taunting gleam in his eyes returned. “Don’t be so hasty to judge. What you see on the outside might be deceiving.” He released her arm as he leaned into her, his broad chest pressing against her bosom. “It’s a matter of pride now. It can’t get out that we show favorites when we rob folks. Our reputations as road agents would be ruined. When we turn to robbing trains and banks…or stealing watermelons from a preacher’s garden, people have to respect us, fear us.” He chuckled softly, amused with himself. He put his gloved hand over hers where it rested protectively over her locket. “Let me have it.”

“No.” Ada grabbed the bottom of his bandana and yanked. Startled, he stepped back. She braced herself, fully expecting he’d strike her. Instead, a slow, widening grin spread over his face. A face with angular, chiseled features, strong jaw, and cleft chin. A face that was nice to look at and made her just a little weak in her already shaky knees.

“I admire a gutsy woman.” Grasping her shoulders with his big hands, he pushed her backwards until she came up hard against the side of the stagecoach with an oompf. “Now that you know my face, here’s something so you won’t forget me.”

He leaned into her. The heat from his body brought the already scorching temperature up several degrees. The moment his lips touched hers, all thoughts of resistance dissolved, and so help her, she closed her eyes and kissed him back. Why she didn’t resist this stranger’s kiss, she didn’t know. Feelings rose from a place deep down inside she’d buried ages before she’d laid her husband to rest two years ago. Neither could she say why when he put his hand over hers again that she loosened her grip on the locket and allowed him to slip his fingers inside hers. With a tug, the clasp broke, and he withdrew the locket as his lips left hers.

“Seems to me you liked that kiss.” The deep husky rasp in his voice suggested he’d gotten more than he’d anticipated. “Maybe it’s the best you’ve ever had.” Tucking the locket into his watch pocket, he pulled up his bandana, returned to his horse, and swung into the saddle. The bandits raced off behind the leader, but the man lingered.

Touching the front of his hat, he said, “Nice to meet you, Ada Snowden. Around these parts, I’m known as John Thomas. Remember my name. I’m gonna be famous.”

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

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  1. Great excerpt! We all love a bad boy. I've no idea how you can keep more than one book simmering at a time. Kudos to you. I'd get them all mixed up.

    1. C.A. I sometimes read more than one book at a time. Couple of chapters in one then hop over to another book.

      Yes. Those redeemable bad boys are fun to write.

  2. Whoa! What a great excerpt! I can't wait to meet these characters, and you're such a solid writer. Some of those lines I really savored. I like to work on two or three projects at once too. I like to escape in my work as much as I hope the reader does so it helps me to switch when I hit a spot where I feel its dragging. Good luck with all your projects!

    1. Thanks, Patti.

      Yay! A sister story-writing hopper. lol

  3. OH,swoon-worthy for sure. I look forward to this story's completion. Doris

  4. Oooooh my goodness!!!

    I love the inspiration and I'm all giddy with that excerpt! If you're stuck with that story I hope you break free of that soon because I wanna read it! Haha! That was amazing!

    1. Michelle,

      Thanks! I love the kissing the wimmin folk post card. Makes me chuckle every time I look at it. It's all in one's perspective that makes a situation bad or good. lolol

  5. Oh and with that last line I totally heard it on the iconic "I'll make you famous" arrogant attitude. Lol

    1. HAHAHA

      Probably no surprise, but John Thomas isn't what he appears to be... *wink*