Partners, I’m glad to report that Rawhide ‘N Roses, the western romance anthology I introduced to you last week, is coming together nicely. My guest today is Charlene Raddon,who is not only contributing a great short story to the collection, she’s also designing a fabulous cover for us.
Charlene brings talent and knowledge of the publishing industry to this project. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five out of print books published in paperback by Kensington Books, and more recently published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing.
Short stories are not my forte. I’ve only written one or two before my talented western writing buddies and I began putting together Rawhide ‘N Roses, A Western Romance Anthology. But I was thrilled to be included and agonized for days over how on earth I was going to write a short story, let alone what the tale would be about. I put off actually writing until yesterday. It took that long to come up with an idea. Since I had more fun writing my latest release, Taming Jenna, than any other book I’ve written, I decided to do a little sequel.
In the book, Jenna is a no-holds-barred, I-can-take-care-of-myself Pinkerton Operative after a train robber. Branch is a tough-as-nails bounty hunter pursuing the same man. Jenna finds the thief first and takes him right out from under Branch’s nose where he’s been chatting with the fellow in a Salt Lake City bathhouse. Being naked at the time, there wasn’t much Branch could do to stop Jenna, but he did eventually catch up with her. The two spend the rest of the book trying to hang onto this charismatic Spanish gambler who claims to be innocent. In her spare time, Jenna searches for her missing father. Branch spends most of his time searching for Jenna, and trying to tame her wild spirit. My short story, Marrying Jenna, continues where Taming Jenna left off.
Park City, Utah 1878
“Jenna’s gone, Uncle Branch.”
Branch McCauley stared at his young niece. “What do you mean, she’s gone? This is our wedding day.” He brushed a hand down over the new black serge suit he’d bought for the occasion, as if to prove his point.
“She’s going to save Miguel. Dove says he’s about to get hung.” Anna pointed at the window. “Look outside and see for yourself.”
Branch’s brow furrowed at the news about their friend, Miguel. He went to the window and pushed the curtain aside. Two women stood on the boardwalk below. The one with mahogany colored hair he knew instantly to be his beautiful, and stubborn, bride-to-be. She wore an ivory satin dress with lace on the sleeves, the fancy bustle and the hem of a skirt that dragged three feet behind her.
Her wedding dress.
But her resemblance to an ordinary bride ended there.
“What in thunderation,” he muttered, as Jenna took her Stetson from the woman standing next to her. Dove. The wife of Miguel Mendoza, the man responsible for bringing Jenna and Branch together.
Jenna had been sent to Utah by as a Pinkerton Operative to catch Miguel for several train robberies. Branch had been hunting him as well, but not as a thief. He believed Miguel had gunned down his brother. Later they learned he was innocent of both crimes, but not until after Jenna mistook Branch for her quarry. The only way she could identify Miguel for certain was by a scar on his bottom. So, when Branch denied he was the outlaw, she held a Colt .45 on him and forced him to drop his trousers. Seeing no scar, she made a hasty retreat, but he caught up with her. He’d been trying to tame the woman ever since.
Down below, Jenna was struggling to get her hat on over the elaborately woven coil of hair on top of her head. He could almost hear her cursing. She shoved the hat back at Dove and ripped the pins from her hair, letting them fall where they may. After getting the hat set the way she wanted it on her head, she went to her horse at the hitching rail. She checked to make sure her rifle was secure in the scabbard on her saddle, took a gunbelt from her saddlebag and buckled it around her tiny waist. If Branch hadn’t been so furious, he might have laughed. Only Jenna would wear a six-gun and a man’s hat with a wedding gown and go off on horseback an hour before her wedding.
Apparently he hadn’t succeeded in taming her yet.
Did that whet your appetite for more? It did mine. I can’t wait for the book to come out so I can read all the stories!
Historical Romance Author
Thank you, friends, for stopping by. I knew you’d like Charlene’s sneak preview of her short story.